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Women Explain Which Mistakes Dads Make Raising Daughters

Reddit user Bluemonday82 asked: 'Daughters of reddit: what's the biggest mistake dads make with their daughters?'

man with girl on his shoulders

Brittani Burns on Unsplash

"Daddy's Girl, Daddy's Girl, I'm the center of Daddy's world..." ~ "Daddy's Girl" by Red Sovine

A lot has been written about the bond between fathers and daughters.

But there's always room for improvement, right?

And who better to offer constructive criticism than daughters?


Reddit user Bluemonday82 asked:

"Daughters of Reddit: what's the biggest mistake dads make with their daughters?"

Affection

"My dad and I recently talked about how he stopped showing physical affection when I hit puberty (20 years ago). He didn't know how to act because his sisters got treated inappropriately by others when he was young, and he wanted to be sure I never felt like that."

"It resulted in me never getting hugs or kisses on the cheeks anymore. He also didn't know how to talk about it in the past."

"But in the last years, he worked through so much of his rough childhood and really learned to express himself better. He apologized, and I said I understood and that his intentions came from a good place, that the only bad thing was all the hugs we missed out on."

"We hugged for a really long time after that, and we've been hugging extra tight ever since."

"So I guess what I wanna say is, don't treat your daughters differently when their bodies start to change. And always keep talking!"

"I'm so proud of my dad for the person he's become."

"For a while, I didn't wanna hug my dad either. Puberty was rough for me, and the adults in my life kept acting like it was just a phase."

"And I guess it was, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the most emotionally complicated and lonely period of my life. The feelings weren't less real."

"My dad and I struggled a lot. He didn't know how to express himself at all, and I was so overwhelmed I didn't know either."

"I also grew up with two autistic brothers who needed a lot of care and attention. I love them so much, but it resulted in me always looking out for them and never learning (until just a few years ago) to properly give space to my own inner turmoil."

"My brothers were never physically affectionate either. But once I got out of the heaviest puberty years, I did want that affection from my dad. For a while, male physical attention was a very complicated topic for me."

"A Christian upbringing also played a role in that cause as a young girl growing into a woman, it had a lot to say about how I should behave around men."

"Something important to add is that my dad's rough childhood not only made it hard to show love but also receive it. His journey started with the realization that he had no idea how to react to getting compliments."

"I think that's a thing that a lot of men (from his generation especially, but also younger ones) will recognize. Know that we are all deserving of love and kindness, especially from our loved ones, but even more so from ourselves!"

"My dad couldn't ever have grown this much without learning to really understand what that means. And diving into the withholding of love from his parents heavily impacted how he dealt with that himself."

"I'm so glad my dad and I could both grow and work through our issues. Even if he couldn't show or say it, I never really doubted his love for me."

"But I know he would encourage you all to learn how to show and receive appreciation! That man is my example for people never being too old to learn."

"I'm sending love and strength to all of you who struggle with this in one way or another."

"And to the fathers who feel like their young kids don't want their affection, just know that this will most likely change again over time. They might act like they don't wanna hear it, but keep letting them know you're there for them."

~ yuffieisathief

Showing Up

"The one mistake my dad made was not really being present. A lot of the memories I have of him are him watching TV or being on the computer and not having time to play with me."

"He always said he’s too tired or he’ll come play later but then he never did. So since we never really bonded when I was little we weren’t all that close as I grew older either."

~ katie__kat

Communication

"Getting angry for something the kid doesn't know, and never teaching it. Not before and not even after getting angry.

"Doing something you know upsets the kid on purpose."

"Slamming doors and stuff in the house because you're angry."

"Not listening, and talking only to make themselves look smart and great parents rather than talking for helping."

~ yoyuayu

"I'll never forget the time my dad saw me put something metal in the microwave. I don't know how old I was, but I know I needed to push a chair to the counter to even reach the microwave."

"He SCREAMED at me for several minutes about how STUPID I was and how he couldn't believe I would do something SO INCREDIBLY DUMB and was I trying to start a fire??"

"I had no idea you weren't supposed to put metal in a microwave."

"I did learn a few things that day- don't put metal in the microwave and don't do anything wrong in front of Daddy. Oh, but you won't know if was wrong or not until too late..."

~ DrScarecrow

"Didn’t have to look very far to find the description of my dad—especially slamming doors and hitting things loudly when upset while stomping all over the house."

"People always get a kick out of how jumpy I am (easily startled), but it’s reflexive from anticipating loud bangs/crashing that would come out of nowhere every day."

~ ouija__bored

"My dad had such a short temper. He didn't necessarily hit me, but I got spanked til I was 9 years old and then my mom told him I was too old for that."

"But whenever he was angry (and that was a lot of the time) he'd scream and sometimes slam things."

"My husband slammed his hand onto the table a couple times during fights near the beginning, but realized he was wrong for acting like that, especially seeing how I'd immediately shut down. He's gotten much better."

~ Educational_Cat_5902

Being Your Child's Bully

"Singing in a falsetto voice and poking until your autistic kid is screaming at you to stop isn’t 'fun' or teaching them to be less sensitive, it’s why they don’t ever want to hang out with you."

~ Redqueenhypo

"Making fun when your small daughter is having big feelings."

"I got so furiously frustrated when my parents wouldn't listen to what I was trying to tell them and my dad just loooooved to mock my crying or squeaky 'upset' voice back at me."

"It made me so f*cking hurt and angry to not only be ignored and patronized, but actively MOCKED when I tried to communicate."

"Now as an adult I don't bother trying to share anything with them."

"Another classic was when I was disappointed and said, 'aww, man' he'd scrunch up his face, raise his voice three octaves, and 'AwW mAn!!' back at me."

"So now I wasn't just sad and disappointed, but sad, disappointed, and humiliated!"

"Imagine choosing to be your child's first bully... 😞"

~ Not_a_werecat

Just a Girl

"Or from my experience—not even bothering to teach anything because Dad assumes his daughter wouldn't be interested because she's a girl."

"Worse—actively making sh*tty jokes about women not liking those things."

~ Cinnapuns

"Not having anything to do with their daughters because the dad 'doesn't have anything in common with a girl'."

"This goes double if a son shows up and the dad is really involved in the son's life."

~ Dangerous_Contact737

Puberty Isn't a Disease

"My dad basically bailed on parenting once I hit puberty."

"Like, you think I’m enjoying this? It would have been great to have another supportive adult around."

~ captain_flasch

"Same! What’s up with that?"

"I remember having a good relationship with my dad as a child but he emotionally cut me off and stopped hanging out with me when the boobs came in."

"I would be lying if I said that I’m past it and it doesn’t f*ck with my head still."

~ Pandapartyatmidnight

Know Nothing

"Literally knowing nothing about their daughters lives."

"Those ‘funny’ videos where they ask fathers basic questions—like what their daughter's birthday, or eye color, or school is—and the dads have no idea are not at all funny.

"I love my dad but he can’t tell you anything about me—even the name of the place I’ve worked for over 6 years."

~ Lazylioness17

"One year when I was in elementary, my mom left a comically large piece of paper on the front door for my dad telling him not to forget to wish me a happy birthday."

"Not only did he not wish me a happy birthday, but he somehow didn’t see the gigantic sign when he walked in the house from work. So I got to read it when I got home from school."

"Sometimes I think about calling him to check in but then I think of that (and other complete fumbles) and then I just don’t."

~ TetonsTeaTin

"When I was in 4th grade, we did a Christmas recital where all the classes sung songs. My mom couldn’t make it because she had work so she sent my dad with the camcorder."

"He recorded the wrong kid. Very awkward watching the tape that night."

~ myturtlebitme

The original poster shared their reason for asking his question.

"Wanted to add that I'm a dad of a teen and that motivated me to ask this. The replies are just heartbreaking."

"I'm reading every single reply and I really hope all the dads and parents and basically everyone is learning something."

~ Bluemonday82

"Dad of an almost 4 year old daughter with two older brothers…. I’m scouring this post like there is cash on it somewhere."

~ Feeling_Advantage108

"I’m doing the same thing, stepdad that adores both my boy and girl. Couldn’t have kids myself. Searching for gold on this thread."

~ Numbthumbz

And the daughters appreciated it.

"This is healing my younger self—knowing that there are fathers trying to do right by their young girls.

"I'm 25 now and I think if he just would have asked me how I was doing (and meant it) it would have changed me a lot."

~ Loniceraa

"Same. My father was cartoonishly selfish, strict, controlling and mostly only saw me as a pretty, obedient mirror born to reflect his glory. What I thought, felt, liked, or wanted mattered very little and we seldom had what I would call 'real' conversations."

"Reading the posts of all the good fathers in this thread has been wonderful."

"I'm so happy there are tons of little girls out there with fathers who want to know them and see them for who they really are, who want to teach them things and bond with them."

"My father never wanted to get to know the real me, which is a shame because I'm a f*cking delight."

~ insolentpopinjay

As the OP stated, hopefully everyone has used this opportunity to learn something.

Is there anything you would add?

Things People Secretly Love But Would Never Admit To In Public

Reddit user sweet_chick283 asked: 'What do you secretly love that you would never admit to in public?;

Collection of VHS tapes
Bruno Guerrero/Unsplash

What makes us all unique is our passions and the things we love, whether it's singing in the shower, reading books, or listening to specific music artists.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are judged for our various tastes and interests thanks to social media, and it makes us consciously selective about sharing the things we love on the internet.

Curious to hear about people's personal desires under anonymity, Redditor sweet_chick283 asked:

"What do you secretly love that you would never admit to in public?"

These aren't really chores for the following Redditors.

Good Clean Fun

"Mopping, im a janitor and generally hate my work... but damn mopping is so good."

– MrDDog06

"When you have a great rhythm going it is something special. I get the same feeling while I vacuum, but won’t let my wife know I enjoy it."

– Bogus_34

Act Of Unwrinkling

"Ironing clothes. A dozen of them. Can’t explain how it relaxes me. I told one person and they looked at me like I’m crazy."

– eerie_white_glow

"My mum misses the days when dad would be out on a Friday night, my brother out with friends and me upstairs quietly playing PS1. She would pour herself a Bacardi & Coke and do the ironing while watching her TV shows."

"I'm sure she doesn't really miss it now that we've moved out and they've retired but it was her wind-down after a busy working week so I can see how people can find it relaxing."

– xdq

Our solo actions can spark joy.

Big Brother Is Watching

"pretending to be on the Truman show and whenever im in my house i act all inconspicuous so they dont know that i know that they’re watching me."

– Bec_121

"C’mon man, you’re not supposed to let him know. You signed a contract when signing up for live views. I’m reporting you."

– doeswaspsmakehoney

The Multi-Tasker

"Playing video games naked at home while eating cheese."

– thickening_agent

Releasing The Kraken

"I love the feeling when you've eaten good fibre and let out a solid long train log in the toilet. That feeling is heavenly."

– therapoootic

"Even better when it’s a clean wipe and not a poo crayon."

– TheWarmestHugz

Ultimate Comfort

"My (male 41) weekend routine is coming home from work, make hot chocolate, start a fire, dress in a ugly pink nightgown made for old ladies and watch forensic files."

– crazyloomis

Some people are obsessed with collecting things.

So Kawai

"Sanrio stationery stores. All those different multicolor pens, a thousand kinds of erasers, spiral bound notebooks galore... my kids sadly have absolutely no appreciation for this wonderland..."

– HavingNotAttained

It's A Staple

"Office supplies have a weird, special place in my heart ever since I was a kid. They don't even have to be 'cute' necessarily."

"Japan's legendary stationery stores is unironically a reason I want to go."

– _CozyLavender_

Not Caring Anymore

"The older I get the shorter that list gets. Not because I love less things, but because I don't care about hiding it."

– Bi-Beast

"YES!! I'm 53 now. I'm working my first job in public since 2006. Today is Halloween and we're allowed to dress up so I am sitting here waiting to go to work dressed as a VERY bad Wednesday Addams. My bf said I'd 'look stupid' because no one else will probably dress up and I'm like, 'WHO CARES!' My makeup looks horrible and not like I practiced, but I DO NOT CARE! I'm having fun with it anyhow and I don't care if my coworkers dress up or not. I'm bein' ME! :)"

– deanie1970

Honorable mentions start here.

The Savior

"Picking up worms from the street and sidewalks when it rains and moving them into the dirt so they don’t burn in the sun, every time it rains I do this."

– sky_kitten89

Hero Of The Moment

"Yoooo I scoot SO many snails and worms. I work as a tech/mechanic at an automotive shop, I had a peoject car towed to my house the other day and it was covered in snails. I saw them when the tow guy/coworker was unloading and I was like, 'oh! It comes with free snails!' and began moving them. He laughed then realized and said, '... Oh, you're serious. Uh... Okay.'"

"I don't care who knows it. These little things barely can look out for themselves, why shouldn't we if we can take a moment to help? I don't care what happens next, it probably doesn't matter overall but I can help this moment."

– chris14020

Why should some of the hidden desires mentioned above have to be secret?

Redditors opening up about some of these would make them a hit at parties–no shaming.

As a matter of fact, I'll totally be down for a Forensic Files viewing party where we all make hot chocolate, light the fireplace, and cozy up together in our respective pink ugly nightgowns for old ladies.

historical reenactors
Sigmund on Unsplash

We've probably all heard some variation of the saying "Truth is stranger than fiction."

Real life isn't just strange, it can also be downright ridiculous.

History is riddled with moments of absurdity.

So ridiculous that people have a hard time believing real life is, well, really real.

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