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15 Things Only Fathers of Girls Understand

15 Things Only Fathers of Girls Understand

Having a daughter is one of the biggest joys in life. However, as a proud dad you feel responsible about so many things in her life! Sometimes you get overprotective. On other days you act too harsh or not harsh enough. You dread the day she becomes a teenager and hate to admit you’d love to spend less money on her clothes and makeup. Yet you love her unconditionally and will keep calling her “baby girl” even after she turns 30. Here are 15 more things fathers of daughters can understand and wholeheartedly relate to.

1. You are a huge influence on her future partner.

Remember, you cause direct impact on who she chooses to marry some day. Your sweet girl is closely watching you and pays huge attention towards your attitude to her mom and other women around. You are responsible for her future ability to trust, enjoy and shape healthy relationships with the males in her life. Consciously or not, a lot of girls pick their partners based on some characteristics of their fathers.

2. You know how to do her hair and nails.

You do realize that pleating a braid is harder than you’ve always thought. Maybe you are not a great stylist, but you can make killer pigtails. You also had to learn how to manage tangle-prone hair without making her squeal and cry. Also, a good dad knows how to paint girls nails and even allows (occasionally) to let her cover your nails with pinky sparkles.

3. You get hard on her at times.

You can be her harshest critic and will always tell her about her mistakes. You only wish the best for your little girl and truly want her to succeed in life, but your methods and words can sometimes be rather tough. “Do you remember our cat? Well, it died because that vet who treated him was getting Cs at school and though it’s okay. But you see, he now can’t treat pets well. C is not good enough. You should have all As” is kind of a tough speech to a 7-year-old who just lost her favorite pet and got a few average grades at school. But you know, it did give me the right idea why I should study more and learn everything I may need in life.

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4. You would love her to follow your career path.

More and more girls these days do get under the dad’s influence on career path and start working in the same field. However, they are still a minority. While you wish you could pass her your job skills and work interests, share your lifelong experience and have her continue your work, do not impose your opinions too harshly!

A friend of mine who has a successful IT company wanted his daughter to work for him so badly that he made her start learning to code from high school, take sql online courses, major in Math and apply to Caltech as he graduated from it, to get a huge shock in a few months as she secretly sent an application to Columbia and got accepted to Media studies program. Needless to say, they never had great relationships and it took him years to admit he was wrong and pushed too hard.

5. You need to ask for forgiveness.

Probably, more times that you would like to admit that. You may not realize you have unintentionally hurt your daughter’s feelings badly with what seemed to you like a witty pun about a boy she likes or because you’ve missed her school performance. Most of the time she’ll get over it, but when it is a big deal indeed, do ask for forgiveness. And I mean not just plain “sorry,” but a sincere plea for forgiveness. You should let her know that you may not be perfect and sometimes don’t have it all together, but you care about her feelings and love her. Don’t let her grow realizing you’d always be superior and her feelings do not count.

6. You always want the best for her.

Yes, you can be hard on her and demand her to do things you think are right for her. You will always be upset if you see her living the life out of alignment from her potential. You will always want to make sure she takes advantages of the opportunities and achieves everything she’s capable of and more.

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7. You have to be consistent.

Your girl goes through numerous ups and downs, especially as she reaches adolescence. She needs a father’s steady guidance and objective presence. Your daughter needs to know you’ll be always there for her and she can always rely on you. Don’t let her grow with a false belief that men can not be trusted.

8. You need to teach her that appearance isn’t everything.

Yes, it is your role as a dad to teach your girl that the what is inside will take her way further in life than just a pretty face. Raising girls in the modern sensual world is not easy, but you have to explain her that her character, her brains and her self-worth are way more important than a stylish haircut, a pair of good fitting jeans and her long lashes. You are to tell her than exposing too much skin or fitting into size zero is not what makes her really beautiful. Also, you’ll have to spill her out the truth that most models are Photoshopped, her favorite celebs don’t get up in the morning with that perfect makeup and getting a nose job will not make that boy fall in love with her.

9. You’ll need to tolerate her boyfriends.

The harshest times are when people start staring at you when your daughter calls you daddy in public. She’s no longer a sweet little princes, but an attractive young women who now gets a lot of looks from other men on the street. The biggest struggle of all fathers is when she drags her first boyfriend to meet you or you find them making out on the couch when you come home earlier.

Don’t be way too overprotective. Don’t forbid her to date or promise to kill that bastard if you see him again sneaking in her window. You know boys—that can be cruel and try to offend her. But you need to trust her judgments and keep the distance from her love life.

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10. You need to maintain status quo in mother/daughter disputes.

Never ever take sides in disputes going between your daughter and your wife. Once you take someone’s side, you will offend the other one for a lifetime. Just stay neutral and clearly explain you will never be a judge in their disputes.

11. You teach her how to say “no.”

It’s your role to explain her how to set physical boundaries and say “no” to things she does not like and she shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed of this. Teach her how to say no firmly and direct. Also, make sure she understands when someone else says no—she has to respect it.

12. You need to be a listener.

When she comes to talk to you about her problems, it’s not always that she wants you to give her a solution. Sometimes, you just need to let her talk out, listen, give short encouragements or signs of compassion, instead of offering to fix everything.

13. You know how to avoid her manipulations.

Yes, you love your girl and always want the best for her, but you learned to be tough enough to resist buying her another expensive doll when she gives out a few sobs. You feel bad for cutting down her monthly allowance due to bad grades, but will not change your mind because of some passionate pleads. You need to explain her that manipulations and playing on emotions is not the best strategy to succeed in life.

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14. You share music with each other.

Yes, you kind of hate One Direction, but sharing music with each other is a great way to bond. You play her good classy songs occasionally and explain why you like them. Also, you have taught her the wisdom of volume control and why and when it’s appropriate to wear headphones.

15. You are anxious about the day when you’ll lead her to the altar.

That means your little girl has grown up and now another man becomes an integral part of your life. You are absolutely happy for her, but you kind of dread the time when you’ll need to let her go and admit she has grown up.

Featured photo credit: DVIDSHUB via flickr.com

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Elena Prokopets

Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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