20 Things A Father Should Tell His Daughter

7 Jan

20thingsdaughter
1) Pay attention to the way a man loves his mother. That is the way he will love you.

2) You can do anything a man can do, including organic chemistry, unclogging toilets and assembling IKEA furniture.

3) Older women wear makeup so THEY can look like YOU. Less is more. A lot less is a lot more.

4) People will judge you by the way you look. It isn’t fair, but it’s the way the world works. Keep that in mind as you pick your outfit in the morning.

5) Never let anyone do your thinking for you. There are far too many people with far too much invested in you believing what they believe.

6) Liberal arts grow your mind. Science and business keep you fed. You will need both.

7) Nothing is more attractive than intelligence.

8) Learn to drive a stick-shift.

9) Get comfortable with power tools.

10) You don’t have to enjoy them, but have a working knowledge of the rules for football and baseball.

11) Know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek, and they key players in both.

12) You don’t have to *DO* anything for someone to love you. The right person will cross a desert just for the chance to sit next to you at lunch.

13) Peer pressure is all about insecurity. Be confident in who you are and you’ll never have to “fit in”. People will come to you.

14) The fastest way to strain a relationship with a man is to bring up old drama. We can’t remember to hang up the bath towel. What makes you think we remember that stupid thing we did 6 months ago?

15) If a man genuinely loves you, he will let you set the boundaries. Don’t let anyone take something from you they can’t give back. You set the tone for the sexual relationship.

16) Feminie hygiene products — Where our daughters are concerned, we would be very happy sticking our fingers in our ears and saying “lalalalalalalala”. Please respect our need to pretend they, and the reason for them, do not exist. The same goes for lacy underthings.

17) You were flawless the day you were born. If you must go get that first tattoo, please consider inviting your daddy to come and get his first tattoo with you.

18) You are perfect the way you roll out of bed. Let’s be clear: all that crap you do to “get out the door” is for everyone else’s benefit.

19) Though he may be smiling on the outside, when you leave for college your father is falling apart on the inside. Don’t forget to call him that first night to tell him you love him.

20) Compare every single boy you ever meet to your daddy. Nobody will love you like he does.

-DD

103 Responses to “20 Things A Father Should Tell His Daughter”

  1. Emily @ The Waiting January 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Most of these are just good advice in general!

    • dorkdad January 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      I can promise nobody’s ever seen femenine hygiene products in my medicine cabinet.

      • Emily @ The Waiting January 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

        But it’s OK if you do. We don’t judge.

      • hurricanemax June 23, 2013 at 12:59 am #

        Hahahaha..child’s play this :-) i sat in research focus groups listening to what females do to their privates…behind 1way mirror!

      • Winning DadPoints December 12, 2013 at 6:26 am #

        I feel sorry for the dad that can’t talk to his daughter about frilly underthings & female products. I am the one who had “the talk” with my daughter about what to expect when her period started and took her shopping for the “equipment” she would need. it sort of freaked her out that Dad was talking about this stuff but now she feels comfortable in knowing that I cared enough to get over MY insecurity about it to be there for her since her mother never did.

      • dorkdad December 12, 2013 at 6:32 am #

        So do I, WDP. So do I. No matter how much we may *NEED* to pretend our daughters aren’t growing up, what we need to do even more than that is be supportive of the women they are, and of the women they are becoming. I doubt there are any dads out there who, while folding the laundry and seeing his daughter’s first lacy underthing, said **fistpump** “YES! My daughter is growing up!! Awesome!!”

        Nobody is advocating dads putting their heads in the sand, or acting like cavemen. But it would be nice for our daughters to know how much it tears us up inside that they won’t be our little baby girls forever.

    • Prefer not to say December 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      You’ve made me realize how lucky I was to have the Dad I did. He died when I was 14 but he had covered almost all of the above with me more than once. I’m 70 now but the things he told me still resonate. Thank you.

    • Mama June 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

      #1 Yes, Pay VERY CLOSE attention to the way a man loves his mother. You may have to compete with her. If he seems a “Mama’s Boy” RUN! Fast! Far away!

  2. my27stars January 8, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    I like a lot of these, and the son ones you posted earlier. As far as #16 goes, however… let me just direct you to this http://artofmanliness.com/2012/06/05/survival-tampon/ :)

    • dorkdad January 8, 2013 at 6:18 am #

      *THAT*… is pure genius.

      • my27stars January 8, 2013 at 9:34 am #

        So just know that if your daughter ever needs dad to make a quick trip to the store that she’s likely just supplying her survival kit, and go pick up that pack with pride! :)

  3. larva225 January 8, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I wish someone had worked with me more on #9. And damn hormones: the last 2 almost made me tear up!

    • dorkdad January 8, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      I considered adding a line-item about hormones… and then thought better of it.

  4. jetts31 January 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    I think it goes without saying no. 11 might be the best lesson…and I am definitely going to share this with my daughters. Great list.

    • dorkdad January 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

      They don’t have to love them, but they should know the difference between The Force and The Federation, The Falcon and The Enterprise, Captain Solo and Captain Kirk.

  5. Four Eyed Momster January 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    I absolutely love this list. It is so sweet and so spot on. The only one I’m a little iffy on is #10 – but I got lucky and found probably the only guy on the plant that doesn’t like sports and is still uber cool. (Whew!) Awesome post!

    • dorkdad January 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      It’s not about liking sports. It’s about being culturally competent. If you have absolutely no working knowledge of something that so many people are passionate about, then your options for relating to people are limited. I could have just as easily said “Know the difference between republicans and democrats” or “have a working knowledge of christianity and Islam”.

      You have to be able to hold a conversation with strangers when you mingle at that random Xmas party. That’s all.

    • Anonymous July 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

      No, not the only guy… I’m the one who watches football in the house and it pisses him off like no other…. I just laugh…

    • Gerald December 11, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      NOPE–I’m not a sports fan either. MY youngest son is a fanatic–no idea where he got it.

  6. Four Eyed Momster January 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Hey there, I’m just stopping in to pass on a Liebster Award! Check out my website for details. (Don’t feel obligated to participate but if you do, please let me know so I can check it out!)

  7. LuciL January 31, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    This made me laugh a lot, maybe my dad should have said these things to me when my younger sister and I were growing up :P

  8. Borjok January 31, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    Great list! I think my dad covered everything but the dating bit. All I got from him on the subject was that I couldn’t talk to boys until I was 30.

  9. broadsideblog January 31, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    I liked all of these, being a grown up daughter, I would add to number 7 that compassion + intelligence is the most attractive. Some women think they have to be the smartest girl in the room and forever prove it. That makes people hate you.

    LOVE number five. Women and girls are under such social and cultural pressure to buy into a whole pile ‘o stupid ideas. Gah.

    • Anonymous December 16, 2013 at 5:05 am #

      So true. What a “beautiful” woman with great insight.

  10. Otrazhenie January 31, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Loved this post. Thanks for sharing it :-)

  11. Otrazhenie January 31, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Reblogged this on Otrazhenie and commented:
    Lovely post. Would expand point 11 slightly by something like “don’t worry if you don’t know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. You’ll learn it pretty quickly from your sons :-)

  12. emotionless brian January 31, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Reblogged this on emotionless brain.

  13. gregsmithmd January 31, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    Reblogged this on gregsmithmd and commented:
    I have three daughters. I have tried to tell them many of these things, well, in so many words, you know. I have. Really! Why are you looking at me like that??

  14. aim2bnteractive January 31, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Reblogged this on }{ÀĮM}{2b}{ińteråctivę}{ and commented:
    my exact thoughts & words for my only baby girl…

  15. Naomikko February 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Reblogged this on naomikko.

  16. qiquan February 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    I failed on the very first one, not because I do not like my mother, but because I come back for my mother, and my girlfriend left me because she felt someone is more important than her. my mom now is in heaven with my father :).
    kc

  17. Lisa Shaw February 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Dammit, Dorkdaddy, I knew this was going to make me sniffle and I read it anyway. Not one single one of these things did my dad ever tell me…

    • Anonymous April 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

      Me either! My dad was emotionally absent from my life. It has had terrible repercussions on my life. I’m 52 and still cry for the love of a dad!

  18. MoMabie February 4, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Wish my dad would have done/said any of those. So, thankful my mother did.

  19. CiGriArg February 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Reblogged this on GriArg and commented:
    Sfaturi pentru fete (dar și pentru băieți)…

  20. Diane Palovchik Stone April 12, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    My hubby did all this for our daughter… and now she is a United States Marine!!! OOOHHHRRRAAA!!! WTG babes!!

    • Wish my father had had this. December 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      Awesome!!! All the more power to ya! I became physically impaired so my dream of becoming a Marine has gone up in smoke. Stand tall for me & others like me (I know there are more.)

    • Melanie Stowe June 21, 2014 at 8:40 am #

      We have four daughters and our oldest is in the Navy and works on air planes. Our number two is in college to be a nurse. The other two are under 10 years old. My husband showed them how to take care of cars and I showed them how repair the home. Both of them took wood shop as well.

  21. RJ Diaz April 15, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    Reblogged this on The Industry Portage Co..

  22. bernicky April 15, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    As a widower and fellow blogger the advice here is sound – it’s making the facebook rounds at the moment. There are things I would add and things I wouldn’t say to my daughter but that’s the nice thing about a set of general rules it’s like cafeteria food – you take what you want and leave the rest.

    Thanks for a good read.

    • dorkdad April 15, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      You’re very kind. As much work as we put into our blogs, it’s amazing what catches on and what doesn’t. I’m just grateful to get a little traffic, and for all the positive sentiments people have sent.

  23. Christina Le April 21, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Share with you

  24. Linda Knolls April 25, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    I sent you a message about this post, please check your emails , thank you

  25. Susan Downs April 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    I think this is great advice for all the new Dads out there. And the new Dads to be. These are great guidelines because they are so simple and so meaningful. You have a lucky daughter.

  26. Oscar May 29, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Love it, and after reading some of the comments here makes me realize that I am still in time to use most of this with my relationship with my 7 year old princess, oh how much I love her, and yes the last two are not easy to read.

    • dorkdad May 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      I couldn’t be more in love with my 7 year old princess.

  27. Daile June 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    My Dad was a bit funny about me getting my first tattoo and told me I might as well have gotten branded like cattle. Then after my Mum died he had a crisis and went to Bali and came back with 4 massive tattoos! So maybe I should have taken him with me after all. . .

  28. Escaping Elegance June 26, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Great post and wonderful points. I need to remind myself about some of these.

    My funny father had a wife, two daughters and no sons. He was perfectly ok with feminine products and was fascinated when we all would cycle together. He also knew to lay low!

    One day, I was 13 and very self-conscious, I was at the grocery store with him and we were at separate ends of the busy “hygiene” aisle. He yelled down to me, “Hey Steph, do we need more pads at home?”

    I burst into flames on the spot. He was just a caring dad making sure we were well stocked! We never had any doubt that nobody would ever love us like he did/still does.

    • Profamilyman March 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      That is not caring for a man to yell in the aisle to his daughter about pads. That is disrespectful and he should not be doing that. This is why our daughters shy away from including us in their space.
      Wrong approach I think.

      • dorkdad March 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

        If you look back and read again, I don’t think you’ll see me advocating any behavior of that sort.

  29. Anonymous July 6, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    Agree with everything but 15. Sounds one sided. Marriage is about compromise. Sexually, if she uses sex as a weapon, the marriage is doomed. Not sure what you mean by “set the tone”. Sounds very feminist and divorce rates don’t support it. The rest of it was great.

    • dorkdad July 6, 2013 at 6:24 am #

      It’s about respect. A man never pushes his agenda/desires on a woman. You wait until she says “It’s OK.”

    • dorkdad July 6, 2013 at 6:52 am #

      And you bet it’s sexist, otherwise I wouldn’t have needed two separate posts.

  30. Tina Webster July 21, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16 are all wrong.

    #7 is the most egregiously incorrect of all of them

    #15 is Three different things, two of which are only partially correct

    17 and 18 a bit schmaltzy

    1, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 are all good.

    • dorkdad July 21, 2013 at 11:53 am #

      Thank you, Tina. I got a good chuckle from your comment, and a good chuckle is always welcome.

  31. findingnemoblog December 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    A couple days before my sixteenth birthday, my dad got me my first tattoo. When I was about six or seven, I gave him a plastic bracelet that I had found with all these differently colored stars on it. He wore it until the elastic fell apart, and then he had the stars tattooed around his wrist so he could wear it forever. When it comes to tattoos, I think it depends on the upbringing.

  32. kim December 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    So many of these (power tools, stick-shift) are not so much to tell your daughter, but to SHOW or DO with. Kids learn to use power tools by using them with their parents (or anyone else). Parents, do a building project and let your child (boy or girl) use the power tools. And yes, learn to drive stick. I did, so when I moved to Europe, I had no problem. But I know an American au pair who got sent back to the US after a month because she didn’t know how to drive stick.

  33. Camcas Cervantes December 11, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    Reblogged this on The Overused Signature.

  34. Michael B. Smith December 11, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Great advice! As a corollary to #4, “Watch your innocent comments about how they look or dress, which are always taken seriously!”

  35. Anonymous December 11, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    I love it except I would change #17 to: 17) You were flawless the day you were born. You do not need a tattoo or body piercings. Your smile and eyes are what you want people to physically notice.

    • Michael B. Smith December 11, 2013 at 8:30 am #

      I totally agree! With apologies to tattoo fans, a tattoo is the LAST thing I would want to see on my daughters. And I would prefer men who don’t like tattoos (in general) to marry my daughters. Just me!

  36. Jean December 11, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    I agree with everything on your list! One thing I would caution my daughter about #2, is yes, be willing to do all those things, don’t be shy, never hesitate… but make sure your man knows household repairs and improvements are still his jobs to do too! I married a man who is not the least bit handy, so every repair, assembly and homeowner’s emergency ends up being done by me. And while I enjoy doing those things (I learned them from my dad!) I’d appreciate knowing I wasn’t being expected to take care of them. So don’t hesitate — just make sure you share the responsibilities :-)

  37. Wish my father had had this. December 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Maybe he might have met the man I married, or even walked me down the isle.

  38. aborrowedbackpack December 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I am glad that mine is the 100th ‘like’. :D
    Thank you for such a wonderful post. :)

    • dorkdad December 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Thank you for the positive response.

  39. Adam December 12, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    I must be honest, I’m not crazy with this list. I understand it’s meant to be humorous and light hearted (until the end, of course), but I take issue with a couple of things. Admittedly, I have no daughters, (or sons for that matter) so I can only base what I say on the leading lady in my life. My wife doesn’t know, nor does she care to know about sports, Star Trek, or Star Wars. Does it matter to me? Not a bit, so these things aren’t necessary. I don’t love her any less for not knowing or caring about these things.

    Also, you state that if a man loves your daughter, he’ll let her set the boundaries. To me, all this tells her is that it’s okay if she has control over any aspect of their relationship. I was brought up that relationships are equal, and one person doesn’t control or dominate the other. That’s a lesson I think society would be well suited to forget, considering we have a nasty habit of holding others back.

    Lastly, I absolutely detest the notion that you say we can’t remember to hang up a bath towel, let alone remember anything. Not only is this untrue, it’s perpetuating this silly idea that has become fashionable now, with men being blundering idiots. It’s time to start building people up, not tearing them down.

    So let’s teach our daughters and sons about equality, valuing people’s strengths, not weaknesses, and it’s okay if you don’t know everything, but you’re willing to learn about anything.

    • dorkdad December 12, 2013 at 6:36 am #

      “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Aristotle

    • Darren Farrington (@claresdad) December 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      Adam, you hit on just about every criticism I have of this list–and I do have a daughter. Is it a bonus to know about Star Wars (I don’t like Star Trek myself), baseball (I don’t like football either), and how to use power tools and put together IKEA furniture? Sure, but nobody–son or daughter–needs to know or do everything just to please someone else. And the towel comment annoyed me too. Also, humor and confidence are just as attractive as intelligence–I’m attracted by all three.

  40. MrRob79 December 12, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    I like the list, and I generally agree with all of them… except #1. How a man loves or deals with his mother is NOT necessarily indicative of how he will treat his girlfriend/spouse.

    Some mothers are emotionally abusive or physically abusive, and their son has to distance himself from that when he becomes an adult, in order to protect himself and those he loves. Sometimes, even when he tries to love and support her, he still cannot stop her from trying to manipulate him. Sometimes, even when a young man only wants to have a loving mother, she will still hurt him. Maybe it was because someone hurt her in a way that can never heal, maybe there is a reason why some mothers are abusive, but it does not change that fact.

    Overall its a great list, and your blog is great. Ive seen similar lists before, often including the “watch how a man treats his mother” at the top of the list. I just think that when a young man comes from an abusive mother, that general rules goes right out the window. Maybe thats a reason a daughter needs to be worried about having a relationship with a guy who’s mother was abusive, I dont know, but I can say from personal experience, that even though my own relationship with my emotionally abusive mother is often times strained; I still love my daughter with all of my heart, and would do absolutely anything for her.

  41. Donald December 12, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    I have years in my eyes

    • Anonymous December 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Cute. But it could have been titled 20 things to fit in a male dominated world.

      • dorkdad December 13, 2013 at 6:26 am #

        I’m inclined to agree, just as the post on someone else’s blog that inspired this one, “20 Things A Mother Should Tell Her Son” comes from the perspective of a female dominated world.

  42. rhabbit December 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Love it mine are 4&5 and i tell them allot of this all the time for #9 i would say hand tools and fire arms if i haven’t already put the fear of God into their first boy friends the fact that my babies will be able to put shoot them won’t hurt.

  43. Eric Kamander December 13, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    #1 says a man will treat his partner the same way he treats his mother, which is so fundamentally untrue (and undesired).

    • dorkdad December 13, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      And by your interpretation, creepy. Eeeeeew. I don’t think anyone wants that.

  44. Terry-May December 14, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    Reblogged this on My Story, My Life, Me. and commented:
    #daddyissues
    =[

  45. yvonne December 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    And…when you go on a date “you are worth more than a burger ..fries…and a medium coke”. …its just a date…you don’t “owe” him nothing!

  46. Anonymous December 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Always reassure her that no matter what the situation maybe, that you will always stand by her and if some guy messes or hits her , that she is your little girl and will always be your baby and that son of a bitch will never mess with her again because his body parts will be floating in a creek, a river , a ocean, and may even have a BBQ and invite his family over to help dispose of the body.

    • PH September 3, 2014 at 11:32 am #

      I get the point but telling an adult woman she is your little girl is just plain creepy. An adult is not a baby or a little girl. Mixed messages maybe? You can assure her you will be there to back her up though, in a way that won’t land you in prison.

  47. marie June 19, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    yeah. i always compare every dork i meet with my daddy and they , unluckily, fail miserably.

    • dorkdad June 19, 2014 at 7:27 am #

      That should make your dorkdaddy very happy… and a little sad too.

  48. andrea June 22, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    4 and 18 condicted themselves many of them do. Be conscience of what you wear because people judge you and that is the way the world works, but then you are prefect the way you roll out of bed, the rest of the stuff you do to get ready is for others people benefit. So what is a female to do??? Many of the phases in here were about benefiting others. Daddy Dork needs to reevaluate the message that is being sent to the daughters.

    • dorkdad June 22, 2014 at 8:42 am #

      Plenty of people have read their own agendas into this list. Go back and read through the comments if you need clarity. Look past the surface and there’s a lot more depth there. But if it’s what you truly want it doesn’t take much to twist anything into your own grind house.

      Meet my daughter and your first impression is “this girl’s father obviously needs to reevaluate the message he sends.”

      //sarcasm off

      • Sandi Melnick September 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

        Thank you…reading the comments was making me mad…are people thick?

  49. Heather B July 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    OMGosh, what a great post and sweet list of love for your girl! You’ve got it right. I really love #13. So true. Wonderful advise for anyone. Our girls need so badly to know where their confidence and security lies, and hearing things like this from Dad is right at the heart of it. That confidence and security begins with Daddy. Building into them can’t start too soon, and the daddy/daughter relationship is so critical. We’ve been reading a great new, actually renewed, book. Great for all dads of daughters. We’re loving it, so I have to share… It’s called “She Calls Me Daddy: 7 Things You Need to Know About Building a Complete Daughter,” by Robert Wolgemuth. Originally released in the 90s, it was a best seller. His girls are grown up and give their own input along with their husbands who are daddies to girls. I understand 40% of the book is new material. It’s so unique in this way. Robert puts the anxieties of Daddy raising his girl(s) to rest, guiding you through challenges and good times – protecting, conversation, affection, discipline, laughter, faith, conduct. So great for helping daddies learn to lead, love and cherish. I highly recommend it!

  50. Pam FVSU August 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    OMGGGGG, wow, some of you shock me, by your statements. A daughter’s value DOES NOT come from her dad. Her mother is the most important as the like gender parent. Please stop exalting dad ove rmom!!

  51. Pam FVSU August 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    A daughter’s security and confidence does not come from her dad either.

    • Mike Smith August 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Have you ever seen the statistics of births to unwed teen girls without fathers in their lives compared to those with fathers present? Daughters need both parents!

      • dorkdad August 16, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

        Damn right, Mike.

  52. Megan August 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    I think this list is great… apart from the part about feminine hygiene products, etc. I don’t think girls need any more shame about that kind of thing, or embarrassment because it is the way we are made. So excluding that, I think this list is great.

    • dorkdad August 21, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      No shame. That line is all about us not coping with our girls growing up… hence the “lacy underthings”

  53. kris September 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    My dad never said anything like this too me, he left that up to my mother. He grew up in a family that didn’t give any affection and used to not show affection much either (used to). But I do know my dad loves me. He has said a few important things, however that were more simple than the ones on this list but were just as affective. Like I don’t need makeup, shouldn’t feel the need to dress up for my at the time boyfriend, not to allow a man to live off of me, that i am beautiful. Also one time when bickering with my mom he said to me, “Women are always right. Even when they’re not.” Lol. The most important thing is he has always been in my life, listens to whatever I say and gives advice, works hard to provide for his family, and loves us.

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