A viral Reddit thread recently asked women, "What's something you wish your father knew about girls when you were growing up?" The insightful answers are an absolute must-read for fathers (and any man who might become one):
1. "Don't act like feminine things are shameful or boring. Don't be the dad who stays out in his car during his daughter's ballet class because sitting with the dance moms is too embarrassing."
2. "The way you treat your wife or girlfriend will teach me how I should expect men to treat me."
3. "If we're avoiding a male relative's house, take the hint! Don't force us to go."
4. "It doesn't make you look weak to show affection once in a while. My dad hardly ever hugged us or said he loved us."
5. "Accept the fact that your daughter will participate in dating and sex at some point, and need OBGYN visits and birth control."
"You don’t have to be happy about it but please don’t shame me or make me feel ashamed that I enjoy being human. I have to leave the room or wait for my dad to leave in order to call my OBGYN office and I’m 23 years old."
6. "I wish he knew not to use plain rubber bands as hair ties. That hurt!"
7. "Learn how to brush hair. When I was little I cried every morning before school because my dad would practically rip my scalp off with the brush. All he would say was, 'Sorry, I don’t know how to do girl hair.'"
8. "How bad periods can be. My dad thought a period was all about blood, but didn't understand that I go through awful pain while on my period."
9. "Don’t make comments about your daughter's body. Overweight? Getting breasts? Don’t make snide comments. It’s hurtful to young girls and women."
10. "Pay attention to the media your kid consumes, and don't dismiss girl-oriented media. Girls crave female role models, so make sure your daughter gets exposed to female characters who are problem solvers, adventurers, and leaders."
11. "Don't just assume your daughter won't be interested in your activities because they aren't stereotypically girly or because once, as a small child, she didn't want to do them."
"Keep trying to get your daughter involved in your life and don't just give up."
12. "If you spend a good portion of your daughter's childhood talking about how much better and easier a son would be to raise, don't be surprised when she grows up confiding almost exclusively in her mother."
13. "Don't be scared of having your picture taken. If your daughter wants to take pictures of you, or especially with you, let them."
14. "I'm jealous of all the time and money you spent on my brother getting to know him as a person. I wish you'd just treated me like a person, not some vagina you felt the need to creepily guard until I got married."
15. "You're allowed to think my boyfriend or girlfriend is cool. You don't have to try to intimidate them. They're not here to hurt me."
16. "I wish he understood that daughters need their dads growing up."
17. "When you do something wrong, apologize. Don't try to ignore what we just fought about and try to be our friend 15 minutes later."
18. "Sometimes, we cry. It's not a personal attack; it's a release valve. Please don't get mad at us for feeling feelings."
19. "We can be angry without it being hormones."
20. "The tighter the leash, the farther I'll drift."
21. "It's important for a daughter to have a personal bond with her father, so have a hobby or activity that just the two of you do — no matter how small. Don't only spend time with your daughter when the whole family is together."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.