A Father’s Advice: Know Your Worth

A Father’s Advice: Know Your Worth

I wish I wrote this myself, but since I didn’t, I figure I can share it.

What the author, Dr. Kelly Flanagan, is talking about are the qualities that make a man a good husband.

In a nutshell, a good husband treats you right. It’s not about what he looks like, what he does, or what he believes. It’s how he treats you.

Evaluate men on their performance as boyfriend instead of their external characteristics and you’ll have one happy life.

Click here to read the whole article and share your thoughts below.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    starthrower68

    Thank you Sparkling Emerald.  I’m ready to pull my hair out and you so eloquently stated what I was thinking.  I have seen the way that tween girls are behaving, especially toward each other because there are too many parents not doing what this father has done for his daughter. I don’t understand the world anymore.  But we have become Rome.

  2. 32
    starthrower68

    Sorry for the multiple post EMK, but I bet if we had more fathers treating their daughters this way, we’d have a lot less teen pregnancy and a lot less government replacing dads.  Humanity doesn’t exist in some kind of microcosm; you want to talk about how it is in the real world?  My mother left when I was 5; my dad was largely uninvolved with me unless he was angry toward me about something.  As a result, I have a difficult time connecting with others; I can show love to others but I cannot receive it.  I was not abused but I was not built up either.  I still struggle with the issues that stem from that.  As a therapist, I’m betting Dad has vast experience with this sort of thing in practice and understands the importance of teaching his child to believe in herself.  I fail to see how that is instilling a sense of entitlement and “you’re better than”. Of course we live in a day and age where we want to tear others down instead of lift them up because it’s entertaining.  That’s some reality right there.  You bet the world is tough because we objectify others instead of seeing them as human beings.  Evidently Dad gets the importance of it.  He also seems to realize that you have to be able to love yourself in a healthy, balanced way to be able to love others.  How the mental leap was made from that to this dad giving his daughter a princess complex and expecting boys to change is beyond me.  Of course I have taught my sons to treat everyone with dignity, respect, consideration, etc.  People ought at least have enough common sense to do that, what this little girl can probably handle at her age is say thank you, please, yes sir/ma’am and no sir/ma’am.  And don’t worry, she’ll be getting messages about how she needs to be sexed up at her age.  Kids are bombarded with it these days from the entertainment industry all the way to special interest groups trying to get their messages across in the class room.  

  3. 33
    Tom10

    Starthrower68, Ruby, Sparkling Emerald
     
    Maybe I should have taken Speed’s interpretation and viewed the post with some levity but Evan invited us to share our thoughts and it’s only fair that I gave my honest opinion even if it bothers some people.
     
    Perhaps it might be inappropriate for a father to discuss with his daughter how brutal the real dating world is, but then one has to ask why is he discussing dating with his daughter at all? And if he’s going to give her dating advice – and then publish it for the world to see – I think it’s reasonable for me to question the validity of that advice. I happen to think that dating is a complex game which needs a lot of skill and awareness to navigate successfully. Simply “being you” just won’t cut it so I’m not sure of the usefulness of advising someone that it will.
     
    I think you will all accept that a relentlessly recurring theme on this blog, and others, is men complaining about women having unrealistic expectations in dating. One has to ask where these expectations come from. Yes culture undoubtedly has an impact, but I feel it’s reasonable to question if parenting styles are also a factor.
     
    starthrower68
    “You want to talk about how it is in the real world?”
     
    I’m sorry to read about your unfortunate circumstances and the lasting effects it had on your adult life. I grew up in similar circumstances so I’ve always been aware that I’ve been at a disadvantage and had to fight / work twice as hard as everyone else to progress in life.  I managed to do well in school mainly through my own endeavour and so when I started dating I took the same approach – I don’t deserve anything for nothing therefore it’s up to me to put in the hours, the hard graft, develop an understanding and eventually I will see results. And it worked.
     
    I don’t think that message is too bad.

    1. 33.1
      starthrower68

      Perhaps women should just be taught to feel badly about themselves because after all, we don’t want them getting too uppity now, do we?

    2. 33.2
      Goldie

      Tom, I agree with both your message (as it applies to dating) and the father’s (as it applies to LTR and marriage). Yes, dating is a game, and simply being you when you’re playing a game, refusing to follow the rules because they get in the way of you being you, most of the time will lead to you losing. However, if you cannot be yourself in a marriage, if you always have to pretend, try to be something you’re not, and bend over backwards to please your spouse, one of the two things is going to break soon – either you, or your marriage. I’ve had a good deal of marriage and LTR experience and I think this dad gave good, solid advice.
       
      Yes it goes without saying that marriage, or LTR, is a two-way street. You won’t get far “just being yourself” if, to you, just being yourself doesn’t include taking care of your partner, treating them as you want to be treated, and giving thanks and appreciation to them for doing the same. The father says it himself, right after stating that his daughter is worthy of interest: “If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won.” It is implied that she, too, will do and be all those things to her husband, but only if her husband does and is all those things to her. If he doesn’t treat her well and with respect, then no matter how handsome, funny, and wealthy he is, he’s not husband material.

      1. 33.2.1
        Tom10

        @ Starthrower68
        “Perhaps women should just be taught to feel badly about themselves because after all, we don’t want them getting too uppity now, do we?”
         
        Hmm, that’s not quite what I meant.
         
        I think sometimes meaning can be slightly lost or misinterpreted in these comments. I’ll endeavor to communicate more clearly from now on.
         
        @ Goldie
        “I agree with both your message (as it applies to dating) and the father’s (as it applies to LTR and marriage)”
         
        Yes that’s a useful distinction to make. As I have no experience of marriage I should have clarified that my comments apply to the dating game only (my experience). This might have reduced the unintentional confusion caused.

  4. 34
    Gina

    Karl,
    It isn’t one sided, read this carefully
    He states “that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)”

  5. 35
    Gina

    What the Father is saying is that you are worthy of interest for being you, there are too many women who try so hard to win a man, that they either draw in the wrong ones, or drive away the good ones… in retrospect, by accepting your worth that is not based on what you do, etc… you also are embracing the mans worth as well. It does work both ways.

  6. 36
    starthrower68

    There appears to You teach kids things that is appropriate to that age. And if a child does not see his or her parents behaving in an entitled manner it’s likely they will not behave that way as kids watch what parents do and model that behavior. But the way you teach a kid to deal with an unfair world is to give them a solid foundation and strong sense of self, not teach them they are unworthy of anything. I’ve raised 3 of them.

  7. 37
    Joe

    It appears to me that while this letter is written to the child, who may currently be a preteen, it is intended for her to read it much later in life, because honestly, no preteen is going to understand all of the things the writer discusses in the letter.  Heck, she probably isn’t even interested in boys at the moment (because they have cooties).  So while the unicorns and rainbows in the letter may be great, a little realism could also be helpful.

  8. 38
    LC

    I would have liked to have had a Dad that didn’t scream and yell at me, belittle me (and my Mom & sister), and not beat us.  Having a Dad say nice things like this to me vs. what I got might have made it possible for me to actually know what love is.  But alas, I do not.  All men that I’ve attracted up to this point have been some version of my father, so I no longer date.  There is no point. 

  9. 39
    bluewoman

    I absolutely love the article.
    Tom10
    Simply “being you” just won’t cut it so I’m not sure of the usefulness of advising someone that it will.

    As a lady, you do not need to win a man over. It’s not a competition. Often I see girls pretending not to know something, so the guy ‘helps’ them. That’s how they flirt by dumbing themselves down. Or they say they love something when they don’t because they feel they need to do anything to win them over. Seriously, please stop that behaviour!
    Someone who truly values you will appreciate you for who you are. Reads as: he will never ask you to change. He will respect your choices in life and foster your goals and aspirations; he wants you to be happy. He will be fascinated by your quirks and won’t mind if you suddenly gained a bit of weight or not. Because to him, who you are as an individual is more important. Also, he won’t care if you called him at 9 AM or 3 AM, because it was you who called him and he loves hearing your voice.
    If you do not believe me, then ask those in successful long term marriages. Trust me, I have.
    Of course, you have to present the best version of yourself when dating. Stress: best version of yourself. Not the one of your neighbour or hot girl from the movies.
    If your ‘self’ isn’t good, then how on earth is anyone going to want to be with you? Read: if you are bitchy / constantly nagging, have hygiene issues, don’t take care of your image, are overly insecure, needy and always like to fight, etc, of course you will not be liked.
    That’s when it is time to consider self-improvement.

  10. 40
    starthrower68

    I *teach* my 11 year old girl that things don’t always go our way; that outer beauty must come along with inner beauty;  that everyone is a child of God.  I teach her that she has value and worth. You might not agree that she does which is fine because one’s sense of worth should be internal not based on what others say.  That is not teaching her she deserves something for nothing. That is helping her to navigate the unfairness and difficulties of life. She sees me work for everything we have. 

  11. 41
    Ruby

    Tom10
     
    “I happen to think that dating is a complex game which needs a lot of skill and awareness to navigate successfully. Simply “being you” just won’t cut it so I’m not sure of the usefulness of advising someone that it will.”
     
    Having high self-esteem should definitely be part of anyone’s arsenal in terms of having the skills and awareness needed to navigate dating. That’s basic, and the all the other stuff can be learned when a girl is older.
     
     

  12. 42
    starthrower68

    And last time I checked, it seems to be the consensus here that self confidence is an attractive quality.  A healthy level of self esteem would seem to be part of that. Unless we’re now supposed to believe you should be confident and dislike yourself at the same time? 

  13. 43
    Scott

    I tell my D16 she has a big brain and she can do anything she sets her mind to and works hard to accomplish.  I tell her she is great and I am lucky to get to be her dad.  We go on Dad-daughter dinners.  I thought I was helping her feel good about herself.  I hope I am not encouraging her to feel overly entitled.

  14. 44
    Girl in the midwest

    I re-read the letter, and I think the dad is not over-doing it.  I especially like the sentences beginning with “I don’t care if …”  So I agree with everyone who says that girls need their dads to tell them these things, and he’s being a good dad.  However, in my opinion, there should be a huge asterisk saying: you only have a right to ask this from a spouse if you hold yourself to the same high standards.
     
     
    For example, the father says to the daughter “…as long as he was raised to value the sacred and to know every moment of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred.”  The daughter should expect this from her husband if she values every moment with her husband too.  You know, the goose-gander thing.  It can’t be only one side give give give. 

  15. 45
    Girl in the midwest

    @starthrower68
     
    I agree with you that confidence and self esteem are really attractive and important in life as well, not just in dating.  I think true confidence and self esteem need to have substance behind it.  If not, it’s just like me telling myself I am awesome when I am shitty.  Sort of like printing money with no additional wealth to back it up.  The dollar will just depreciate.
     
    What I said doesn’t conflict with what you said, I’m just adding to it.  I think it’s an important part that people forget sometimes.

  16. 46
    starthrower68

    I am lousy when it comes to relationships with men unless its strictly platonic or professional.  I am a good parent.

  17. 47
    Tom10

    bluewoman #39
    “If you do not believe me, then ask those in successful long term marriages.”
     
    I believe you.
     
    starthrower68
    “self confidence is an attractive quality…Unless we’re now supposed to believe you should be confident and dislike yourself at the same time?”.
     
    As I don’t have children I’m probably out of depth discussing parenting with someone who does. You seem like a loving mother and I don’t mean to cast aspersions on anyone’s parenting techniques so I’ll refrain from saying too much on the topic.
     
    I accept (and stated in post #15) that high self-esteem is critically important. Girl in the Midwest explained it better than I did. Basically I have a friend who drinks too much which turns women off – then he complains that women don’t accept him as he is. I feel it’s his responsibility to drink at a level that the women he’s attracted to find acceptable, not their responsibility to accept him as he is. The same goes for weight issues, unemployment, mental health issues, personality, dress sense etc.
     
    Once the individual has addressed these issues and developed their self-esteem they still need to be realistic on who they can attract. When I read comments here from people who are looking for someone they will simply never manage to attract, I always wonder why their expectations are so out of whack with their reality. That’s where Peter’s comment about valuing your worth correctly applies. I just wondered if parenting has something to do with it.
     
    It’s my *personal* belief that I don’t deserve anything or anyone unless I work for it – i.e. I have no expectations. That doesn’t mean I see myself as worthless or dislike myself – like Girl in the Midwest I base my self-worth on how I behave and what I achieve, not just on being me.
     
    Ruby #41
    “all the other stuff can be learned when a girl is older”
     
    Fair point.
     
    Scott #43
    “I tell my D16 she has a big brain and she can do anything she sets her mind to and works hard to accomplish.”
     
    So we’re in agreement then.

  18. 48
    Lia

    I do not see pride and arrogance as one and the same with high self-esteem.  I do not believe that those who are arrogant and believe they are better than others and are entitled have true self-esteem.  So when a father reminds his daughter that she is enough I do not see that as a bad thing.  He is not telling her – to hell with others only you count – he is telling her that her worth is an intrinsic part of who she is.
     
    How is this a bad thing?  How does this in any way lessen the value of others?  How does that set her up to be selfish?  If her worth is an intrinsic part of who she is then it is an intrinsic part of others as well.  He reminds her of this, that others are worthy of interest also.
     
    He writes about her future mate and that it doesn’t matter how much he makes, whether he plays golf, how he votes, the color of his skin, his religious background… how is this setting her up to pass up good guys?  She doesn’t need to marry a doctor or athlete, a lawyer or captain of industry… what she needs is the man who sees her worth and she needs to see his.  
     
    I would like to ask if there are any married men commenting here.  If so, is your wife aware of her value?  Does she know that she is more than her education level whether it be high school graduate or PhD.  Does she know that she is more than the size of her breasts or her butt, that she is more than the number on the scale or the number of years in her age because no matter the number she is who she is at her core?  Does she know YOUR value?  Does she know that you are more than the amount of money you can earn or your level of education?  Does she see you and accept you as you are?
     
    High self-esteem does not mean that we don’t strive to stay in shape or make more money, it does not mean that we don’t want to do the best we can in work or relationships, it just means that we don’t do these things in order to fill the vast emptiness that comes from not understanding our true value.  And it is this emptiness that will never be filled from the outside

  19. 49
    Ruby

    Tom10 #47
     
    “I feel it’s his responsibility to drink at a level that the women he’s attracted to find acceptable, not their responsibility to accept him as he is. The same goes for weight issues, unemployment, mental health issues, personality, dress sense etc.”
     
    But many, if not most, of these issues have LOW self-esteem at the core. If you want to be fit and healthy, you’ll exercise, give up smoking, drinking to excess, and unhealthy eating habits. You’ll work hard, and try to form good friendships. If you’re taking good care of yourself, you’re going to feel better and have a better outlook and happier personality. That’s why I said that self-esteem is basic. If you fell good about yourself, you’ll not only have higher expectations for how you want to be treated, but you’ll treat others better too, and be a better partner. Women have higher rates of depression than men do, and I think that low self-esteem is one of the reasons.

  20. 50
    Star

    Amazing letter. My father wasn’t around to give me any kind of advice as a child, although he is sort of there for me now I’m a grown woman, but the advice in that letter is what I am starting to live by in my heart.
    There are some shitty pieces of work out there. A woman needs to know deep inside herself that she is worth love, kindness and respect. Too many women accept and put up with much less, because they don’t know any better, and the men who treat them badly because they just can.
    If more women had a father to tell her this stuff, there certainly wouldn’t be as much need for dating coaches, that’s for sure.
    Of course men need to be treated with respect too, but a woman who loves and respects herself, and brings out the best of her feminine qualities, will undoubtably be the kind of woman most men would feel good with.
     

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