There is really nothing like the bond between a father and their daughter. As an only child, I've always been close with my parents and consider them more BFFs than parents, and my dad has always been an amazing support system. He has seen Twilight movies with me, read some YA books, and always takes an interest in my life, dreams, and goals. I love that I can talk to him about anything.
Raising strong daughters is definitely important work, and I can say first-hand that fathers need to be super involved in their child's life if they want their daughters to grow up to be strong and independent. It's really just a fact. Sure, a lot of dad jokes might be involved, but I think that we all secretly love dad jokes, anyway, so this really isn't a problem.
There are so many stories of fathers who have stepped up to the plate and are really rocking their parenting roles. Of course, we appreciate good moms who support their daughters and are there for them all the time, but there's just something about dads who truly care about their daughters and want them to be the best that they can be.
These 25 adorable dads are motivating their daughters to be strong, independent women, and their stories couldn't be sweeter and more inspiring.
25 This Dad Is Teaching His Daughter Wrestling
When a dad posted on Reddit that his daughter took wrestling lessons, he got this response, among other positive comments: "I think it's so cool when girls get into combat sports. I think it gives them a sense of self-respect, or just believe in their own abilities, that is hard to get any other way. Good on you."
We tend to associate a sport like wrestling (or any sport in general) with boys when, of course, girls can be interested in this stuff, too. If dads want to raise strong and independent women, this is a great way to do it.
24 This Dad Told His Daughter She Could Do Anything
All we want is the unconditional love and support of our parents and us, daughters, definitely want that from our dads. It's always sweet to hear stories from daughters about how their fathers taught them to be strong, and this woman posted to Reddit and shared such a great story.
She said of her dad, "He would always randomly (and awkwardly) knock on my door and tell me 'you know you can tell me anything, I know I know it doesn’t feel like it, but you can' He did this for years, despite the fact that I never told the poor man anything deep or real... He kept gently reminding me that he was there for me, and that meant the world to me — even though I know he never got any feedback that I appreciated it at the time."
23 This Dad Believes In Safety First
This dad wants his daughter to be able to protect herself, and he's teaching her all sorts of life skills. Safety is super important to him. He shared this photo and his story on Reddit.
He said that everyone in the family is active and, "We don't tell her she has to compete but I do want her to have a skill set because one day she will be 16...I want her to be able to have the confidence and the skills to get herself out of a jam when douche tries forcing her to do something she doesn't want to. Winning tournaments, belts and all that aren't important, her being safe is what is paramount."
22 This Dad Lets His Daughter Paint His Nails
"Single dad raising a strong daughter by painting his nails" is the caption for this photo that was shared to Reddit.
Is there anything more adorable than that sentence? Probably not. Any daughter would love to read that. We all know that when we were kids, we would have loved to paint our dad's nails. Maybe he let us and was cool with it or maybe he said no, but there was no greater feeling than when our dad didn't mind doing something girly because it meant that he was spending time with us. These are memories that we always keep close.
21 This Dad Lets His Daughter Have Strong Opinions
Scarymommy.com has a story about a dad who has a very "assertive" seven-year-old daughter. He says that she's a "difficult" child but he wants to encourage that because he wants her to be strong and independent, which is really inspiring to hear.
He said, "Because the reality is, I want her to grow into a strong-willed and independent woman. I want her to be the woman who stands up for what she deserves... It means listening to her. It means getting blindingly frustrated, swallowing it, and then discussing with her how to better handle a situation." We think that all dads should be like that, don't we?
20 This Dad Wasn't Phased By Puberty
A single dad of four children, one daughter and three sons, posted on Quora. He shared the coolest story ever: when his daughter went through puberty, he wasn't phased at all. He bought her a bra and pads and helped her by talking to her openly about her period and other subjects. He also talked to her about boys and dating to make sure that she could take care of herself.
He said, "Now, with explaining to her about boys that part I could explain to her very well and did so that she knows how a boy is affected by her attention and that she needs to be sure she is sending the message she intends to a boy. That was one of the better conversations I've had with her." So awesome.
19 This Dad Makes Sure His Daughter Knows That Nothing Is "For Boys"
The Huffington Post has a HuffPost Parents Community. It's a space for moms and dads to relate to each other and share thoughts and experiences and advice.
There are some great stories about dads raising strong, independent daughters, and this one is especially great. This father shared, "Every time she says ‘that's for boys’ (it is inevitable in society) stop dead in your tracks and go do that thing. Don't raise her in preparation of men. Instill independence, individuality, and strength..."
Isn't this so great? It's definitely important for daughters to know that nothing is just for boys. Everything is for everyone and we can play with whatever toys we want or have any experience that we want.
18 This Dad Is Helping Others
For single dads, it can be tough to know how to deal with girly subjects, like hair, and that's why this dad is helping others learn how to do just that. Thanks to a story on Babble.com, we know that he started teaching classes called "Dads And Daughters" and he would show how to do their hair.
He posted on Reddit and said, "I created a Dads and Daughters hair class to help other fathers learn about doing hair. We had a small class full of dads that learned basic brushing, ponytails, braids, and buns. The turnout was great! I'm so proud of these dads for stepping up and building a better bond with their daughters."
17 This Dad Embraced His Daughter's Tomboy Nature
There's nothing wrong with being girly, just like there's nothing wrong with being a tomboy. It's a personal choice and what we feel comfortable with.
Thanks to this thread on Reddit, we can hear stories from daughters who were raised by amazing dads, and this daughter shared that her dad totally embraced the fact that she was a tomboy. She said, "I was a tomboy growing up. I always did activities with my dad that could be classed as masculine." She continued, "I was heavily involved in horse riding and my dad never missed a show. All the early mornings, the money, the traveling. My dad was there. No matter the time or cost he made sure I had everything I needed to succeed in my horse riding."
16 This Dad Is Raising His Daughter To Love Sports
This is basically the most adorable photo ever, and the caption that this dad posted along with this picture on Reddit is perfection too: "We had matching daddy/daughter outfits for the ball game today. AND our team won!"
This dad is awesome and adorable and he's teaching his daughter to love sports. He doesn't believe that sports are for boys, not girls, and he's not insisting that she's only interested in things that could be classified as girly. That definitely makes a huge difference and will make her strong and independent, and it's also just so sweet to see these two hanging out together.
15 This Dad Lets His Daughter Be A "Geek"
As this dad posted on Reddit, "I am a geek Dad raising a geek daughter!" And the photo is so adorable, we're convinced that dads who encourage the nerdy interests of their daughters are the best types of dads.
Let's be honest, we all have geeky interests (at least one), and we don't need to be told that we should like something else. We always want to feel like our dads support us, no matter what age we are, and when we're allowed to like whatever we like, it really makes a huge difference. We're more confident and feel very strong.
14 These Dads Had No Problem Taking Ballet With Their Daughters
For Valentine's Day, a few dads took a ballet class with their daughters, and this is awesome proof that gender stereotypes should never exist and no one should care about them. We might not see dads doing ballet very often (okay, we never really see this), but we should.
We can tell that these fathers care about their daughters and that they are willing to do something that is generally considered to be girly. It counts for a lot and shows that they are committed to being hands-on dads who are there for their kids, and we find that inspiring, so we can only imagine how happy their daughters were.
13 This Dad Was Caring And The Best Listener Ever
A daughter's perspective on her father can tell the real story of what it was like to be parented by him, and on Reddit, this daughter shared how awesome her dad was. She likes that he was caring and always the best listener ever.
She said, "He respected my feelings, listened to me, comforted me when I was upset, held me a lot, showed interest in my life, and often told me he was proud of me."
Don't we just want to hug our dads ASAP after reading that?! I know that I do. It's so wonderful to hear a story like this one.
12 This Dad Believes In Letting Go Of Gender Stereotypes
Gender stereotypes really don't do anyone any favors. Marcus Williams, who has two toddler daughters, created The Good Men Project which has a 25-point list about ways to raise strong daughters. There are some amazing points on the list.
The majority of the points are all about letting go of gender stereotypes. One way to raise strong daughters: "Tell her she’s pretty, but tell her other good things about herself more."
Another way: "Read her books with great heroes -- both boy and girl heroes." And one which is related to that: "Dress like a princess if she asks you to… And let her dress like a Power Ranger if she wants."
11 This Dad Built His Daughter Her Very Own Castle
It's no secret that girls love princesses and pink (although of course, it's totally fine to love blue and sports and other stuff, too), and for this girl's third birthday, her dad built her her very own castle.
This is so awesome since it proves that he wants the best for her and knows that she should be strong and independent. It's not enough for her to just like castles and princesses, she has to be the princess of her very own castle. It's so cool to instill that kind of value in her at such a young age. Plus, this is a very impressive project, and the fact that he put so much hard work and effort into it proves how much he cares. Having such a caring father figure instills so much confidence in a kid.
10 This Dad Wants His Daughter To Be Brave (And Also Love "Boy" Stuff)
This dad who posted in the community of parents on Huffington Post said, "You now have the honor and pleasure of raising your daughters to be strong, brave, and awesome (and to love football and Star Wars).”
This is a dad that wants his daughter to be brave and he also doesn't think that it's a big deal if she loves stuff that is traditionally considered to be for boys. In fact, he thinks that would be awesome because there's no such thing as "boy" stuff -- it's for everyone.
9 This Dad Was A Total Feminist
Men who are feminists are always appreciated, and dads who are feminist are really cool, too. This daughter's post on Reddit about her amazing dad proves that the key to raising strong, independent is definitely being a feminist. She said, "When I got married the officiant mentioned the part where they say 'who gives away this bride' and my dad stopped them and said no, don't say that. She's my daughter, not my property. I don't give her away, and her husband doesn't get her. I am standing here with her to show her I love and support her."
That's such a cool story and definitely brings tears to our eyes.
8 This Dad Stepped Up And Was There For His Daughter
Thanks to The Daily Mail, we know this amazing story of this dad and his daughter. His wife and her mom passed away, and he showed his daughter how to shave her legs.
As the daughter says, "It was the summer after mom died and some of the girls I went to summer camp with started teasing me about my hairy legs. 'I remember coming up to dad and being so embarrassed to ask him for help, but man, did he handle it like a champ! 'For a moment he put his head down; and then he turned the TV off, took me into the bathroom, gave me a new blade on his razor, gave me his shaving cream, and taught me how to shave my legs.'"
Hearing a story about a dad stepping up like this is so amazing.
7 This Dad Who Is Devoted To His Autistic Daughter
Hellmagazine.com shared a story of an autistic daughter and her father. He shared a story of the day when she made a friend on the playground. This was enough of a big deal since she was socializing, but it was an even bigger deal because she even hugged the child. This had never happened before and is really too sweet for words.
Being a father means being devoted to your children no matter what, and it is really inspiring and wonderful to hear about this dad who cares about his daughter so much. It's nice to hear really heartwarming stories, especially of fathers and daughters, and this definitely fits into that category.
6 This Dad Is Leaving Cool Notes For His Daughter In Her Lunch
This dad leaves sweet, adorable, and funny notes for his daughter when he packs her lunch. This is really cool since he drew all kinds of stuff on the lunch bags, and it's not girly at all. The notes are all about being strong -- some are about spells and others are about zombies. Honestly, it's tough to imagine something more adorable than this.
He said, "This school year, my daughter had to have her name written on her lunch. I thought I would have some fun with it, so I wrote this on it the first day. But then I couldn't stop myself.."
"Lilith's Extra Poke Balls" and "Lilith's Three-Dimensional Lunch Delivery Maneuver Gear" are just some of the awesome examples.
5 This Dad Teaches His Daughter Self-Love And Respect
From another Huffington Post community dad, we know that if a dad is going to raise a strong, independent daughter, he needs to teach her self-love and self-respect. Those are definitely two very important components and really contribute to self-esteem and confidence, which are so vital.
This dad shared that his parenting beliefs are all about, "Teach her love and respect, not just for others. But for herself as well. Show her how a man should treat a woman by your example with your wife." It is so great to hear this and this is a perfect example of dads raising strong daughters.
4 This Dad Believes That Honesty Is The Best Policy For Raising Daughters
This daughter posted on Reddit about her awesome dad and how he raised her and her sister. She said, "He was honest" and continued, "But he would always answer any questions I brought to him, and when I brought up topics that in retrospect were maybe a little embarrassing or alarming, he'd treat them like perfectly reasonable things for a dad to be talking about with his daughter."
If any of us can relate to this and can always tell our dad stuff and get his opinion, we know how lucky we are. Dads like this are the best and the most adorable.
3 This Dad Was A Great Example
Another daughter who posted in the same Reddit thread said that she watched how her dad treated her mom when she was growing up. That was really great since he set such a good example.
She said, "my parents had a very egalitarian marriage and respected each other deeply and took an interest in each others' lives. Like my mother did community theater and my dad, who is not at all a performer, instead served as the theater's photographer because he is a serious amateur photographer. They found a way to be involved with each others' hobbies and passions without resentment. Modeling a good relationship is, I think, the bulk of good parenting anyway."
2 This Dad Was Supportive Of Every Decision His Daughter Made
This daughter shared the story of her awesome dad on Reddit and said that he supported whatever choices she was making. That definitely counts for a lot, and we can see how that would make someone strong and also independent.
She shared, "He respected me as an individual. I've not always made the best life decisions (boyfriends, jobs, etc...), but he always talked to me like a peer and never pressured me into making a decision he would have made. He made his case, very unbiasedly, and would always finish with, 'it is your life, after all, and you need to make the decision that is right for you. Whatever that is, you're my daughter and I will always have your back.'"
1 This Dad Was Always There For His Daughter No Matter What
If us daughters could say that we have one wish for the relationship that we have with our dads, it would be that we felt his support no matter what we wanted to do. This is true for small and big life decisions that we make.
One daughter shared on Reddit that her dad did exactly that, and it's too sweet and adorable for words. She said, "My dad is very supportive and always makes me feel good about myself. He was there for me in difficult times and helped me through it... Our relationship is one of mutual respect and understanding." She added that she's in university and hangs out with him on the weekend and tells him a lot of what's going on in her life. Awwww.