Four months into our pregnancy, we were eager with anticipation and excitement to find out whether we were having another boy or a little girl. Our son, three at the time, was excited to find out as well. When the doctor showed us the ultrasound of our little girl, we were ecstatic, overjoyed, and couldn’t wait for the journey ahead. Secretly, thoughts raced through my mind: “How am I supposed to be a dad to a little girl?” “I never had a sister.” “What do I do?” “Is she gonna paint my nails and do my hair?” “Will we play with dolls?” Quickly my thoughts turned a corner as I thought, “What will my daughter need to hear from me, her dad?”
As a dad, I want to be my daughter’s first love. I dream (and am scared by the idea) of walking her down the aisle one day. I want to be the one she comes to when she needs help or advice. But how do I build this relationship from the start? Thankfully I had a few other girl dads in my life who gave me some wise advice. I can’t say I always live it out but I try daily. They told me to speak words of life and truth over her. Words she needs to hear from her dad.
“I love you.”
Life isn’t going to be easy. Our daughters need to hear often the words “I love you” and she needs to hear them from her dad. I want my daughter to know I love her, not because she has done anything or because of anything she can offer me, but solely because she is mine. The world can often infer the idea that love is transactional, we are loved for what we do or what we offer. Our daughters need to know they are loved for who they are. It is important to let them know nothing they do can change the love we have for them.
“You are beautiful.”
She will hear she is beautiful many times, but she needs to hear it often from dad. There is something special when a dad says these words to his daughter. You can also add words like smart, funny, etc. The truth is you are building her confidence. Your daughter will know she is beautiful because her daddy says so. The world will try to tell her she needs to look a certain way, wear certain clothes, or buy certain products to be beautiful but if you have instilled in her from an early age the truth, that she is beautiful, it will resonate with her. Take the opportunity to tell her often.
“You have value.”
Telling my daughter she has value comes from many of the same reasons why I tell her she is beautiful. I want her to know she has value, not because of anything she has done, but because she is mine and I love her. As with beauty, the world will try to skew this one, to say value comes from what you offer or what you do. This is not the case: she has value because she is an individual. I want this to be a constant reminder in her life. Value comes not from what you do, what you offer, or who you are: you have value because you are.
“I’m always here for you.”
A girl needs someone in her corner. Someone she can confide in, share dreams with, and find safety in. Hopefully, this is her dad. The bond between a father and daughter is special. It’s hard to explain, but if you have a daughter, you know this to be true. There is nothing better than when my 4-year-old crawls in my lap, holds my face and says “Daddy, I love you.” My response is most often, “I love you too sweetie and I am always here for you.” I want her to know she can always come to me. In a few years she won’t be crawling into my lap. She may be holding my hand or just offering a hug but the truth will remain the same: I will always be here for her.
“You can tell me anything.”
I read a story recently about a dad who wrote a note to his daughter and put it in a drawer. The note said “If you’re scared to tell me something, just bring me this note as a reminder that I’m here to support you. I won’t get mad; I will work with you on a solution.” I love this and I want this for my kids. NO MATTER WHAT, I want my daughter to know she can always come to me. She can come to me because I have told her she is loved, she has value, and I am always here for her.
By speaking words of truth and life over our daughters, we earn the respect and the trust to be the person they can lean on. My daughter will grow up knowing no matter what she does, good or bad, her dad is right here for her to lean on and confide in. There are things all daughters need to hear from their dad. This is just a starting point. What do you want to instill in your daughter? You’ve got this, Dad!
For other ideas of how to be the best dad for your daughter, check these articles out:
- 7 Ways to Embrace Being a Girl Dad
- Tips for Dads of Daughters
- A Fathers Love
- 7 Things A Girl Needs To Hear
- What Daughters Need To Hear from Dad
- Crucial Things Daughters Need To Hear From Their Dads
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