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25 Things a Daughter Needs from Her Dad


Do you feel confident you know what a daughter needs from her dad? Even though I’m not a researcher, I actually did some of my own data collection for my first book that I know you’ll love! Because I want you as dads to reap the benefits of hearing from girls and women who are the same ages as your daughters, I’ll take you along with me on this journey of discovery.

Here’s the question I asked as many girls and women as I could find:

  • What do you really need from your dad?

Then I added a short addendum to my request:

  • “This is your opportunity to use your voice to help dads across America by answering this question and telling me the top five things you really need from your dad.”

Not only did the responses start pouring in, but I honestly hadn’t expected that level of enthusiastic response!

25 Things a Daughter Needs from Her Dad

The youngest participant was nine years old while the oldest was 89. Again, reflecting the relevance of this topic to girls and women across the lifespan. This question seemed to spark something in the hearts of females that spurred them to want their voices to be heard.

So here is a profound look inside the inner world of women. I trust that you’ll hear their hearts and not just see a list of entitled requests from demanding females.

The truth is that these aren’t just wants. These are needs. Their honest, heartfelt feedback is here to let you know what girls and women are really thinking and what they are really longing for from their dads.

Here are the 25 most mentioned things that cover what a daughter needs from her dad:

#1 Time
(“To show interest and involvement in my life,” “To be available”)

#2 Affirmation
(“Approval,” “Praise,” “Hear him say out loud ‘I love you’”)

#3 Affection
(“Hugs,” “Physical touch”)

#4 Unconditional love
(“For who I am regardless of my failures”)

#5 Apologize

#6 Be proud of me
(“To know I’m not a disappointment to him,” “No judgment,” “Less criticism,” “Faith in me”)

#7 Tell me I’m beautiful
(“Compliment me, especially about my looks”)

#8 Talk to me and open up about himself, his pain, his faults, his hopes
(“Let me see that he is human, that he fails, that he makes mistakes, and then show me how to make it right,” “Time alone where I get to know him and his childhood”)

#9 Pursue me
(“Desire to get to know me,” “Interactive conversation where he is asking me questions about myself,” “To actively seek me out and find out what I am doing, what I am interested in, WHO I am”)

#10 Prayers

#11 To work on his temper so I can feel safe
(“Not to crush my spirit”)

#12 Not to change me
(“To let me be me,” “be accepted for myself—not for what I did or failed to do”)

#13 Honesty
(“I need him to be honest with himself. When he’s honest with himself, it frees him to be honest with me”)

#14 Just listen

#15 Guidance

#16 Protection

#17 Sense of humor

#18 Teach me about things

#19 Be an adventurer…with me

#20 Instead of not being there, please be there
(“Instead of handing me money, ask to come with me and take me shopping or out to lunch”)

#21 Tell me you love being my dad

#22 Believe in me

#23 Never give up on our family

#24 Show me how a real man treats a woman

#25 Support my ideas and dreams

Raw. Vulnerable. Honest. And every single response comes from a daughter’s heart longing for connection and relationship with dad coupled with love and affirmation from dad.

My deep and passionate desire is for dads across America (and the world) to step up and step in to their roles as fathers. We can’t go one more day without every dad being all that his daughter needs him to be in her life.

Why is this urgent and important? Because a daughter who knows she is loved and adored by her dad will pass along that same gift to the world around her.

Dad, I implore you to take five things from this list, the ones that most strongly resonate with your core values, and put them into action now.

Be the dad your daughter needs you to be…today.