How to Set the Bar on Being a Good Dad


This article is part of an editorial series, “Dear Dad,” brought to you by Fort Worth Moms. Join our subscriber list so you don’t miss a moment of “Dear Dad” and all Fort Worth Moms has to offer throughout the year.

Dear Dad editorial seriesI never envisioned myself as a “girl mom,” let alone my husband as a “girl dad.” I never had a healthy father-daughter relationship, so maybe I couldn’t envision it. It’s hard to know exactly what something should look like when you have never seen it for yourself.

As we navigated through the adoption process and worked with case workers to establish our parenting styles, I learned the kind of father my husband wanted to become. I also started to envision him as a pretty spectacular father.

Our daughter came to us on Father’s Day in 2017. As her birth father handed her over to my husband at 12:01 a.m., I watched my husband immediately transform into Daddy. 

Breaking the Mold

I cannot tell you how many times my husband receives compliments for being such a good dad. It always catches me by surprise — not because I don’t think he is an awesome dad, but because the things we have grown so accustom to aren’t the norm for other people.

It turns out that not all dads talk to their children with respect. They don’t have a dance party in the middle of the grocery store, or take turns on the never ending trips to the potty. Some dads won’t paint their nails and wear the same color shirts to be “twins.” 

All these little things add up significantly, transforming a father into a great dad. It’s things like these that both my husband and I didn’t have from our fathers.

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The small things will teach our daughter what a man should look like in her life and how she should be treated. His presence and constant support will teach her to believe in herself and know that even when she makes mistakes (despite what her four-year-old brain thinks) that her dad will always be there to lift her up.

child kisses dad and mom loves it

The cycle breaks here. The stereotypical dad mold stops with this dad. Her dad is shifting the narrative not because he has to, but because he wants to. Because being a better father for your daughter will make every aspect of her life better.

I am so proud of the dad my husband is. To see the way our daughter beams with joy when she looks at him, I know she is proud to have him as her daddy, too. If you want to set the bar on being a good dad, start with the little things and the rest will come.

Set the Bar with Pancakes

There is a lot of work that goes into being a daddy. I can’t exactly remember when pancakes on Sundays started, but it was probably as soon as our daughter could safely eat solids. Daddy wakes up first (likely cherishing every moment of quiet) and heads right to the kitchen. He whips up, from scratch, the fluffiest, most delicious pancakes you’ve ever eaten — I promise! 

“Daddy Pancakes” have become quite popular, and we can’t get through a Sunday without them.

But, you see, it’s not about the pancakes. It’s about the love and care that go into the pancakes. It is the commitment he makes to us each week and the fact that she knows she can always rely on him. It’s the special bond between a father and a daughter because, if I am being honest, I don’t even like pancakes that much . . . but I digress. 

Set a standard for being a good dad by showing kind gestures, like making pancakes.

Just like Dad

The act of making pancakes has bled into so many other aspect of “daddyhood.” My husband and our daughter have so many special activities they do together, and mom is not invited.

I have lost count of the times I find our daughter in a pretty princess dress smashing her toy monster trucks into her dinosaurs because, “Girls can like princesses AND dinosaurs. Okay, mom?”

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Or the times we get in my car and she asks for “daddy music” (metal, it’s always metal). Sometimes I wonder, after the ninth day in a row of her demanding daddy put her to bed, does she even like me?

But I would be lying if I said this wasn’t the relationship I envisioned for them — this seemingly unbreakable bond, where all she wants to do is grow up and be just like her daddy.


  1. Jessica this is so amazing and beautiful. Sitting here with tears reading it! Keep writing about your wonderful family. Much love!❤️


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