Dads out there, listen up. You want your daughter to have the courage to demand to be respected? You want her to be respectful? This is where you come in. This is where you, and only you, can determine who your daughter will become as she grows into a woman.
There are few relationships as important to a female than the relationship between father and daughter. I know this because I had (and still have) a great father. I am 35 years old and I still regularly get “I love you more” texts from the old man.
But more than just knowing that I was loved, he gave me a love for myself. Having the attention of my dad, kept me from seeking it out in others. I never reduced myself to being “that girl” at parties, I kept my purity intact until a later age and never discounted my own self worth.
Dads, you guys have a hard job, there’s so much responsibility resting on your shoulders alone when it comes to your daughters. I’ll be the first to admit it. These things, however, are something her mother can’t teach. There’s a lot of pressure there but don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s much easier than you think. I’ll give you a hint: You want your daughter to be respected by the boys she will date, than show her what that respect looks like.
Right before my early dating years my dad would take me out on “dates”. At the time I didn’t know how important these dates would be in my later life, I just thought I was getting to hang out with my dad one-on-one.
On a Saturday night, we would get dressed up, I would tease my bangs and douse myself in Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth. To be honest with you, I don’t remember any of the places my dad took me but I remember everything else. Like sitting in the living room waiting for him to drive around the block, parking the car, and knocking on the door. I remember him pulling out chairs and opening the car door. I remember that he brought me flowers once.
When the time for me to start dating finally came the bar had already been set. My dates had to come in and meet my dad. They had to be polite and respect my curfew along with everything else. (My dad even checked a driver’s license once but in his defense, the kid was kind of shady.)
I am now a mother myself, and you guessed it, I have a little girl. As a mother, we wish our daughter would just naturally grow up with a strong sense of self, a respect for their bodies and for others, and an expectation for what they deserve. But in a world where our girls are bombarded with breast implants, “reality” TV and mico-shorts with slogans on the ass, we know the only place they are going to get any of that, is from us.
If you’re thinking this has to be expensive than you might be going about this all wrong. It won’t be about where you go. Like I said, I don’t remember where we ever went but I know I was one of five kids in a one income household. Money was never abundant.
Bottom line is, someone is going to set the example, will it be you or the boy honking at the curb because your daughter isn’t worth him turning off his car and walking?
At 35 I am a strong woman. I am big on being spoken to in a respectful matter, I have never discounted my own self worth for the inflation of someone else’s. I always held myself up to a standard that, unfortunately, is no longer the norm. I probably wasn’t the most fun girl at the party nor was I the most “popular” but I was okay with that. And when people have asked why I am the way I am, I always say, “Because I have a really good dad.”