4 Things Dads Need to Say to Their Daughters Like, Yesterday

Dads, we know you love your daughter.  And you know you love your daughter.  But you might be surprised at much she needs to hear it.  In the research with teens and preteens for For Parents Only, I found that these four phrases have a lot more impact than you might think.  And as you’ll see, they are especially powerful and important when coming from a father.  Use them often!

1. “I love you, sweetheart.”  Until she is married, you are the main guy in your daughter’s life.  So this gives you a special responsibility: countering the little voice inside the head of most girls (95%) and women (80%) that secretly wonders Am I loveable?  Where you as a man probably have a little voice that asks Do I measure up? you might be shocked by how much your daughter doubts whether she is worth being loved and accepted by those around her.  And feeling loved by a man is one of the main ways girls tend to look for an answer to that question.  So as you hug her, affirm her, and tell her just how loved and loveable she is, it is far less likely she’ll feel the need to go looking for love in all the wrong places.

2. “You’re beautiful.”  Just as girls doubt that they are lovable, they really doubt that they are lovely.  We women can be really hard on ourselves.  We see all our flaws.  And every magazine rack your daughter passes screams at her that how she looks is not enough.  Your daughter needs to see evidence that she is beautiful, and the most healthy, human evidence of that at this time in her life is getting that verbal affirmation from you.  When she comes in dressed for school, tell her she looks great.  If you need to ask her to adjust her attire, make sure she knows you think she is beautiful, regardless.  Even consider taking her shopping every now and then.  She will love seeing you light up when she presents herself in a way that lights her up.

Shaunti Feldhahn
Shaunti Feldhahnhttp://www.shaunti.com
Shaunti received her graduate degree from Harvard University and was an analyst on Wall Street before unexpectedly becoming a social researcher and best-selling author. Her groundbreaking research-based books, such as For Women Only, have sold more than 2 million copies in 23 languages and are widely read in homes, counseling centers and corporations worldwide. Shaunti and her husband Jeff live in Atlanta with their teenage daughter, their pre-teen son, and two cats who think they are dogs. She blogs here.

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