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50 Things Only Dads With Daughters Know

by LaurettaCWright
50 Things Only Dads With Daughters Know

It’s lovely to see the special connection that my husband has with our daughter. Having a strong male influence is a positive factor for girls growing up; in fact, studies have revealed how crucial the father-daughter relationship is in determining whether or not girls develop into strong, confident women.

These days my daughter is more of a tomboy, but when she was much younger, she liked dressing up, playing with dolls and, of course, watching the movie Frozen.

It always makes me smile when my husband starts singing songs from Frozen (I personally don't know any of them as I've never watched the film), but when I came across a Mattel study that looked at the top 50 things fathers with little girls will have mastered, I just had to share the findings.

I’m Just A Girl

The study found that dads of daughters know it is important to shatter stereotypes – and that girls want to play football, build dens and climb trees too – this is definitely true of our daughter.

How to behave at a pop concert, knowing when Strictly Come Dancing is on, and how to run a ‘spa day’ at home are things dads of little girls will be familiar with as they grow older.

Dads will also be a dab-hand at ice-skating, face painting, tying ballet shoes, colour-coordinating and baking cakes as well as being able to give the perfect cuddle. I think VIP has got a few of those sorted, although I'd actually pay money to see him try the ice-skating.

Knowing all four members of Little Mix, the winners of last year’s The X Factor and being able to name Taylor Swift’s latest hit also fall within the role of being dad to a daughter. I got the power, as Little Mix might say!

The importance of PMA* (Positive Mental Attitude*)

The study also revealed that half of dads know it is important to show their daughters that being kind and brave is more important than being pretty (hear hear!), and when it comes to empowering their daughter, 42% of dads tell their daughters that they can be anything. Girl power!

Dads also help their daughters prepare for the future with 54% thinking that encouraging their daughter’s confidence is one of the most important life lesson they can teach, while 51% try to teach her practical skills.

Letting their imaginations soar is key for a third of dads who believe their daughter’s dolls help foster imagination.

When dads join playtime, two thirds recognise that this helps build their daughters self-confidence and that time spent in her imaginary world is an investment in her real world – while four in ten wish they could devote more time to playing with their daughters.

Letting her make her own mistakes, teaching her the value of money at an early age and encouraging her to be brave are amongst the other ‘life lessons’ dads try to give their little girls.

And researchers found that for eight in ten dads with a daughter, empowering them to become strong young women is of utmost importance, which is great to hear.

Listen to the pros…

As Dr. Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University explains in her work, decades of research show that girls who have loving, communicative, supportive relationships with their dads from early childhood on are less likely to suffer from a lack of self-confidence and self-reliance as she grows up.

Wendy Hill, Brand Activation Director for Mattel, says: “A huge part of a dad’s role is to empower their daughters to be confident, imaginative and sure of who they are.

“Global research shows how time spent in her imaginary world is an investment in her real world, and the importance of nurturing the father-daughter relationship to raise the next generation of girls to know their limitless potential.”

50 Things Only Dads With Daughters Know

So here’s a list of the top 50 things that only dads with daughters know.

  1. Who Barbie’s boyfriend is
  2. What a pirouette is
  3. Glitter gets everywhere
  4. How to give the perfect cuddle
  5. How to make her feel special
  6. How to clean showers full of hair
  7. How to shop
  8. How to make everything better
  9. Girls like getting dirty too
  10. When Strictly Come Dancing is on
  11. Who the members of One Direction are
  12. How to dance with her on your feet
  13. You understand it will take hours to get into the bathroom
  14. That girls want to play football as well
  15. They don’t always want pink and purple
  16. How to skip
  17. That chocolate or ice cream covers a multitude of sins
  18. How important it is to colour co-ordinate
  19. That girls also like to build dens and climb trees
  20. How to play with dolls
  21. How to stop a nightmare
  22. How to break up a fight between her and her mother
  23. How to paint nails
  24. How to show enthusiasm when watching a girlie movie or a musical show
  25. Who the winner of last year’s The X Factor was
  26. How to dance
  27. How to ice skate
  28. How to French plait
  29. How to face paint
  30. That you always need to have a hair band handy
  31. How to bake the perfect cake
  32. How to roller skate
  33. How to have a perfect tea party
  34. What Taylor Swift’s latest hit is
  35. That she needs to change her outfit five times a day
  36. How to say ‘no’ gently when she asks to marry you
  37. The names of all four members of Little Mix
  38. How to behave at a pop concert
  39. How to tie ballet shoes
  40. How to cartwheel
  41. How to get chewing gum out of long hair
  42. What objects in the house make a great popstar microphone
  43. The dance moves to the Macarena
  44. How to make a pair of fairy wings
  45. How to be a make-up model and wear eyeshadow and lipstick
  46. That bedrooms will constantly remain untidy
  47. All the words to Olly Murs ‘Troublemaker’
  48. The difference between fuchsia and pink
  49. What to do for a spa day at home
  50. The words to Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’

I recently asked my husband specifically what he had learnt since becoming a dad of a daughter and he responded: “That daughters can be just as mischievous as sons!”

How familiar is your other half with some of these?

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50 Things Only Dads with Daughters know


Shaun Heathcote 3rd February 2018 - 10:48 pm

my daughter was more of a tomboy growing up until teen years then she became proper girly. never told her what she could or couldn’t do

LaurettaCWright 5th February 2018 - 9:13 pm

That’s great Shaun – and I’m sure you’re glad you didn’t.

John Adams 5th December 2017 - 10:35 pm

Mmm, not entirely comfortable with that list, truth be told. It’s clearly meant well, but it plays up to girly stereotypes. I’m the main carer for my two daughters and they love football and karate as much as french plaits (which I’ve never learned how to do) and ballet shoes. No mention of science and STEM subjects in that list from what i can see either, things my girls love.

LaurettaCWright 5th December 2017 - 10:45 pm

Liking your viewpoint John – and I have to say, I concur! My ten-year old plays Minecraft and football, hates anything ‘princessy’, doesn’t own any make-up and hates wearing dresses. She calls herself a tom boy and she’s proud of her individuality. Yes, she has had nasty comments from the ‘girly girls’ about her turning up to the school disco in jeans, t-shirt & trainers – but her unwillingness to follow the herd can only strengthen her character. At least that’s what I’m trying to teach her. Great to see you are also allowing your girls freedom of choice – too many parents restrict their kids because of how they THINK they should conform.

melissa major 28th November 2017 - 7:59 pm

HAHA I am sure my partner would agree with you! He puts nail varnish on the girls sometimes and does their hair for them too

LaurettaCWright 28th November 2017 - 10:06 pm

Ha ha! They have a daddy of many talents then!

Tanya Brannan 27th November 2017 - 2:13 pm

Some of these literally had me laughing out loud! My husband and I were blessed with Twin girls…. He had to learn very quickly!!

LaurettaCWright 28th November 2017 - 10:07 pm

Crikey – he was thrown in the deep end then! 😉

Leyla Preston 27th November 2017 - 10:16 am

I wouldn’t relate to this list as I am a mother of boys, but it does make me want to try for my third and hope it’s a girl! Great list 🙂 xx

LaurettaCWright 28th November 2017 - 11:05 am

Ah thanks Leyla – and good luck!

Sarah Bailey 26th November 2017 - 9:11 pm

Haha yes I think my dad would probably agree with a lot of these. He still knows how to make everything better, even now

LaurettaCWright 26th November 2017 - 10:54 pm

Ah that’s lovely – I think most dads do don’t they?!

Helen 26th November 2017 - 8:51 pm

This is such a cute list. It sounds like your daughter and her dad have an amazing bond.
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LaurettaCWright 26th November 2017 - 10:59 pm

Thanks Helen – they certainly do.

Mel 26th November 2017 - 5:13 pm

This is such a sweet list – and so true! I only have a son but my dad often knew things only dads with daughters would know when I was growing up

LaurettaCWright 26th November 2017 - 11:05 pm

Funny thing is Mel, most dads just take it all in their stride and don’t think twice about all the new things they’ve learned since having a daughter!

Kara 26th November 2017 - 2:59 pm

This made me chuckle. We took Abbey to see Girls Aloud for her birthday and Dad behaved dreadfully – he was at the front waving to Cheryl for the whole concert 😉

LaurettaCWright 26th November 2017 - 11:13 pm

Oh how funny! Men eh?! Bet your daughter loved it though!

missviclb 26th November 2017 - 1:48 pm

This is such a lovely post, thank you for sharing! I wonder how many my Dad would know, haha

LaurettaCWright 26th November 2017 - 11:21 pm

You should test him! 🙂

Melanie 26th November 2017 - 1:12 pm

What a lovely list of father and daughter relationship points. I’m sure my daddy could have related to this x

Patrick 25th November 2017 - 9:47 pm

We never had kids so while doesn’t apply to me,I think its still a sweet list.

LaurettaCWright 26th November 2017 - 11:15 pm

Thanks Patrick – interesting to hear if you have any male friends who know stuff you wouldn’t expect them to know because they have daughters!

Ali - We Made This Life 25th November 2017 - 8:44 pm

Such a sweet list! My husband adores our two daughters, there is definitely a special father daughter bond – and yes he knows lots of ‘girly’ things now!

Katherine Hackworthy 25th November 2017 - 6:26 pm

This is such a touching post dedicated to daddy-daughter relationships! The sacrifice that dads do for their daughters make me smile all the time.

LaurettaCWright 26th November 2017 - 11:34 pm

It’s a lovely thing isn’t it Katherine? I’m very lucky to have a super supportive dad myself – I just hope I make him proud too.

kirsty 25th November 2017 - 1:52 pm

I think my husband could certainty relate to this post a lot over the next few years as we’ve just had our first child and she’s now 8 months old! Both me and him are dreading learning to tie hair ahah

LaurettaCWright 26th November 2017 - 11:17 pm

Ah you’ll pick it up easily soon enough. Mind you, my daughter is now 10 and my husband is still rubbish at doing ponytails.

Rhian Westbury 25th November 2017 - 9:19 am

lovely list, even so many years later this would have applied to me and my dad when I was a kid x

Emma Raphael 25th November 2017 - 8:51 am

Loved this list, how sweet! We have a daughter and two sons in our house, and it’s lovely to see the bond with my husband his daughter. I am not sure he could attempt a french plait though, but I know he has painted nails and tied up ballet shoes before! 🙂

LaurettaCWright 25th November 2017 - 9:01 am

It’s so funny watching them try to paint nails and do hair – always makes me smile!

Susie Wilkinson 23rd November 2017 - 6:50 pm

It’s very true, my partner has accidently gone to work several times with nail varnish on, and he does a mean French plait!

LaurettaCWright 23rd November 2017 - 7:17 pm

That’s amazing – even I can’t do a French plait! #dadpower


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