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10 Things A Father Needs to Tell His Daughter

By Danielle Sullivan |

10 Things A Father Needs to Tell His Daughter via Babble

What do you wish you heard from your father when you were growing up?

I can count on one hand the number of friends who have solid and loving relationships with their fathers. While the majority of them have close bonds with their mothers, many grew up feeling largely ignored or hurt by their father’s role in their lives.

Is there a generational explanation? Perhaps, it was the traditional male role of being the provider but not emotionally available that fostered the issue. Quite a few adult women remember the time when her father was distant, judgmental, shaming or just not around. Far too many times, those actions left the women with low self esteem or always searching for a man to fill that childhood need of having a father who was proud of his little girl.

Of course, there were fathers throughout the years who always supported their daughters in every way. I have one friend who was as close to her Dad as she was to her Mom, who always felt tenderly valued and cared for by her father, and who, consequently yet not surprisingly, is one of strongest, kindest and most content people I know. On the flip side are my many friends who long to have grown up feeling cherished by their fathers. And others who dove into dysfunctional relationships looking for that love.

Hopefully, this is changing with our children. Today’s fathers are more involved now than ever before and have no qualms about talking feelings, women’s issues, or love with their girls. That matters so much to girls; I’m not sure most men realize how much they shape their daughter’s feelings about themselves, and it got me wondering what types of things girls need to know, hear, and learn from their fathers.

Here are 10 starters:

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10 Things A Father Needs to Tell His Daughter

I love you.

It’s so incredibly simple but such an overlooked and sometimes difficult phrase for some men to say.
Image: iStock

What’s missing from this list? What do you wish you heard from your father? How would it have changed your life?

Image: iStock

 Also, check out 10 Things a Mother Should Never Say to Her Daughter

More from Danielle

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About Danielle Sullivan


Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “10 Things A Father Needs to Tell His Daughter

  1. Graciette Reese says:

    I think that is so important for girls because if their father is telling them how special and beautiful they are, no Boy or Man can say “anything” to them and they believe it. The relationship between a girl and her father I believe helps to shape what type of relationsgip she will be in.

  2. Danielle Sullivan says:

    @Graciette Excellent point. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kara Jenson says:

    Oddly my dad has said all these things to me countless times, it’s my mum whom I never seem good enough for…

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