Fathers are so incredibly important to their daughters. Fathers are their daughters’ first love, first example of manhood, first protector, and first champion. Along with that, fathers are in a unique position to teach their daughters very important, empowering lessons. Here’s a list of five things every father should teach his daughters.
1—How to get their fingers dirty.
Life is full of dirty situations, and daughters need to know how to handle getting some of that dirt under their nails. My own Dad taught me how to hang drywall, spackle, and paint walls. That’s dirty work. We’d finish for the day and, depending on what we did, I’d either have drywall dust everywhere, spackle mud everywhere, or paint everywhere. I learned from my Dad that working hard and getting dirty were honorable things – accomplishments of which I could be proud. There’s still a wall in my parent’s home that makes me proud every time I walk by and see its finish. It’s the wall that my father used to teach me how to “finish spackle.” We were going to paint the wall a pale color, but the wallpaper kept showing through. We tried taking off the wallpaper, but it would not budge. Our only option was to place a very thin, incredibly smooth layer of spackle over the entire length, width, and height of that wall. It was tough, precise, messy, hot work. That was more than 10 years ago – I’m still proud of my work.
2 – That it is okay not to go to the party.
When I was a senior in high school, I didn’t get asked to attend the Senior Ball. My wonderful Dad took me on a “date” to get sandwiches and to test out the ’64 VW Bug we’d been refinishing. We were working on making it look like a ladybug. We spent the evening talking about the car and what we needed to do to finish the project. We bought supplies, planned the next steps, and then talked about college and life after high school. We talked about college, about how “stupid” boys could be, and how much I meant to my Dad. Even though I didn’t have a ball gown, or a fancy date, I felt special that night. I was asked my opinion about our project, and treated like an adult. What started as a heart breaking night ended with me feeling like I was the most precious, amazing, talented, wonderful young lady in the world. It was a really fun evening – and my Dad taught me that the “parties” aren’t really what matter. What mattered was how we treated others, how we made people feel, and that we did something meaningful with our life.
3 – How to use power tools, check the oil, and change a tire.
I can’t explain in detail enough how often these skills have made my life easier. I have built shelves for closets, helped to build a loft bed for my oldest, and fixed so many things because my father spent the time teaching me how to use power tools correctly and with confidence. Along the same note, when I earned my driver’s license – my father taught me how to check and fill the oil and change the tires on my VW Bug. These aren’t very technical skills, but again, they have helped me avoid other more costly issues or situations. These skills also helped me become more of an independent person, which built confidence in my abilities no matter the situation.
4 – That it is okay to be smart in math and science.
My Dad is a civil engineer. He would take me to his office and show me the plans he was working on. We would go surveying together. We would talk about the physics of curve safety. But, his interests didn’t include just work. On Sundays, the whole family would watch NOVA or Discovery Channel or History Channel. We would take his theodolite out and we would look at the moon, a nearby planet, or a lunar eclipse. His excitement for all things scientific was catching. Then there was math. He seemed to love helping me with my Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus. I’m sure, in reality, he was tired after work and didn’t want to spend an hour more working with math concepts. He taught me to thirst for all types of knowledge and work hard to understand difficult concepts. And, he taught me that his children were the most important things he worked on.
5 – To work through the hard times.
My parents’ hobby was to remodel their house. Many times, this meant long hours in the dessert heat, working on trim, doors, or floorboards. My Dad was always there with me, even when I thought no reasonable person should be working through the heat. He always had a positive attitude – even whistling a merry song – as we worked. He taught me that the hard times were only as hard as we let them be and that every situation could be improved with a little music and positive attitude. He showed me that a good work ethic meant not only working hard, but being cheerful while working.
Fathers are so important to their children. The lessons Fathers can teach their daughters are many, but the most important lesson Fathers can teach is that their daughters are loved for who they are and no matter what.