A viral Reddit thread asked women, "What's something you wish your father knew about girls when you were growing up?" Their insightful answers — plus some from BuzzFeed readers — 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. "Learn to deal with your anger issues in a healthy way before having kids. Yes, it’s uncomfortable but you’ll be a better person for it. Also, screaming at a scared child that you’ll 'give them something to cry about' is not a good way to get them to stop crying."
3. "Be very careful when talking about food. Comments like, 'That’s a lot of food' or 'Hey, that's for everyone' might not seem like a big deal, but if your daughter is struggling with eating it is a big deal."
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. "The way you treat your wife or girlfriend will teach me how I should expect men to treat me."
6. "It's also important to be respectful of your daughter's mother if you're no longer with her. It can be super super hard, I get it, especially if your ex is...um...difficult...but try. Try for your girl."
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.'"
9. "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."
10. "Don't let your eyes wander at your daughter's dance or sports practices where many girls walk around in revealing costumes or outfits. You don't ever want to be thought of as 'The Creepy Dad.'"
11. "If we're avoiding a male relative's house, take the hint! Don't force us to go."
12. "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."
13. "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."
14. "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."
15. "If you do make comments about your daughter's appearance, be sure to keep it positive. My dad told me I looked 'handsome' when I started wearing men's ties in college on a whim and it meant the world to me."
16. "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."
17. "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."
18. "Try not to say things like, 'Don’t ever wear something like that' or 'I'm so glad you’re not one of those girls' when you pass a woman on the street wearing something you don’t approve of. If she wants to wear that, then she should wear it! When my father did that it made me feel like I should be ashamed of — heaven forbid — wearing a crop top."
19. "Don't be scared of having your picture taken. If your daughter wants to take pictures of you, or especially with you, let them."
20. "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."
21. "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."
22. "I wish he understood that daughters need their dads growing up."
23. "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."
24. "Sometimes, we cry. It's not a personal attack; it's a release valve. Please don't get mad at us for feeling feelings."
25. "We can be angry without it being hormones."
27. "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.