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The Single Dad’s Guide to Hair Styles for Girls

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The Single Dad’s Guide to Hair Styles for Girls

There seems to be a lingering stereotype that single fathers are hopeless when it comes to styling their daughters’ hair for school, and special occasions. However, the truth is that mother’s aren’t the only ones with an artistic flair for beauty. Take Greg Wickherst, for example — a single father in Pueblo, Colorado who turned to a cosmetology department at a college for help when he realized he didn’t have a clue how to manage his daughter’s quickly-growing hair.

His position as an admissions representative at the college made it easier for him to reach out for help mastering the simple and smile-inducing styles that little girls love to wear. Now, he’s a Facebook success — known as “the hair dad” for his creativity in coming up with new styles for his daughter, Izzy. If you want to avoid becoming the clueless dad when it comes to hairstyles for your daughter, the following simple styles and tips could help to make you a hair hero.

1. The Twisted Flip Tail

A wonderfully simple hairstyle for young girls with medium to long hair, the twisted flip tail offers a great look regardless of whether your daughter has straight, curly, or wavy locks. All you’ll need as a paddle brush or comb, and a little patience – as it may take you a couple of tries to get everything right. This elegant look is a twist on the casual flip tail that involves hooking the length of your daughter’s ponytail through a hole in the hair above her scrunchie or hair band.

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Gather your daughter’s hair into a low ponytail (near the nape of her neck) and push the hairband down the ponytail. Make a hole in the hair above the hairband and flip the bottom of the ponytail through – you’re done!

2. The Traditional French Braid

When it comes to pretty and simple hairstyles for little girls, it’s tough to go wrong with the classics. In the nineties, the French braid was the peak of fashion for girls, and it continues to be a popular choice today — particularly for young girls who want a secure and attractive way of keeping their hair out of the way. To start, you’ll need clean, dry, and tangle-free hair, then gather a small chunk of hair at the center top of your child’s head. Separate this chunk into three even strands, and start a traditional braid, taking the right strand and placing it between the two others, then the left, and so on. As you go, you should add more hair from the right side of the hair into the right strand, and the left hand of the hair into the left strand.

This braid is great for anyone with long enough hair to make it work, however if your daughter has layering then the style may not look as smooth. Keep in mind that this is a great style for young athletes, as your daughter won’t have to worry about clips, headbands, or bobby pins to keep her hair in place!

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3. Triple Plait

If the French braid seems a little too complex for you when you’re first starting out as a single-dad stylist, there is a sneaky work around available. The triple braid is a simpler and often easier to accomplish than the French braid. All you need to do is make a braid out of the hairs on the upper part of the head, then fasten it with a tie at the bottom. Then, gather the hair in the middle of the back of the head, place the initial plait in the middle, and weave it together to form another plait. Repeat the process until all of the hair is braided, then unfasten the individual braids and tie them together at the bottom of the larger style.

4. Ballerina Twisted Buns

This style is a little more complicated than some others, and it may take a couple of tries to get it right. Buns are a great way to bring your little girl a quality of sophistication, while keeping their hair out of their face and eyes. However, for a high bun to work well, your daughter will need longer hair. A good tip to follow if you choose to secure the bun with bobby pins, is that the pins should be pushed towards the hair tie, rather than the head. This way, you’ll have a secure style, without hurting your daughter’s scalp.

For a softer look, start by parting the hair into two sections in the middle of the head, front to back, then gather the hair up so that you have two high pony tails. Twist the ponytails together tightly, and spiral the twists down around the hair tie and secure them with pins.

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5. Bow-Shaped Bun

Finally, here’s an especially cute and simple hairstyle for any daughter; the bow-shaped bun involves gathering the hair into a ponytail at the top of the head, and wrapping a hair tie around it once. Twist the hair tie around the ponytail again, and don’t pull the hair all the way through the tie, instead leaving a loop. Separate the resulting bun into half and smooth everything out into a bow shape.

This is one of the simplest ways to create a “special occasion” look for your child, and it’s especially good for little girls with medium to long hair.

Don’t Forget the Rules

Remember, regardless of which styles you choose to try, there are a few simple tips and tricks that can make styling your daughter’s hair simpler. For instance, getting rid of knotted bed hair is the first step, so take a comb or brush and gently remove every tangle before you try to create a braid or bun.

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Another good idea is to have a spray-bottle in hand, as many fathers find it easier to place hair into buns and ponytails when the hair is slightly damp. Just mist the hair lightly though, as you don’t want your daughter trudging to school with a drenched hairdo.

Finally, don’t be afraid to slip in clips and bobby pins where necessary. Just be very gentle when you do so, as your daughter is sure to let you know if you catch her scalp or pull too tight. This will be a learning experience for both of you, so be prepared to grow and improve over time.

Do you have any simple hairstyling tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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Featured photo credit: Shuttterstock via image.shutterstock.com

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Peter Mueller

Founder of Father's Rights Law Center

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

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Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

In today’s chaotic world, having family time isn’t always easy. It can get pretty hard to coordinate schedules, especially if the family is large. Life demands that we work, attend school, nurture friendships, hobbies, etc. All of those things are extremely time-consuming and important—but so is spending time with your family.

Why is family time so important? Because we all need love and support, and a good, strong family can provide that regularly. For children, spending time with their family helps shape them into good, responsible adults, improve their mental health, and develop strong core values.

There are many positive effects of spending time with your family. My family and I, for instance (and this includes grandchildren as well), meet every Tuesday night for dinner and games. My older son and I take turns cooking. This gives all of us a chance to try some new recipes. After dinner, we play games. And without fail, they inspire competitiveness and laughter. As family night has evolved, the grandkids have invited their friends over as well, creating the need for more chairs but also expanding our circle of fun.

Aside from the obvious fun and games, there are other reasons why spending time with your family is paramount. In this article, I will provide you with multiple reasons why spending time with your family regularly is a win-win. And then, I will lay out some ways on how to do it.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important

Here are six reasons why it’s important to spend time with your family.

1. Provides the Opportunity to Bond

When you spend time together as a family—talking about your day, your highs, your lows—it fosters communication. As parents, it gives you the chance to listen to your children, to hear them out, to learn about what’s going on in their world. It also provides you with the opportunity to use life situations as teaching moments.

Before our Tuesday night dinner/game nights, my family used to see each other pretty regularly but not consistently, especially the grandkids. Our family night changed all that. Now, it’s guaranteed that the grandchildren, along with some of their friends, will be there. Not only do I get to find out what’s been happening in their lives, but they also get to know us better. It’s creating memories they can treasure forever, as well as modeling the Get-Together tradition for when they eventually have families of their own.

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“Spending time partaking in everyday family leisure activities has been associated with greater emotional bonding within families.”[1]

2. Teaches the Value of Family

Taking the time to be with your family lets your children know they are valued—that spending time together is a priority. I know that in today’s world, both parents are busy as both usually working. What better way to let your children know they are loved than by carving out time each week to spend with them?

According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., “words like honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage are core to centuries of religious, philosophical, and family beliefs. Use them and others to express and reinforce your family values. Teach children the behaviors that flow from these principles. Use quotes to ignite meaningful dinner conversations and encourage kids to talk about these values.”[2]

3. Enhances Mental Well-Being

Spending that quality time together gives your children a safe platform in which to express themselves, ask questions about things that are bothering them, or talk about their day and things they’ve learned. I know that my 9-year old granddaughter can’t wait until it’s her turn to talk about her day. She usually goes on and on and has to be stopped to give everyone else a chance to talk about their goings-on.

“Research shows the quality of family relationships is more important than their size or composition. Whoever the family is made up of, they can build strong, positive relationships that promote wellbeing and support children and young people’s mental health.”[3]

For children, having the opportunity to seek advice from parents they trust—as well as being able to have a sounding board and help with problem-solving—is priceless. In addition, being able to voice their opinions and be heard—and to feel like what they have to say matters—is an esteem-builder. All of these can have a very impactful positive effect on their well-being.

4. Helps the Child Feel Loved

How do you think a child feels knowing their parents want to spend time with them—talking, sharing experiences, playing games, listening to them? It will make them feel as though they are important, and a child that feels important is happier and more apt to thrive. Setting aside chores or work to spend time with your children demonstrates that they’re essential—that they matter. What a gift to give your child!

“If a child has your undivided attention, it signals that they are loved and important to you. This can be further nurtured by experiencing joyful activities together, as it demonstrates that you want to spend time with your children over and above all of the daily demands.”[4]

5. Creates a Safe Environment

If you regularly spend time with your children, you are also creating an atmosphere of trust. The more trust they have, the more likely they are to share with you what’s going on in their world. As they get older, you’re going to want to know. Negative influences can show up at any time, but if you’ve always been there for your child, they are more apt to come to you and ask for your advice.

Spending time together generates familiarity and feelings of being supported. When a child feels safe and comfortable, they’re more likely to open up. This is one way to get to know your child and know what’s on their minds. Are they okay? Do they need your guidance? If so, how?

6. Reduces Stress

This is significant. We all suffer from stress at one point or another in our lives. Spending time with family helps alleviate that stress. It’s an opportunity to talk things out, get feedback, and maybe brainstorm for a solution to the problem that is causing the stress.

According to Brandy Drzymkowski, “During the holidays, your closest five people probably shifts to family and friends. You may even get to see loved ones who live far away. Good news! This can actually help lower your stress levels. Studies show ‘face-to-face interaction…counteracts the body’s defensive ‘fight-or-flight’ response.’ In other words, quality time spent with loved ones is nature’s stress reliever.”[5]

So, now that you know some of the benefits, what are some ideas for making family time happen?

How to Make Family Time Happen

Here are four things you can do to make family time happen and spend more time with them.

1. Family Dinners

This, as I said above, is a wonderful way to spend time together. While you’re having dinner, you have the chance to discuss things that are going on in your lives—the ups, the downs, and everywhere in between. It’s like having a buffer against life’s challenges.

Aside from that, eating dinner together has many additional benefits. Studies have shown that for kids who eat regularly with their families, there is less risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression.[6]

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“Our belief in the ‘magic’ of family dinners is grounded in research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals.” It further states, “We recommend combining food, fun and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner—the type of environment that makes these scientifically proven benefits possible.”[7]

According to Parenting NI, “children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behavior. According to studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse via Arizona State University, teens who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.”[8]

As you can see, there are multiple benefits to spending time with each other routinely. You can’t go wrong with this family activity.

2.  Regular Movie Nights

This is another fun event, although, from personal experience, I have to caution that choosing a movie that everyone wants to see is not easy. So, give yourselves plenty of time so you don’t spend two hours searching for a movie, and then end up watching no movie at all because the night is practically over. Try and choose a movie before the day, if possible.

Afterward, open it up for discussion. Ask questions pertinent to the movie. What do you think of ABC? Should they have done that? Would you have done something differently? There are so many questions you can ask to spark a conversation and keep the night going.

3. Game Night

This is another occasion for great fun. If you have a competitive spirit, it makes it even more fun. There are numerous games out there—Balderdash, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Charades, to name a few—that can create fun havoc. All I can say is, on game nights, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay if you lose the game. The fun is in being together, laughing, debating, and having a good time.

In addition, “Playing board games is great for children for many reasons besides the obvious; it’s fun to play games! Age appropriate games can help children to think strategically, solve problems creatively, work on pattern recognition and build simple math skills. They also help children develop social skills such as following rules, taking turns, and graceful winning or losing. Additionally, a family game night provides an opportunity for children to bond with siblings, parents and family members as well as peers. It can promote tradition building and establish a fun routine.”[9]

So, go find your family a game and start having fun!

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4. Sharing a Hobby

If you and one of your kids like to do the same things, do it more often. For example, my oldest son and his teenage son go on long bike rides together on the weekends. Not only do they get to exercise, but they also get to talk and look at beautiful sceneries. They’ve also incorporated cooking into their routine. They plan the meal, shop, and prepare—activities that bring them closer together.

Sharing a hobby is a great way to bring family members together. It bonds people in amazing ways. According to Alison Ratner Mayer, LICSW, “One of the easiest and most important ways to build a child’s self-esteem is to spend time with them doing something not only that they enjoy but something that you also enjoy. There is a special magic that happens between a parent and a child when they share a mutually beloved activity. It sends the message to the child that their parents are having fun, true, honest, real fun, with them.”[10]

Final Thoughts

Spending time with the family is an investment. It is an investment in the happiness, well-being, and security of that system. It can also serve as a way to break out of the daily rut and the constant worldly demands, while at the same time, building a strong family unit.

Even though it isn’t always easy to find the time, finding the time is key to staying close and to providing and receiving love and support. There is no greater gift than the gift of time. That’s what we all seem to be missing nowadays. So, in giving that gift consistently, everyone feels loved and appreciated.

The family that takes the time to interact regularly is typically happy. They know they are part of a tribe, and that’s essential in today’s chaotic world. To know that there are people whom you can count on—people who will have your back in times of need—is invaluable.

Now, go and plan something plan with your family, if you haven’t already.

Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Pittsburgh Parent: Spending Time Together—Benefits of Family Time
[2] Roots of Action: Integrity: How Families Teach and Live Their Values
[3] Beyond Blue: Healthy Families
[4] Esperance Anglican Community School: The importance of family time
[5] Brandy Drzymkowski: Spending Time With Loved Ones Reduces Stress
[6] Harvard Graduate School of Education: Harvard EdCast: The Benefit of Family Mealtime
[7] The Family Dinner Project: BENEFITS OF FAMILY DINNERS
[8] Parenting NI: The Importance of Spending Time Together
[9] WNY Children: Family Game Night- The Benefits of Game Play
[10] Child Therapy Boston: The Benefits of Sharing a Hobby With Your Child

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