October 26, 2020 | Attitude And Behavior | No Comments
As the eldest daughter in the family, I could recall how Dad, an army man, rarely came home due to his deployment to other countries. He was not around during my birth; he missed my first birthday, too. Whenever I looked at my photos back then, I did not see his face, so he felt like a stranger to me at first. I merely warmed up to my father when Mom gave birth to my three sisters (yes, they were triplets), and Dad decided to retire early to become a hands-on father.
After the army, Dad went back to school and eventually opened a security agency that catered to high-profile events like press conferences and concerts. Some days, he would hang out with us at home. Most days, though, he was at work, monitoring his staff. But no matter how tight his schedule was, Dad made sure he was at our school performances, carrying his trusty video camera. For that, he was the best father in the world in my eyes.
Nevertheless, taking care of people was not the only thing that Dad was excellent at. In truth, he gave the best pieces of advice ever since my sisters and I were young; that’s why we all grew up mentally healthy. If you want to know what those are and share them with your daughters (or any girl in the family), here they are:
From my teenage years, when folks heard that Dad was an army veteran, they immediately assumed that he forbade all of us from having a boyfriend. I learned that some uniformed men exuded the image of overprotective fathers who wouldn’t let anyone get close to their daughters, but Dad was not like that at all. Although he was particular about curfews, he never said, “You can’t have a boyfriend until you have a job!”
Instead of that, Dad would say, “When a guy declares that he loves you or acts sweet around you, you should not feel obligated to love him back. Many girls ended up brokenhearted or, worse, pregnant and alone because they loved blindly. I will not get in the way if you fall for a guy, but I hope you will use your brain to see if he’s the right one for you.”
While the girls at school cried over boys, my sisters and I learned how to choose the guys we paid attention to. We still experienced breakups (who hasn’t), but we were smart enough not to love them too much too quickly.
My father always looked tough, but he had a soft heart. He loved giving money to local charities and orphanages, saying that we should not grip money too tightly and have mercy towards the less-fortunate individuals. When he saw a homeless person on the streets, he would even pull up and talk briefly with them and give them ten dollars or so. Sometimes, Dad would even help them find a job either in his agency or somewhere else.
Despite his soft-heartedness, every time my sisters and I were with Dad when he’s helping people, he would often tell us to give wisely. “I give money to the kids and senior citizens who cannot work due to their physical limitations. As for the adults in between, I encourage or help them seek employment because they are too strong to be charity cases.”
This advice remained in my head for a long time. Whenever I saw someone in need of help, I would assess first how I should do it instead of pulling out my wallet immediately. I believed that doing so allowed me to be more helpful to them.
In all fairness to my parents, they embraced freestyle parenting before people even knew that that’s what it’s called. For instance, if we came home with a permission slip for camping, tour, or any activity, they would hold the paper and ask, “Do you want to go?” If we said yes, they would sign it. If we did not want to go, they would tell us to return the paper to our teachers.
Since I was the first daughter to go to college, I thought that Mom and Dad would encourage me to go to the community college or nearby university. After all, that’s what my best friends’ parents did, saying they knew what’s best for them. But my father was like, “Send your college application to all the universities you want and study where you’ll get accepted, regardless of where it is.”
I asked my parents one time why they let us do everything. They said, “Kids who always hear ‘no’ become rebellious. Besides, you have a beautiful brain; you should be able to use it and live freely.” I credited their parenting style as the reason why my sisters and I were happy with our careers right now.
Many moms and dads prayed to have a daughter because girls are easier to raise than boys. However, the difficulty level of raising girls increases as they grow up since dangers come after them more.
When you are blessed with a daughter, though, remind them to do the things mentioned above, and you wouldn’t have to worry about their mental health.