For parents, raising a small child is no easy task, and it’s so easy to get caught up in the small day-to-day details: cleaning up spills, juggling pre-school and soccer practice, forcing down the vegetables.
Blogger Michael Mitchell of From Dating to Diapers has 50 rules for dads of daughters – take note of the abbreviated list below, and see the full thing here.
“1. Love her mom.
2. Always be there
3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you.
4. Savor every moment you have together.
5. Pray for her.
6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball.
7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.
8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.
9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.
10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.
11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”
12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money.
13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday.
14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.
15. Dance with her.
16. Take her fishing.
17. Learn to say no.
18. Tell her she’s beautiful.
19. Teach her to change a flat.
20. Take her camping.
21. Let her hold the wheel.
22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.
23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.
24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.
25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic.
26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.
27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often.
28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.
29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too.
30. Never miss her birthday.
31. Teach her to roller skate.
32. Let her roll around in the grass.
33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.
34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.
35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.
36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.
37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.
38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.
39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps.
40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.
41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.
42. Let her know she can always come home.
43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day.
44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday.
45. Learn to trust her.
46. When in doubt, trust your heart.
47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life.
48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.
49. The dating day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.
50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.”
Source: Michael Mitchell, From Dating To Diapers.