5 Things I’ll Teach My Daughter

1 of man’s greatest fears in life is donating that X chromosome in the fertilization process. Don’t get me wrong, little girls are adorable and sweet and bring out the best sucka in a man. But when that ultrasound doesn’t show the same equipment we have, the true King Kong in us comes out.

For years, daughters have represented 2 different responsibilities for their fathers. The first (and arguably most worrysome) is preparing her to avoid the pain we’ve inflicted on the drone of women in our past. I’m willing to bet each man has put at least 2 women in legitimate therapy. Fathers look in their daughters’ eyes that very 1st time and we promise that no harm will come to them. The tough thing is we only have control over the second responsibility.

It’s been scientifically studied and socially accepted that daughters tend to be more harshly affected by a father’s behavior (or lack thereof). Daddy issues anyone? Just as an absentee father can unwittingly teach lessons, the father that is there from sunrise to sunset is equally noticed. In my opinion, the primary goal of a father/daughter bond is to show her the prototype man she’s supposed to find 25 years from the day of her birth. While that’s general and subjective, here are 5 specific things I will teach my daughter:

1) Reading the Bible: While it’ll be up to her to apply and interpret the word, I feel like its important to connect my daughter to a higher power when she’s young. As a child, I started out with picture Bibles and graduated to jr. Bibles and so forth. I’m not a bible-thumper in the slight, yet my faith is rooted deeply in Christianity. I know that it’ll be easier to show her life’s abstract lessons once she has the foundation from Bible’s parables.

2) How to shoot a basketball: Cmon, you knew this was gonna make the cut! I don’t expect my mini-me to go to the WNBA (that’ll be her brother’s job to go pro). however I will groom her early. With my height, she has a good shot at being 5’7-5’8. That’s the ideal for a woman to develop great ball control, be fast, and have great shooting form to shoot 40% from behind the arc. If I can get her on a 4 yr ride to D1, she’ll be good from there.

3) How to smile, regardless of how she feels inside: Among the races, I feel like black women seem to smile the least. They tend to be experts at showing exactly what they feel; whether its indifference, apathy, disappointment, or just plain pissed off. I’ve commented before about how its rare to see a black woman smiling for no reason. I don’t mean that “hey you’re fine as hell & I might give up the draws if you stop talking” smile. I’m talking about the “yeah life is hard and unfair, but its a great effin day to be alive!” smile. I’ll show my daughter early on that even if daddy isn’t home every night or mommy won’t buy you a new doll, you’re blessed in ways you don’t fully comprehend. So smile and let the world know you’re ok.

4) How to be a leader: This lesson will probably have to wait until she’s 10+. Every few weeks we read about a child or teenager committing suicide because he/she is being bullied. Some of these kids could have been saved if 1 person had stood up and said “enough is enough”. Many parents are “Ray Charles” to the madness going on schools, but their kid may hold A LOT of power from 8am-3pm. Think about it, every teen movie that comes out, there’s usually 1 main female character that everybody at school idolizes. Yet she never translates that type of power into something positive. I expect my daughter to be that kid in school that everyone likes and gets along with. And when I notice it, I’ll teach her the importance of using that popularity to help those who don’t have a voice.

5) What a good man looks like: Tying back into my preface, this will be the hardest lesson my daughter learns from me. Since my early 20s, I have vowed that my daughter will find a man that’s better than me. I’m not a bad dude, but I’m aware of my flaws. I would want my daughter to find a man has more of my endearing qualities than my bad ones. Even things as simple saying please and holding doors open, I want my daughter to see guys do it because its the right thing to do. Even though a good man is a term that’s slowly losing its exclusivity, thanks to black media -_- I hope that I can teach my daughter through words AND behavior that there’s a template to look for when she’s ready.

What lessons are you teaching your daughters? What lessons do you wish your parents would have taught you?


One comment

  1. Mr. Woodruff, Thank you for sharing your Love Letter to your daughter with the world. Your words have now been lifted into the universe; spoken into existence. Signed- A Bonavide Sista who gratefully smiles because she is loved by the greatest lover of all-time 🙂

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