The day has finally come. You are on your way to the hospital to take your baby’s first selfies…to find out the sex of your new bundle of joy. The doctor comes in, sweaty nervous handshakes are given, words are exchanged, and you sit down to stare at pixelated pictures that look more like a gray lava monster than the “bun” that has been cooking in the “oven” the last few months. It becomes a blur:
“There? You see….that is…a hand. And right here, there is a finger. So, either your baby is sucking it’s thumb or picking it’s nose.”
Your wife/girlfriend turns to you and says, “Aww he or she probably got the whole nose picking thing from her Dad.”
You laugh nervously, “Very funny, can you tell Doc? The sex of the baby?”
And that’s where your world changes. Congratulations, you are having a baby girl…time to freak out. Your mind flashes forward to your baby girl’s first words, first steps, first dates…with boys. Whoa, relax….breathe in, breathe out. Take my hand, we can do this together. Here are five things to remember while raising your daughter:
- Be a superhero.
Like it or not, your little one will look at you as a superhero. You will amaze her with your super strength when a peanut butter jar needs to be opened. You will dazzle her with your utility belt that helps build dollhouses and fix broken toys. She will be wowed when you magically reattach broken-off Barbie doll heads and limbs. She will watch you morph from super dad to a willing participant at her special princess tea parties. But remember, every superhero has a weakness…and it’s ok to show it sometimes.
- Make mistakes.
Your little one will make mistakes. Remember that remote control that you have that controls your brand new smart TV? She lost it. And why does the dog have diarrhea? Your precious baby girl fed it chocolate during dinner. She is not perfect…and neither are you. So, it’s ok if she sees that. Let her know that it is perfectly normal to make “boo boos.” Doing this will build self-confidence. So, what if Daddy forgets to throw the garbage or wash the dishes? It’s ok, right? And who cares if Daddy forgot his wedding anniversary? Wait, that’s probably one mistake you don’t want to make.
- It’s ok to cry.
Human beings go through a wide range of emotions throughout the day. We feel joy, happiness, anger, pain, and sadness. But, nothing is more moving than seeing someone shed tears. It shows vulnerability and gives someone the insight and opportunity to help that person heal inside. Give your little one that chance to do that for her “superhero.” It develops her sense of compassion and sensitivity.
- It’s ok to be goofy.
From the very first moment your eyes meet with your little one’s…you will try to make her smile. You will spend countless hours making funny faces and weird noises just to make your little one laugh. That behavior cannot change. Life can get heavy sometimes, and we need a sense of humor to navigate through the storms life contains. Unexpected tickle battle during family dinner? Yes. Start a random dance party in a crowded mall? Yes. Inappropriate fart noises in a quiet room? Of course. The world needs more fart noises.
- Show her how a man should treat a woman.
You and your significant other are the first relationship she will observe. She will learn social norms and behaviors from your relationship. So, open doors for her mom. Be polite, caring, loving, compassionate, and sensitive. You want the absolute best for your daughter, so that means be the absolute best to mom, too. Yes, that means not forgetting stuff like anniversaries, too.
See? That wasn’t so hard, right? Now, let go of my hand..you’re hurting me.