Fathers and their daughters-Erna Rheeder

For the past six years we have been busy with various activities where our endeavours are to get fathers actively involved with their children.  Every time when people talk about the matter, they refer to fathers and sons.

Boys learn from their fathers how to be men.  However, daughters need their fathers just as much.  Isabel Ferrer, marketing manager at Barbie, explains that fathers empower their daughters to be creative and confident by playing with them.  Girls discover through playing with their dads that they have endless potential.  At the same time they become gentle and brave – the ideal combination of character traits!

Isabel lists 20 things that Dads must know about their daughters:


  • How to make her feel special;
  • How to dance with her on your feet;
  • How to make everything better;
  • That girls can and want to play and get dirty;
  • How to play house-house and with dolls;
  • Glitter, glitter everywhere!
  • How to dance;
  • Girls love playing rugby and soccer;
  • How important it is that colours match;
  • How to stop a nightmare;
  • How to paint a face;
  • Which items in the house make a good popstar microphone;
  • Girls know/want to know how to climb a tree;
  • How to get bubble-gum out of long hair – and be your daughter’s hero;
  • How to plait hair;
  • How to ice-skate;
  • How to be gentle when saying “no” when she asks to marry you;
  • Know what a pirouette is;
  • How to create a pair of fairy wings.

During our essay competitions of the past four years in which teenagers wrote about their fathers, a few girls actually described some of these Dad-things as being special:

 “He likes to make jokes when I’m feeling down, just to try and cheer me up.”

 “I grew up like a queen, was served like a princess and was treated like an earthly goddess.”

“Despite my unwarranted attack on his personality, he sat beside me and carefully handed me tissues.  His demeanor was still soft and accepting, despite the words I’d attacked him with earlier. He said: ‘I may not understand how you feel, but I will always be here for some comfort and some hugs.’”

 “No matter where I go and what I become, I can always find peace by holding my father’s thumb.”

 “I felt the love and tenderness, keeping me safe from harm.”

 “Most importantly he never gave up on me.”

 “His love is warmth to me and his laughter makes my troubles crumble.”

 “There was something about the way he smiled: butterflies seemed to escape from the pit of my stomach and the sun somehow toppled down from the sky and made a home right in my heart.”

 “His words of comfort, jokes and warmth filled my being as his fatherly kiss always ups my spirit and heals my wounds.”            

“He has kept me grounded, yet he has given me the wings to soar.”

“I will call on my father when the darkness is surrounding me; and I will know that he is there.”

“My dad has made me laugh, made me cry, wiped my tears, hugged me tight, watched me succeed, seen me fail, cheered me on, kept me going strong and driven me crazy.”

“On my first day going to high school, I pretended not to need you, but you knew better, so when I glanced back, quickly, you were there. Watching. Smiling. I love you Dad.”

 “How he would come and tell me magical stories when I couldn’t fall asleep.”

 “If I could get another chance, another dance with him…I’d play a song that would never end, because I’d love-love to dance with my father again.”

 How precious!

This article was originally published in the autumn edition of My Child and I, 2018. 


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