Why Dads With Girls Should be Happier… Or Should They?

There’s very little in life that is more rewarding, more satisfying or more fulfilling than being a dad.

There’s also very little in life that’s more frustrating, frightening and shit-scary either.

Yin and Yang, sugar and spice, swings and round-a-bouts.

The challenges are many, the changes in lifestyle dramatic, and they usually come without warning. You find yourself at the bottom of what will soon reveal itself to be a very steep learning curve.

I still recall the day we left the hospital with our firstborn– and the sage advice our doctor gave us as he waved us off into our new future. “When you get home, you’ll see the words: ‘No Returns or Exchanges’ printed on her bum. Also, there’s no instruction manual. Good luck!”

And with that, we were parents.

In the following years we added another two ‘Pinks’ to the fold (if you already have two girls, you have a far higher chance of adding more girls to your brood) and things got interesting. Talking to blokes who had all boys, I realised there were stark differences between the two. (Apart from the obvious.)

For instance, when asked what her household was like with an all-male makeup, a friend said: “Life is just one long wrestling match punctuated by farts.”

Ours, on the other hand, is a bit like a never-ending musical performed in an ever-changing costumery of feathers, sequins, princess outfits and – incongruously – odd socks.

But you get the picture? Boys and girls, despite the best intentions of feeble-minded social engineers, are very different. Embrace the reality.

This is not to say that girls fight less, get along better with each other or have better table manners. Mine certainly do not. But they are designed, built and hard-wired differently. Maybe even better. I’m the sole X-Y in a house dominated by perfume and bath-bombs so I’m perhaps a bit biased. But the sooner you accept the truth, the sooner you’ll be prepared for what’s to come later in life.

And come it will. Girls react and respond to things very differently. Whether it’s the dramas of the day, struggling with homework or changing friendships, girls are usually more likely to share and seek guidance or just a sympathetic ear – usually their mother’s.

Boys and girls, despite the best intentions of feeble-minded social engineers, are very different.

Boys, I’m led to believe, will range between ‘sorting it out myself’ to ‘what homework?’

I believe that at least knowing what’s going on is, in the long run, a better starting point to successful resolution.

It’s this ‘sharing’, the honest and open exchange of stories that seems to make the journey all the more satisfying. Despite the trials and tribulations, tears and tantrums and extended periods of ‘cold-shouldering’, girls appear to see a valued role model in their fathers more so than boys do theirs. Even if I’m wrong, here’s the final argument for the defence.

Even if I’m wrong, here’s the final argument for the defence.

Girls – I’m reliably led to believe – are far more likely to take good care of their parents in old age. Now, whether that manifests itself in more frequent ‘how are you?’ phone calls or thoughtfully selecting a decent place to dump you in when you need your nappies changing, that’s a rather comforting thought. For whatever reason, girls seem to be hard-wired to better care for you when you most need it. Hopefully, that’s also a comforting thought for those of you with at least one daughter.

For those with just boys? Remember: ‘No Returns, No Refunds.’ Good luck!


Recent McDonald’s campaign showcases fathers’ love for their daughters.

That said, let’s place your kids in their teens.

In many ways, raising girls is far more stressful.

Example: when boys have a disagreement with their mates it usually last no longer than the time it takes to call each other a few names, question each other’s sexuality and perhaps attempt to land a couple of punches – or laughable air-swings.

With girls, not only is the most seemingly innocuous slight taken so personally as to result in a session of teariness fit to saturate the Sahara, but sides are taken, allegiances switched and permanent battlelines drawn.

Take it from me. This shit can last throughout the middle or senior years of both primary and secondary school.

Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid any or all of these events, there is still a time – and it is coming – when fathers of girls come to a sudden and frightening realisation. It kicks in about the age you yourself were at when you ‘discovered’ girls.

When you have a son, you have just one dick to worry about. When you have a daughter you have EVERY dick to worry about!


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