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.”
So here’s a list of the top 50 things that only dads with daughters know.
- Who Barbie’s boyfriend is
- What a pirouette is
- Glitter gets everywhere
- How to give the perfect cuddle
- How to make her feel special
- How to clean showers full of hair
- How to shop
- How to make everything better
- Girls like getting dirty too
- When Strictly Come Dancing is on
- Who the members of One Direction are
- How to dance with her on your feet
- You understand it will take hours to get into the bathroom
- That girls want to play football as well
- They don’t always want pink and purple
- How to skip
- That chocolate or ice cream covers a multitude of sins
- How important it is to colour co-ordinate
- That girls also like to build dens and climb trees
- How to play with dolls
- How to stop a nightmare
- How to break up a fight between her and her mother
- How to paint nails
- How to show enthusiasm when watching a girlie movie or a musical show
- Who the winner of last year’s The X Factor was
- How to dance
- How to ice skate
- How to French plait
- How to face paint
- That you always need to have a hair band handy
- How to bake the perfect cake
- How to roller skate
- How to have a perfect tea party
- What Taylor Swift’s latest hit is
- That she needs to change her outfit five times a day
- How to say ‘no’ gently when she asks to marry you
- The names of all four members of Little Mix
- How to behave at a pop concert
- How to tie ballet shoes
- How to cartwheel
- How to get chewing gum out of long hair
- What objects in the house make a great popstar microphone
- The dance moves to the Macarena
- How to make a pair of fairy wings
- How to be a make-up model and wear eyeshadow and lipstick
- That bedrooms will constantly remain untidy
- All the words to Olly Murs ‘Troublemaker’
- The difference between fuchsia and pink
- What to do for a spa day at home
- 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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