Raising Daughters Part 1 – Beliefs and Values
Over the next four weeks we will explore key tips from four key areas of life to help dads build their father – daughter relationship.
These tips are from a special E-Book series created by The Fathering Project to help dads who are big enough to reach out for advice and recognise that their most important job is fathering.
Whilst we can’t cover everything about dads and daughters in this short four – part series, we will endeavour to cover the key areas of information to help you on your father-daughter journey.
Beliefs and Values- part 1 of a 4 part series:
- Breakdown the gender stereotypes
- Be complimentary
- Teach her about money
- Teach responsibility
Breaking down the gender stereotypes
- Girls can get as much out of soccer, AFL or bicycle maintenance as boys. So, forget all the old stereotypes, and let your daughter know that you believe in her – whatever she wants to do.
- While encouraging things that were historically out of reach for women is important – it’s important that she knows enjoying feminine activities is OK too. Be careful to encourage her to pursue whatever her own interests are, without painting historically ‘girly’ things as less ‘cool’ or less ‘strong’. Let her know, if she enjoys it – you support it.
- Encourage her to be comfortable with who she is and discuss how historically, some things were ‘girly’ or ‘boys things’. Have conversations about all of the ‘things’ and give each that interests her your time and focus.
- Introduce her to your own interests and as wide a range of activities as you can – including sports, building, fixing and problem solving.
Value what is comfortable for her
- Like boys, girls can be sensitive about their appearance during their formative years. How they dress, do their hair and make-up and accessorise is an important expression of themselves – and (despite what they might say!) your support matters to them. So be sensitive if you want to comment on their appearance.
- A girl’s self-esteem is built on healthy, supportive relationships, especially with their dad, so be considerate of this. Try and be positive and complimentary, establish a ‘no put-down rule’. Because when you criticise her choices, you are criticising her.
- If you find yourself concerned about their choices with her appearance, carefully explore with your daughter how suitable their choices are, at school, at work, with friends. Ask her how her dress choices make her feel, and be open to really listening to her response and reasons.
- Reassure your daughter that being herself is enough; that she doesn’t need to behave in a way that makes her uncomfortable – just to conform with others.
Teach her about money
- Teach the value of money – what it’s good for and why it’s useful.
- Support her to search for and obtain her first job.
- When shopping, discuss value for money and critique marketing strategies.
- Introduce her to paying bills and working out a budget.
- Pocket money can teach kids the value of work, however it must be implemented with clear conditions, i.e. they earn it.
- Show the value of money and property by getting them to earn money and contribute to their next gift, such as a new phone.
- Encourage and expect your daughters to take responsibility for their actions, and be a role model through your own behaviour.
- Don’t play the “blame game”.
- Apologise when you do something wrong.
- Teach them to accept responsibility, apologise for their mistakes and learn from the experience.
Catch our Raising Girls podcast with Steve Biddulph on Friday 10 July.