To all of the men with daughters out there, if the thought of your little girl having a “boyfriend” terrifies you, you’re not alone; that same thought has crossed my mind and I am just her mother.

That little 6-pound 9-ounce angelic princess that you brought home almost six years ago, will probably have a “crush” within the next six years and a boyfriend within another six years after that. Yes, that is terrifying.

The good news: you have the ability to show her all that she deserves from a boy and eventually, from a man.

Marriage is hard. That is an honest truth that your daughter will learn one day. It is hard for all people, including those that are kindhearted and well-intentioned.  The best, and probably the hardest thing that you can do for your daughter, is to model for her how a woman is supposed to be treated.

You need to love your wife as you want your daughter to be loved.

Your young daughter is impressionable. She is going to learn from the movies, television shows and social media how she thinks love is supposed to be and how she thinks a boy/man is supposed to treat her. You can combat this–by loving and treating her mother the right way.

It all starts at home—with you and your family.

Today and all days, respect your wife. Hold her hand at every chance you get and kiss her a lot. Smile at her. Make eye contact. When she is talking, listen intently. Open doors for her. Build up her confidence. Praise her for her accomplishments. Encourage her when she is in need of it. Empathize with her when she is seeking support. Go on adventures with her. Tell her she is beautiful.

Your daughter more than loves her mother; she is enthralled with her. The mother-daughter connection is so intertwined, that mothers and their daughters, well, they tend to live a parallel life. And, your understanding of this will help you to come to this realization: that your relationship with your wife is about so much more than just you and her.

What is the greatest gift a father can give to his daughter?

Loving her mother.

Featured Photo Courtesy: William Stitt via Unsplash