“…I’ve made it my business to observe fathers and daughters. And I’ve seen some incredible, beautiful things. Like the little girl who’s not very cute – her teeth are funny, and her hair doesn’t grow right, and she’s got on thick glasses – but her father holds her hand and walks with her like she’s a tiny angel that no one can touch. He gives her the best gift a woman can get in this world: protection. And the little girl learns to trust the man in her life. And all the things that the world expects from women – to be beautiful, to soothe the troubled spirit, heal the sick, care for the dying, send the greeting card, bake the cake – all of those things become the way we pay the father back for protecting us…”
― Adriana Trigiani,
The Red Pill community is awash in articles of masculinity, self-improvement, and all the aspects of game, but there’s few conversations pertaining to raising children and even fewer about raising daughters specifically. In fact, throughout the 3-4 years I’ve been a part of the Red Pill community, I’ve seen a sum total of four, count’em four articles on the topic. So instead of lamenting the problem, I figured it’s time to step up to bat and let you know what I’ve learned through my own personal experience raising daughters.
I’m not going to sit here and claim to be an expert on the subject because I’m not. Like every other man out there, I have my shortcomings and struggles, but in the past 5 years of fatherhood, my three (yes, three) daughters have taught me quite a lot of lessons, but that’s a topic for another day.
Lead From the Front
Although I have no experience raising boys, many of the lessons still apply with the primary difference being how your kids view you. Both boys and girls look to their fathers as a bastion of strength, a solid foundation that the rest of the family is built upon. If they see you shirk your duties or falter when the pressure is on, that is what they’ll emulate.
There’s a saying I heard a while back that really resonated with me was that boys look up to their fathers as what they should aspire to and girl look up to them to know what characteristics and traits they should look for in their future husband.
What example are you setting for your children?
Your job as a man, husband, and father is to lead your family from the front. You must be decisive, steadfast, and reassuring. When the children are wailing and the wife is screaming, you must stay resolute guiding them in what must be done.
Will you have doubts? Yes.
Will you have all the answers? No.
But honestly, that is less important than exuding an aura of calm competence. Daughters pick up on the same non-verbal cues that fully grown women do. If you have a commanding presence and exude confidence, they will respect and listen to you.
If I want my daughters to do something, I have to first show that I’m willing to do it myself. I’ve found this to be important even at the young ages they are now.
If I want them to help clean the living room, I must show them I’m going to clean it with them.
If I’m trying to get them to taste a new food, I must eat it first and show them it’s good.
If I’m needing them to calm down, then I must be calm myself.
Action Steps: Reflect on the things you’re asking your daughters to do. Are you doing them yourself or are you employing a “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude?
Crime and Punishment
I’m a big proponent of the punishment matching the severity of the crime. If they hit their siblings, they get a swat on the butt and told to sit down until they are calmed down. Afterwards, they are told to go give their sister a hug and say they’re sorry.
Fortunately, intentional acts of violence are few and far between in our household. Most of the times one gets hurt is because they’re getting too wild and they run into each other. Wipe off their tears, kiss their boo-boos, and send them on their way with a reminder to be careful. Kids will be kids and part of growing up are the bumps, bruises, and scrapes.
I personally try to avoid doling out punishment unless it’s a serious, intentional offense or something I’ve told them countless times over countless weeks to stop (like throwing around their mom’s large exercise ball). However, sometimes my temper gets the best of me and I snap at my daughters. That is not something I’m proud of but it is what it is. Be mindful of your temper and save the frustration for when it’s really needed and not because your daughter doesn’t want to finish off the peas on her plate.
Action Steps: Hold your kids to a high standard, but understand that they will constantly not live up to that standard starting off. They’re kids. They’re bristling with energy, ready to explore everywhere and play with everything. Accept this fact of life and gently keep nudging them in the right direction.
This is one of the most important aspects behind raising daughters (or sons for that matter). You and your wife must be on the same page about all the important matters. If you punish your kids, she must support you even if she thinks you’re being a little unfair. If you tell your daughter she can’t have juice because she didn’t eat all of her food, your wife needs to tell her the same thing. Any disagreements should be handled out of earshot of your children.
If your children smell disunity between you and your wife, they will play you against each other to get what they want. Don’t fall for it just because you’re tired after a long day’s work and just want to have a little peace and quiet. Support your wife when she tells the kids no and have the same expectations of her when it’s your turn to tell them no.
Action Steps: If you haven’t already, sit down with your wife and discuss this subject with her. Agree on some basic rules that you will both follow regarding disciplining your children and them asking for things.
Love Them Unconditionally
Every night when I get home, I am showing my daughters that I love them. We laugh, play, tickle, wrestle, run around the house, and snuggle up on the couch. The whole time I’m smothering them in hugs and kisses.
I used to worry that I snapped at them too much and if that might be pushing them away from me, but when things get a little too scary for them (like the car wreck my wife was in yesterday with two of my daughters in the car) they come running for their daddy because they know he loves them and will fight tooth and nail to protect them. It is a duty that I take great pride in. I am their provider and protector and they know it.
Action Steps: Take time EVERY SINGLE DAY to show your kids just how important they are to you. Hug them. Kiss them. Wrestle with them. Tell them you love them.
I’ll go back to a point I made earlier in this article to wrap this post up with:
Daughters look to their fathers to understand what traits to look for in a future husband.
Think of the future. Think of your future son-in-law. Whether you know it or not, you have some control on who your daughter will choose to spend their life with. Will you raise a daughter that honors and respects you and her future husband or will she rebel against you and cut off her nose to spite her face?
Lead with strength and benevolence, fathers.