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15 Ways a Feminist Dad Makes You Stronger

15 Ways a Feminist Dad Makes You Stronger

Even the most stoic, manly man will wilt at the first sight of his newborn daughter. From that moment on, a certain softness will slowly overcome his hardened exterior little by little as his baby girl grows into an independent woman. He’ll immediately want the world for his child, and want her to be able to accomplish everything she sets her mind to. Fathering a daughter makes men realize just how important females our to our families, and to our world in general. Feminist fathers:

1. Split up all the chores.

There is no such thing as “men’s work” or “women’s work” to a feminist father. He has no qualms doing the dishes or cooking dinner, and would never want your mother to think it’s “her job” to do anything around the house. He takes responsibility around the house, regardless of the task.

2. Teach you about sports.

Just because your a girl doesn’t mean your father won’t teach you how to throw a football, or kick a soccer ball. He knows how important it is for boys and girls to get exercise, and he doesn’t think women should just be relegated to the sideline as cheerleaders.

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3. Go to your “girly” events.

But he doesn’t fault you for being into ballet, either. If dance or art is more your speed, he’s more than happy to support you there, too. He’ll be the one pointing up at the stage when you come out, with a big smile on his face as he proudly watches you do your thing.

4. Teach you “guy” things.

Why wouldn’t he teach you how to change your oil just because you’re a girl? Surely you’re not afraid to get your hands a little dirty, and you’ll need to know how to do it at some point. Feminist fathers don’t see tasks as masculine or feminine; they see them as human tasks that we all must learn in our lifetime.

5. Teach the importance of math and science.

It’s pretty sad how many people think of math and science as “male” subjects. Feminist fathers see the potential for both his sons and daughters to be the next Einstein who ends up changing the world through their complex reasoning and critical thinking skills.

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6. Care about all of your accomplishments.

He doesn’t emphasize certain subjects and events while minimizing others. Everything you accomplish, in his eyes, is incredibly important, and is one step closer to you being an independent woman who can fend for herself in life.

7. Foster your independence.

Along with the previous point, feminist fathers push their daughters to try their best without help from anyone else. They know society will anticipate weakness from young women, so he’ll push you to buck the system and show them you can make it on your own.

8. Support you every step of the way.

That doesn’t mean he pushes you too far, especially if you’re not ready to take the step. Your feminist father always takes care of you; in small ways, you’ll always be his little girl.

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9. Push your comfort zones.

Feminist fathers teach you to never be comfortable with what you have, and always strive for more. Just because society thinks you should stay in a bubble doesn’t mean you have to, and fathers should push their daughters to expand their comfort zones as much as possible in order to succeed.

10. Know how to be silly.

No father can truly say they were a good dad unless, at one point in their lives, they dropped what they were doing, put on a tiara, and had a tea party with fifteen stuffed animals. Feminist fathers aren’t afraid to break gender roles and be silly with their kids, even if they risk their wives posting pictures on Facebook.

11. Show their emotions.

Good fathers aren’t afraid to let their children see them laugh, cry, or get upset. They control their temper and anger, but they also show their daughters how to deal with uncomfortable emotions. By not hiding behind a veil of stoicism, they show their kids it’s okay to feel blue sometimes, and they shouldn’t need to run away from their feelings.

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12. Listen to you.

The best fathers take the time to listen to what you have to say. They take a genuine interest in your life, and offer good advice based on the situation. They will never let you feel as if they have bigger problems to worry about, because you are the most important thing in their life.

13. Stand up for what’s right.

Feminist fathers live by their word. They never play the “do as I say, not as I do” card. When they see something they know is wrong, they speak up about it. By doing so, they teach their children the importance of being the change they wish to see in the world, and that anyone can make a difference.

14. Teach you to go out and grab life.

Great fathers teach their daughters not to wait for someone to come sweep them off their feet so they can finally have the life they want. They teach their kids to work hard for what they deserve, and know that being passive will get them nowhere.

15. Treat their wives as their equal.

As I said before, feminist fathers live as they say to live. By treating their wives as their equals, they set the example for their sons and daughters that everyone should be treated with the same amount of respect, regardless of their differences. When sons and daughters grow up having two integrious role models to follow on a daily basis, they’ll surely grow up to find success.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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