I am a father of 2 daughters. One who is 17 and one who is 9. Both of them have birthdays in the next 2 months. Now to all you other dad’s out there let me give you some advice on the tween years.
My little girl who will be 10 next month is coming into that wonderful time of her life which is puberty. For her it’s filled with ups and downs. Lots of new things happening and lots of answers will be needed. Now as a dad it is very easy to say go ask mom or let mom deal with it all together. For me, I am just as much part of this as my wife.
With my oldest daughter, I was there every step of the way. First bra shopping. First period. Emotional support, and all the other firsts during this time. So for me with my little girl I will be there for her as well. Now for me, I don’t get uneasy talking about these things at all and both my girls feel comfortable speaking to me about them. I love the fact I can be there for them and I feel it brings us closer as daddy and daughter.
Well here we go…..
BRA SHOPPING: Weather it’s your daughters first bra or her 30th you need to be able to go into a store and help out. Sometime helping means just paying for them and sometimes your daughter will ask for more help. First bras are a little easier as there isn’t cup sizes to deal with. Take her to look and find the style she loves. It is a very big step in a young woman’s life and as her dad, basically just agree with her. Please don’t joke during this one. She will need lots of support from you.
Now once the teen years come and you find yourself moving away from department stores and into lasenza for example, you will need to know your stuff. Ask the staff to help size her and make sure she knows what type of support she needs. Style is a big deal to so have her look around. If it’s anything like my oldest daughter, she won’t ask anything and only want what looks good. Do not judge her based on what she chooses though she is a woman and this is her choice and not yours. This is also the time underwear changes too and for a dad, this is scary as hell. But again, and I can’t stress this enough, this is HER choice not yours. Some girls don’t want dad around for this and that’s fine, sometimes just taking her to the mall is enough help as long as she knows what to ask on her own.
Now after the 10th time of being in lasenza I did let loose and joke a bit. When the lady asked if we needed help, I turned around holding a bra and asked if she had it I my size. My daughter did kill me for this but she also knows dad and laughed eventually.
Now my little girl has got her first bra and this dad gets to start the process all over again. She is already different from my oldest at this point. Her and mom bought her first bra, came home, tried it on and showed me. I told her it was a great choice and she was beaming. My oldest daughter at that age just showed me in the bag what she bought as she would never dream of trying it on but that’s fine by me. I still told her it was a great choice and she was still very proud of herself.
PERIOD: Another big step is her first period. Now my oldest went to mom for this. Mom helped her deal with it but dad here showed support. I told her if mom is not around please come to me. This is the one though that she was squeamish with me at first. Finally after a while I sat her down and told her I know everything about it, except the feeling itself. I also told her that as a dad I know it’s weird to talk to me about it but remember I lived with women my whole life, from Grandma to mom and this has always been around. After that she was some what fine dealing with me, but mom is still the first choice. My little girl isn’t quite there yet but it’s coming but I have a feeling she might be a little more open with me but if not that’s okay.
Now shopping for this is something else. Nothing beats standing in the tampon Isle on the phone trying to figure things out, but I did it and now I’m a pro. Also the first time cramps for your daughter get bad and you need mydol, being able to speak to other women in a store is a great help. All you need to say is my teen daughter has cramps or needs tampons and boom problem solved. Trust me I have not found a women who wouldn’t help.
My oldest has had the cramps that make her puke. The heavy months where I run for a better tampon which I must say keep a verity of them around for her so when things go south you are prepared. Also stock up on Mydol, Motrin, and Tylenol for all other period problems. Dad is as much a go to for her as mom is now. It’s great for her to know both parents can help out when she needs it even when dad is a last resort.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT: With all these firsts, the emotional roller-coaster your daughter will be on is huge. You may get pissed off when teen PMS hits but remember this. What do you think she is going through? Pain, cramping, sadness, cravings, etc.. The same as your wife does only with out the years of dealing with it. It is still very new and very hard to cope with. Be there for her no matter what. If need be, take a break and breath, it only lasts a few days. But you supporting her will last a lifetime.
My little girl is hitting this need from dad now. Out of the blue she starts crying and has no idea why. So dad just gives her a big hug and all I say is I am here if you need. At this point it’s just a hug and knowledge that dad is by her side. My oldest daughter was the same way during this time and to this day dad is the emotional supporter for her, as nothing beats a big dad hug.
So all in all dad’s, be there for your little girl. I see and hear far to many dad’s step back at this point in their lives, when this is where they need you the most. Don’t be the dad that says this is gross or make fun of the situation. Make her comfortable going through this. Bond with her and it will build a stronger relationship for you both. My oldest has envy of her friends that she can come to me about these things and they can’t. If you step back now you might lose the connection with her forever.
So to finish off, it’s not as bad as it seems. Let me know what you think and any tips you want to share.