"Any man can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy."
I remember this saying hanging in frame on different walls of my home as a girl. At first I didn't get it. Isn't it the same thing? But words are powerful; and as I became more aware of words, I became more aware that I definitely had a Daddy, and I was lucky for it.
In honor of Fathers Day, I thought I'd share my own personal tid-bits from a daughters' point of view about what it takes to be Daddy. Especially for all the new dads out there, read carefully; these tips are simple but trust me, they make a world of difference.
5 Things Every Father Can Do To Become a Daddy to His Daughter:
1. Tuck her in at night
My dad worked long hours and sometimes multiple jobs to support our family, but I remember that whenever he could, he was there to tuck me in at night. It was the only quiet, one-on-one time I got with him, and man did I love it. Sometimes it was a quick kiss and goodnight, others a long conversation, and more often in my teenage years, it was a stern lecture that I was locked into, but regardless of the context, it was cherished time.
2. Treat her mother well
Kids observe a lot. A LOT. Even when you don't realize it, they're probably watching. And the way you treat women, especially their mother, can make or break how you are seen in a child's eyes.
3. Tell her what she means to you
Girls need to hear it. They may not hear it from boys or other men for a while, but you can never say "I love you" enough. You can never tell her too many times that she is special and irreplaceable to you. She needs to know. Write it, sing it, say it, whatever you have to do, just make sure she knows it.
4. Tell her what she deserves
Some day, you won't be the only man in her life. If she doesn't know what it feels like to be valued, what it means to be respected and cared for, if she doesn't respect and care for herself, how will she know the opposite when she's in a relationship that lacks it? Because it will happen eventually. You have the power to teach her self-respect.
5. Give good hugs.
Your hugs should be unlike any other. Strong, loving, and bigger than words. There will be a day, or many days, when that's what she needs most. Whether she's a baby or 35 years old, give the kind of hugs that stick around even after you let go.
To this day, the name in my phone still reads "daddy."