Grown Up Daughters Share The Greatest Things Their Fathers Ever Did For Them.

Many fathers wonder what they can do to give their child the best start in life, but great fathers wonder how to strike the complex balance of supporting without being overprotecting.

Here are some daughters sharing the stories of the best things their fathers did to support them without being overbearing.

Many thanks to the father who posed this question and those who responded. You can check out ore answers from the source at the end of this article!

1/10. My father was always a bit withdrawn, not very affectionate at all. For a long time growing up I wondered if he really wanted to be a father, and if he loved me like my friend's fathers did.

Then one day he sat me down and told me that he knew he wasn't very good at expressing himself, and that his father had been the same way. He had had a near death experience at work (a piece of rebar almost fell right onto him) and from that day on he decided to be the most loving father he could be.

I miss him.


2/10. I am 33 years old and still, to this day, look up to my father. He is amazing and we still talk almost everyday. Over the years I have thought a lot about why we are so close and I think there are a few reasons.

My Dad included me in his activities. When my older brother bought a 66 Mustang to restore, I was about 7 and my Dad made sure I was in the garage learning how to change spark plugs and oil. We watched basketball games together and he showed me how to paint model cars. He never felt that because I was a girl I couldn't interact with him on a hobby level.

He also, though, listened to and appreciated what I liked. I was in ballet for 13 years, and he was always at every recital, cheering me on. He wrote notes and left them in my lunch. He rarely yelled at me, but I knew when I disappointed him because he would look down, sadly, and say nothing. That was the worst.

But the biggest thing is how he treated my mom, and still does. He adores my mom. He opens doors for her, he still brings her flowers, and I loved how he was with my mom. He always just seemed so natural in everything he did. He got colon cancer in 05 and it was devastating for me.


This response continues on the next page.

It was long while he went through chemo, etc, but he is alive and well now.

Looking back, I love that my Dad always respected me, even when I was young. Never treated me as a lesser. Rambled, but hope that helps. I have two daughters of my own, and I love watching my husband have his father-daughter relationships with them!


3/10. Be the kind of person you want her to end up with, because she will end up with the kind of person you were.


4/10. This applies to any parent/child dynamic, but if she gets a good grade on a test or does something well in school, praise her hard work more often than her smartness. Studies have shown that the kids who are praised for their smartness have a harder time in a lot of ways.

I'm nearly through with college and I'm STILL trying to get rid of the "I'm smart so if I can't get something right the first time it must be impossible" mentality. When I fail at things (like playing an instrument) I don't feel like I haven't tried hard enough, I feel downright stupid. You can avoid this for your daughter!


5/10. Be inclusive. Never discourage a hobby or interest of hers. Ask he to help you with jobs around the house, paying attention to the things she likes and the things she doesn't. Be a good example.

Kids are sponges, they take in everything you do and will model themselves on it. When she starts not wanting you in her life (and she will) give her space, she'll come back around. Always always tell her that no matter what happens, she can still come home.


6/10. I really believe I have the greatest father on the planet. Sometimes I think about how I'm getting married soon, and I tear up just thinking about him giving me away. When I was little, I used to go away for the whole summer to visit family in Europe, and he would record (on vhs) every episode of Hey Arnold for three months so I could come back and watch them.


Here are some things he has done that make me love him so much:

He taught me financial independence as early as possible. As soon as I turned 16 (I think?), he got me a debit card and would put some small amount of money on it every month (like 75$ or something). He then got me a credit card as soon as I could have one, to start building my credit history. It was my responsibility to go online, check my debit balance, and pay for everything with my Amex card and pay off the bill in full every month. I have the same cards today, as a 23 year old.

He made me get a job as early as I could have one. I worked since 14 in a bakery. He told me if I ever needed more money, just ask - he just wanted me to have the experience of working for my money. I only worked 1 day/week, but I still remember the experience.

He and my mom let me drink pretty early, as long as I remained a good student and did so responsibly. We are of European descent, so alcohol was never a taboo. When my friends and I would go with my parents to their shore house, he would get us a six pack (for the four of us, we were 17) and let us drink in the house. For the record, none of us have substance abuse issues. It was just amazing to have a father (and mom) who trusted me enough to let me do adult things, as long as I behaved as an adult in other areas of my life (school, work, etc).

He praised me when I deserved it. I remember when I first started being a great student, in middle school, how great it felt just to hear him tell me how smart I was. It inspired me to do even better, and I am now very successful academically. The key was, he didn't over-praise me, either. He didn't give me that "A-for-effort" crap - if he saw me get lazy, he wouldn't say anything. But if I was working hard and doing well, there was nothing better than his praise.

He was never judgmental, and because I never had to be afraid of him telling me I was stupid/punishing me, etc, I went to him with everything. In high school I started dating a questionable boyfriend - let's say he was a few years older than me. It concerned my dad but he never forbid me from doing it - he just asked to meet the guy and have a talk with him. He told me if the guy really cared about me, he wouldn't mind having a chat. The guy and him talked for like 20 minutes, I still don't know about what, but that's how my dad handled it. He didn't give me any of that "no because I said so", he just kept an eye on the situation to make sure I was safe, while still letting me experience it on my own.

This is an important one - he never talked crap on my mom or her family members when things went sour between them. They got divorced but remained very good friends, and even live a couple house apart now. But things were bad for a while. They would argue a lot, and yell. Things might not always be perfect between you and your SO, but the way you behave in the worst of times will determine how honorable you are in her eyes down the road. Whereas my mom would always tell me, "your father this and that yadayadayada" and say bad stuff about him when he wasn't around, he would do the opposite. He would only say, in her absence, "your mother loves you. it's hard for her to be alone right now. be nice to her, she needs it'. I know for a fact she was pretty mean to him, but he never said a single bad thing about her. I think back on that and how much it must have taken to be such a great man, and I'm proud to be his daughter.


7/10. Never ever ever make a joke about her appearance and when she's older, if she doesn't have a boyfriend do not ask her why/make jokes about it/tell her she might be gay. Seriously don't.


Just always always support her and cuddle her and make good comfort food when she's feeling bad. When she starts having her TOM have ice cream and hot water bottles ready. But recognise when she's manipulating you and do not let her do it because then she won't respect you.

These are just the things I love and also would change about my dad. But I think he's the best dad in the world despite all his flaws.


8/10. Treat women well.

Your daughter is going to grow up in a world where nearly everyone will judge her for her looks and tell her in a variety of ways that that's the only thing that matters. Respect women, don't place a huge emphasis on looks because it's damaging. Also, make sure you praise her for her hard work so she learns that not everything is inherent. My niece is an extremely bright 5-year-old, but I already see the damage setting in.

Everyone praises her for being smart and pretty. The result? She gives up immediately if she doesn't succeed right away and is already concerned with her looks. I nearly cried when she asked me at 4-years-old, "Am I fat?"

The following is from "Cinderella," the one starring Brandy. I was recently reminded of this particular scene a few days ago and decided to include it. It just about sums up what to do.

Cinderella: I doubt he has any idea how a girl should be treated.

The Prince: Like a princess, I suppose.

Cinderella: No, like a person, with kindness and respect.


9/10. I have always felt protected by my dad. Now, the only thing he has ever done that was stereotypical over-protected father was clean his guns while I brought my (then) boyfriend over for the first time. He was just being funny--kind of.


I felt protected by him because he's provided me with self-worth, self-respect, and self-confidence. He's taught me how to protect myself. He's always challenged me intellectually and he's always forced me to be athletic. He was bullied as a kid so I think it was his mission to provide his kids with the ammo he didn't have.

In high school I decided to join wrestling. A friend had asked me to join. I had no idea that there were no girls on the team. I thought to myself, "well, it looks fun and I've already made it this far so I'm not quitting now". I came home and told my parents. My dad was absolutely devastated that I was quitting softball. He tried not to show it though and he watched the highlight video my coach gave me to bring home. "It's all guys?" he asked. "Well, I guess we'll see how it goes". Well, I stuck with it. I stayed extra hours- first one on the mat and the last one to leave.

From the first day I actually got to wrestle in a tournament- my dad was at EVERY SINGLE one of my wrestling matches. He actually would sit for the whole tournament and video taped my team mates. He would sit kind of far away and I'd ask him to move closer and he would always make sure that it wasn't bothering me. HE NEVER HOVERS.

My dad even sent me to a bunch of wrestling camps but that didn't mean the most to me. What meant the most was coming home to him watching my recorded match on TV trying to figure out what I was doing. "What's that move where you do that thing?" he cared. He cared so much. He made tapes for all the guys on my team of their matches and my parents really became a mother and father figure for the whole team.


10/10. Don't talk about what women look like. Your wife is looking particularly nice or your daughter is dressed up? Sure, tell them they look pretty. But otherwise shut your mouth.

Once as a teenager I watched Oprah with a friend's dad who up until that point had been super nice and interested in my college/career plans. Then while watching Oprah he began a critique of what every woman looked like. Nothing obscene, but a word or two about how great one looked while the other one needed to hit the gym. All I could think is "No wonder your daughter is the most neurotic about her looks girl I know."


A few times since then it has come up that girls I've known who were particularly hard on their looks had dads who regularly commented on women's looks. I don't think they were totally to blame any more than magazines or someone's mom is totally to blame for this kind of neuroticism, but I think it did send the message that what a woman looks like is super, super important.



My dad and I don't hug, and we don't say I love you. For some reason this is just not what we do. Don't let this happen to you!

Also, be sure that you are the guy in her life that she can trust and count on. My dad is not a bad guy, but I have never felt close to him. Now I form attachments too quickly with other men and I am never single. If a guy breaks up with me, it's like my whole world is falling apart, even if he isn't that great. I think it's because I don't feel like my dad is the main man in my life.



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