John Mayer says it best in his song Daughters, imploring fathers to be role models in order for their girls to grow up to be healthy women. It has always been said that girls who grow up with caring fathers fare better in life, love and relationships, as through their dads they learn respect, and how to value themselves.
A father's involvement is more than just financial; it's also more than boasting to others that she's daddy's little princess. There are other lessons dads need to teach their girls, and these include:
1. Teaching her to be independent. Every child must learn the value of independence. By teaching her to get things done on her own, she will be better able to fit into any other social environment more easily and later to survive when she decides to move on to having her own family. Help her to understand her inner strengths and weaknesses and to learn how to deal with them as she grows older.
2. Teaching her that beauty is not just external. Many young girls have the impression that beauty is merely external, so if they don't have the features of Barbie, they figure they are not pretty and develop low self-esteem. As a dad you have to let your daughter know that there is also inner beauty, which is far more precious than outer beauty. It is best that you start re-affirming her beauty from she is young so that the comments made by others, whether it's in school or from magazines, won't faze her.
3. Teaching her how to manage her finances. Teaching your daughter to become a skilled financial planner won't happen overnight. It could take months or even years. So it is important that you start off from as early as possible. As a dad you have to teach your child how to budget, save, invest, cut expenses and reduce debt. When she learns the value of money, she will also help you to save yours. It will also help her budget when she has her own family.
4. Teaching her how to be assertive. You have to teach your daughter how to stand up for herself. There are a lot of people in this world who get a high from bullying people who are intimidated by them. Let her know the importance of saying no if she is not comfortable doing something, whether it is cutting school at the request of friends, or engaging in drugs and sex. She will be much better able to deal with peer pressure when she is assertive.
5. Teaching her about the birds and the bees. Sex is a topic that many parents feel awkward talking to their kids about. But as frightening as it might be for you, you cannot wait until your daughter's wedding night to teach her about sex, nor can you depend on the teachers at her school to do it for you. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an adult matter; it is something that your daughter will see played out in the media every day. If not, she will probably learn about it from kids on the playground who are as equally uninformed about the topic as she is. Knowledge is power.
6. Showing respect to her mother. This is one of the most important things you can do. If you can't love or tolerate her mother, find something to respect and admire in her anyway, and let your daughter know. Let your daughter see that you respect her mother, and she will demand the same respect from men.