Being ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ can teach your daughter to be helpless, make her the prey of unscrupulous men, and even make her a victim of abuse later in life. Fathers foster the very things they hope to avoid by raising a daughter who is ‘Daddy’s Little Girl.’
When I was growing up, I often heard, “Oh, don’t worry your pretty little head about that. Leave that worrying to those boys.” The fact that I never heard this at home (Thanks, Dad and Mom) did not stop society from sending this message. My dad, more than any other person, taught me to be independent, think for myself, persist, and say “no” when it was needed. When I look back, this kept me from bowing to peer pressure in high school and college. It kept me safe from the very things he feared! It kept me “worrying my pretty little head” about something instead of leaving all of that up to the men in my life. It made me “want a man” rather than “need a man.”
Good rule of thumb: Don’t rescue your daughter from any situation where you would not rescue your son.
You are the first man in your daughter’s life. She gets her idea of relationships first from you. Basically, raising a daughter who can take risks, negotiate for what she wants, learn from her mistakes, and solve her own problems without being rescued by you or any other man is the order of the day. This is what makes her a strong, happy woman rather than a little girl forever. Marone, in her book How to Mother a Successful Daughter gives the best advice–don’t rescue your daughter from any situation where you would not rescue your son.
You are the first man in your daughter’s life. She gets her idea of relationships first from you.
Let her go. It would be wonderful to keep your daughter a little girl forever. You can’t do that. Her breasts will develop, the boys will come around, she will leave for college, and eventually she will leave home completely for the outside world and a career and family of her own. The best thing you can do for your daughter is give her the resources to face the world, not the protection or even the desire to hide from the world. In short, we should all follow the advice of the Beausays in their book Girls! Helping Your Little Girl Become an Extraordinary Woman and kiss them gently, then let them go.