With this new series, my intention is to help foster and nurture an open and profound bond between father and daughter, one that transcends the awkwardness of puberty. (I wrote about it in more detail here.)

And in that spirit, I’ve agreed that once a week I will answer – honestly – any question my husband puts to me.

So, here’s what hubby has come up with for me this week…

Hubby: I want to be everything our daughter needs in a Dad. I want to give her the best possible start in life, and I want to continue that forward. How can I be her hero?

Me: *Composes self* First of all, you’re already halfway there – wanting to be those things and acknowledging you have to work for them makes you a pretty special daddy. However, it’s essential that you’re aware of this very poignant truth:

You’re wrong – because you will be her hero by default; thus the real question is not how can you be her hero, but how can you be a worthy hero?

So I’ve compiled a list for you of the things I believe will make you deserving of our daughter’s worship:

 

  1. Respect Women

How you interact with women is going to be Pixie’s blueprint for how she allows men to treat her as she matures into a young woman. The more respectful she sees you being towards women, the more respect she will command from the men in her life, be they bosses, colleagues or partners.

You’re in the very privileged – and responsible – position of cultivating our daughter’s self-esteem, and having a direct impact on how assertive she grows up to be.

 

  1. Tell Her You’re Proud of Her

This goes hand in hand with self-esteem. All children want to make their parents proud; but possibly none more so than the daughter of a father. If she feels good enough in her hero’s eyes, she will believe she is good enough for anyone else.

 

  1. Give Her Your Time

Nothing will tell Pixie she is worth your love more than the time you give her. Yes, I’ve no doubt she will be more than content to accept financial benefaction from The Bank of Mum and Dad; but of far greater value is the hours you spend with her reading, playing, talking, supporting.

 

  1. Encourage Her

If you tell her it’s worth it, she’ll believe you; if you tell her she can do it, she won’t give up trying.

 

  1. Allow Her to Make Mistakes

Sometimes she won’t succeed. Sometimes she’ll make an error of judgement. She will need you then more than ever: to show her how to learn from the mistakes she makes, and to take lessons from those experiences. To grow as a person, gain wisdom, and do better next time.

But to flourish she needs to know that though she may not always succeed, she will never be a failure to you.

With this knowledge, she will take opportunities and chances she is unsure of, which will in turn grow her confidence.

 

  1. Tell Her You Love Her

She needs to hear this. It may be a given; it may be uncomfortable if you don’t have that type of relationship with your own dad. But this is non-negotiable in order for Pixie to grow up feeling secure.

As a father, knowing the best way to protect your daughter can feel overwhelming. These are the things she most needs from you, over and above all else. Here's how to be your daughter's hero and set her up with a great foundation for future relationships.

How to be a good dad

 

  1. Show Her You Love Her – Unconditionally

Equally important is that she feels that love in your interactions with her – and that she relies on it absolutely. There are situations where taking a relationship for granted is necessary, and none more so than for a child with their parent. Fostering that level of trust in her (with both you and I) will give us the best possible chance of her confiding in us about those issues we hope she never faces…

And seeing that level of love reflected from us, even when she behaves in a way more likely to evoke shame than pride, will also help teach her compassion for others.

 

  1. Teach Her It’s Okay to Be Wrong

If we want our daughter to grow into a well-rounded, respectable woman, we need to let her see us make mistakes – and own up to them. Allowing Pixie to see we’re fallible is how we can instil humbleness and humility in her, traits which will stand her in good stead for the future.

 

  1. Show Her Your Weaknesses

As her daddy, Pixie will view you as almost omnipotent. This is no bad thing while she is tiny, but as she develops into a young lady it’s a dangerous belief to hold on to. In order to prepare her for the harsh realities of life, it’s crucial that she be allowed to see your weaknesses.

Though in many cases being strong is in itself a strength, there are some situations when vulnerability can be an asset – and the braver option.

 

  1. Give Her Room to Grow

Our final job as Pixie’s parents will be to teach her to spread her wings and step out of the comfort and safety of our metaphorical embrace, into the big wide world – alone. In the meantime, we can arm her with the tools to help her be successful, in every sense of the word.

But in the end it is ours not to confine her, but to set her free.

I take great delight, pleasure and pride in watching you with our daughter, and having no concerns about your ability to meet these daunting tasks. You are already a wonderful father, and I relish watching your relationship with our Pixie grow and develop alongside her milestones.

Like this? You can check out more of my hubby’s ponderings (and my attempts to answer them) here.

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Parenting, Tips and Advice

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

35 Comments

  1. What a lovely post to read. Pixie is lucky to have such thoughtful and loving people as parents. This has really made it hit home for me what a huge responsibility parenting is (we are expecting our first child in June) and I can only hope we are able to fulfil these expectations for our child. #BloggerClubUK

    • Kate Reply

      Hi Jules! Thank you for your lovely comments. I’m sure you’ll do a wonderful job – congratulations, and wishing your family all the very best x

  2. Realy great advice, especially the allowing her to fail as it can be so tempting not to let this happen and this can be damaging in the long run and not prepare them for adult life #bloggerclubuk

    • Kate Reply

      Hi Emma,

      You’re not wrong – my husband is always chiding me for being a helicopter parent because I’m so worried about Pixie falling and hurting herself! So I’m still mastering to do this one even though I know how important it is to her learning. Although that’s a more literal example, really I’m talking about more intangible mistakes.

      Anyway, my point is – it’s all a learning curve! We can know the right thing and still something can prevent us from doing it…

      All the best x

  3. This is such a moving piece of writing about the relationship between a Father and Daughter. I might just send it to my hubby, a brilliant Daddy to two little girls…
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    • Kate Reply

      A lovely accolade! Thank you so much ? and I hope your husband enjoys it too x

  4. I really like this post. Good, balanced and realistic advice.

    My wife always joked that my eldest was a daddy’s girl from the very beginning but now she’s starting to pull towards her mother more and I’m finding that a little tricky to handle!

    #BloggerClubUK

    • Kate Reply

      Haha, I’m sure children are Like pendulums in that respect! Though I personally think all daughter’s will be inclined towards being daddy’s girls as they grow – presuming their dad is deserving of course. And sadly, often even when they’re not…

  5. Awww this is such a lovely post, coming from a girl whose relationship with there father is distant at best I think you have it completely nailed. The trick is not to loose it (like mine did). I am sure he will make a brilliant hero. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week x

  6. Such great advice and tips that I’ll take into my life as fatherhood…assuming we do have a girl! #coolmumclub

    • Kate Reply

      Thanks so much, and I’m sure much of the advice could equally apply to boys. ?

      All the best!

  7. It’s a special bond. My own dad made me feel included in his passions (if you can include decorating as a passion), and made me feel like I was really helping (even if he had to go behind me and tighten all the screws I had put in – he never made me feel like I hadn’t done it well enough in the first place) and taking me fishing with him, which must have been trying! Thank you for bringing those memories to the surface with this post 🙂
    x Alice
    #kcakols

    • Kate Reply

      So pleased to have had that effect, thanks for your comment x

  8. This is really lovely to read and completely right. As parents we set the expectations for our children. #KCACOLS

  9. Educating Roversi Reply

    A lovely post and excellent advice. We don’t have a daughter yet but obviously I am a daughter and as a teenager who only saw her dad on weekends, it was so hard to form a close bond with him. Luckily we had lots of nice days out and they are the memories I hold close to my heart as he died when i was just 17. I still visit the regular places we went to with my son as it makes me feel closer to him.

  10. My daughter and I am very close and I think the main thing it comes down to is time and attention. Its a great list. Perfect for any parent and any child #KCACOLS

  11. This is a great list of things all parents should be aiming to achieve. It’s so handy to have a reminder of the important role we have in shaping our children, so thank you for sharing this on #KCACOLS. I hope you can make it again next Sunday x

    • Kate Reply

      Thanks so much Claire, I’m glad you liked the post ? x

  12. This is lovely, I didn’t really have a father figure I could rely on so watching my Husband’s close relationship with our daughters makes me so happy. It does worry me a bit how it will change as they get older, I think I will show him this post

    • Kate Reply

      Thank you for your very lovely comment. I hope your husband also likes the post and is able to take something from it. X

    • Kate Reply

      Thank you, that’s exactly what I thought. She’s a lucky girl to have him for her dad. x

  13. Silly Mummy Reply

    I think that’s really good advice. & I agree – it’s not about being her hero, but being worthy of it. #KCACOLS

  14. Laura @ Dot Makes 4 Reply

    Such a lovely post and such great advice 🙂
    I’ve shared it with the hubby!
    Laura xx
    #KCACOLS

    • Kate Reply

      Thank you so much Laura! That’s the best compliment I could receive. ? I hope he likes it too. xx

  15. A Moment with Franca Reply

    I also think these are all great advice!! For me the most important one is respect woman. I’m sure that Learning this from daddy is the best example for your kids as it will definitely make a difference!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    • Kate Reply

      I hope so, if that’s the case then my daughter is lucky to have a great teacher. ? x

  16. What great advice. Yes all (well most) dads are heros to their kids but that doesn’t mean they can’t do more to ensure that they are always heros!

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