50 Rules for Dads of Daughters {by Michael Mitchell}

I was in tears as I read through this list, as I’m sure many grown daughters will be. Mothers – bookmark this list of rules and encourage your daughter’s daddy to read them, memorize them, and put them in to action. And, to all you Dads out there – be sure you pay close attention and heed these wise words.

About Michael Michael Mitchell is an (almost) thirty-something dad who blogs daily tips and life lessons for dads of daughters at lifetoheryears.com. He spends his days practicing the arts of fatherhood and husbandry, while attempting to be a man of God and a professional raiser of philanthropic funds. On the rare occasion he’s not tied up with the aforementioned and other pursuits of awesomeness, he enjoys fighting street gangs for local charities and drinking from a cup that’s half full. Bookmark Life To Her Years, follow Michael on Twitter, and “like” him on Facebook for more “rules”.

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

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. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

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.

Photo Credit :: Danielle Rocke Toews

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

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. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

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. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

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. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

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. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

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. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This 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.

Photo Credits can be found at the bottom of Michael’s original post.

**9/15/11**This post has resonated so well with daughters and fathers, mothers and grandfathers, and has received many beautiful and heartfelt comments. As much as it pains me, I have had to disable the comment feature. If you have a comment you would like for the author to see, please contact him via his blog, or email me directly at christineATfromdatestodiapersDOTcom and I’ll be sure to pass it along to Michael.


    • kate says

      i, for one, appreciate this critique. making observations does not mean you’re throwing the whole thing under the bus, folks.

      • Cassandra says

        Wow people i acctaully have to agree… being in a biracial relationship i would like to see more diversity, but i also realize that most of the pictures are from the 50’s or so… and that seems right for the time period. People can still appreciate the beauty of the list and also wish the pictures were different.

        • HGK says

          We don’t live in the 50’s anymore Cassandra. If we did, I’m sure you’d have a much different experience being in a bi-racial relationship.

    • Randy Miller III says

      Sure there is. They all have different hopes, dreams and ways of thinking.

      Oh, you mean something petty like skin color?
      Do us a favor and don’t have kids.

    • HGK says

      This is a legitimate question and as a white man, one of the first things I noticed. Though the list is beautiful what this post is also saying is that all these beautiful things only apply to white daddies and daughters. This isn’t the case of course, so why do the pictures only reflect ONE race?

      • Harry K. says

        No, it’s NOT a legitimate question, and that it’s one of the first things you noticed is telling. How about the fact that all the pictures are from vintage photostocks, and maybe, just maybe there weren’t a lot of photos of blacks or asians or whatever in them. And maybe, just maybe the person who put this together wasn’t really paying attention to what the skin color was, and so didn’t throw in a token minority to appease the people who look for racism under every rock. I look forward to the the day when people look at skin color the way they do eye or hair color. I can see that day is still quite a way off.

      • william says


        you need to find something else to raise a stink about – it is unknowns like you that get stuff (crap) started – get a life – raise some kids and you will have more to worry about than “race” – i would want to hope your parents would be disappointed in your comments – i am! come to texas and we will show you some manners. i thought it was fabulous!

      • Bonnie C says

        Who said they only apply to white daddies and daughters? Who told you that? This has nothing to do with the races. And if you can’t figure that out you have some head problems, or are you sitting on your brains??

      • HGK says

        WOW! The bigotry is strong on this blog. I suppose it wouldn’t even amount to much to ask all you white folks what it would have looked or felt like to read a blog entry like this with all the photos containing people of races OTHER than your own?

    • Brad says

      that’s because most of our children actually know who there father is. just stereotype for you since only someone that is racist himself would notice such things get over it!!!!!

    • Jess says

      Diversity? You obviously didn’t notice most of the pictures look like they are from the 40’s – 60’s lol. I don’t think that word was in Webster’s back then. :)

    • Jenn S. says

      I was thinking the exact same thing. And, though this is a beautiful piece, Dad gets to be the hero. The one who buys ice cream and give out puppies and hugs. The gender binaries are clear.

    • Nicole says

      Indeed, a valid observation. For those in such disbelief and opting to “cut your eyes” at this are clearly quite dillusional.

    • IgnoranceIsNotAVirtue says

      I fought an inner battle as to whether to reply to your post; I lost (in more ways than one). Diversity depends on perspective. Skin color is only one way a person can be different. The photo of the WWII era woman playing baseball as an example. At the time, it was a first. The photos don’t indicate nationality, ethnicity or religion. Any one of those people could be Jewish, American Indian, Hindu, Christian, physically handicapped or mentally handicapped or whatever. Everyone is different in there own way. If you only see these people as white, I encourage you to take off the blinders and open your heart(s). I don’t know you or any other person posting here but I can tell you I have put my life on the line more than once for people of many different faces, beliefs, and mental and physical impairments. I never looked at their skin color to decide how I was going to help them; I just did. I wasn’t raised to hate anyone although where I grew up it was common. Do you really want to live your life with hate in your heart? Look at the people who are practicing murder of men, woman and children because of their religious beliefs or just because they are of a different tribal group. Animals practice discrimination; spend some time on a farm and you will see what I’m talking about. We’re not animals. We have the gift of free thought. Why don’t you express your freedom and stop pointing out the differences in people and start thinking of similarities. That is what this piece was meant to be but it was hijacked by people(not just you) who want to be petty and anonymously make people feel bad about themselves and others. I’m a dad with a daughter. I’m white and over 40. I grew up in the deep south and still live there. I’d die for my family and my way of life. If you were in trouble I’d help you too. Let’s lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.

    • Juan Carlos says

      It’s interesting… there will always be people that will try, no matter how awesome something may be, to find the negative in it. This is a magnificent list of advice, and you’re hating on the pictures. Frankly, if one were going to add pictures to something like this, the way it was done is the RIGHT way to do it. My list, my vision, my way of looking at the world. This is MY gift to YOU, now you map it into your life as you see fit. That’s what the author is saying. Hell, there needn’t have been pictures in the first place, and I barely noticed them since I was focusing on the terrific prose that you’ll find between the pictures.

      In fact, if the author had intended to appease those like you that were bound to emerge from the woodwork, the photo-collage would have been a really annoying mix of pictures, just like TV commercials that make sure they hit all the minorities so someone like you won’t pop up and scream. But of course, you can’t get them all and inevitably someone will complain. Hey, there isn’t an Asian trans-gendered left-handed blind father in these pictures!

      I know AJ, the world is a big, tough, mean place and it’s out to get you. Nothing is ever as good as it seems. The ice cream is probably melting, the cake wasn’t baked properly.

      You need to read this list, every day. Perhaps twice.

  1. says

    For #21, that’s OK if the keys aren’t in the car. Driving with a child on your lap is so dangerous for the little one. don’t risk it! But when my kids played with the wheel when the car was turned off, they loved it. When you have to move the you find out how strong a two-year-old really is!
    Lorena´s last blog post ..What does that really mean to you?

    • angel says

      I think the author meant in a safe and controlled environment, not on a busy road. when my son was 2, as soon as we got to our street (a cul de sac) I would put him in my lap and let him “drive” home (meaning he could steer while my hands were on the wheel, and we were going no faster than 3 mph). it was completely safe and he loved it!

    • says

      I would let me kids sit in the passenger seat and lean over with one hand on the wheel. Just as effective as sitting in the lap. I also taught them how to shift from the passenger seat on back roads. They loved that.

    • csquared22 says

      Shush up Lorena. This is for dads and daughters. Any little girl (or boy) tha hasn’t sat on her dads lap in a parking lot or deserted road and held the wheel, hasnt lived!

    • Dad says

      If your two year old is stronger than you then you need to hit the gym! What world do you live in where a responsible parent using half a brain can’t let their kid sit on their lap and drive the car up the street? We’re not talking route 66 or Times square. I imagine the excitement must be insane at your house when the kids wear full body gear to color.

      • Lorena says

        Wow, hostile. And judgmental. I have a friend who had a family-member killed while riding on his dad’s lap in a car. Of course they wouldn’t have done it if they felt there was any risk to the child. I see people driving through the streets of town with kids on their laps, going the full speed limit. Some people don’t realize the potential for harm. Which may not happen 99.7% of the time. But if it happens to you, or someone you know, you never want to see it happen again. Letting a child drive in a very controlled situation when they can reach the pedals is very different. I did not make that distinction in my original comment.

        And I didn’t say the child was stronger than me, I said I was surprised to realize how strong the child was. And “wear full body gear to color”, I have no clue where that comes from or what it has to do with anything. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you on a point, doesn’t mean they deserve to e attacked. I have not given any of my comments as attacks, so it surprised me to have that directed to me in response, although I knew many would not agree. I thought there would be opportunity for all to respond without being attacked.

  2. Teresa says

    As I read through this list, I thought most of them apply to our sons as well with a posible slight variation.

  3. Khyman says

    I see that the author this listing could not find any culturally diverse images which explains some of items on the list. Great thinking and talking points, but more importantly encouraging fathers to be present and active in the lives of their daughters. Wonder what the author would say about Mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, or fathers and sons.

    • says

      It’s not the pictures that are important. Quit looking for the political correctness in everything. Look at the words, read them, adapt them to your own situation/life/social status or whatever “culturally correct” descriptor you choose. It’s the message that is important.

    • AH says

      seriously, your first comment is about the photos? come on.
      how would that explain the items on the list? its their opinion, and a darn good one. get over the photos and read it for what its worth.

    • Pat says

      My son died at 14, later never came.I regret not just doing it. So when my daughter asks I make the time for now. I will not regret another minute in my life.

  4. Daniel says

    I actually have an amendment for #49. Her concepts for dating (the who’s and the how’s) will come from you or from her friends. Show her how it ought to work. It won’t make it any easier on you, but it will make even more difficult on the wrong element.

    • CamIAm says

      Teach her how to date by taking her on daddy daughter dates. My dad did and I made sure any boy i went out with treated me right because I knew what to expect!

  5. says

    it really nice to know my father was right on track,….. even before this was printed i’m 42. What is even more elating for me is to know these are coming naturally to my husdand for our to girls 7 and 3. Keep up the good work , God bless you for being a natural.

  6. Sharon says

    I loved these things. It made my heart a bit sad though as I’m a single mom whose ex doesn’t live in the country and hasn’t seen my daughter for 6 years. :(

    • Babby says

      That sure is his lose. they just don’t get how important it is to be there for their kids. you’ll just be closer for it.

    • kate says

      that’s okay, family is family. you don’t *need* a father in order to grow up feeling loved and respected.

    • Jules says

      No reason for you to be sad, Sharon. You make a family wherever you are. Find a good church home and point out the men who treat women well. You may even ask one to include your daughter on some of his daddy-daughter dates… Or what about a grandfather figure? If you ask someone to fill in, and they are married, ask the wife for permission. Make sure she knows you aren’t trying to but in – just that you want for your girl to have a great example of men who treat women right.

  7. says

    this is all so very true and so hard to grasp that fast but you blink and it is gone …………..go for the guasto while you can Daddy’s

  8. jones0674 says

    As Im reading this my daughter’s thirteen yrs young. Im very happy to see alot of whats been mentioned I have done in her earlier yrs and still doing like…dancing, respecting her mother, basically letting her be her. What upset me the most are the things that Daddy’s do with their Daughter’s while they are babies. I sooo miss those times of her being 100% reliable on me to take care of her for everything…playing games…ect…ect…. Alot of people dont take the time to smell ALL the roses along the way, once you pass them all you have are the memories. Savor every second like it’s your last….

  9. Daddoo says

    With the tire-changing, teach her to drive a manual transmission (stick-shift). And teach the process in order: brakes FIRST, not waiting until they’re urgently needed. And make sure she pays attention, but make time to be distracted by the butterflies.

  10. Ler says

    And where is the list of the 50 ways to deal with the effects of being abandoned by your father. This author, while he means well, is living inside a delusion that every many that has a daughter wants one. Mine did not. But he got one. And he left. And reading this list just makes me want to scream because my story is the one most often told. Not the story about the little girl who’s Daddy loved her so much that he took her to the splash park every day. This author is doing just as much of a disservice to young women as the magazines and movies he puts down in his list. I will not share this with anyone, especially not my little sister. I love her too much.

    • amanda says

      Get over it. Not everybody runs. My dad left too, but this list still made me smile. Nobody forced you to read it. This is a touching, sweet list, & makes me excited for the day I have a daughter, & my husband can share all these joys with her.

    • says

      AWW, im so sorry Ler. U deserve better. Ur post made me sad as i have had a somewhat similar experience with my father. My father got my mother pregnant in high school and denied being the father. When i was 18 yrs old and had my first child, i decided to look him up. we have tried to have a relationship over the last 20 yrs but he has never lived up to my expectations, nore tried to in my opinion. I have decided to let it go, let it be and i am very grateful that i had a loving mother that wanted me. she passed away 6 years ago but i am thankful for the time i had with her.

    • tw says

      I’ve been right where you are, I now have a infant daughter and she is blessed to have the wonderful daddy that I didn’t. However I disagree with you, the author did a wonderful deed, this is a list of reminders for dad’s to always keep their children first in their minds eye as well as their hearts. Maybe it will help a new father who doesn’t know what to do to be there for his child, maybe it will help a dad that is having a rough time renew his relationship with his child. Either way I don’t believe this was meant to be hurtful to those children whose fathers chose not to be a dad, and many people don’t realize that there really is a difference. I hope that,if you so chose, one day both you and your sister find wonderful men that can be this kind of daddy to your children.

    • Jared says

      Ler, we don’t live in a perfect world and obviously you are in pain after reading this. This list is more of a call to arms for the grown up boys out there to be real men with real love and responsibilities for their families. In a day and age where the rights of the individual are held so more highly important than the needs of the family/society it’s no wonder your story is common.

      The sad truth is, even if you find a man compliant with this list, you won’t be able to accept him. You will be suspicious of his hidden agenda. You will be guessing time frames on how long it’ll be before you wake up and he’s gone. It’s not his fault, it’s your father’s. Be angry at the correct person. There is always hope and I’m sorry you are unable to see this.

    • jonica says

      While I am very sorry that your dad abandoned you – I believe you misunderstand the point of this article..this is to encourage them not to leave! IT did NOT do a disservice to young women! It’s geared towards fathers in the hopes of changed current cultural trends. How sad that you missed that point. Thank You to the author! What a wonderful piece! Sharing it with everyone!! Things can not change if we aren’t made aware of it! Good reminders! Maybe you should write a list of ways to deal..that’s more proactive than complaining about someone’s else’s heart! Work through your bitterness don’t spread it!

    • says

      Gosh, it must be a terrible feeling to know that you are the product of an uncaring father. I see bitterness, anger and jealousy in your writing. I would say that I feel bad for you but I suspect you’d only rebuke it with some comment relating to the fact that you neither want nor need my empathy, and that is OK. I can understand why you are callused. Please however, do not condemn the rest of us fathers who were not like yours. The disservice you mention was a disservice to you, and to you alone. The delusion is also yours – the delusion that condemning the rest of us will somehow make you feel better. It doesn’t work.

      As I have taught a four of my children – When life hands you lemons, open up a lemonade stand. I hope you can find a way to build a great lemonade stand instead of knocking down everyone elses stands.

    • Bill says

      Just because you chose to have a child with someone unfit for raising a child doesn’t make this a bad list. Make better choices next time, and maybe you’ll praise this list as you should be.

    • TrolltheTroll says

      So you saw the title for the article, were apparently aware of your own history, and chose to read this anyway? Did you do it just so you could then lambast the article as being so so inaccurate for the real world? Or did you do it to arouse some form of sympathy out of the anonymous readers? Or maybe it was just because you have nothing better to do. I am sorry you did not have a father growing up, I truly am, and cannot imagine what that would have been like, but trolling a comment thread to arouse anger over the disservice done by an article espousing the good things a father can do really isn’t going to change your past, is it? You ask where the list of 50 ways to deal with abandonment is. I would say it’s in the office of a trusted therapist who can help you come to terms with what you experienced and find a way to move on.

    • CJ says

      This author is hoping for the best, not living in a delusion. Just because fathers DO abandon their daughters doesn’t mean that we should encourage it or ignore the fathers who do stick around. This list isnt meant to do anything but build up dads and daughters. If your story is different than that, my heart breaks for you, maybe you could keep this list to share with the future father of your children, should you choose to have children. How is it a disservice to women to suggest that this is how their relationship with their father should be?

    • SP says

      I’m floored by this response, quite frankly. It’s very much a shame that you can’t see beyond your own set of unfortunate circumstances to appreciate the underlying message here – time is precious, particularly time that a parent has with their children, and it should be cherished. I had a father who was in my home but who did not see his time with me as any sort of a priority. Of course that hurt, but I’ve moved beyond it and used my negative experience to be the best parent I can. I can see no way that there is a disservice being done to young women when a father lets them know how a good father-daughter relationship could be.

    • carter143 says

      See people are not handed every card in life the same as the next!!!!Ok, this didn’t apply to your life and don’t feel other people should read it…Truth is I’m raising my daughter and he father is in her life either, but still find this very touching. I really think people these days are extremely negative in life and want to make everyone else the same way!!!!Ok, you don’t like this then don’t share it with any one and don’t comment on it….Mike I loved it and thank that it is extremely true!!! Thank you for sharing and I shared it on my page. Thank you…You might not be able to change everyone’s life and help them change but if just 1 Dad read it and realized he need to change his life and be with his daughter then there you go you helped one person!!!

    • csw says

      And what about the father who is divorced by the mother, the mother then takes the daughter across country to live in a strange, cold city. He follows but cannot find enough work to live a normal life there due to the economy and the fact that he was a stay at home dad and had no obvious career path. So he goes back to his family in the midwest and tries to rebuild and see his daughter as often as possible (summers, holidays, letters). The mother talks badly about the father to the daughter, and despite his best efforts there is an estrangement. He hopes as she matures that she will reconnect, and so he keeps trying. Heart-breaking.

      My own father died when I was 13 so I missed alot of 50 rules, so it breaks my heart, too, to see this daughter turn away from her lovely dad. What a world.

    • AH says

      are you serious? instead of complaining, why dont you write that list youre speaking of?
      then you cant hate on the girls who did have amazing fathers. you shouldnt try to ruin their happiness with your sad story. and the author isnt doing a disservice. theres always going to be another side to everything someone says. but dont try to take the joy from their lives. im not trying to be insensitive to your past, and im sure thats how im coming across. this is something that maybe your father could have read..and changed. or not. whos to say, i mean, i dont know him.

  11. Jean Upchurch says

    If my dad was alive he would be 111 years old and could pass this test easily. No one wrote rules for him. It was just the natural thing to do. I think of him every day and fortunately married a man he loved almost as much as I did. Life has been good because we cared. Rule #1 is probably one of the top 10.

  12. DemoGuy says

    This is great! It brought me to tears and made me hate being out of town every week even more.
    Brings everything into a different perspective when you list out so many things that we as fathers should be doing. There isnt one thing on this list that isnt 100% right on the money.

  13. Jo says

    Please don’t drive with a small child on your lap if you have a car with airbags. Someone could hit you, going 5 miller an hour…if the airbag goes off, it will kill a child. It’s not about finding a “safe” place to drive. Just not a good idea.

  14. Chad says

    I do this with all 6 of my kids, 4girls 2boys. 4 of which are my step kids. All get treated the same.the list did forget 1 thing. Act stupid with your kids. Man up and dont care what other people think. Doesn’t make you any less of a man

    • Tammy says

      Why? Because hopefully you’re already married to her mother and polygamy is currently illegal as well as incest? *chuckles* Children all go through a stage where they connect or want to “marry” their opposite sex parent. The next normal step is a better connection with the same sex parent. By saying, “yeah, sure honey, I’ll marry you!” you open up the possibility of jealousy between her and her mother. Maybe not on purpose but let’s think things through her a little.:) lol

  15. Leah says

    Great points! Except the birthday one, sometimes daddy’s have to make the money so the family can have a home and can’t be there. Some of us live a the old traditional way, dad works outside the home, mom inside the home and that is fine.

  16. Brian Brinkmann says

    Was a single father when Sarah was between 13 and 17. Some pretty tough times interspersed with moments of pure joy. ANd that is what I hold onto because I gave her the car keys, told her I loved her, and said goodby for the very last time. SHe was killed in a car accident on the way to school that morning. What I wouldn’t give for one more day…even if we spent it butting heads…

    • Darcy says

      Brian- praying you tonight. I’m sure your pain is still very real. She new how much you loved her. Blessings to you.

  17. says

    Beautiful – absolutely precious! I have lots of good memories of my dad: letting me dance with him – my feet on his; “driving” the car with me on his lap; later I helped he and my eldest brother build a barn and fences for my horse…keep this website going – precious and important.
    Barb´s last blog post ..Soul Collage

  18. Joe Pasqualetto says

    I am a father of a 23 year old daughter. I pretty much raised my daughter alone from 10 years till only recently. For all you yunggins, these rules “hit the nail on the head”. I only hope that you all come to love your daughters as I do……..I am so blessed to have you in my life Kim

  19. Rob says

    My beautiful daughter just left for college. I didnt miss one day of her life! Yesturday, I was waiting for her to be born, and today, she is away in school. Don’t blink, it happens fast! The best advise I have for any dad, is to teach her to love Jesus with all her heart, and more importantly, teach her that Jesus loves her with all of his heart!! He is the ultimate Dad!!

  20. Sameera says

    Really nice and heartfelt. I have a one year old daughter and I am happy to say that my husband has been doing many of the things you have mentioned naturally. Unlike the fathers I have seen around, my husband Khalid was there for beside me throughout the pregnancy and is a hands on father enjoying every bit of fatherhood with my daughter. From piggybacking her to cleaning her up to putting her to sleep while in distress… he mirrors your feeling.

  21. Norma says

    Absolutely accurate, true, right on, (did you peek at my life?) Thankyou for this. It made me smile and cry simultaneously. Anyone who wasted their time and webspace critiquing this needs to hush. Thank you for sharing.

  22. Mark Sutherland says

    Just a short time ago I was in a traffic court and had to watch as a man had to pay a 200.00 or more fine for letting his son sit in his lap while he drove the car, so please scratch that one out, it can be very costly! The rest are great!

  23. Kris Bacheller says

    Dear Mr. Sutherland, the intelligence of allowing a child sit on one’s lap to drive and the very ADULT decision of WHERE you choose to do this is closely related. Finding wide open spaces is also on the list, find the space, do the drive. Be smart. Six kids. . . no traffic court for lap sitters. All of them did it. All of them are confident drivers.

  24. dixie says

    Go to a lonely back road, find a farm that a friend owns, or get the police involved (If you live in a small town) and ask them to clap for her as she drives a few feet, but do it. We lived on a farm, and I learned to drive at the age of 10. I still love to drive.

  25. says

    It’d be worth every penny. I get the rules etc; but that’s a bit steep. Still, the joy that my kids get when I let them do things with me would far out weigh any fine.
    Samuel´s last blog post ..New work

  26. Charlie Karp says

    WOW! This amazing statement on fatherhood, parenting, and the special relationship that can be between a daughter and her pop….AND THIS IS ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY???? How on earth can you have anything but a “safe” and completely boring life.

  27. Mary says

    My dad not only let me sit on his lap to “steer” when I was little, but as soon as I could reach the pedals (long before I could legally drive) he took me to a field and taught me to drive a stick. Glad he did because a year later he became extremely ill, almost died, and lost the ability to drive himself. Use every minute, you don’t know how many more you have left.


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