6 Things Every Dad Needs to Say To His Daughter

Disney Princesses teach our daughters that one day a man will sweep them off their feet and they will live happily ever after. We all love a happy ending, but here in the real world we know Prince Charming doesn’t have all the answers. That’s what fathers are for, right? You don’t have to be “superdad” to nourish her with the life lessons she needs to reach the stars and write her own fairytale. Always remember to tell her . . .

#1: “You are beautiful and you are loved.”
Help your daughter grow up with confidence and strong self-esteem with affirmations. Daughters who feel loved will love themselves in return. They seek partners who support and empower them, rather than chasing after toxic relationships. When it comes to dating, encourage your daughter to proceed cautiously and protect her heart. Teach her that the best partner will support her goals, make her laugh and – most importantly – treasure her love just as much as your have treasured her.

#2: “You don’t need a man to change your flat tire.”
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: your daughter is driving home late at night, her car breaks down, and her cell phone is dead. While it’s not possible to prevent all car problems, teaching your daughter the skills to care for her car is not only practical, but also empowering. Before handing your daughter a set of car keys, teach her how to check the oil level, change a spare tire and jump-start her car.

#3: “Risk taking is important.”
Encourage your daughter to take risks and pursue her dreams. Teach her the difference between smart risks that advance her career and enrich her learning experiences versus foolish risks that unnecessarily jeopardize her life. Confidence and strong self-esteem will help your daughter walk into a room of strangers, firmly shake hands, and look them in the eye – whether she’s at her first job interview or getting ready to climb Kilimanjaro.

#4: “What you share on the Internet lasts forever.”
From Instagram to Tumblr, teenage girls are increasingly share the most intimate aspects of their lives online – with many engaging in “Mean Girls” style cyberbullying. In fact, one out of every two teens has been bullied online, according to “Consumer Reports.” Due in part to increased online activity, Lifelock reports that children and teenagers are at high risk for online identity theft. Certain ID threats from online strangers could destroy your daughter’s credit history before she’s even out of middle school. Teach your daughter about the importance of Internet privacy and the dangers of cyberbullying.

#5: “Be smart about money.”
Don’t let your daughter keep her savings in a piggy bank forever! Sure, it’s fun to drop a few quarters in a piggy bank when she’s younger, but by the time your daughter is in school, she’s old enough to learn about interest rates and growing her savings. A pretend bank, run by you, introduces your daughter to the concept of compound interest and savings accounts.

#6: “Give back to your community.”
Whether your daughter is demanding the latest Barbie doll or a new video game, it’s easy to fear that pop culture is turning our children into tiny consumers. According to a new study published in Pediatrics, children who are the most materialistic are also the least happy with their lives. Teach your daughter the value of community service and you will help combat the influence of advertising and materialism in her life. Keep your daughter grounded by volunteering with her at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or community garden. With unconditional love and firm boundaries, a happy, healthy and independent women will emerge before your eyes.

Image taken with permission from Flikr user Donjd2

Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on July 31, 2013 at 05:00 AM

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