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First off…never underestimate the power a Prepared Dad can have on his daughter!
Most of my Prepared lessons will focus on hard skills and actual physical things you can have or do to be a Prepared Dad. This one is just a little different.
This lesson will focus on soft skills. After all, mindset and preparing your family is one of the most important things you need to do.
A Prepared Dad doesn’t stand alone.
You’re there to inspire, motivate, and train your family…but all of this occurs as a team. Today we’re going to focus on one member of that team- your daughter.
Before I get started, I have to give credit to Brett and Kate McKay at The Art of Manliness for inspiring this lesson with their article 5 Ways Fathers Hugely Influence Their Daughters. I’ll be quoting heavily from his article, and all credit goes to them.
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Mainly because of biology and society, men typically exhibit more of the following characteristics than women. Keep in mind that your daughter needs to see these represented in healthy ways so that she will know what to look for in a suitable husband later in life and so that she can add these characteristics into her own life in ways that fit her as a young woman.
As you read the list, think about how these characteristics could be helpful in Everyday Emergencies.
• Comfortable with conflict
• Drive to explore and strive for status
• Competitive and independant
Because of these attributes, “fathers are more likely than mothers to expose their daughters to novel and risky situations”.
“Dads are also more likely than mothers to encourage their daughters to stand up for themselves and think independantly.”
“Daughters with close and warm relationships with their fathers are less likely to have body image issues and more likely to report being happy with their bodies compared to girls who lack this connection with their dads.”
“Teenage girls with a close relationship with their fathers are less likely to experience eating disorders.”
That’s me and my girl Astrid running a 5K. She was only 8, and it was her third 5K. She’s already faster than me at 8yo.
With all that said, what can you do? Here’s a few simple tips to put into play immediately.
ONE- Roughhouse with your daughter.
That’s right, fight with her! I did the same activities with my daughter as I did with my boys- stickfighting, martial arts, boxing, wrestling, and more. My little girl is a beast!
Just a buy a cheap set of pads and start her on punching and kicking.
TWO- Teach your daughter how to do man things.
There are so many things regarded as manly activities that your daughter needs to know how to do. Anytime my daughter is around, I put her to work helping me- changing tires, changing oil, building things, demo work on the farm, etc.
Just yesterday I sent my 9yo daughter and my 6yo son out with my inflator to check all the vehicle tires and inflate them if needed. Such a simple task, but one that I’ve seen a lot of people clueless about at the gas station air inflator.
*Hint- These aren’t really man things. It’s just that most dads failed to do the job of training their daughters.
THREE- Do dangerous things carefully.
Encourage your daughter to take the same risks you do, just do it safely. Climbing trees, mountain biking, rock climbing, firearms training, and whatever else pops into your activities.
Credit for the “dangerous things carefully” quote goes to Jordan Peterson.
FOUR- Model physical fitness.
“It was found that the father’s, not the mother’s, total and percentage body fat was the best predictor of whether or not the couple’s daughter gained weight as she got older. Fathers also have an outsized effect on whether their daughter plays a sport in childhood. It’s dads (in general) who encourage their daughters to take up a sport, not moms. What’s more, it’s the father’s physical activity that has the most influence on a woman’s physical activity in adulthood.”
As a dad, you need to workout in ways your kids can’t emulate, so find ways or weights they can handle. Have them follow your actions, not necessarily your PR’s.
We hit the Iron Barn (a weight room in an old barn on my farm) a couple times a week, and all my kids have age and size specific workouts of their own, even my 6yo boy.
Buy a set of weights and get after it.
Hint- Buy a set of weights that are just hers. My daughter loves her pink and purple weight set.
FIVE- Don’t leave all the girl, daughter, or female issues to mom.
Mom is part of the team for sure. Don’t think I’m discounting a mom’s impact, but I’m writing to dads here, not the moms.
“If you notice that your daughter is struggling emotionally, don’t just leave it to mom to tend to your daughter. Be proactive, lend a listening ear, and provide comfort and support.”
“When dads regularly help their daughters with their homework, those daughters are less anxious about school. Mom’s help with homework has no significant impact on academic-related anxiety.”
Just last week I told my daughter that I think she’d make an excellent middle school cross-country runner in a few years. Just a passing thought. You know what she did based on that one passing comment? Next thing I know, I look outside, and she’s out jogging in the driveway to start getting ready.
SIX- Model authentic manliness to your daughters.
“Fathers also influence their daughters’ romantic lives, including dating behaviors, sexual activity, and the quality of their relationships with men. Girls who have secure and supportive relationships with their fathers are less likely to engage in early sexual activity and have a lower risk of teenage pregnancy.”
“Daughters who have a positive relationship with their fathers are more likely to have emotionally intimate and fulfilling relationships with their boyfriends and future husbands.”
A truly amazing book to read about this specific item is What He Must Be If He Wants to Marry My Daughter by Voddie Baucham.
Prepare Your Daughters for Danger
It’s a B grade action movie, but this is an amazing movie from the point-of-view of a dad training his daughter to be self-reliant.
The synopsis- A college student must draw upon all the skills her spy-father taught her to protect herself and save her father from weapons dealers.
I think it’s only available on Amazon Prime.
Another movie and TV series that’s much better is Hanna.
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