1. Always put your best effort forward, and when that’s not enough, keep trying. Strong fathers teach their daughters that hard work is never easy; it is exhausting; it is demanding; it is all-encompassing, but he teaches her that effort is rewarding, even if it isn’t tangible. Her determination is relentless, and she gets it from her father.
2. Be able to stand on your own. A strong father teaches his strong daughter to rely on herself first. She’s learned that independence is a wonderful thing to have, but she’s also learned that needing help is not a weakness, and asking for it demonstrates strength. She can stand on her own, but she has the ability to lean on others when her own balance fails her.
3. It’s okay to fail. She knows the expense of expectation when it comes to being raised by a strong father, but she knows that occasional failure is not only acceptable, it’s inevitable. Failure is a side effect of trying, and strong daughters are not contained by the fear of failure. She sees failure as an opportunity to try again because her father has taught her to do so.
4. Respect yourself. He teaches his daughter to respect her body, her mind, her thoughts, her instincts. He teaches her to respect herself enough to walk away from those who hurt her, to accept the love he has shown her she deserves, and she does.
5. Believe in yourself. He tells her that her dreams are valid, and to not let anyone make her feel otherwise. He tells her to believe in herself the way he believes in her. Strong fathers know that their daughters can achieve anything they set their mind to.
6. Place your happiness first. He teaches her that loving yourself is not selfish, it’s necessary. He tells her to find happiness within herself before she goes searching for it everywhere else. Because all the outer places she finds happiness may lead to disappointment, but no one can take away the happiness she alone creates, and this is the kind of happiness that she should share with others. He teaches her that this is the kind of happiness that lasts.
7. You will always be loved. There are more kinds of love than romantic love, stronger kinds. The bond a strong daughter and father share endures. When her heart feels broken or she feels undeserving of love, he reassures her she’s surrounded by it every day.
8. Relationships take work, all kinds: platonic, romantic, familial. He teaches her that not everyone will always agree with her. There will be arguments, grudges, times when communication and understanding is flawed, but the important relationships, the ones that matter, the ones with people who love her, people who want the best for her, are worth every bit of effort she puts into them.
9. Trust your gut; your instinct is important. She knows when to listen to the inner voice telling her something’s not right. She knows how to trust herself, and her intuition. A strong father teaches his daughter that her feelings aren’t wrong, or illegitimate, they’re indicative of her ability to understand herself, her wants, her needs, her fears, her aspirations, everything in life that matters to her.
10. Always take pride in your accomplishments. She knows humility, but she is proud of every success she’s ever had, and she won’t let anyone take that away from her. He teaches her to own her intelligence, to not let others undermine it. He teaches her to expose her strengths and never dim them.
11. Know your father’s love will always be with you. A strong father teaches his daughter that his love is eternal. His love gives her strength. A strong daughter always carries her father’s love with her.