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It’s A Girl: A Dad’s Guide To Guiding Yours In The Right Direction

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By Mia Bolaris-forget

While traditionally it’s been true that moms spent more time with the kids, and that dad’s had more of a bond with boys, at least some of that has changed. Sure the guys will have and find more things in common, much like mothers and daughters at the mall, but today’s parents are more active and interactive with their children. And, let’s fact it, with single households on the rise, its likely parents often split the responsibility. And, that often means a one-on-one impact by dad on his precious little princess.

Still, once she arrives its hard to believe there will come a day where this tiny and precious bundle of joy will be an independent individual with a forming personality of her own. And, according to experts, it’s likelier that she’ll turn into what you teach, and more so by what you do and how your act. And that may revisiting and redefining your values and what you “thought” you believed.

1. Not the mama: Mothers and daughters generally have a special bond that allows them to be critical of or caustic with each other, only to be forgiving and best friends in the next moment. Without allowing your “baby girl” to believe that in your eyes she can “do no wrong”, your role is to be disciplinary without stepping on her still developing toes or fragile ego.

2. Building Confidence: While you want your daughter to gain notoriety based on her intellectual capabilities and other merits, you can’t deny that beauty is a big part of our society. It’s important that the princess of your castle know that her dad thinks she’s attractive. But, experts caution on suggesting that others may share your enthusiasm or sentiment.

3. Crossing A Fine Line: While the above is expressly important, so is establishing a sense of self worth NOT based on physical features. Remember that youngsters change and most go through an “awkward”, “unattractive” phase and for most it takes more than good looks to get by in the world. Besides, they may change during puberty in ways that they may not be comfortable or happy with. So, while it’s important to stress attractivene4ss, it’s also important that you (as a man) don’t send the wrong message that acceptance and accomplishments are based on beauty (alone) or that when she looks good is the only time you take notice. And, these same principles also hold true for her mom. So, you may want to practice paying compliments for accomplishments other than appearance.

4. Living in harmony: Don’t wait until her wedding day to dedicate a special song to her. In fact, experts suggest that dads and daughters can have a favorite song or album that is unique and special to just the two of you.

5. Become her biggest fan: While it’s great when you fledgling femme fatale takes an interest in sports, something both of you can eagerly share. But, there’s also the likely possibility that other interests will often take precedence. It’s your job to learn to like those. Get excited about her piano lessons, tennis lesson, theatrical debut or ballet recital. You can even read her some of her favorite books. You may even want to show an interest in her new outfit or her new shoes. After all, a girl wants a dad who can be part of her life but also has unique interests that are distinct from her own. But, like mom, she’ll need to be understood and heard.

6. Offer support and strength: Experts suggest that women, even the tiniest among them, like to feel not only loved but safe. And, even if you’re not feeling it, it’s up to you to make her believe that you’re going to see to it that everything will be okay.

7. Learn to bite and hold your tongue: If you thought marriage was a challenge in keeping the piece and figuring out the right thing to say at just the right time….having girls “doubles” that challenge. Girls you’ll learn, if you haven’t already are very emotional and while you may want to minimize the severity of her “tragedy” or jump in and fix it, what you’re really being called to do is be quiet, respectful, understanding and gentle with her feelings. This, believe it or not, will open the door for communication as they grow and mature, and confiding in you is what you ultimately want.

8. Teach her to be independent: From emphasizing the need to be able to take care of herself, some tasks around the house, getting an education, etc., you should also emphasize her abilities in less traditional arenas. Take the time to show her the ropes around the yard, the car, the garage, etc. It’s a great way to not only give her life skills but to fit in some extra quality time.

9. Bedazzle her with baubles: While it may sound “sexist”, the truth of the matter is that girls love bling. And, they especially love it when the FIRST man in their life takes time out to pick out something special just for them.

10. Ditch The Chauvinism: Never consider it derogatory to pitch in around the house, and avoid labeling chores as woman’s work. Also, try to avoid any other sexist attitudes. If you see an attractive women “exploiting” herself or her assets, you may quietly take notice, even make a polite comment, but avoid lingering…it only enforced acceptance such attitudes and instills acceptance of such expectations and behaviours. Even at the risk of seeming “geeky”, it’s the right thing to do and years from now you’re daughter(s) will thank you.

11. Improve your relationship with mom: And, yes, this applies for dads who are no longer residing with mom. Experts suggest that girls learn how to be treated and about relationships based on what they see from their parents. In fact, your relationship as a man with any woman impacts your girl(s). Remember, the higher YOU set the standard, the more she will learn (subconsciously) to expect, if not demand, from future suitors…and the opposite is also true. Bottom line, your current friendships, relationship, and actions, will define hers.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > It’s A Girl: A Dad’s Guide To Guiding Yours In The Right Direction

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