Building a stronger father-daughter bond

Hi, Dad is back this week.

A couple of years ago we read an article by Lisa Bloom titled “How to Talk to Little Girls.” The article talked about how we are all predisposed to compliment little girls on clothing, looks, hair style, etc. She mentioned how these are our “icebreakers” when talking to little girls. We do seem to automatically mention how pretty they look while setting them up for tea parties and play-dates with Barbie.  The article then challenged us (the readers) to dig a little deeper. Why not ask little girls about their interests, look them in the eyes and compliment them on a book they are reading, or an accomplishment at a sport they may play or congratulate them on a test score at school.  I loved the idea and set forth with the precious flower to be encouraging in all areas, not just the superficial.

One night when putting her to bed, not long after reading Ms. Bloom’s article, I said “that’s my girl” to which she responded “daddy’s pretty girl”.  Wow, here it was, a chance to put into action what I had just learned. I looked her in the eyes and said, “Who’s my smart girl, who’s my strong girl, who’s my awesome girl?” She answered, “Me.”    This has become a nightly thing for us. There have been additions from time to time. She might get silly or crazy if the day has gone that way, and yes, pretty or beautiful usually make the list, but I figure it’s okay because it can still be encouraging. I want her to be able to do anything she sets her mind to. I want the precious flower to know from a young age that there is more to her than looks. She is already very smart and learning more every day.  She is fearless and knows she can do anything a boy can do, she likes to get out and try sports, and most recently has shown us that she can put plastic bat to plastic ball like she has done it her whole life. She has a great big personality that people don’t soon forget.  And yes, our precious flower is a beautiful little girl. She can melt her old man’s heart with her little face and big brown eyes.  

This goes a long way with the bonding of a father and daughter. We dads have to set the bar for male figures in their lives. We are the first men they know and we need to be the greatest. I appreciate her and the person she is and is becoming, and hope that she will always be drawn to others that appreciate her for her. Our world is changing every day.  In 2010 women made up 47 percent of the labor force and that number has grown in the three years since publication.  I want my girl to grow to be a woman that makes her decisions and can choose the kind of work she wants to do.  I want her to have the confidence to know she is smart enough to accomplish any goals she sets. I want her to know that she is strong enough to work hard and persevere through challenges that life puts in her way. I want her to know that no matter what, her daddy and mommy love her and support her.  I want her to know that she is Daddy’s girl, and she is awesome!

by Brian Lashley

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