And BOOM goes the click bait.
They call that click-bait ladies and gentlemen, (a controversial title to get people to click on it), and it will be your downfall. Most of the time the post title doesn’t have anything to do with the content.
If you will now join me in taking several deep breaths so you don’t pass out before you can read the rest of this post. IN-2-3, OUT-2-3!
That look when you realize the responsibility of raising a daughter.
I am not the horrible person you thought me to be. I am just being practical. This shit is scary. I feel like 1 mistake can ruin my daughter for the rest of her life. Should I be gentle with her? Rough? Try and toughen her up a bit? Or will that just make her a bully?
I believe that raising a daughter is more difficult than raising a boy. Well maybe not more difficult but I think your actions, especially as a father have more of a lasting impact. In my amateur opinion it is far worse missing your daughter’s ballet recital than it is missing your son’s baseball game. They might both be equally upset, but I think the ballet thing will be a bigger deal 12 years later.
Women don’t like to be slighted. Picture a couple dating. They go out on a date and the next day you have the great debate about who should call, (really? call? I mean text, sorry…soooo 2008 of me), who and when. If the man doesn’t receive a call for 3 or 4 days, he doesn’t really care, but if the woman doesn’t receive a call the next day she will probably never talk to you again.
Back to the lecture at hand.
So yes, sometimes I look at my daughter and I feel slightly nauseated. I look at her and realize that I am not always going to make the right choices. I will never achieve, “Perfection, Perfected”, and the corollary to that is that I am going to make huge, epic, earth-shattering mistakes. She will tell me she hates me, she will say mean things to me. She will get mad at permissions denied and requests that go unanswered.
As cute and adorable and lovely as she may be, I know that one of the best things I can do for her is say, “No”. You see all of the crazy teenage girls on “My Sweet Sixteen” and they all have one thing in common. They have a, (usually wealthy), father who spoils the crap out of them. I don’t know if I could live with myself if my daughter turned out like that. So my nausea is a bit like what it feels like when you break up with a girl for the first time. You know that feeling when you have to tell her something that she is not going to want to hear, and it may piss her off, and you hope that you have the courage to go through with it.
This is where, “ol’ other half”, comes in.
Hopefully there is a responsible woman you can turn to for advice. I am not a feminist, I don’t think that a man can’t raise a daughter on his own. And actually, let me go off on a brief tangent.
Why is it that every time a man is left alone with a child for 3 minutes on TV or in a movie the child swallows an entire lego set, makes a complete mess of the kitchen, (even if they weren’t even cooking), and sets the house on fire? Men are always depicted as these bumbling idiots that are as responsible as a 3 year old. Rant Complete!
You can be a super-dad and raise your daughter all by yourself, but if you have a mother, sister, female friend, in the bullpen you should use her.
If you are married, dating or still on speaking terms with mama, count on her for support. Women love nothing more than to deny happiness to another woman. I’m just joking but only a little bit. I think it is somehow easier for a mother to say no to a daughter.
I think as, (good), men we are programmed to treat women with the highest honor and respect. In my house my wife is the Queen, and you don’t say no to the Queen, or else you lose your head, everyone knows this. So if you are the type of father that gives in to your daughter a lot try one of the following tips:
- If you have to shatter your daughter’s world by telling her no and you find this difficult, try having your spouse in the room with you for moral support and possibly backup. It will help your daughter accept the reality of what you are telling her if you are a united front. If you are a single father, then have another woman, any other woman in the room with you.
- Don’t just say no and be done with it, if there is a good reason why you are saying no then explain that to your daughter. This doesn’t mean you have to answer to your children, you can still just say “no” and be done with it. But if there is a good reason and you share it with them, they may just see that it is not a good idea on their own.
- Be fair and consistent. If you say yes today and no tomorrow then it seems like you are just being arbitrarily dictatorial. That is some Game of Thrones type shit and you don’t want to start playing the mind-games game with your daughter because you will lose. She needs to have a clearly defined sense of right and wrong. This goes along with, “Do what I say, not what I do”, you want to lead by example. Don’t be the commander that sits back at camp barking orders, be at the front of your troops and guide them.
- Respect your daughters right to disagree. Most of the women I know that have a good relationship with their fathers say it stems from mutual respect. If you say no and your daughter says that you are being cruel or unfair or mean respect her right to feel that way. And if you are being cruel, unfair or mean, then, STOP THAT. If you tell her no and she throws a fit, that is fine. The most important thing you can do is not give in. If she voices her objections, tell her she has every right to feel that way, but the answer is still, “No”.
- Don’t give in to pleading or bargaining. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated. I have mentioned this before but you need to think of all of the consequences of saying, “no”, and you need to stick with it if you do. If you say, “no” it has to be written in stone. If you give in once that is it, you are done. If you have said “No” in the past to watching TV on a school night and your daughter says, “Yeah, but daddy there is an educational program on TV about the Kardashians that I need to watch”, and you give in it will be hard to enforce the rule in the future.
So, does this mean that you always have to say, No? Um, No. It just means that WHEN you say, No, you have to mean it. Waffling is ok for politicians but not ok for fathers.
Well that’s all the words of wisdom I have for now. Let me know if you have any additional tips, post them in the comments. Also, feel free to let me know if you think I am wrong, let me know if you think I am too strict/not strict enough. My daughter is 11 months old so this is all theory at this point. I need to draw on the collective knowledge of this community.
Remember, you are not perfect, your daughter is not perfect. You will fail, and so will she. As long as you are there for her to help her back up you will form the lasting bond that makes a father-daughter relationship so special.
Thanks for reading!
Note: My lawyers wanted me to point out that I am not a counselor, I am not a psychologist, I am just a man. My advice is more to elicit discussion, not to be taken as gospel.