Dads Raising Daughters: Wisdom On Love, Dating & (Some Day!) Sex

Last year for Father’s Day, we ran a series of interviews with real-life dads divulging their wisdom on raising independent, vibrant girls. Dads Raising Daughters turned out really lovely, so I’m making a fledgling Frisky tradition of it! This year for fatherly parenting advice, I turned to Josh, who has two girls ages eight and five; Jim, who has a nine-year-old; and James, whose daughter is three.

First up, what these dads want to teach their daughters about love and dating…

All the fathers said they believed it was on their own shoulders to model good behavior for men in relationships. As Josh put it, “I hope I’m teaching my girls, by mundane and everyday example, how a man is supposed to talk to and treat a woman he loves. I hope they see it in how I love their mom.” It’s also important to them that they treat their girls the way they want them to be treated by men. Added James: “I am trying to provide her with a good example of a healthy male through our relationship.”

Josh did have one warning — and he didn’t seem to be joking — for his daughters about young men:

“I do intend to tell them that it is a safe assumption, if you’re playing the averages, that any given boy is most probably an asshole, but that the right ones will convince you that they are the exception to the rule, and the outliers in the data. But it is on them, the boys, to prove it first.”

Contrary to the cultural stereotype that dads are fearful and controlling when it comes to their daughters’ burgeoning sexuality, these dads (admittedly, of younger kids) were confident they were raising girls with good heads on their shoulders. “I want her to be strong and independent before she starts dating so that she can make her own decisions and stand up for herself. The biggest fear I have is that she may be taken advantage of and not even know its coming. As long as she follows her heart, is pragmatic, and uses her head, I know she’ll be fine,” James said. “Her mother is the perfect example of a secure, successful, vibrant woman, so I have little fear that [my daughter] Salem will not turn out the same.”

Jim said it was important for her nine-year-old to know that she could tread her own path in life. He and his wife would accept her no matter how she chooses to partner up, or not, or chooses to procreate, or not. “She talks sometimes about getting married and having kids, which seem to go together in her mind,” he explained. “She appears to think that being a wife is something you do in order to become a mom. I try to point out that she doesn’t have to be either one.”

Ultimately, Jim just wants his daughter to be happy, which includes love.  “I don’t share the phobia that dads are supposed to have about their daughters’ dating,” he said. “I actually hope that most of the people she wants to kiss will want to kiss her back.” Aww!

What did your dad teach you about love, dating and sex? Let us know in the comments!

[Image of father and daughter at the beach via Shutterstock]

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