It is important for fathers to teach their daughters their value, only then will they know their worth.
People are often shocked when I tell them that I'm a daddy's girl. Most people are used to seeing me with my mother, as I spend much more time with her, especially now that we work together. However, my father, I must say is my first love. There's something about a father and daughter relationship that can't quite be put into words. People always put an emphasis on father and son relationships, but often don't realize, that the relationship of a daughter with her father sets the tone for her future relationships on so many levels. How a father raises and treats her daughter affects her self esteem, self worth, intellectual performance, and personal relationships.
I am blessed to have a father who is always present and loving (in his own way). Besides the fact that he was protective (notice that I didn't say overprotective), he made sure that my siblings and I always had a loving and secure environment growing up. Although we were an average middle class family, I truly lacked nothing as a child. It is important for fathers to understand that financial security isn't the only expectation, emotional stability is what will be your daughter's compass in her adult life.
I'm no father, obviously, but in honor of my amazing dad, here's a few things that every father should teach his daughter.
You Can Always Count On Me
My mother was my principal all throughout grade school, and as a rule of thumb she told us that at school, she did not play the mommy role! Anything that was school related was taken care of by my dad. The part that I hated the most about that was that any complaints or issues that I had, I couldn't go directly to her, although she was present. So when I needed someone to come to my rescue, daddy was always a phone call away! I would have him show up at the school for any little thing (like losing a book), and I felt so confident and powerful knowing that my daddy had my back. There's comfort in knowing that whatever happens, I know he'll show up to defend me. It is important for fathers to teach their daughters to count on them in the little or the big things.
My dad's loyalty to me has touched me so greatly, that now that I am older, I would drop anything and everything to run to his sides the minutes he needs me.
You’re Gonna Be Okay
I may or may not be a little dramatic when things go wrong. I panic, lose sleep, lose my appetite, get hot flashes (JK about this one), but you get the picture. My dad has always been the one to tell me that " YOU'RE GONNA BE OKAY". Every time that I would panic about a butterfly (I seriously have a butterfly phobia, don't ask!) or I had a cut, or a headache, or failed a test, his answer was always " YOU'RE GONNA BE OKAY". I didn't realize how much it stuck with me until I found myself literally saying "I'll be alright" to myself when I face difficult situations. He has taught me resilience and confidence early enough to know that whatever it may be, I'm gonna be Okay!
Seek Out Healthy Relationships
I have probably lost count on how many times my father has lectured me about relationships. He's always been more concerned about my friendships then the people I was dating ( I guess he trusted my choices in men, or perhaps he was in denial about me even dating ). Early on in life, he noticed how generous and giving I was with the people that I love, and probably smelled from miles away all the disappointments that were awaiting me. He always quoted provers 18 "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin" , which always makes me skeptical and particular about choosing whom I entertain relationships with. I've learned some tough lessons along the way, but I can't say that I wasn't warned!
You’re Beautiful Inside and Out
The only person that managed to make me cry on my wedding day was my father. His entire speech was about the joys of having me around, and how much he enjoyed raising me. He spoke about my bright character, my bubbly personality, and went on and on about how much I meant to him. The more he spoke, the more I had vivid images in my mind of how much loved he has shown me throughout the years. My father compliments me on how I dress, he notices when I get my hair done, and loves my taste in perfume. I've always felt love and appreciated from the most important man in my life, there's really no way another man would ever be allowed to make me feel anything less.
You’re Worth It
Contrary to what many believe, self worth isn't innate, but taught. Once parents realize that their children's self esteem begins with them, they will be much more aware of how they speak into their children's lives. It is important for fathers to teach their daughters their value, only then will they know their worth. Not only did my father show me how valuable I am by how much time, energy, love, and money he invested in me, but he also often told me that I should never allow anyone to treat me any less than he would. The comfort, ease, and love that I grew up with, made it hard for anyone to treat me less than I deserve. I consider myself an investment because a lot has been poured into me, to make me the woman that I am today. And as an asset, you just gonna know how much you're worth!
Your Heavenly Father Comes First
Some years ago, while in the middle of a conversation with my father, he asked me to pray for him. This was a first. Although growing up, during our daily family devotion, we took turns during prayer time. As a child, you're taught to pray for mommy and daddy, but my father had never actually came to me for prayer before. In fact, it was usually the opposite: "dad, please pray for my upcoming exam, pray for my health issues". Yet that day, he counted on me to lift him up in prayer. Growing up in church you're always told to "put God first", and it isn't until there's nothing that your earthly parents can do that you realize that when they are out of options and solutions, your heavenly father always has a solution. It's imperative for fathers to teach their daughters how to pray, and rely on God. This is undoubtedly the greatest lesson you can teach them.
I'm so thankful for these lessons that my father has taught me throughout my life. They have kept me grounded, and assertive in the woman that I have become.
What are some things that your father has taught you that has stuck with you all your life, or made you the person that you are today?
Please, do share!
Daddy's little girl.