Raising Daughters

by W.F. Price on October 1, 2012

Either there’s a dearth of men with daughters in the MRM or father’s rights scene, or they don’t often mention it. I’m sure it’s the latter, because I know that a lot of men concerned with fathers’ rights have daughters. In fact, given that the average divorced/separated father has more than 1.0 children, I’m certain that more than half of them do.

So, it looks like a lot of men with daughters are afraid to open up about it, and although it’s sad, I can understand why. Personally, I think it’s too bad that it’s come this, because there’s nothing at all wrong with having a daughter. In fact, daughters are a great source of happiness and fulfillment for fathers, just like sons. The really shameful thing is that today fathers often feel that having a daughter is something to fear, and unfortunately there’s a good reason for that. Having a daughter can be a real liability in a custody dispute, because men are very often falsely accused of hurting or molesting them.

However, I often see men blaming fathers of daughters as well — for our problems with feminists. They say that we are white knights whose only purpose is to put other men down for our daughters. Yes, evidently we fathers of daughters are so powerful that we can oppress the rest of men very effectively. Instead of training our daughters to be perfect wives for these guys, we’re setting them up to be the next version of Hillary Rodham Clinton…

Sometimes, if you have a daughter it seems you can’t win either way. On the one side you have the feminists sharpening their knives, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to call you a pervert or brute, and on the other you have men complaining that it’s your fault if your daughter doesn’t act like their idealized version of a woman.

Well, I’ve got news for these guys. As a father of a daughter, you’ve got precious little power over your daughter’s life. You’re lucky if you can even convince her to dress modestly, and if her mother has other ideas that luck just ran out. As for the guys who encourage their daughters to get involved in contact sports and act like boys, well, I’m not saying I support that, but if that’s all the fathers are allowed to do to bond with their daughters, and that’s all they know, how can we blame them? Maybe that’s the only time they can spend with their girls in which mom doesn’t shove the guy out of the way and take over. Personally, I tend to think that’s the explanation. If you love your child – and only a screwed up, strange man doesn’t love his daughter – you’re going to try to find some way to connect with her.

However, I’d like to offer fathers some hope and some relief. Let’s start with the relief:

If you have no power over your daughter, and fathers don’t have any to speak of, then your responsibility is diminished. Whether that’s good or bad is beside the point: it just is. What this means is that you are not to blame for much. If something goes wrong, chances are that it isn’t your fault. This is why men who blame fathers for daughters’ behavior should really just can it. It isn’t our fault. Blame the mothers, the schools, TV or Justin Bieber — we simply aren’t responsible. Neither legally nor practically. Would you blame a private for the loss of a battle? A slave for the failure of a plantation? Ridiculous!

What this means is that you should just relax and lay your worries aside, because they won’t do you any good. Instead, you should focus on the positive things you can do for your daughter, which may be limited, but at least here you have some leeway.

And this brings us to the hopeful part:

Fathers do have a bond with their daughters. Children love their parents, so daughters will listen to what their fathers say. They may not always follow the advice, but they will hear it, and if you lay your opinions down solidly your daughter will not forget them.

I think this is a great opportunity men have to both be good fathers to daughters and to keep their consciences clear. As a father, your primary duty is to teach your daughter your notion of what is right and wrong. And this doesn’t have to be a very complicated thing. In fact, it can be very simple.

Instead of worrying about whether or not she becomes Secretary of State or the next Olympic gold medalist, you should concern yourself with how you’d like her to address the world as an adult. I favor something along the lines of the Ten Commandments, and not for religious reasons, but rather because they are practical. I want my daughter to be forthright, not a thief, not an adulteress, not a liar, not vain, not covetous, etc. I want her to be kind to the unfortunate, respectful to her elders, gracious in success, and patient in times of trial. Whether or not she is a good wife is beside the point; teaching her to be a good human being is my job (teaching one’s daughter how to be a wife seems strange and inappropriate to a father, and I hope it stays that way).

Little girls love stories, and fathers can be pretty good at telling them. Choose stories that teach your daughter the lessons you think are important. I like stories that emphasize people (or animals) helping each other, being kind, and being resourceful. Throw in a little adventure and a few rewards. Hidden treasures and secret hideaways always help. Make sure the good ones have a happy outcome, and the bad actors are eaten by bears or turned into seaweed (or choose your own regionally appropriate version). And tell them to your sons as well — they like them too.

Another fun thing to do is to analyze fairy tales with your daughter. Ask her why Snow White is good. Sometimes, her responses will give you an idea of just how important this job is. Maybe she’ll say “Snow White is good because she’s beautiful.” This is where you can correct her in a manner that she will understand. You could say that Snow White may be beautiful, but she is good because she was kind and grateful to the dwarves, and did nice things for them when they helped her. You could tell her that the evil queen is evil because she only cares about being the most beautiful, and will hurt people to be on top when she could have been much happier accepting Snow White and eventually becoming a grandma. One of the moments I can remember that really made me happy was when I saw that my kids understood that part of evil is that it is just plain wrong — mistaken. I explained that a large part of the reason people are bad is that they are doing things the wrong way, and if only they learned to do the right thing they could be good. It’s a very simple concept that even small children can understand quite well, but alas, we adults all too often forget it.

Being a father to a daughter is a great blessing, and Western men have never really felt differently. I don’t think there’s any reason we should change simply because the current class of political women consists of so many evil sociopaths. These feminists really are not normal people, and they don’t represent natural girls and women, who actually do want to be good people — not evil, grasping, power-hungry tyrants who kill their own children and destroy their families for self-gratification.

Instead of fretting over our current position as fathers, I think we should take advantage of it, and learn to have a constructive relationship with our daughters that is both fun and rewarding for both daddy and his little girl. In fact, having no “power” over our daughters may be a good thing in the long run if we handle it the right way. If nothing else, it will compel us to teach them that ultimately they will be responsible for themselves, and all we can do is teach them how to handle it as upstanding adults with a firm sense of right and wrong. I don’t think there’s anything more important that fathers could do, so I am at peace with my role.

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