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Cue John Mayer

2010 January 6
by Pamela

I’m going to stand on my virtual soapbox for a moment to write about something near and dear to my heart. I don’t know if I will ever have readers or if any of them will be men, but if so, please take a moment to hear me out and hopefully take heed.

The way a Daddy treats his daughter will forever shape how she views herself and the way she lets men treat her. The way you speak and interact with her will determine the spouse she picks one day; I mean it. You have THAT much power.

Bob is good at many things Daddy-related. But the thing he is best at is praising every aspect of our girls and encouraging them to be the best that they can be. We learned (we were shocked to learn, really), that even at the age of two Mary Claire would look to her Dad for approval of how she looked. Now that she is four, it is even more so. If Daddy comes home from work in the morning and she isn’t dressed, she will frantically call me into her room, slam the door, and demand that I pick out something pretty for her to wear. I am her personal wardrobe stylist, afterall, until she fires me.

After she’s dressed and thrown some hair clips in her hair in a way that is reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, she will come out of her room very casually and stand in front of Bob the way you would with your rum and coke at a bar when you’re 19 (we do live close to Canada, afterall). He always takes a moment to go over-the-top in his praise of her. “Mary Claire, I love those 15 hair clips all over your head, how pretty you are!” “You are such a beautiful girl, inside and out, and we love you!”

I have several friends who got tons of praise from their Dads growing up. I can tell you that each one is the most confident and well-rounded woman. Who also “happened” to marry a good man. It is not a coincidence.

When you give your daughters tons of praise, when you take them out for “dates” just the two of you, when you buy them flowers “just because” and lavish them with affection, it will make all the difference.

If you do these things, the first time they get a wilted carnation in 9th grade, it won’t mean much. The first time your daughter is told she’s kinda hot, she will walk away instead of wanting to give all she has to some loser.

Bob took Mary Claire to a Daddy & Daughter dance recently. Her first memory of getting dressed up and going to a special dance isn’t going to be with the guy who is trying to get her drunk in the high school parking lot with Mad Dog 20/20. It’s going to be with her Daddy. Who tells her that she is beautiful and can accomplish anything in the whole world with the love and power of God.

And her Daddy will be right along side, cheering her on.

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