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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  1. 21
    Karl T

    Sunflower (#19) and the State Puff Marshmallow Man (Ghostbusters)…a match made in heaven!!

  2. 22

    Karl, it was the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.

  3. 23
    Karl T

    I stand corrected…..

  4. 24

    I tend to say less on here these days, as I my values are seen in this day and age as old-fashioned, not popular, and tragically un-hip.   But I’m stunned as a few of the responses on here.   I did not see anywhere how old this child is, but are we really going to criticize the dad for not giving her advice about orgasms or how brutal dating is?  
    I can tell you that while I teach my children life isn’t fair, building them up to believe in themselves and not be ashamed of who they are certainly is not instilling them with a sense of entitlement.   I can tell you as the parent of an 11 year old girl who has been bullied by other girls, I’d better darn well be building up some level of self-esteem in her to weather that storm.
    I realize in this cesspool of a culture we are bombarding kids with sexual messages, but as a single parent, my kids have not seen me bring home a flavor of the week.   As a result, you will not find my 20 and 18 year old boys hitting up women twice their age on the Internet.  
    I never got this kind of thing from my dad.   I wish I would have.   I might not have the trouble with men and relationships that I have had.   Kids need to be allowed to be kids before they can be good adults.   Some of the responses would have Dad burden this child with things that are not age-appropriate.

  5. 25

    I agree Starthrower @24. The point is to give her age appropriate advice. maybe in her early teens start advising more about the adult topics. I’m assuming this child is under 6 because most older children would be annoyed to be labeled as ‘cutiepie’ by their father.
    I had a similar epiphany earlier on a few weeks ago. I shouldn’t have to work hard to make someone love me and it’s the same for men and women. Someone in a relationships cares and loves you or they don’t and if they don’t, who cares. It does boil down to valuing yourself and not about trying to convince others your lovable.

  6. 26
    Sparkling Emerald

    Sheesh, a father writes a tender letter to his beloved daughter (one that EMK says he wish he wrote) and some people feel so threatened by it. This is ONE letter (and the father promises her another letter on accepting other people as worthy) to a daughter, it is not meant to be an equal opportunity free for all where everyone’s opinion is represented.   I don’t think the “fairness doctrine” applies to love letters between family members.
    Seriously, if someone you knew got a sentimental Hallmark birthday card, covered with glitter and illustrated with rainbows and unicorns, wishing a “special someone” a magical day, would you wish them a happy birthday too ? Or would you lecture them that nobody is special for being born ?      Would you then proceed to tell them that rainbows fade and unicorns aren’t real ?   Would you go on a rant about how Hallmark is creating a spoiled bunch of magical thinkers ?
    Sheesh, it a love letter from a father to a daughter, a nice counter weight to all the “you aren’t good enough for love” messages that bombard the internet.   Lighten up everyone !

  7. 27
    Karl T

    This is not wishing someone a Happy BDay.   It’s about giving advice and guidance.   Tom10 and I share the opinion that the guidance was all tender and not useful nor fully relevant advice.   He is not telling his daughter about DisneyWorld and what a good time she is going to have.   He’s talking about the real world.
    “it is not meant to be an equal opportunity free for all where everyone’s opinion is represented.”
    Are you kidding me?   This is a message board and topics are posted to collect people’s comments.   Everyone has every right to debate them if they want to.   Who gives you the right to tell people they can not express their opinions???

  8. 28

    I liked the letter and read it as simply a sentimental letter from a father to his very young daughter, sprinkled with some age-old wisdom. It’s a little similar to that book  Why a daughter needs a dad.   
    No human relationship should be based purely on dreams or naivte but at the same time none (especially one involving friends, family, etc.) can run purely on cost-benefit/empirical analysis, statistical modeling, and so on.
    Nor can any human relation be run on unfiltered “blunt” talk, regardless of a person’s age, status, and so on. Anyone who’s had a child knows you don’t tell him or her “the hard facts of life” at age four or something.
    I understand and appreciate that this blog is mainly designed to run on a lot of hard realities of dating life but I think this article was a refreshing bit of sentiment and family love for the weekend.
      Thanks for posting it, Evan.  

  9. 29
    Sparkling Emerald

    Karl T – Who gives you the right to tell people they can not express their opinions???
    Whoa there macho man !   When did I do that ?   It wasn’t my intention to dictate opinions, it was my opinion that the father was merely writing a tender love letter to his daughter, not a journalistic piece that is supposed to cover both “sides” of the argument.   Of course, knowing you, once you get it in your head that a blogger had one intention in what they wrote, you dig in your heels and INSIST that your interpretation is exactly what they meant.   You gave a clear demonstration by your hot headed hissy fit over the word “macho”.  

    You are of course entitled to think that a fathers tender advice to his young daughter is useless (advice that EMK wishes he wrote)   I am entitled to my opinion otherwise.  
    I agree with the father, that is not her job to convince anyone that she is worthy.   I have a son, and I don’t think it is his job to convince a woman that he is worthy.   I think in a relationship (or attempts at building relationships) it is up to each person to demonstrate their own worth through their actions, and to discern the other persons actions and discover weather or not the potential for a relationship exists.     If one or the other or both, come to the conclusion that they are not a good match, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the woman “over valued” herself as Peter said in #1.   It could just be, that while both people would be good spouses, they just weren’t good for each other.  

  10. 30

    Judging by the men’s comments in response to this post, I’m reminded that men don’t realize how much we women are bombarded with messages telling us how to get a man, how to keep a man, how to get a man back, what to do if you can’t get him back, and all the various ways we’re not good enough as we are. The point isn’t that women need to realize they also need to show a man they are interested, because, as i say, women are inundated with advice on how to do that. This article is about a girl’s father recognizing the influence of these cultural messages, and telling his daughter to always remember that she’s okay just as she is.

  11. 31

    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.

  12. 32

    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.   

  13. 33

    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.
    “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

      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

      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

        @ 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.

  14. 34

    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.)”

  15. 35

    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.

  16. 36

    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.

  17. 37

    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.

  18. 38

    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.  

  19. 39

    I absolutely love the article.
    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.

  20. 40

    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.  

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