Recently, while I was scrolling through my facebook feed, I saw a friend of mine posted such an article and being the curious cat that I am. I clicked on it and read through it all. As I read through it...
I was helplessly sobbing and continously NODDING my head.
Before I read the article, I have always been proud of my Dad. There was never a time where I was never satisfied with who my Dad was. Of course, he had his flaws. That's only normal! Afterall, he IS human. He isn't God. Through those many flaws I found him lovable. Though at times when he starts pointing at my own flaws, the prideful human side in us comes out, and I start to have negative thoughts. Other than those times, there was never once where I doubted that my Dad is one of the BEST Dads a girl could EVER ask for.
Now, after that I've read the article, I want to take this time to respond to the article but on a daughter's perspective.
The article is called "15 Things All Dads of Daughters Should Know" and I have and still is proud but I can proudly say that my Dad did ALL 15 things. I definitely recommend this to all those Dads out there or Dad-to-be's. It is definitely worth your time, even 5 minutes. I mean you're all working hard IN ORDER to give a worry-free and good lifestyle to your daughters/children anyways, so why not take a look at this! Now, I can't say this on behalf of all daughters in the world, but personally these 15 simple things were definitely things that has influenced me on how I view life. Growing up it was a process and if my Dad was not a part of it, I don't know who'd I turn out to be. It's because of his actions and intentions that has made our bond that much stronger, even IF he is not with me on this earth anymore.
The article was written by Justin Ricklefs, a Dad of four daughters and a son.
Of course! Just like you & I both! Actually, just like any human being~ he is nowhere near perfect, but he IS trying to be the BEST Dad he could be to and FOR his children.
Check him out on his blog: www.justinricklefs.com
Daughter's Perspective: 15 Things ALL Dads of Daughters Should Know
Note: Italic blue = Justin Ricklef
1. She wants to be loved.
"More than she wants the stuff you can buy her or the things you can teach her, she wants you to love her. No one else on Earth can assume your role as daddy. Your daughter will let you down, make huge mistakes, and maybe even turn her back to you for a season, but don't ever let her doubt your love for her. Look her in the eye and tell her you love her. Lots." My Dad loved me like no other can, he modelled his love for me in a way where it's scarily similar to how God's love for me is like.
2. You have an influence on her future partner.
"Scary thought, but the kind of man you are to her will have a direct impact on who she chooses to marry some day. For years, our third daughter would beg me to marry her when she grew up. I had to explain that I was already married to her amazing mother. If you're doing it right, she'll want to marry someone like you one day."
He definitely has a STRONG impact on the type of man I would like to marry in the future, someone EXTREMELY similar to him. Most little girls say they want to marry their dads at a young age and that by itself shows how much influence being a Dad has on their little girl's view on men in the future.
3. Listen to her music.
"When my girls are in my car, you'll be able to catch us rocking out to the following Pandora stations: Taylor Swift, One Direction, Cody Simpson, Kidz Bop Radio, Katy Perry, you get the point. Not stations I'd listen to on my own (with one exception -- I love Taylor Swift), but when it lights them up, it lights me up"
I wouldn't say my dad completely agrees with my music, but we do share a huge percentage of our playlists with each other. The fact that my dad will listen to my songs showed me that he cared and that he is patient, because of that I learnt how to be caring and respectful of other people's opinions.
4. She's watching you how you treat her Mom.
"If you take one thing out of this entire list, make it this. One of the best things you can do for your daughter is to love her mom well. It's easy to be child-centered. Running from one kid activity to another. But fight for your marriage and make it a priority. The seasons of life when I lose focus on dating Brooke (my wife) are also the same seasons when our children have more issues. I don't think that's coincidental. Love your wife, make time to date her, take her on trips, and show your kids that she is a bigger priority than they are."
The love he shows towards my mom has showed me what it's like to be married, what its like to have a partner who loves you for the rest of your life and gives me insight on how I could be an even better wife to my future husband.
5. Don't shrink back as she grows up.
"Our oldest is almost 11, so we haven't hit the dreaded teenage years, but I say bring them on. Dads who are further down the road than I am regret not being more emotionally engaged with their teenage daughters. It will be awkward for all of us, but I'm leaning right into it. Periods, boyfriends, shaving armpits, Snapchat, whatever it is. My girls won't know any different than their dad being every bit as engaged when they're 15 as he was when they were 5. Don't disappear when their emotions and bodies start changing."
May seem awkward, but my dad taught me a lot more about my body than my Mom did and no offence Momma Chow, but he did a better job at it than you did! Haha! He not only taught me the basic sex ed. but also how to be careful around the opposite gender, etc. It was a very thorough and detailed lesson over a span of 4 years. Funny part is my dad never shy away from it. He approached the matter himself.
6. Teach her how to do a REAL push-up.
"I won't be mistaken for Billy Blanks, but we take health and wellness seriously at our house. My girls aren't wimps. They know how to do real push-ups. They play sports hard. They think "throwing like a girl" is a compliment, not an insult. They bring it. And more than the physical toughness, we're raising mentally tough girls. Like their momma. In a world where femininity gets assigned far too often to princess dresses and fairy tales, my girls are tough as nails."
He definitely taught me to be a tough cookie. He taught me how to build & fix things whether it'd be a bed post, electrical wiring, pipes, computers, cars, etc. He's taught me ALL that he could, but most importantly he taught me to be a strong woman of God. He gave me a strong mentality along with the many skills he taught me. A mentality that tells myself that I don't necessary NEED a man to do all these things that society refers to as "MANLY" jobs. He taught me what gender equality truly was and still is.
7. Make memories.
"A friend once told me that my job is to be the Chief Memory Maker of the house. It's morbid, but I have 50-60 years left on this Earth, tops. That's not a ton of time, so I'm going to go hard and create as many memories with my girls as I possibly can. We celebrate big things like a 10-year-old trip, but we also take the little things seriously. Family movie nights on Friday nights. Big breakfast Saturdays. Hikes after church. It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate, but it does have to be intentional. Fill up your daughter's emotional journal with memories of being with her dad."
He is most definitely the Chief Memory Maker in my family. Always spending time even when he, himself was dead tired, going on trips, etc. Every one of those moments...whether they'd be small or big were precious. I'm able to say that I've travel to SO many places at such a young age is because of him. It's also because of my Dad that I have a traveller's heart, he also taught me the importance of family and that spending quality time with your loved ones should never be a burden.
8. Teach her that it's not about her.
"Something amazing happens when we realize that the universe doesn't spin around us. We're not modeling it perfectly for our girls, but we're trying to show them that life is best lived when we give ourselves away. To serve others. To go last. To not always have to be right."
This was probably the FIRST thing my dad taught me as a child. I had a habit of always saying: "ITS MINE!" and my dad was always there to rebuke that thought. He taught AND showed me how and what it means to love others. He definitely was someone who talked the talk and walked the walk.
9. Show up to her events.
"As dads of young daughters, most of us are building careers at the same time. So it's not possible every single time, but make the effort to get to her stuff. Even if it's not your favorite stuff. I hate the commercial of the dad at the daughter's dance recital who is watching a football game on his phone. I love a good football game as much as the next guy, but clap as hard for your daughter's recital as you would on your couch watching sports."
I hate to admit it, but growing up...I indeed was somewhat of a problem child. Haha! So my dad had to be strict, especially since I was his FIRST and LAST..ONE and ONLY daughter. Thus, growing up I was quite scared of him, but I knew he loved me. I was scared of failing in front of him...so he never came to any of my performances because he knew that I'd be too nervous and screw up. Over time, I grew out of that fear and he would ALWAYS take time off of work to come and support me. Again, he showed me that I was and still am important and that I should never settle for a guy that thinks anything less than that.
10. Proximity doesn't equal presence.
"I'm guilty of forgetting this often. The simple fact that you're there doesn't mean you're really there. Especially in an era of constant information and entertainment. Turn your phone off when you get home from work. Or at least put it in another room. Your daughter couldn't care less about your Twitter feed, your emails, your fantasy football team, or your group texts. She cares about spending time with you. Playing with you. Being with you."
Looking back at it, I can only laugh. As a child, I would run up to my dad's room and start up a conversation. As I start to get older...I was the one who stayed in my room and this time...it was my dad's turn to quietly walk into my room...and sometimes in what seems to be a creepy way...just stare at me while I work. Everyday, he'd come in and ask me how my day was and would just sit there for a good half an hour to an hour talking to me. The daily "how was your day?" talk taught me not only how my Dad's day was, but it taught me the hardships and difficulties that my Dad goes through at work. It made me cherish my Dad even more! It taught me how to be sensitive to others. Through these I was able to understand his line of work, and really get to know him as a person OUTSIDE of the family. In my opinion, being completely transparent with your children is quite crucial. It helps them to see who you REALLY are and it helps them learn about what demons you have to battle at work -- in the same way they can SOMETIMES relate in their own lives currently. Don't underestimate your daughters.
11. Do her hair and nails.
"Brooke does this 99 times out of 100, but I make it a point to tell all my girls that daddy can make a killer ponytail. And I can paint their nails like a champ. Heck, they've painted mine on many occasions as well. Show her that a man can be gentle."
Unfortunately, my dad didn't do my nails...but he did do my hair growing up. Haha! If you aren't the type of person who has the patience to paint nails...and you don't seem to be having any success with the whole typing up a pony tail, then I'd say take the route of shopping and picking out wardrobe with and for your daughter! Like mentioned before; as a father, you have a BIG influence on HOW your daughter will turn out. Teach her how to respect herself and her body. You don't have to be SUPER strict (that MAY or may NOT work, depending on your daughter), you can simply just approach it in a friend's perspective OR a perspective of the opposite gender. Growing up, girls now-a-days will try to wear more revealing clothes in order ot prove multiple statements, but no matter how many reasons there may be...one WILL always be to attract the eyes of boys around her. That was something that my Dad did for me. He taught me what was appropriate and what wasn't. He did a lot of shopping for and with me. A lot of dresses and REALLY nice jackets and other wardrobe were chosen and bought by him. He definitely was a dad with style. Trust me! Not only will you win your daughters' heart but her friends would be envious of how her dad is a fashionable Dad.
12. Date her.
" I wish I could say I do this consistently, but even once every few months is better than not at all. Dating your daughter is critical to showing her how a man should treat a woman. Call me old school, but on my dates with my girls, I open the doors, pay the bills, look them in the eye, and make them feel like a million bucks. This doesn't have to cost a ton of money. A walk around the block. A short bike ride. A trip to the ice cream store. Doesn't have to be fancy, but again, it must be intentional."
THIS was something my dad ALWAYS emphasized to his friends with daughters. Not to mention he would always joke around with random strangers who are staring and say: "this is my girlfriend " It definitely wasn't anything extravagant, it was simple. A car ride, a road trip, a trip to the mall, trip to Starbucks, or even to the gym. ANYTIME it was the just the two of us was considered as a date. As a dad who is the head of the family, it is hard to really BOND with all the things he has to think and do, but going on dates with his wife, daughter/s, and son/s (YES! Bromance is also recommended between Father and Son relationship) IS the CORE of quality time. Not to mention, it's actually not as stressful as you'd think it would be. Its fun and a good stress reliever for both the dad and their children. Time away from school/work, just the two of you. To be honest, I would also recommend all Dads or Dad-to-be's to do this.
13. Her heart is more beautiful than her appearance.
"Guess what, dad? It's your job to tell your daughter, and then remind her a million times, that what's on the inside of her is what will make her go far in life. The heart is how we talk about it at our house, but it can be her character, her self-worth, her core. Raising girls in this sensual world isn't easy, but they don't have to settle for the belief that to be pretty means you must fit into a size zero or show almost every piece of your skin when you walk into a room."
Growing up, because I was often bullied amongst school and church...I had little to no self-confidence in EVERY aspect. I had no confidence in ANYTHING I did, but one thing I had confidence in was who I was. No, I do not mean my outward appearance (I had no confidence in that either), what I mean is my personality, who I REALLY am on the inside. As a kid, he'd tell me how beautiful I was (trying to boost my self confidence) and how I'd grow up to be the most beautiful and strongest woman ever! After I've grown up...or when I started to reach an age where appearance wasn't all that matter (around 18 to 20s), he changed his way of complimenting of me...it wasn't about my physical appearances anymore, but how beautiful I am on the inside. He started complimenting me in regards of my skills. What I could do. Complimented me on my personality. Who I am and who I could be. This made me realize that appearance isn't important...what's important was my actions and intentions.
14. Don't blink.
"Kenny Chesney was right. She calls you daddy. Enjoy that role -- it flies by."
Being a dad was definitely tough, but I know he enjoyed every moment of it. There's a sense of joy in seeing your children...in this case your little girl GROWING or GROWN UP into that AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL woman that you saw her as the second she was born...but NOW! It's not just you who sees it, but EVERYONE in this world can witness this beauty. The best part of it is that in more ways than one YOU took part in this process (genetically & nurturing)!
15. Will you forgive me?
"I forget 1-14 more than I would like to admit. I'm doing my best. You are too. But when I blow it, when I hurt her feelings, and when my intentions were better than my actions, I'm learning to ask her for forgiveness. Not a simple apology, but a sincere plea for forgiveness. Model being a dad who gets down on her level and admits that you don't have it all together. She'll forgive you for that."
My Dad and I are basically two peas in a pod. EXTREMELY similar in terms of personality. The way he put it was, I have the beauty of my mom, but his fiery personality. Haha! When we clicked...we CLICKED like no others, best team ever! When we don't agree it was like a nuclear explosion. He taught me how to ask for forgiveness sincerely, but also taught me how to forgive.
Now that you've taken the time to read a daughter's perspective of these 15 things and how it had an impact on MY life and if I've happen to tweak your interest, I really do suggest that you go and check out Justin Ricklefs post on it.
15 Things All Dads of Daughters Should Know: www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-ricklefs/15-things-all-dads-of-daughters-should-know_b_5914680.html
For those back at home in Canada~ I know I'm late in posting this, but I hope you all had a very WONDERFULLY...
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! !