Being a father to a little baby daughter is often an awkward experience for some fathers. In our culture, men are often brought up be the unemotional stereotype and even if they grew up with sisters, some fathers find it hard to bond with their daughters. So is there really a big divide to cross? Not really. It is just a mental block and the following tips can help you.
Do not over think it
- Do not over think the relationship. You are her dad. She is your child. There is unconditional love on both sides. Simple!
- Do not worry about whether you can do a good job. As the Beatles once said "All you need is love, love, love is all you need". Once you focus on giving your child the love she needs, everything automatically develops from there.
Daddy's little girl
You are the first strong man in your daughter's life. Just like a son, she looks at you as a great role model and you will always remain one. You will be the one who opens the hard-to-open bottles, the one who ran behind her as she learned to bike, the one who took her to her first movie etc., etc., In this a daughter sees you no different from a son.
Start bonding early
Read our tips for new dads - 6 ways for new dads to bond with baby. From the day she is born, get involved with your baby - change her diapers, sing to her, talk to her.
When your daughter is young, do indulge in physical play with her. Toss her around, throw pillows at her, give her piggyback rides etc.,. Read Tumbling tots - Rough, physical play. The physical activity is good for her too.Play sports with her - cricket, badminton and more. It sets her on the path of an active lifestyle which is important for her health too.
Play her games
Tea party, Barbie dress up.... Let your daughter pick what she wants to play. Be a sport and sit with her. Drink tea. Help her find that missing accessory for Barbie. If you do not know much about her interests, go read about it on the Internet. There is tons of information available on any topic she is interested in.
Encouragement and compliments
Encourage her in her pursuits. Tell her when she does a good job. Or when she is brave. Or the castle she built. Or the painting.
Compliment her unique aspects as a girl - her pretty dress, her beautiful hair clip etc.,
Girls behave a little differently from boys in one issue. They like to talk through things. Boys may want answers given to them while girls like to talk through the issue. As a dad, you may have to consciously reign in your instincts to find closure and instead listen more. Let her talk through her thoughts, all she is looking for maybe a good listener. If you can be a good listener, it can lay the foundation for a good relationship with her even as she grows up.