If you have sons but only one daughter, you can inadvertently cause her to beg for your attention. Even if it is an accident, you are responsible.
You are a father. You don’t get to coast along taking the path of least resistance. You must be intentional.
Here is the problem: it’s easier to relate to and play with your sons. You wrestle. You play football or other sports. You take them hunting. You do other boy things.
And your daughter will want that same attention. She will want to join in.
Not because she necessarily wants to do those things, but because she wants your attention. If you are not careful, you can validate this call for attention by going along with the easy route: letting her play like she is one of the boys.
But you don’t want your daughter to be just another one of the boys. You want her to be a girl. Establishing these distinctions early on is important, especially in the current cultural climate that encourages children to mutilate themselves if they start to feel a little confused about some things.
Don’t start relating to your daughter as if she is one of your sons. This can lead to resentment and insecurity. Be intentional about relating to her as your daughter.
How do you do this?
Live with her in an understanding manner. Be interested in her hobbies. Encourage her in feminine pursuits (praise her cookies, for example). When she talks, listen intently with no distractions. Show her plenty of affection.
Take her to lunch. Take her for walks. Encourage her to look to her mother for more activities, but you should still participate as much as possible.
Don’t reward her forays into the masculine. But don’t make her beg for your attention by making forays into the masculine.
Love her for who she is. Not for who she thinks you want her to be.