As a father of a 6-year-old little girl, I find myself constantly looking for a balance between being tough and gentle. See I’m a firm believer in tough love, it’s one of those things that looks mean or harsh from a far, but in the long run helps build an unbreakable foundation.
Let’s face it, life isn’t easy and with the internet taking over the world, it can make everything a little bit harder. To top it all off, like sonny from A Bronx Tale says… “no one cares!”
So how do we prepare our precious little girl for this world?
I just want to be clear I’m no guru. I speak on experience and experience only. I’m not one to talk for the sake of talking, so these are some things I’ve learned.
Nothing is free
You want it? you must earn it. This could be a birthday gift or something as small as a snack. You want that ice cream? Once you put your toys away. It also helps to have patience, which is an obstacle in its own right.
This method comes with tantrums and pleading and sometimes it’s much easier to just give in to them. Stay Strong. A good way to make it a little easier is to give options. For example, you can either clean your toys now or after your snack.
You are her first male relationship
This one hits home the most for me. As a father we set the tone for the rest of her dating life. We are the ones that will determine what she looks for in a man and what she will settle for.
This also requires a balancing act. If I do everything for my daughter and treat her like a princess 100% of the time, am I setting her up for success? Realistically she may never be happy with any man. They will never be enough.
An attitude of gratitude
Being grateful is by far one of the most important things in life. Happiness determines your drive and emotions and life isn’t easy. When you’re truly grateful, you can’t be sad or unhappy. The brain just can’t do both. I teach my daughter to talk about the things we are grateful for.
Trade in your expectations for appreciation. Understand people are humans and when you appreciate people for who they are, everything seems to fall into place.
My daughter is 6 and I don’t expect her to grasp all of this, but with a little time and a lot of consistency these things will become her. I didn’t write this to brag or show anyone the ‘right’ way to do things, it’s just how I found I settled into fatherhood of a little girl. One of the best things in our world today is that we have an unprecedented ability to connect with others and share, this may help someone struggling with their purpose and to be honest it helps me to talk about it.
I would like to close this out by saying that mothers are just as important (even more important in my eyes) and our kids need us to be honest, but we don’t always have to be friendly. Parenting can be hard but by being patient and staying true to you, we are setting the ultimate example of what our kids can be.
Til next time!
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