When Joel first learned that his wife was going to give birth to twin girls, his heart skipped a beat. Having twins was unexpected, but twin girls! That was really intimidating.

The good news for Joel and other dads of daughters is that we testosterone-filled males can relate well to girls, and it doesn’t require a huge adjustment in our approach. We have so much potential power to influence their self-esteem, their independence, and their healthy body image. Many experts are even finding that our masculine approach is really a benefit with daughters, not a hindrance.

Sure, we have to be careful here, and most dads do need to try harder to understand their daughters and meet them on their level. Girls and boys are created very differently. But we don’t have to be overly protective or raise them to be dainty and fragile.

They need our comfort, but they also gain esteem and confidence from our more challenging, more adventurous style of parenting. We dads can — and should — expose our girls to the life lessons inherent in athletics and other physical pursuits.

Here are five ways dads can raise healthy daughters, taken from the organization Dads and Daughters at dadsanddaughters.org.

First, focus on what’s really important — what she thinks, feels, believes, dreams and does, rather than just how she looks.

Second, encourage her strengths and celebrate her savvy. Help her learn to recognize, resist and overcome barriers.

Third, respect her uniqueness. Make sure she knows that you think of her as capable of anything.

Fourth, help her be physically active. Jump rope; play basketball, Frisbee, hockey, soccer, and so on. Sports teach girls to set goals and persevere.

Finally, do what you can to make the world better for girls. Work with other parents to help prevent violence against females, the media’s sexualization of women, and other attitudes that marginalize girls.

Your daughter is waiting to hear how beautiful she is — for much more than just her looks. And dad, more than anyone else, she needs to hear it from you.

(Article contributed via web site at: http://www.fathers.com )

Have a great week with your family.


Michael Farrell
President, Fatherville.com