I saw the sweetest post here (look for the author’s bio at the end!) that lists “50 Rules for Dads of Daughters.” As it brought tears to my eyes, I knew I just had to share the rules with you all.
Of course, I’m not really in the business of listing all 50, so I chose my favorites.
(…and completed the post with the few pictures of my dad that I have saved on this computer.)
1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.
2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.
3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.
4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.
5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.
6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.
|….or, buy her a gun & teach her to shoot like a pro! (This might only be applicable if you’re from the South.)|
7. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.
8. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”
9. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.
10. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.
11. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.
12. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.
13. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.
14. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.
15. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.
16. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.
17. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.
18. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.
|This is Dad and my (not-so-baby-anymore) cousin, Riley|
19. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.
20. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.
21. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.
|From L to R: (Cousins) Samantha, Heath, (Maternal Gparents) Memie, Poppop, Me, Dad, Mom (missing brother!)|
22. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.
23. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.
23. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.
24. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.
24. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.
25. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.
|The night my Dad and brother showed up at a bar where I was with all of my friends …at 1am …my sophomore year of college …you know, just to be funny|
26. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.
27. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.
About the author:
Michael Mitchell is a thirty-something dad who blogs daily tips and
life lessons for dads of daughters at lifetoheryears.com. He spends
his days practicing the arts of fatherhood and husbandry, while
attempting to be a man of God and a professional raiser of
philanthropic funds. On the rare occasion he’s not tied up with the
aforementioned and other pursuits of awesomeness, he enjoys fighting
street gangs for local charities and drinking from a cup that’s half