We had our son first and then our daughter about 2 years after. And it was different. I couldn’t exactly explain it, but the connection a dad has with his daughter is just different than he has with his a son.
What I’m about to share with you is what I feel is important. This is how to be a dad to a daughter
First, Focus on her internal value – When you praise or complement your daughter, try to make it about what is inside. Compliment her on how nice she treats other people, how helpful she is, her abilities or how your daughter shows strength.
If you are going comment on something external, then do it on something she has a choice of. I really like those shoes. That shirt is very colorful.
Try to avoid complimenting her on things she doesn’t have a choice of: her smile, her eyes or her how she looks. This is important in learning how to be a dad to a daughter.
Now listen, I can see the comments now: why is it so wrong to compliment her on how she looks? Ask yourself a simple question: what do you want her to value? Her outward appearance or who she is as a person?
If you make it about who she is as a person, she will be fine with her outward appearance. It doesn’t work in reverse.
Next, Be Mindful of Your Limiting Beliefs – understanding how to be a dad to a daughter is understanding how often we are guilty of putting limitations on the them without realizing it:
Sure, there are differences in genetics and hormones at an early age which we can often see. Boys may have stronger visual-spatial abilities so they may push cars around or climb more often.
Where as girls are better at verbal tasks or understanding emotions. But what we do as parents is we then emphasize those differences by re-enforcing the behavior.
We wrestle with our sons and give our daughters dolls. You want to know how to be a dad to a daughter, don’t limit what she can do.
Next, Teach her that She is in Control – She is in charge of herself. She is in control of her body, she is in control of her emotions.
Let’s start with the control of her body – she gets to choose who she gives affection to. She gets to choose what she does with her body. She is in control. Nobody else gets to control it.
For her emotions – she gets to control what things mean and how things effect her. I have a video called “Everyone else is responsible for my happiness) which goes over this concept in detail. Teach her that she is in control. Other people do not get to control her.
The most important thing about How to be a dad to a daughter is to Be the example – how you treat her and her mother effects who she becomes and her views on men. You want to provide her a positive male role model.