Dads, Here Are Five Critical Affirmations Your Daughter Needs to Hear From You Today
(Even if she isn’t asking.)
By Damaris Ruiz
A lovely side effect of having many wonderful women in my life is having the privilege of knowing some of their amazing fathers. These men come from every corner of the world, work in all kinds of industries, and adhere to various belief systems. Most of them don’t have one single thing in common with the next unless you count having a daughter they don’t know how to communicate with (it counts). Each of these men, at one point or another, have found themselves on one side of an invisible wall. From the other side of that wall, my friends shrug and say things like, “My dad and I were close when I was little.”
From the conversations I’ve had with dads of daughters over the years, I’ve concluded that for a lot of them, it’s just hard to know what to say. Dads, hear this. No matter how eloquent you might be, there will be some silences you won’t know how to fill. That’s both inevitable and OK. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a poet-philosopher to speak these foundational truths into your daughter’s life.
Here are some essential messages for the next time one of those silences feels particularly deafening.
1. “I’m going to fail you.”
I’m listing this affirmation first because I firmly believe the earlier you admit this to your daughter, the more chances you have to fail her well. You’re imperfect, so there’s a good chance you’ll say the wrong thing at the wrong time, lose your temper, or blow her off when she’s trying to connect with you. But you can be certain that you’ll miss out on a critical chance to earn her respect if you never admit to being wrong. In a world that holds women to impossible standards of “wholeness,” your daughter has to know she is allowed to be wrong. If that permission is reflected in your life first, you can redefine those standards for her. If you show up with all of your failures (past, present, and future) she’ll be encouraged to do the same.
2. “Everything changed for me the day you arrived.”
Since it’s rather likely you’ll be the first man to love her, you cannot remind her enough times that her presence in your life…