Tell her she's beautiful.
Never miss her birthday.
Teach her how to eat sunflower seeds.
These are a few of the 50 pieces of advice blogger Michael Mitchell has for dads of daughters.
His suggestions have been "liked," tweeted, pinned and emailed by thousands of people.
Read through his rules here, and find more from Mitchell on his blog, Life to Her Years.
Editor's note: This content has been posted here with the author's permission.
Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.
Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her … add life to her years.
She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.
Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.
Regularly. Passionately. Continually.
Make her proud to throw like a girl … a girl with a wicked slider.
Choose sides wisely.
Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.
Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.
Enjoy the wonder of bath time.
Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”
She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.
In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.
She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.
Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait till her wedding day.
She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.
She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.
Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.
A tire without air need not be a major panic-inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.
Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.
She will always remember when daddy let her drive.
Make sure she knows that.
When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.
Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.
Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.
It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.
She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.
She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.
In 10 years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.
Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.
Watch her confidence soar.
It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.
Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.
Somewhere between the time she turns 3 and her 6th birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.
She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.
Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.
She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.
When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead … give it all you’ve got.
Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.
Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one, though.
Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.
Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.
Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.
Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.
Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.
When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.
When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Know her favorite flavor.
This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.
Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.