What do girls really want from their dads? Here’s a look at five things that made the list for our readers:
While the latest toys, coloring books and Disney gowns are all great and make your little girls happy, they’re not you. They need your time, your attention. They want to spend the day with you blowing bubbles, counting clouds and drinking make-believe tea. They want you to scare them with ghost stories of vampires that eat human toes and hold their hands when they cross the street. They want you to find gold dust and fairy wings and unicorns. And sometimes, they don’t really expect you to do anything more awesome than be there. Just show up. That’s plenty.
Show them you love them. Tell them I Love You morning, noon and night. Tell them you love them no matter how smelly they get, or how sweaty or how naughty or how loud. You love them even if they failed math, broke the dishes and punched someone’s eye out at the playground for calling their Elsa dress ugly. You love them even if their two front teeth are missing, don’t know their alphabet and still take their blankie everywhere. You love them regardless of whatever they’ve achieved. You love them regardless of their failures.
Hug them even when their hands are sticky with cupcake icing. Hold their hand even when they smell like a wet dog (because they just hugged the family’s dog). Dance with them while they sing “Let It Go” at the top of their lungs. Hold them when they’re sick and don’t want medicine. Stroke their hair when there are monsters in the closets and under the bed. Hug them every chance you get.
Praise their every effort. Tell them how good they’ve gotten at hockey. How they got better at tying their shoe laces and finding their shoes. How their singing improved bit by bit. Make sure they understand how much you admire that new painting on the fridge. How they remember to make your cup of morning coffee—black, no sugar. Talk about how clean you find their rooms are, how much faster they read now, how high they can jump over puddles, how amazing they are at picking the red ones from the M&M’s they piled on the table. Make them understand how wonderful you find them, approve of them and think the world of them every day of your life together.
Tell them how proud you are that they can write their names with no missing letters. That they know what the capital of Georgia (Atlanta) is and that they know Santa Claus isn’t real and that they didn’t cry very much after learning that sad, awful truth. But most of all, tell them how much better the world is because they’re in it and that of all the times in your life, one of the proudest were those moments when you finally heard them call you “Daaaaad.”