Women Reveal What They Wish Their Fathers Did As They Were Growing Up

Voting Rules
Daughters only: vote up the things you wish your dad did as you were growing up.

A girl’s relationship with her father can hold unprecedented influence over her life, especially as she makes the treacherous yet exciting transition from girlhood into adulthood. While many fathers are loving, encouraging, considerate, and would do anything for their children, others may practice behaviors that are discouraging, confusing, or even harmful. A dad's behavior prepares his daughter for how she should interact with other men in her life, often impacting her personal and social growth, even into adulthood.

Reddit has weighed in on this sensitive issue, providing a mostly anonymous place where daughters describe things they wish their fathers had done for them. Some daughters' desires are simple, such as one who wishes that her father had taught her more basic life skills, while others are more complex, such as the woman who expressed resentment that her father regularly wrote off her emotions. These stories provide insight not only into what daughters want from their fathers, but also into patterns of paternal behavior that can potentially affect children for their entire lives. 

Vote below on which traits of father-daughter relationships are the most significant.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

  • 1
    133 VOTES

    Support Our Mental Health

    From a former Redditor:

    My dad was, and still is, there for me in a lot of ways that I really appreciate, but he wasn't there for me when it came to mental health since my mom has bigger mental health issues than I do and she is blatantly against mental health care.

    When [your daughter is] schoolaged (AKA: kindergarten and above, usually above), please don't be afraid to talk to her about her mental wellbeing as well as her physical wellbeing. Don't demonize it.

    133 votes
  • 2
    95 VOTES

    Don't Use A Middleman To Communicate

    From Redditor /u/ScaryLittleLamb:

    When you do something wrong, apologize. Don't just try to ignore what we just fought about and try to be our friend 15 minutes later. When you try to ignore our problem, it hurts us. It makes us angry. We won't want to be friends.

    My friends and I have almost all had this issue with our dads. The worst thing, though, is when you try to have someone else apologize fix things for you. My dad has asked me to be this middleman for my younger sister, my friend has been asked by her dad, and some others have mentioned their dad sending in their mom. It doesn't make things better, and a lot of the time, makes that middleman lose respect for you.

    Respect us as people and apologize to us.

    95 votes
  • 3
    123 VOTES

    Listen To Us

    From Redditor /u/OneEsk:

    I just wish [my father] had listened and taken my words to heart. Our relationship has been irreparably damaged over the years because he never listened or learned from his mistakes or made our relationship a priority. I guess he always just figured he could fix things later or that I'd continue to forgive and forget. Nope.

    Listen to your daughter and take her seriously, even when she's young. She's the best person to tell you what she wants and needs from you.

    123 votes
  • 4
    66 VOTES

    Don't Be Embarrassed About Buying Our Feminine Products

    From Redditor /u/Lissuh:

    It’s embarrassing for US if you are uncomfortable/immature about buying feminine products for us. Be proud that your little girl is becoming a woman. Don’t be uncomfortable buying us tampons/pads at the store.

    Luckily my dad was great and understood it was a part of every girl's life to have a period, but I’ve seen friends' dads who were uncomfortable buying them tampons at the store... Grow up!

    66 votes
  • 5
    72 VOTES

    Don't Belittle Us For Expressing Our Emotions

    From Redditor /u/nersee:

    I was depressed in middle school and would cry every night. One night my dad said, "You know, if you were a boy you wouldn't cry like this."

    It changed the way I saw him, as though I were some weakling, like he would rather have a boy. But it also imparted how terrible it must be to be a boy and not be able to cry if you're depressed or anxious. So I guess I would add to let your kid get their feelings out no matter what gender they are.

    72 votes
  • 6
    65 VOTES

    Encourage Us In Our Academics

    From a former Redditor

    [I wish my father had] continued to expose me to science and encourage my studies when I started to lose interest and confidence.

    65 votes