raising a daughter

Rules for Dads of Daughters

One of my favorite things to watch on television is survival shows. I particularly enjoy shows with Bear Grylls. Grylls was in the British Special Forces and is an adventurer. When he was 23 and only 18 months after crushing three vertebrae in a skydiving accident, he became one of the youngest to ever climb Mount Everest. He also holds several world records. His most famous show is Man vs. Wild where he is dropped in the middle of the wilderness. He then needs to find his way out while surviving the elements and hunting for food with limited supplies. Along the way, he gives survival tips and information about the land that gives him an edge.

I’m always surprised at the simplicity of some of his tips and yet, they are also so critical. One of his main tips is to always keep thinking. When we stop thinking, we make bad decisions with unfortunate consequences. Raising daughters is also an adventure and we want to do things that will give us an edge. Maintaining daily focus on doing the right things makes raising daughters healthy and strong all the more likely. [Tweet This] Here are 10 rules for dads of daughters.

  1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good that she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is.
  2. Always be thereQuality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she adds years to her life… add life to her years.
  3. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.
  4. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait until her wedding day.
  5. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.
  6. Remember, just like a butterfly, your daughter will spread her wings and fly someday. Enjoy her caterpillar years while you can.
  7. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.
  8. Give her the gift of experiences you can share together instead of loading her up with presents for her birthday and Christmas.
  9. Never miss her birthday. In ten years, she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.
  10. Don’t be late. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings.

Rules for Dads of Daughters first appeared on Life to Her Years: Dad’s Tips for Adding Life to a Daughter’s Years by Michael Mitchell.

Sound Off

What rule would you add in raising daughters?

  • These are great. As a father of three older boys and a two year old girl, I’ve quickly seen how different things are with a little girl. I love #10. When I pull in the driveway, she’s often there behind the screen door waiting for me and waving.

  • Steven Sistrunk

    This is a constant reminder that there are always ways to improve our relationship with our daughters. Even with the challenges of teenage girls and high school, we can’t forget bto be our daughter’s biggest encourager and cheerleader!!!

  • Anthony

    In addition to telling her she’s beautiful, remind her off how smart she is. In a society where looks are everything, you don’t want to raise another Paris Hilton or Kardashian. She’s only 4 but I always make it a point make a big deal of her accomplishments whether it’s recognizing letters, writing her name or coloring inside the lines.

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Huddle up with your daughter tonight and tell her why she’s beautiful.

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