Girls are wired differently than boys. If you can easily bond with your son doing manly things, you daughter needs your time as they feel loved differently. She needs a strong rock like her dad to lean on. She needs someone who will treat them kindly and respectfully. And one of the easiest ways to express love to a daughter is through your words. Words have a big opportunity to make or break your daughter. And because we already have a lot of dads in the world who do not have a good relationship with their daughters (and many have no relationship at all), you can beg to differ by speaking kind words to her. Most of these kind and uplifting words can be pretty basic – so basic that we seldom or never even say them.
Here are some things your daughter needs to hear from her dad.
1. I love you
All your efforts and hard work may already prove that you love your daughter, but she loves to hear the words “I love you.” Every little girl, and even the grown-ups, needs to hear that her father loves her. The love between a father and daughter is something special, and when she hears those loving words from you, it may mean the world to her.
Girls need to learn and know what love is from their dads. This way, she will be assured that she doesn’t have to perform or measure up to some arbitrary standards to receive your love and approval. This will prevent her from harboring bitterness and resentment towards you in the future. If they don’t learn love from their dads, they will learn it from the world, and the world has a different perspective on love. Most girls, if not all, with dads who are absent or dads who do not have a relationship with them will crave love and acceptance from other boys, and this will lead to unnecessary heartbreaks while they are still young.
2. You are beautiful
Every girl longs to hear that she is beautiful. And it is best for your daughter to hear it first from her father. Usually, other people won’t tell her this without an ulterior motive, and mostly the world can make her think that she isn’t beautiful, she doesn’t measure up, or she is not enough. But you can help your daughter avoid doubting herself by telling her she’s beautiful, wonderful, honorable and desirable. Letting her know this gives her the confidence in life and she will need lots of that. It’s best to begin when she’s still a young kid, but it’s never too late to start. With her knowing that she has inner and outer beauty can radiate on the outside.
3. I am here for you
A child needs to know that you are there for her and she has a rock to lean on. When a girl needs someone to be there for her, it’s best if she can count on her dad. Home must not be a place where a lecture and harsh words await, but as a safe place where a loving parent listens with sincere interest. This will cultivate an atmosphere of trust between the two of you. Also, letting her know that you are always there for her can be a means of protecting her from running to friends that may become a bad influence to her. It’s also a great antidote for negative behavior, such as anxiety, doubt, fear, low self-confidence and low self-esteem.
4. I believe in you
Girls have a lot of big dreams, and don’t be the person who shoots it down to the ground. She can do anything she sets her mind to when she knows that you believe in her abilities and you are cheering her on all the way. Dads must be supportive for their daughters so they can thrive in school, in the workplace and in any endeavor they go to without having bitterness in their hearts towards you. Let her know regularly that you believe in her goals and dreams.
5. I am lucky to be your dad
It is your job to make her feel like the luckiest girl in the world, before any other boy does. The best way to do it is to regularly remind her that you are the luckiest dad in the world. Whenever she accomplishes something in school or when she does something nice in your home, tell her that you are lucky to have a good daughter.
6. You can tell me anything
Girls are wired to talk, and as a dad, you need to be there to listen. Just remember the time when you were dating her mother – you were there listening to her and talking and being her confidante. You can do the same with your daughter. She needs to be able to tell her dad anything, and this will cultivate trust and a close relationship between the two of you. You can take time to step in her room and ask her how her day was and what’s on her mind. In the weekends, you can randomly take her out for a meal like a date, so you can talk. She will love you for it, and both of you can benefit from this.
7. I will protect you
The world is big and scary, and every girl has the right to be afraid. It’s a wonderful thing for her to have a father whom she can call anytime and know that he will be there to protect her. She has honor and dignity that has to be maintained and protected, and the world can just strip it all away. Your daughter needs you to say that you will protect her no matter what.
8. I like being with you
It’s best for a daughter to have you as a buddy. A child needs to know that someone loves to spend time with them hanging out and doing stuff, but it’s all the more special if it’s her own father. Give her a secured and grounded self-esteem by asking her to go with you. Need to go to the hardware store? Tell your little girl, “Hey sweetie, I’d love it if you came with me.”
9. I am proud of you
Never underestimate the power of saying “I am proud of you” to your daughter. Sometimes, you may forget to say them, but it is very important for her to know that. Pat her on the back and let her know she did a great job with her chores, her schoolwork and her graduation. Appreciate what she does, like when she cooks for the first time – tell her you are proud of her and compliment her cooking. Praise her good behavior more than pointing out the bad. Children already hear so much condemning and judgemental words from their parents, so it’s time for them to hear “I am very proud of you.”
10. Never settle for less than you deserve
You get what you settle for. So, teach your daughter that she has a high value, so won’t be in a rush to settle for anything or anyone just to have a boyfriend or a job. Patience is a virtue, and when you teach your child the meaning of patience, she would wait for the right opportunities and the right people before settling down on a choice. By telling her to never settle for less, she can avoid lots of mistakes and disappointments in the future.
As a father, you can make her learn this by not saying “yes” to everything she asks for. It’s good to say “no” sometimes. For instance, you may be short on budget and she really wants a toy doll, tell her to wait for daddy to save up for it, or tell her that she needs new shoes and that’s what you will prioritize at the moment. As young as they are, kids will understand you, especially if you have shown her gratitude and compassion.