Life is different in the South than it is in other parts of the country.
People grow up doing things that seem alien to outsiders, like hanging out in the middle of a pasture (watch your step).
Southerners pride themselves in being a hardy bunch, as well as having a civilized and polite culture. Southern women are the perfect combination of sweet and strong. Half of that is because of our fathers.
We are all a product of our upbringing, and while we need our moms to teach us most of what it means to be a lady, there are certain lessons we learned best from our dads.
Here are 10 lessons all Southern dads should teach their daughter.
10. How to take a joke.
Girls can have a tendency to take themselves too seriously, and they need someone to help them learn to laugh at themselves. That’s where dad comes in. Whether it’s joking around with his daughter or just doing normal dad things that are embarrassing to some teenage daughters, it’s necessary for girls to learn not to take everything so seriously.
9. Basic car repair.
In a world where women are considered ignorant when it comes to cars, it’s really important for a dad to see to it that his daughter doesn’t leave for college without knowing how to change a tire and properly use jumper cables. She may not want to learn it, but she needs to.
Or she may really want to learn it, in which case you might want to press on a little further and teach her to change her own oil as well. The last thing anyone wants is to have their daughter stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire hours away from any family who can help her.
8. What to look for in a man.
The best way to teach this lesson is to be that man. Children learn best from what they witness, so if you want your daughter to have a husband who respects her and treats her well, be that man for her mother. They will both thank you later.
7. The importance of respect.
Respect is one of the hardest lessons children learn, but it is a necessary trait to make your way in the world as an adult. You have to have respect for people in authority over you like teachers, bosses and coaches, but also you need to have respect for the law and for yourself. Dad’s authoritative nature makes him the perfect person to teach respect.
6. To have an appreciation for the outdoors.
Whether you have a little tomboy or a little princess (or some combination of the two) take her outside and show her the things she may be missing. What’s the name of that bright red bird? What kind of wildflower is that? What kinds of plants are safe and which are poisonous?
Dad is the perfect person to teach a girl that she can have just as much fun outside as inside. It’s good for girls to get a little dirt between their toes and a few grass stains as often as possible while they’re still young and have a sense of wonder about nature. There will be plenty of time for pedicures later.
5. How to load, shoot and safely store a firearm.
Not only are firearms a part of our heritage and a constitutional right, they might save her life one day. Dad should be involved in teaching her how to properly use and safely store a firearm so that if she chooses to own or carry one someday she’ll have a good foundation to do so.
4. What a man of God looks like.
It’s one thing to attend church, but it’s another to be unashamed of your faith, whatever faith that may be. Be the man you want her to look up to, and show her how to find her way in the world.
3. How to stand up for herself.
While it is important to not take yourself too seriously, it is also important to learn to stand up for yourself. There’s a fine line between being respectful and being a doormat; teach her how to handle it when that line is crossed.
2. How a lady should be treated.
Your daughter learns how she should be treated by how she is treated at home and by the interactions between her parents that she witnesses. Sometimes these lessons should be vocalized as well, so she knows what she should expect when she goes on her first date. Mom will teach her how to be a lady, and Dad will teach her how to treat a lady.
1. That she’s not helpless.
In a world where women are expected to be defenseless little victims, teach her that that’s not true. Show her the strengths she has, strength of mind and character if not always of muscle. Teach her to take initiative. Teach her to stand up and be heard.
Teach her how to use basic tools so that she doesn’t need a handyman for every little loose screw around the house. Teach her to use a lawn mower and to do things for herself. Your lessons will be the basis of how she lives her life. Make them good ones.