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Growing up with a dad who has helped raise two daughters I didn’t really think about all the things a male would need to learn when raising girls. Now that I’m watching my husband, Derek, experience it with our girls, I have a whole new understanding to this dynamic. While this is by no means a list of everything fathers have to learn when raising daughters or do I assume all family lifestyles interact the way I’m showcasing here, this is the experience I’ve seen with the shortlist of lessons a girl dad has to learn when raising daughters.
Today’s post is not only written as an observation of myself but was a combination of answers given by fellow girl moms and girl dads I polled. Forward it over to fellow girl dads or soon-to-be girl dads so they can freshen up on what’s ahead with a life of a girl!
- Expect more talking during playtime. Boys can roll around trucks for hours quietly by themselves but girls seem to require more chatter during creative pretend play. Dads, don’t expect to just be sipping that fake tea she made. Describe it. Tell her what else you want with your fake food plate. Bring a baby doll along and know you’ll have to burp it and rock it while you fake sip your drink.
- There are so many more shoe options. There are more than just sneakers for girls. Boys may have play sneakers, school sneakers and MAYBE dress shoes. There might be lots of options when it comes to characters on their shoes or whether they are velcro or tied. Girl dads learn about all these other shoe categories and styles boys don’t have: jellies, Mary Janes, and strappy sandals, just to name a few.
- Boots can be for fashion. In a boy’s world, you put boots on for rain or to do outdoor activities like fishing or hiking. Girls meanwhile wear certain boots for those purposes but also have other boots worn JUST for the sake of fashion.
- Shorts or bloomers are required under dresses. Maybe this is more for the younger crowd that isn’t as discrete about keeping their dress down during playtime but dads have to learn that you can’t just throw a cotton sundress on for summer with your two year old.
- Girls like outdoor projects too! Even if mom isn’t into power tools, shoveling snow and the dirty part of gardening, it doesn’t mean your daughter won’t love those things! Engage them in these activities if they show an interest as really it’s all about time spent with dad.
- Picking out outfits can be a process. Sure, toddler boys can be particular about what they want (Lego batman or Superman today?) but girls seem to take a lot longer with this outfit choosing process. (and it only gets worse!)
- How to brush long hair. Most women know that you don’t start at the top to brush long hair but first do smaller strokes at the bottom to get the knots out first. Then you go back to the top. Took lots of tears for a girl dad to understand this.
- Long hair needs conditioner. A man’s shower may consist of one bottle which is a shampoo/body wash combo. But girls need much more, including shampoo AND conditioner.
- How to put in a pony tail. As a woman, I take this easy act for granted but watching a dad try this out, I can see it’s not intuitive for all.
- Put their hair up before applying sunscreen. Are you noticing a trend? Guys who never had long hair don’t really know what to do with it sometimes. I can remember Derek squirting sunscreen into his hands to put on Brielle then realizing how much hair was in the way that he couldn’t move when his hands were covered. Now he knows to put it up first but that first year at the pool had a greasy haired Brielle running around!
- Their accessories have accessories. Not only does your real daughter need her sippy cup, blanket and hair tie before getting in the car but her baby doll needs HER sippy cup, blanket and hair tie!
The girl dad in your life might also enjoy this post from two years ago, 10 signs he’s a good dad to a daughter!