I am impressed
There are more fathers out there trying to make a difference than I thought. I have recently discovered several groups that are trying to change the perceptions of fatherhood and I just wanted to take a few minutes to applaud a couple of them.
There is a group founded by Philippe Morgese wherein fathers can learn to do their daughter’s hair. It promotes bonding and closeness between a father and daughter.
You may have seen the image of Super-Dad, Doyin Richards, doing his oldest daughter’s hair while carrying his younger daughter in a pouch on his chest.
There is a new movement of fatherhood where men are taking an active interest in raising their daughter. There isn’t this sentiment from the past that a man could only raise a son. Girls are being raised by men, sometimes on their own, and they are doing a wonderful job.
Daddy Daughter Hair Factory
When Philippe Morgese found out he was going to be a father he was excited to say the least. Like most modern fathers, becoming a father is a blessing. Philippe started Daddy Daughter Hair Factory without a plan in place, no resources, and I am sure he didn’t know that it would turn into the huge movement it is today.
That is an important lesson. As men we often feel the need to plan every detail before we act. We get stuck in a paralysis of indecision and never begin. Part of being a father is realizing that all of your plans need to be fluid, dynamic. Fatherhood is about being adaptable. The good news is that humans are good at adaptability, that is why we are still here.
Philippe had a vision of a way to bring fathers and daughters closer together:
Most of the fathers I know are so disconnected with their daughters. I can see how much Emma benefits from my involvement, and the class was designed to help dads discover that connection.
Men are often intimidated by “girl stuff”. This program is special because it serves two purposes. It helps demystify something that men struggle with and at the same time shows girls that men can take an interest in their lives beyond sports or cars. You should try and take an interest in what your daughter likes instead of trying to push her into the things you like.
I have said in other posts that time is what is important. Letting your daughter know that you will make time for her even if you are busy shows her your level of commitment. Girls need to know that their daddy will be there for them no matter what. What better way to spend time with your daughter than doing her hair.
You see in TV and movies that when a woman is in a hair salon they talk to their stylist and open up about what is going on in their lives. If you are doing your daughter’s hair, you can be that ear. What a great way to have a conversation with your daughter. You have her undivided attention. But if you expect to be able to talk and do hair at the same time you had better get some practice. That is where Daddy Daughter Hair Factory comes in. Contact Philippe via his Facebook page for more info about getting involved.
Daddy Doin’ Work
Doyin, (pronounced “doe-ween”), Richards gained exposure for a photograph that went viral where he is holding his younger daughter in a pouch and doing his older daughters hair. Doyin is fathering the way I want to father. He is a great dad but still has fun with it. He proves that if you want to successfully raise a daughter(s), you don’t have to always be this stern figure that never smiles or shows emotion.
Doyin’s wife is Japanese, just like my wife. Our daughter Sophia is 50% Japanese, 50% white. Without putting words into his mouth, I hope he enjoys Japanese culture as much as I do. I have written articles in the past about raising multicultural children. There are additional struggles, but also awesome benefits, (can you say TWO sets of Holidays!).
Men get a bad rap to begin with when it comes to parenting. This seems to be magnified where daughters are concerned. Doyin was viciously attacked by online racism when he posted the viral picture of him and his daughters. Things that made me sick just reading. He makes time for his kids, he does stuff with them. The color of his skin or the racial makeup of his family should have no bearing on whether he is a good father or not. But in these troubling times apparently that is all some people care about. Whether these comments affected him or not, he continued to parent the only way he knew how, his way.
Being a good father should be the rule, not the exception. We shouldn’t have to write blog posts like this about being a good father. It should be a given. I hold this man in the highest regard and I hope that people will look at my daughter and say, “Wow, you have done a great job. Your daughter is wonderful”. With good positive male role models like Doyin and Philippe, I feel armed to take on the challenge.
Raise your daughter your own way
Ultimately, your daughter might not be into the things you like to do. The point is not that you need to do exactly “this” or “that’ the point is that you find a way to connect on some common ground with your daughter. In order to find out what she likes or doesn’t like you will need to spend time actually talking to her.
My daughter is 11 months old. I can not WAIT to be able to have a conversation with her. I want to know what she thinks is so funny when she smiles. I want to know what makes her happy, what makes her sad. What her dreams are. If your daughter is old enough to talk, please take advantage of that and, oh, I don’t know, TALK TO HER!
So maybe you haven’t been involved much with your daughter. The good news is that you don’t have to just throw your hands up and say, “Oh well. I tried”. No matter how strained your relationship with your daughter is, no matter how old she is, you can start today. Unless you are reading this at 9:38pm when I published it, then you can start tomorrow.
Just be there for her, listen, help her solve problems on her own, don’t solve her problems for her.
There is no such thing as a bad father who is present and active in their daughter’s life. Just be there for her to whatever extent you can. She will love you for it. And who knows maybe someday a D-List blogger will write an article about how awesome your parenting skills are. 😉