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It seems like every new father would like their firstborn child to be a boy. It is nothing against girls, of course, but having a son immediately provides us a bit of excitement in knowing that we can pass down our useless sports stories from when we were kids and our love of comic books (especially the ones that were tossed by our parents when we were young). However, let me assure you, I have been an elementary teacher for over a decade, and the very best students and my favorite ones usually tend to be girls. Just think of them as like boys but with longer attention spans and much less hyper. I am certain a lot of you fathers out there are currently nodding your head in agreement. And as a tutorial for you fathers out there with daughters, here are 15 important rules you must remember.
Give Your Daughter an Allowance.
Many parents frown at giving a weekly allowance to their children, but then turn around and buy them everything they want when the family is out shopping. Trust me, it will save you money down the road. Your child will learn about how to handle money correctly through their allowance budget. Now if you could only go back in time and do that with her mother when she was a child.
Show Her How to Operate a Car.
I don’t mean to just teach her how to drive, but go further and coach her how to change a tire, show her how to read the dashboard, and who to call in case of an emergency when her daddy is not around.
Demonstrate Baseball/Softball Etiquette.
There is a very good chance your daughter will want to play baseball or softball. Teach her the baseball chatter that goes along with it. And, of course, teach her the art of spitting. But only on the diamond.
Tell Her the Hardest Thing She May Learn in Life Is to Be a Good Loser.
Winning comes easy to everyone. They just grin and grin and grin after their team is victorious or they have just acquired their dream job. However, being a good loser is much more difficult. This is a lesson that many professional athletes could learn to this day.
A Good Handshake and Eye Contact Goes a Long Way.
Have you ever shaken hands with someone and it felt like they had absolutely no bones in their body? It was like they were human spaghetti. Don’t let your daughter go through life like this.
Play Dolls with Her.
No daddy is too manly to not play dolls with their daughter. And if she asks you to play dress up after, you go along with it. Just make sure there are no incriminating pictures afterwards.
Knock Before Entering Their Room.
Daughters need a bit more privacy than sons do, at least when it comes to a father entering a bedroom unannounced.
Tell Her Early and Often that You Love Her.
Back when I was a kid, it seemed that parents were afraid or ashamed to tell their kids that they loved them. My parents didn’t do it and neither did my friends’ parents. Nip this in the bud and tell them every time you can.
Be There for Your Daughter.
Don’t be that absent father that only shows up for graduations and birthdays. Be there for her throughout her life. Be there when she starts school. Be there when she sees her first movie in the theater. And be there when you must later on walk her down the aisle.
Listen to Your Daughter.
If your daughter tells you in the middle of the night that there is a monster in her closet, get out of bed and check it out. Take her seriously and don’t downplay her fears. She will keep coming back to you if you listen to her.
Enjoy Your Time with Her.
She won’t be living in the room down the hallway forever. Cherish the time you have with her because you will be kicking yourself later if you don’t.
Listen to ‘Cats in the Cradle’.
You must listen to Harry Chapin’s Cats in the Cradle at least once a week. It is a cautionary tale you have to be aware of.
Let Her Tag Along.
Daughters often love to accompany their father wherever they go. Let her as much as you can. However, don’t bring her to work unless it is the Bring Your Daughter to Work Day or simple let her come on a hike with you on your days off.
Don’t Give Her a Cell Phone Until At Least High School.
There is absolutely no reason your daughter will need a cell phone while still in elementary school. Nothing good can come out of her having one so young. She will have enough time to text and talk with boys later in life.
Know When to Let Go.
Don’t worry. This day won’t come for a long time. However, be prepared to let your daughter live her own life someday. This might mean moving far away to another state or even another country.
Your kids will grow up before you know it, so take the time to enjoy every moment you have with them, even if it means you have to follow these rules!