These dads have changed their entire perspective on women, after having a daughter of their own. It's amazing how life-changing having a child can be, especially for those dads out there! These stories are heartwarming to read and very eye-opening.
He’s Making Sure She Doesn’t Date A Guy Like His Past Teenage-Self
“I am fiercely protective.
I wasn’t the best boyfriend when I was younger. So I try to I drill self-respect and confidence.
She is a strong-willed, intelligent, and ridiculously confident. She is beautiful, but is is so much more. So sure, I tell her she is cute and pretty, as everyone does. But more than that, I always tell her how smart she is, confident she is, how funny she is, how great a job she did. How great she does in school.
I know she is gonna be gorgeous when she gets older, so I make sure she places her self-worth on more than her looks and she doesn’t have to rely on looks. She’s too smart for that.”
Women Care More About What You Do With Them, Not For Them
“I have two daughters, 5 and 8, and they are the most beautiful, curious, and innocent creatures I have ever met and had the pleasure of sharing my life with. They are both so different and all I want for them is to follow their hearts, try to make good choices, and learn from the bad ones to be able to recognize the difference. What I have realized in my short time as a parent is all they want is your time and to know that you will be there for them no matter what.
They don’t care about the trivial things you buy; all they care about and remember are the silly, ‘improper’ things that you do with them, not for them.
Play dress up, have tea parties, let them paint your nails, forget about if it’s the right time or if you have stuff to do around the house, it will still be there. They may not be or they may just stop asking because you can’t be bothered to spend time with them and that is much, much worse.
I want them to know in their hearts that they are always my number one in mine, and I will do whatever it takes to make sure of that. I think if more parents did this, our world would be in much better shape.”
She Takes After Her Assertive Mother
“I have a 4.5-year-old daughter. She takes after her mom: loud, funny, outgoing, strong, assertive. A pistol.
Obviously, if I married a woman like that, I’m up on women’s issues, generally.
Having a daughter has deepened my understanding of female communication style and the need for reassurance, the need to be listened to and to be engaged with.
Took her for a hike through a wet meadow the other day looking for polliwogs. God, it was great listening to her talk about stuff and describing what we were discovering.”
His Daughters Really Made Him Realize How He Should Help Them View Themselves Ans Deserve Nothing But The Best
“I have raised some pretty awesome women. I say ‘women,’ because they are all grown, have jobs, and are all on their own.
I have learned a lot, and what I learned not only changed my understanding of women but also changed the way I parented.
I learned that some guys are intimidated by women who are smarter than them. As a parent, I had to work to ensure that my daughters learned to respect their own intelligence and not succumb to the pressure of appearing to become dumber than the guy they are with.
I had to learn to listen and sympathize, rather than to try and fix every problem.
I learned that the ideal woman’s body, as pervasively presented, is not achievable and that, as a dad, I had a huge influence on how my daughters viewed themselves.
I learned that boys and girls are very different in may ways. Boys may, in general, have more upper body strength and girls, in general, approach problem solving differently than boys. However, I never found anything that my girls couldn’t do that a boy could. My daughters have done everything from jumping out of an airplane, farming, and fixing appliances, to joining a dance group, playing in an orchestra and having a baby. As a dad, I had to learn to support them rather than itemize all the reasons some of their dreams wouldn’t work because they are girls.
I learned that a lot of guys are jerks and that, as a dad, one of my roles was to teach my daughters what type of behavior is not acceptable in a guy.
I learned that women’s health is a distinct category and that, as a guy, I can sympathize but I can’t possibly understand the emotions behind certain diagnoses. Learning this has made it so that I get angry when I see laws being passed that are intrusive to, or disrespectful to, women’s bodies.
What a long strange trip it has been.”
He Found Out That Women Tend To Be Extremely Marginalized
“Oh gosh, a lot of things. But probably the big one is seeing how there is this kind of passive pigeon-holing that happens to girls.
My daughter wanted to do Lego League, which is like a robotics competition for elementary school-aged kids, but there were a couple of non-lego portions, like a skit and a core values presentation.
First off, it’s overwhelmingly boys. My daughter was one of only a handful of girls. That said, all the kids were bright and contributed in their own way. But one pattern I saw repeatedly was this:
Start out as a cooperative. All the kids working together on all the parts.
After a very short while, a boy and his friend or friends (so 2-3 boys total) will start to ‘take over’ the highly technical (relatively speaking, of course) portions of a task. This includes programming, building complex components, etc. Girls are just kind of benignly marginalized in a way that even soft-spoken boys are not. Part of it is that the girls marginalize themselves. ‘Well, the cool parts are all taken, I guess I’ll go work on the (core values).’
As coaches, we tried to distribute it, but as far as I could tell, the girls just preferred to work on something quietly instead of jostling constantly with boys.
Please note I am not vilifying the boys at all. And yes there are differences between genders. Maybe the girls really just preferred working on the non-Lego part or at least convinced themselves they did to avoid confrontation (this was my daughter’s M.O.). But it really opened my eyes to the fact that girls really DO need encouragement to pursue ‘STEM’ careers. In fact, girls would benefit from having girls-only spaces to focus on it.
Before, I thought it was nonsense. Women and men might be different but reasonable people can accommodate and — uh-uh, nope. The genders ARE different, either by nature or nurture, I don’t know. But those differences can create situations where one gender doesn’t feel comfortable doing things he or she would like to do.
I know this could be perceived as some kind of social justice/feminist thing (maybe it is a little feminist), but I’m really not on a tirade. I just tend to be on the look out more now at work or at home to this kind of passive, benign pigeon-holing.”
“We’re Much More Alike Than We Are Different”
“Before I was a Dad I bought into the whole line about men and women are different at some fundamental level. It’s all stupid!
The reality is men and woman are all the same in our core. But society and cultures try to drive this imaginary split between the sexes, and we all buy into it because it makes a convenient scapegoat.
The reality is that we all have this ‘human core’ that’s all the same. We’re much more alike than we are different.
So now I’m completely relaxed when I talk to women, whereas before I was a dad, I acted as if women were some pan-dimensional beings that were impossible to understand.
Now I just talk to all ages of women, all the same. Just like any other dude…”
Never Underestimate The Strength And Determination Of A Woman
“The heartache my daughter went through after her first ‘real’ love broke up with her was heartbreaking. She cried for weeks and could barely socialize for months after that. It put many things in perspective that I as a man didn’t understand at her age. I felt helpless in easing her pain. At some point, I didn’t think she would ever get through it.
Then one day, she changed. Gone were the pj’s and her endless hiding in her room. She came out, she smiled, she looked beautiful, and she rejoined the world to find her happiness again. The pain she went through was unbearable, but she emerged from it stronger than most people I have ever known. She learned from the experience and used it to get what she wanted. Now, many years later, she’s happy and successful in career and family.
It’s all I could have hoped for and it made me realize just how strong and determined women can be when they realize what they want.”
Some Disney Princesses Are Giving The Wrong Message To Girls
“So my daughter is pretty cute. And the joke I constantly hear is ‘Oh, you better watch out when she gets older!’ Right, the whole protective father thing. I get that. …But I hate it. It’s like it assumes all women are pure and virginal, and all men are predators waiting to prey upon her. And that she isn’t going to be smart enough to protect herself from these predator guys. If I do my job right in raising her, it’s the guys who are going to have to worry about her.
Also, most traditional nursery rhymes and bedtime stories. Even stuff like Cinderella and Snow White. The message seems to be – be beautiful, and get married. That’s all you need to be happy.
I’ve stopped reading her these kinds of stories, and try to pick ones with strong, adventurous female leads, or failing to find any good ones, I make up my own stories.”
He Thought The ‘Mean-Girls Drama Started In High School, Not Elementary School…
“The thing that really shocked me was how early the whole competitive, political, mean-girls drama begins for young girls — elementary school.
It’s heartbreaking, really. Young girls grow up having to contend with double standards and a certain level of misogyny from boys/men. They’re conditioned to believe they’ll never do as well as boys in sports. When they try to assert themselves, they’re labeled as ‘bossy’ or a ‘brat.’ And when they do succeed they’re accused of trying too hard. Not to mention the constant bombardment of the objectification of woman from music, movies, TV and magazines. But while I knew my daughter would get that treatment when she got older, I didn’t realize she would also get it from other girls at such a young age.
Young girls can be so full of judgment and scorn to other young girls. Even in first and second grade, they try to manipulate each other and undermine the confidence in one another. They start establishing popular cliques (which, by the way, are often times reinforced by the popular mom cliques) and deter girls from pursuing unsanctioned interests or befriending unpopular kids. They judge each other on clothes, style and looks… and money. And just when you think you’ve found a group of girls who are grounded and level-headed, the next day you discover they are just as petty and prone to drama as the everyone else.
I really had no idea it was like this at such a young age for girls. And it crushed me watching my daughter try to navigate her way through this, and often times feeling so alone. I mean, she was still just a kid interested in cartoons and digging up worms, but she was already creating emotional walls and protecting her heart from those she wasn’t sure she could ever trust.”
This Dad Decided To Treat His Daughter As An ‘Adult-In-Training’
“Before I had my daughter I just didn’t know much about the REAL difference between girls and boys.
I have two brothers and not that many cousins that are female. I had a lot of friends that were female growing up but I had this crazy idea that girls were somehow fundamentally different. Once I found out I was going to be the father of a little girl I set out to learn about girls in a more realistic fashion.
I have just started going to college and thought that I would take a sociology class on gender. Welp, needless to say, I was intrigued but saddened at what I found. To avoid going into much detail or hopping on the soap box in this comment I’ll just say that I found out that there are real differences in boys and girls, but a lot of it has to do with parenting and the roles that we are socialized to perform. Some aspects of girls lives and how we view them have negative consequences for them. This was my watershed moment: I went from not knowing how I wanted to parent and what I wanted to do in life to knowing that I wanted to treat my child like the adult-in-training and tried to change the world somehow so that the path she walked wasn’t as screwed up as the realities that I was shown in that class.
In raising her I tried to leave out the gender nonsense and just focused on trying to teach her how to be a smart, funny, and kind person. She is four and what I found out along the way:
We don’t really have the ability to shelter kids from the stuff that is out there. gender differences are in mass media and are taught to other kids she kicks it with. She will pick this up. The best I could do was to always have her question why there seem to be these differences. I have picked up the habit of wearing her hello kitty clips and while other kids are fascinated that a big-bearded daddy could wear something that is girly. She understands that clothes do not make a person and boys and girls can dress however they want. But they still pick up on some nonsense. It’s sad really.
Teaching kids about life in a realistic manner is important no matter what the age.
Kids pick up on everything. That is a really awesome thing to watch how they develop language and thinking skills but it is scary how they can identify the subtext. Unfortunately, she already thinks of herself as ‘chunky’ but we have talked about differences in body image so I’m hoping that doesn’t lead to anything negative.
One thing I learned by having both a boy and girl: I would much rather prefer to clean up a girl after going to the bathroom. It’s just a lot easier. It’s not as bad at boys. Damn.
Girls are just as inquisitive as boys. Just have to let them be curious. ‘There are no dumb questions.’
Girls are not inherently innocent. My daughter can straight-up be a brat sometimes. I call her my ‘little pooh pickle’ sometimes.
One thing I will say about childbirth is that I thought that seeing childbirth would negatively affect me. Nah. My wife and women must have it extremely tough to be pushing babies out. It was beautiful to see how it all works.
The biggest thing I guess would be that girls will act different if you teach them to act different from boys. It’s hard trying to teach a 4-year-old things that a lot of adults don’t understand about gender performance. It’s hard trying to get her to try to form her sense of self outside of the box people try to push her into. Ugh, it’s hard just being a parent. But it is worth it.”
All She Wanted Was Comfort And Love
“I remember once when my daughter was about six or seven. She was playing with her Barbie doll and somehow managed to break the head off. She burst into tears. I picked up her Barbie and promptly popped the head back on. ‘There, all fixed!’
But the resolution didn’t seem to help. She was still bawling. After a couple of minutes of saying, ‘Look? See? All fixed? She’s not broken anymore,’ I finally just hugged her. Her crying subsided and her sobs finally began to shallow out.
And then it occurred to me: All she really wanted was to be comforted. The restoration of the doll meant less to her than the assuagement of her hurt feelings.
I suddenly had a moment of clarity: Wow. All these years of misunderstanding women, and simply shrugging off their concerns after I fixed whatever the underlying problem was…all a lot of them really wanted was to be comforted. I just never really got it until that moment.
And just like that, a LOT of blanks in my perception of women got filled. I thank my daughter for that objective lesson to this day.”
A Father’s Involvement Instills A Daughter’s Confidence
“My life changed so much. I used to be a womanizer and pursued relationships for the thrill. My early 20’s was a fun time for me. I was fresh from the military, in shape, owned a convertible and lived in a sweet apartment that I shared with my brother who was active duty air force and never there. I was always respectful to women, but never really considered that I may be leading them into thinking I wanted more than a good time.
At 24 years old I found out that one of the girls I was fooling around with got pregnant, and a few weeks later I found out I was having a girl. Her mother and I tried working through it but her addiction to drugs and stealing caused her to be out of the picture after the first year, leaving me to raise my daughter alone. I wouldn’t change a thing though… I love having my daughter with me. She is 7 years old now, homeschooled, in the gifted program and so creative.
I came to realize how important a father figure is when raising a little girl. I look at every female as ‘someone’s daughter’ and wonder if their father cared for them the way I care for mine. Looking back at most of the girls I had things with, the majority didn’t have father’s that were involved or there at all. I can see a direct link between a father’s involvement and a daughter’s confidence. I don’t really date much anymore, it has proven to be difficult because my priorities are around my daughter and securing our future.
I am not sure how my life would have been if I had a boy instead of a girl.”
That’s Just Too Inappropriate Of A Comment To Make Towards Her
“When my daughter was confident in her walking ability, she liked to hang on things. Several times when we were out in public, she’d put her hand on a pole and walk in circles around it. My own family would kind of snicker and do the whole, ‘Uh-oh, she’s starting early!’ thing. It was so infuriating.
How DARE you try to turn innocent child play into something you consider ‘dirty.’
My daughter shouldn’t have to grow up to feel embarrassed to play on a pole at a playground, adults should feel ashamed for thinking the way they do. The entire world is not viewed from one perspective, and it is certainly not an “adult-only” world.”
“A Woman Is The Sum Total Of Her Experiences”
“Hearing: ‘It’s a girl.’
Perhaps no series of words can evoke as much worry in a father, especially as a first-time parent. I wish that I could say those were the words that I heard. Rather, this is how I found out I was having a daughter: ‘Well, Mr. and Mrs., boys have hot dogs, and girls have hamburger buns. If you look right here at the screen (points to what looks like it may be a child, or possibly bell pepper), you can clearly see there is no hot dog. Congratulations, it’s a hamburger bun.’
Having a daughter is the most amazing experience I have had. You realize that gender differences are nowhere near as prevalent as people make them out to be. They climb on everything, they get dirty, they find words like ‘booger’ and ‘poop’ to be excruciatingly hilarious.
This completely translates into adulthood.
Just as every man is the sum total of his experiences, a woman is the sum total of hers. It’s disheartening to think that gender equality issues or equality issues, in general, can potentially prevent my daughter from leading the happy life that she deserves.
That is why I think that, in some capacity, every father that has a daughter who is a bit of a feminist.”
The Horrifying Truth Of His Daughter’s Future Partners
“It’s made me a lot more concious of my example. Whether she is gay or straight, as long as my daughter identifies female, she will use me as a template for choosing her little boy/girlfriends.
This horrifies me.
I have explosive rage issues. They’re under better control now than ever before, but I do NOT want my little girl thinking that is ok. So every time I snap at her or her mother, I sit down with her and apologize, paying special care to explaining why the way I acted isn’t ok, and making sure she understands that its up to me to control it, not her.
And then I privately hate myself for about an hour.
In general though, having little girl has made me take a stronger stand on issues I already cared about, like equal pay, reproductive rights, and gender roles not being forced.”
These Children’s Shows Are Giving Males More Of The Power
“Yes. I have two daughters (aged 2 and 4) and I feel like I notice Gender Inequality a bit more…in perhaps silly ways.
In team Umizoomi, the male character can create anything with shapes…the female? ‘Pattern Power.’ The dude can create a motorcycle or helicopter or yacht, and the girl can decorate it….pretty lame.
I wouldn’t think much of it but it is the same thing with Example 2:
Diego vs. Dora. Dora carries around like 7 items in her backpack…most of which turn out to be useless, but Diego has a ‘rescue pack’ that can turn Into anything her needs.”
The Truth And Honesty Is The Key To A Good Relationship
“I am 52 years old, I have two girls (age 23 and 24) and a wife that I love very much.
Before having children I always connected better with boys. My three ladies have taught me so much.
Here are some changes in my understanding of women:
1) People are unique, many do not fit the stereotypes.
2) Upbringing, experience and genetics matter more than gender alone.
3) Men and women tend to differ in some core ways.
4) Women value relationships, men are more concrete.
5) Women often multitask, men are more single-minded.
6) Women more naturally think of consequences men are more caught up in the moment.
As a dad, there are some things I have learned to avoid.
1) Joking at the expense of my girls. Boys often shrug off a joke and forget about it soon. Girl’s are more likely to be hurt deeply by my carelessness.
2) Raising my voice. Girls are far more aware of social cues. I may have to raise my voice to get a boys attention, but my girls notice cues I don’t even know I am giving. For years my wife and girls have told me about ‘THE LOOK’ that they notice when I hold back saying something dumb/angry/unkind. I would never have to be that careful with most boys.
The most important lesson I would want dads to know is – Always tell the truth to your girls. The need to know they can trust their dad/husband.”