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Being a parent is hard, it can be even harder is you are totally clueless about major aspects of your child's life.


Reddit user @dogidoga asked:

Daughters of reddit, what is something you wish your father knew about girls when you were growing up?


For tons of people out there, the Daddy/Daughter dynamic comes with a few speed bumps. The question was initially posed to the women of Reddit, but a surprising number of men chimed in as well - turning the whole thread into more of a conversation than an endless list. The responses actually turned out pretty enlightening. And, it shows that you can raise a child without the blue or pink stereotypes.

Treat Them Right

The way you treat your wife/girlfriend can teach how I'm supposed to expect men to treat me.

- Elodea


This is why I have changed tactics with my youngest daughter. Instead of being the father that cleaned his gun, or sharpened his knife when the boyfriend came over, I decided that the best way to help my daughter make smarter decisions about boys is to treat her mother with love and respect.

Sure, my wife annoys me at times, but I don't lash out at her, I don't insult her, I have never raised a hand towards her in anger. I raise my voice, but that's more because I am going deaf and don't realize that I am raising my voice, I have never raised it in anger.

We need to teach our daughters how men should be treating women. Not making threats against guys that want to date them. It doesn't look good for us as fathers and teaches them that violence is an acceptable path.

- PathNotTaken

"Boys Don't Like Fat Girls" 

How much what he said (or didn't say) mattered. It still bothers me that he didn't tell me I looked pretty either time I was all dressed up as bridesmaid in my friends' weddings and I still remember him saying "boys don't like fat girls," or words to that effect a few times.

- Marla_Brando

Never Embarrass Me

Giphy

My dad was a high school teacher that taught at a really good school. As a teen, I wanted to attend the school my dad taught at but he and my mother insisted I attended a different one that was apparently "of a better standard". It wasn't until years later my mother admitted to me that the reason I was put in a different school was because my dad didn't want me to get teased by other students about him or feel embarrassed by him.

I wish my dad knew he could never embarrass me.

Love you daddy. R.I.P

- EsotericGardenia


As a teacher I'm at the cusp of the same thing with my oldest. While the majority wouldn't tease her for who her father is as I'm well liked enough by my students, it would affect her social and school life.

I wouldn't be able to let her friends over if they're from the same school because we're required to do a heap of formwork for that. Can't take her friends home with us for sleepovers etc. No parties at my house because I'm a mandatory reporter for underage drinking (that will exist regardless unfortunately for her). Her teachers can just call my staff room right after a lesson if there's a problem.

She's a good kid and I don't want her ability to grow and make friends and engage respectfully with her teachers to be compromised by the fact that Daddy is the crazy science teacher at the other end of the school.

- Xuanwu

After Mom

I wish he tried to get to know me after my mom left him.

- pjade18

Gender And Interests

I liked trains. He apparently was really sad when my gender was revealed and I was a girl. He wanted a boy to play trains with and I was the last kid they were going to have. Youngest of 3 girls. I liked trains. My mom would buy toy trains and train movies for me to play with, and I would play with them for hours, but my dad never saw me playing with them because when he got home from work, all I wanted to do was play with my dad, and he didn't typically use toys to play with me. He would just teach me cool stuff, or tell me jokes and stories. He played using his voice. If I had known he wanted to play with trains, we would've had a blast.

- Avbitten

As a father of 5 (two girls three boys) I've learned gender bias is generally wrong. My oldest two, girl/boy, were pretty typical but the younger three not so much. My youngest daughter collects hot wheels just like her brothers even if most of them are pink or purple. However she's the first to be in the mud, on the tractor or under the hood of a car with me- Usually asking me to paint a car pink or purple. She's her mother's princess - but she also seeks opportunity on any challenge, any day, and doesn't see the world as pink or blue.

My second son loves Unicorns and pink. My youngest son loves dance class which is 95% female and started his Littlest Pet Shop fascination this year.

Today's chore is to haul firewood from the big stack to the smaller porch stack. Usually about a Rick of wood when we re-stack closer to home in prep for storms later this week. I've got $20 says she earns it alone first before her other two male siblings charged with the task this afternoon... before her double dance classes tonight.

These kids earn cash for every "extra" non-daily chore around here and she earns 7/1 to her brothers on tasks some who consider outside of normal gender bias all the time. 12 yr old wants a new video game and here she is "I could buy it but..."

She's 10, Tiny, Blonde Barbie/Cheerleader, almost flighty at first impression fun loving 1000% typical A-Crowd girl in school but she'd change a college boys tire on the side of a highway faster than he can call Road Service.

It helps to pay attention to what your kids love regardless of gender. I'm old, I don't want to stack firewood anymore LOL.

- SarcasmIsMyFont

Hugs

That when you stop hugging us when we hit puberty, we notice...and it hurts.

- Junoblanche

Hormones

We can be angry without it being hormones.

- Applebottomgenes75


Honestly, as a guy, I will NEVER treat any emotion or opinion as, "She's just hormonal"

You deal with everything with sincerity and reason, because anything else demeans the person you're talking to. It is the other person's responsibility to identify when they are being unreasonable and "just hormonal", if that is indeed the case, and let you know how severe this issue is.

I don't know if this has a word for it, but in the legal-world, this is called 'negotiating in good-faith'.

- Ganglebot

The Boy You Wanted

That I'm not a boy, and it hurts immensely when you spend more time with the neighbor's son than you own daughter because I'm not the boy you wanted.

- Cyanide_Kitty_101

I just wanted healthy kids.. and I got that. Now, i did make them do Ninja Warrior stuff and we played war with water guns, so I got to play as well. My youngest likes dolls, so i show her some cool WWE moves with them.

- Theres_A_FAP_4_That

Raise Her Strong

Tell her she's strong and raise her to be it, treat her like she's the strongest person you've ever met. It will make her believe it, and there's no better way you could protect her from the world, when you're not around, than by making her believe in herself. Nothing meant more to me than the day my dad, the strongest man I know, said he admired my strength.

- MinkusODonnahue

Accept It

Accept the fact that your daughter will eventually need OBGYN visits, birth control, and will participate in dating and sex at some point. You don't have to be happy about it but please don't shame me or make me feel ashamed that I enjoy being human. I have to leave the room or wait for dad to leave in order to call my OBGYN office and I'm 23 years old.

- nosiriamadreamer


See, as a dad to a little girl, it's just hard to accept that all of that will happen. Not because of "norms" or sanctity or some antiquated way of thinking - it's just that they're all signs that my little girl isn't so little anymore.

For most dads, it's just hard to accept - not something we willingly fight, but something we willingly don't want to admit to ourselves. Sure there are others that have very antiquated ways of thinking but not all - hell, not the majority.

I dreaded the day my daughter (six years old now) would tell me she had a crush at school, and I jokingly acted like I was not happy at first, but I let her know immediately after that having a crush is normal and acceptable.

I dread the day that she has her first period, but I know I'll start packing pads in her backpack when she turns 10 just in case it happens when she's in school.

I dread the day I have to take her to an OBGYN or fill a script for birth control for her, but I know that day will come. Same as the day she tells me she's sexually active. But I know the one thing I have to do is accept it, as hard as it is when that day comes - because I know as hard as it is for me, it's doubly hard and embarrassing for her.

But if there is anything threads like these that pop up every so often have taught me, is that communication is key - and having open lines of communication with her, where nothing is off limits, will allow her to have a better life and make better life choices (where she can learn from my and my wife's mistakes and observation (wisdom?) without having to make the same mistakes herself).

So for all the fellow dads out there - don't be afraid to communicate with your princesses. And for all the princesses out there, don't be afraid to communicate with your dads - these things are new to us too, and we're always going to be afraid of accepting the fact that the little girl we held in our arms for years is growing up.

- Jsanc623

Some Vagina To Guard

I'm jealous of all that time and money you spent on my brother and getting to know him as a person. I wish you'd just treat me like a person, not some vagina you felt the need to creepily guard until I got married.

- Zombombaby


Fathers have a strong instinct to protect the family, especially the women. It's just something you can never truly understand as a woman.

- Logicalthinker1

We Notice

That we notice when he would do some semi-creepy things like stare women down on the street (he was married to my mom for 40 years.) I wish he knew how I internalized a whole bunch of stuff from it. It was creepy on a general level...but to do it in front of your daughter like she doesn't see you just made it worse. Maybe that's lame, but it is genuine.

- durachok

Brushing Hair

How to brush hair. When I was little I remember crying every morning before school because my dad would just take the brush and practically rip my scalp off. All he would say was "sorry I don't know how to do girl hair"..ouch.

- alienflavoredslurpee


What's the secret. [6 and 3 yr old girls] Lol. I've tried wet brushes. Detangles. Best I can do is hold it and brush is small sections. About 2 more days away from going and grabbing one of those toy hair dressing heads for practice.

- DJToca

Periods Can Be Bad

Giphy

How bad periods can be.

My dad thinks that a period is all about blood, but never understands that I go through an awful pain while on my period.

- mehgrill


I learned this from my first girl friend (16) and she was blowing chunks in my bathroom sink. I asked what the hell was wrong, and she explained to me her period started. I was blown the away. I ended up going to the store to get Mydol which I learned came in several different types and I bought them all. I don't recall if I had to buy pads, but since we're married now I have done so. Having an older sister who I was close with I knew it caused problems, but I was not aware of the extreme levels of pain that can occur.

- AvatarOfShibby

Because You're Family

I love my dad, he's really great, but I wish he hadn't compared my relationship with my brother to his relationship with his own brothers. It's awesome that my dad and his brothers got along, but my brother bullied me relentlessly, and having my dad constantly telling us that we were supposed to get along because we were family made me think that something was wrong with me.

- AtLeastImGenreSavvy

This List

Kids aren't action figures. You don't get to mold them to be whatever you want them to be, and you don't get to vicariously live your fantasies through them.

PMS is a real thing that affects some women, but it only occurs for a few days at a very specific point in the menstrual cycle and it's more likely to produce feelings of fatigue/depression/anxiety than feelings of anger/irritability. When you blame all female emotions on PMS, it's both scientifically inaccurate and tremendously invalidating.

Pay attention to the media your kid consumes, and don't dismiss or ridicule girl-oriented media. Girls crave female role models, so make sure your daughter gets exposed to female characters in something other than love interest/princess/celebrity/caretaker roles. Seek out media where female characters are problem solvers, adventurers, and leaders.

Don't act like feminine things are shameful or boring. Don't be the dad who stays out in his car during his daughter's ballet class because sitting with the dance moms is too embarrassing. Don't be the dad who refuses to buy pads/tampons at the grocery store. Don't be the dad who says that women's sports are low action. Don't be the dad who lavishes time and attention on sons while ignoring daughters. Kids are smarter than you think, and they pick up on stuff like that.

- shinkouhyou

F*ck that sh*t. I was in there every week, every single week. I hemmed recital dresses, did hair, etc etc etc. I'd do it again tomorrow. This whole thread is so frustrating to read...no wonder women are always feeling less than enough and second guessing everything. Sorry for the rant but every single person who has posted at feeling less than good enough, I'm sorry for you that your father wasn't up to the job.

- rtroth2946

Hair Ties

Not to use plain rubber bands as hair ties. F*ck that hurt!

- OurLadyOfTheChickens


Ouch... As a guy with mid-back hair I don't even like the hair ties with the metal bit in them as they catch in my hair.. Rubber bands are... Umm.. No....

- mourningcat

Can't Control It

That we cannot control our periods.

I came home from school when I was ten with one of those fevers from the flu where all you do is sleep someone has to wake you up to remind you to eat and drink and use the bathroom.

Well all of this was about 3 months after having my first period and most women at least, I'm sure a few men might too, know how irregular they can be during that. Well while I was asleep I started. And (TMI WARNING but it is important to the story) I tend to bleed somewhere in the Oh My-God-I've-Been-Shot range. Now I wasn't expecting to start obviously so I had no pad on or anything. I'd been asleep for a couple of hours Dad woke me up to give me some more meds and I got up to use the bathroom, in there I quickly realized that I had started as most of the crotch area of my jeans was soaked in blood. A few seconds after that dad started yelling at me from the living room. About half the blue couch cushion is now dark purple.

I can barely stand I'm already very sick and now I'm crying, so he makes me change pants get in the truck drives me to the country store down the road and go in and buy myself pads or tampons. He doesn't want to go buy them because he thinks they are gross and he doesn't want to even be seen accompanying his daughter to buy them.

Now I'm ten, I have no idea what I'm supposed to really buy because I've only had 2 periods at this point and I'd just been using moms pads from home. But we were out of them at home and she went a couple towns over for groceries and other things. I don't have a phone to call her I'm crying I'm bleeding through the second set of pants and I feel so weak I'm holding on to the shelf to stay up. Thankfully a really nice lady who worked there helped me and helped me back to the truck.

He was yelling at me the whole time saying if I was going to start I should have been more prepared and put a pad on or used a tampon or something. How I should have known better than to bleed on the couch and how I should have gotten up and used the bathroom when I felt the bleeding. Mom got home and absolutely tore him a new one and gave him some menstruation knowledge while she was at it.

- RayofFingsunshine


You found me! Let me know here.

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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