The relationship you have as a father with your daughter is precious.
Even though, many toy shops continue to pretend that dolls and pretty pink colours are for little girls while boys like cars and blue, it’s time to breach the gap and find activities that you can enjoy with your daughter. You need to understand that sharing time with her is not only a fantastic way of teaching her that gender roles are an old-fashioned view of the world, but it’s equally empowering for you too.
Find a sport/passion you both love
The idea that all little girls should join a ballet class is ridiculous. Indeed, everyone has different interests, and it’s fair to say that your daughter might not be keen on ballet. But you can find sports activities that you’ll both enjoy, such as taking a climbing class together, for instance. If you prefer team sports, why not give tag rugby? It’s a form of rugby that encourages mixed teams. You could even play in the same team if you’re of similar agility. There are plenty of outdoor activities that can help you to cultivate your bond, such as skiing in winter or simply planning a Sunday out to go cycling in the woods.
No game is just for girls
With younger girls, it might not be suitable yet to practice sports together. But you can dedicate some time in your schedule to play. Some fathers are unsure about playing dolls with their daughters, as they claim they don’t know how to play with Barbies. In reality, while Barbie is iconic of girls’ play time, it doesn’t have to be the only game. You can share your favourite childhood toys with your daughter. And you can be sure that she will enjoy your old ActionMan figures as much as her dolls! Playing is about engaging the imagination to connect, which is something that you can not only do but also enjoy at any age. Same goes for the activities and getting muddy! We’ve seen more mud than pink glitter in our house.
An evening to cook together
If your daughter is a little older and wants to get involved in house chores, you could spend time together cooking one evening of the week. If you’re lucky enough to have a big garden, get out there and use your own vegetables! There are plenty of dishes of different levels of difficulty which are suitable for children, from a typical spaghetti bolognese dish to a yummy homemade curry. Cooking together brings you together, and also erases preconceived gender roles in the household.
Who said a quick break couldn’t do your relationship good?
Sometimes, nothing beats the peacefulness and cosy relaxation of a holiday spent together. Why not book a week with your family in a nature-friendly location, where you can spend time walking on the beach, observing nature or playing outdoors? This little “us time” bubble encourages your child’s self-development and nurture the trust and love between you.
Your daughter will, one day, become an adult woman who needs to make her place in a gender-centric world. You don’t want her to be fearful of men or to feel she can’t trust them. As a father, it’s your role to help her to understand that relationships transcend gender differences. ]]>