“She paints your nails pink. She asks you to buy an elephant for her birthday. And she steals your heart until your last breath.” A 63-year-old father of six daughters shares his heart-melting life lessons with future daddies.
1. Whatever you tell her – hunker down or lift her up to maintain eye contact. This way you let her know she can’t find a better listener than you.
2. She is the-most-beautiful-one-of-a-kind-princess-ever-born-to-this-world. This she would like to here as often as possible. Just like Londoners say about rain, “If it doesn’t rain, it has either just stopped or is about to start raining again”.
While complimenting, remember to focus more on her actions to cultivate healthy values (e.g. “It was so kind of you to share your favorite toy with your sister”, “You are such a great singer!”, etc)
3. Forget about raising your voice. Don’t program a dragon. Lost your temper? Hunker down and apologize. You will be excused in 10 out of 10 cases because her love is unconditional. It is worth living for.
4. Toys are never enough. If she asks for another one to keep her busy in her car seat for some 15 minutes on your way back home, make a deal: buy her one after she agrees to give away two of her out-of-date dolls/pearls/who knows what to her younger sister or friend.
5. Don’t scold her in public. Take her aside, explain her specifically what she did wrong in a calm fashion, and have her promise you it won’t ever happen again. Well, of course it will a few times more but that’s how you show her what’s right and what’s wrong.
6. Make a father-daughter tradition of doing a couple of things together. Always. Frying eggs on Sunday morning, getting a manicure or hair cut at a beauty salon, wearing T-shirts of the same color, and even searching for your socks as a team can be so much fun!
7. Mom is never wrong. “We” can be wrong. When with your wife, act as one. No exceptions.
8. Mud, hammers, bathroom fixtures, and a steering wheel can make her eyes shine brighter than 10 boxes with new dolls.
9. Every girl has a right for a good cry. Sometimes for no reason. To smartly handle the watery situation, define a crying place in your house (special seat, her bed etc.). Be patient, soothe her, and give yourself points if she leaves her tears or mascara traces on your T-shirt. Otherwise, it can be an alarming issue for concern.
10. Set your rules for her own safety: crossing the road holding hands, talking after adults finish, going to bed at 9pm, start eating after blowing 5 times on a spoon with hot food, etc.
11. At some point of her life she will start making and spending money (chances are she will start with spending part first). Teach her financial basics. Every Sunday give her pocket cash for next week. When another Sunday arrives, make her an offer: she takes no pocket cash until next Sunday and that’s when she gets a double sum. She will be incredibly thankful for these budget planning tips in future.
12. Never share her secrets with anyone even if she told it to half of the world.
13. Ice-cream is a universal tool that covers thousands of your sins.
14. Who said your wife is the only woman who likes flowers?
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