Review: "What Every Dad Should Know About His Daughter"

Review: "What Every Dad Should Know About His Daughter"

The following is a post that has gone viral on Facebook, but it is so pertinent to life that I really wanted to share it, comment and open it up to discussion. So here it goes: the viral post entitled "What Every Father Should Know About His Daughter."

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Last week I was dropping my daughter off for a birthday party. As I was leaving, a man stopped me, asking for direction. He was standing with one of my daughter’s school friends. Immediately recognizing her, I put my hand out and introduced myself, explaining that our daughters sit together at lunch often. His reaction was sarcastic as he gave his daughter a sideways glance. I didn’t fully catch what he said, but whatever it was, it didn’t honor his daughter in any way. Looking at her, I could tell this was not abnormal behavior.

I’ll be honest…I wanted to punch him.

It’s challenging to articulate the influence a father has on a little girl. How much of his attitude and actions toward her can determine her future relationships. I remember how much stock I placed in what my dad thought of me. I remember how much I wanted him to be proud of me. To affirm me. To show me my value.

I remember how he would brag about me on the sidelines of the soccer field.

How he would tell me I’m beautiful.

How he would hug me so hard I couldn’t breath.

How often he reminded me as a teenager, “Never date a boy you wouldn’t marry.”
(What a way to narrow the playing field!)

Dad’s, don’t lose sight of the impact you have today on your daughter’s future. Here are three things I encourage you to focus on:

Affirm Her
She looks to you for affirmation, encouragement and guidance. As she grows through puberty (ESPECIALLY as she grows through puberty), she needs your voice reminding her that she is beautiful, valuable and worthy of love. If she can learn to believe you, then she’ll believe her future husband when he tells her the same things.

Set the Standard
Be the husband you want her to have one day. Enough said. Is it difficult? Yes. Does it mean sacrifice? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. I watch my husband daily making changes to be a better husband and dad. He’s amazing. He demonstrates for our daughter the kind of man he wants her to marry one day.

Talk About the Standard
Talk about the future. As you “Imagine the End” and think about the man you hope she marries…talk about it! Let her know what you expect. Set the bar. She’ll do everything she can to jump over it.

Let me level with you, dad. The more you affirm her today, the less she’ll seek affirmation in some teenage boy later." ~Author Gina McClain

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This post touched me to my core. Pregnant with our first child, a girl, I know that my husband will be this man. It warms my heart to think how much he'll value our daughter as she grows.

But my feelings about this article don't end there. I also know what it's like to be raised mostly by an excellent single mother who supported me in these exact ways, showing me that I needed to love myself before I could seek out a partner. My stepfather came into the picture when I entered high school, and his support was a welcome addition to my mother's parenting. But it was my mother who set the groundwork for me to learn to value myself.

Even so, I love this article. I just want to add that single moms or any non-traditional parental figure can be the dad that a girl needs in her formative years, guiding her through the same life topics with grace. Is it difficult? Yes. Is it do-able? Yes. Is it well worth the effort? Hells yeah.

How about you, readers? How do you feel about this article? Anything to add?

Photo Source

Melinda Gregory's picture

Melinda Gregory wrote:

Thu, 03/08/2012 - 14:12 Comment #: 1

Christa... thanks so much for posting this on here! I LOVED this article/ post. So relevant for today (and tomorrow and in the past).

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Thu, 03/08/2012 - 21:34 Comment #: 2

Melinda, it was a beautiful article, and I love every bit of it!

Leigh's picture

Leigh wrote:

Thu, 03/15/2012 - 07:25 Comment #: 3

I especially loved this line:

How often he reminded me as a teenager, “Never date a boy you wouldn’t marry.”

So true! No one really explained that one to me, but I have eventually figured it out at last. I will generally end a relationship when I realize that I don't want to marry the man.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 20:06 Comment #: 4

Leigh, it's amazing to think back to my dating days and think about the time I wasted with a few losers. I wised up pretty quickly, though, and kicked the losers to the curb!