I certainly feel this way with my kids. There are some things that I do better and some things that my wife does better. Reflecting on my clinical work, I feel there are a few things that a daughter should know, and it's best if it came from dad.
1) Don't base your self-esteem on your physical appearance. Yes, care about your appearance but don't let your appearance define your value. Girls experience so much pressure when it comes to their image, dads need to lay the foundation that self-esteem is about who you are, not what you look like.
2) “Airbrushing” is a disservice to all girls and women. The deception of airbrushing is being exposed. It's incredibly important for dads to make sure their daughters know these pictures are unhealthy figments of imagination.
3) You are going to make a lot of mistakes in life, and that's exactly what you are supposed to do. Just like me. I routinely work with kids who think they have to be perfect, and it causes them a lot of stress. It's common for kids to think their parents are perfect. Let the cat out of the bag, dad makes mistakes too.
4) Remember those mistakes? Learn from them. A mistake can either be a problem or an opportunity. It's a problem if it continues to repeat itself, it's an opportunity if you learn from it.
5) Eat what you want, but be healthy about it. I've had girls in kindergarten tell me they are dieting. Eat what you want, but be responsible. If you want to lose weight, it's okay, it doesn't mean you're fat.
6) Choose your friends wisely. At some point a friend is going to pressure you to do something you know is wrong. Is that really a friend?
7) Your siblings may be very different from you, but you'll always be siblings. You all may have very different likes and lives, but you will always be family. Stay connected.
8) It's okay if there are some things that you don't want to talk to dad about. Some things are just uncomfortable for a daughter to talk to her dad about, same with boys and their mothers.
9) The way dad treats your mom is how men should treat you. Where do kids first learn about relationships? From their parents. If you treat their mom with love, respect, and care, they will learn that those characteristics are the foundation of a healthy relationship.
10) Be yourself. Don't change who you are for someone else. If someone likes you when you are being something that you aren't, they don't like the real you.
11) I will always love you and be your dad, always. This one needs no explanation.
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