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  • What Is It Like To Be A #GirlDad? 7 Things Only Fathers With Daughters Know

    Seven proud #GirlDads tell us the best thing about being one.
    by Carol Amistad .
  • Kobe Bryant’s untimely death last January 26 sure sent shockwaves not only to the basketball community but to the entire world. Tributes and reflections of their memories with the late NBA star poured in, but one of the most powerful perhaps came from Elle Duncan, an ESPN anchor.

    Elle was eight months pregnant when she met Kobe. She asked him for advice because he had three daughters at the time. “Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing. Girls are the best. I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad,” the basketball player proudly said.

    And that’s when the hashtag “#girldad” began. As soon as Elle’s story was shared on the SportsCenter Twitter page, it was retweeted nearly 30,000 times that showed images of daughters or their fathers. On Instagram, approximately 96,000 posts were dedicated to the hashtag.

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    What is it like to be a #GirlDad

    At the end of her story, Elle said when she reflects on the moment she met the basketball star and his death, she’s comforted by the idea that Bryant died doing what he loved the most — being a “girl dad.”

    So what is it really like being a girl dad? What makes it the best thing in the world? These seven working fathers tell us.

    1. You will always be an extra in your daughter's Tiktok video and you love it!

    Ryan Gonzales puts all his businesses aside whenever Lara, 7, needs him, whether it’s making him do a Tiktok video or reviewing her for her exams. “I want her to know that I will always be there for her.”

    Lara’s the clingy type, and Ryan isn’t complaining. “Being a girl dad is awesome! There’s this satisfaction of your love being reciprocated that only daughters can and will do. I love her and how she turned out to be just like me! Hahaha!”

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    “I want her to remember me as someone who was always there for her and was very proud of her since the moment she was born.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Ryan Gonzales
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    2. Being a Disney princess is serious business.   

    Roberto Juan Isidoro or RJ is a proud hands-on dad who watches 5-year-old daughter Isabella’s favorite videos on YouTube — and yes, that includes toy reviews and Disney music videos!

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    Being a girl dad has taught RJ to be present at the moment and to be grateful for fatherhood. “Most of the time, we don’t see the blessing. We pray and ask for something, and we complain when we don’t get it or when we are given something else. There’s always a reason for everything. We may not always know why, but it’s always something that prepares us for the better, and even bigger than our plans.”

    RJ and his wife almost lost Isabella when she was only 2 years old, and the experience opened their eyes to kindness and helping whenever you can. “We had complete strangers sending us prayers and donating money every day. That also brought us closer to God and put things into perspective.”

    Never take anything for granted is a life lesson RJ hopes to teach his daughter.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of RJ Isidro

    3. One day, you'll have to deal with the word 'boyfriend.' 

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    Christian Paul Man-Gao or Ian is already dreading the day when his daughter Lucy, 3, who is just a toddler, will tell him she has a boyfriend. He is also preparing himself for that day when she gets her heartbroken.

    For Ian, the best thing about being a girl dad is it fortifies a man’s respect towards women. “I became more patient and respectful of women. I learned how to choose female’s clothes, do girly stuff like playing with dolls or watching animated Disney films with princesses in it.”

    Ian wants Lucy to remember him as a father who tried his very best to follow the footsteps of his recently departed mom, who was his source of inspiration.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Ian Gao
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    4. It is just extra scary when it is time to let go of daughters.

    As a dad to three teenage girls, Marco Domingo is always worried because he believes the world is biased against women. That is why he always checks up on his daughters — Calista, 18, Tamara, 19, and Shasta, 20 — reminds them to fully charge their phones and power banks, and makes sure they come home safely.

    He spends quality time with his daughters by watching new films together and talk about another’s life updates over meals. Card games and prepping meals or checking out new dessert recipes are also among their favorite things to do.

    Being a girl dad is a privilege. Not all dads are blessed to have daughters. Marco says, “I want them to know that I am always there for them, even in the littlest moments.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Marco Domingo

    5. It will be your mission to tell her she can be anything she wants.

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    Denmark Dolores, a photographer who runs The Lumina Studio, does not accept weekend shoots so he can spend more time with his daughter Happy, 8. They visit play areas, shop, and eat at her favorite restaurants, especially when they celebrate her academic achievements. He also joins her Taekwondo training. 

    Denmark says spending a lot of time with his daughter during her childhood and formative years is the best thing about being a girl dad. He gets to enjoy her sweetness, thoughtfulness, and “lambing” all the time.

    “I would not trade it for the world!” Denmark exclaims about fatherhood.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Denmark Dolores
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    6. You cannot avoid being a stage dad.

    If there’s one thing that being a girl dad taught Rowace Odronia, it’s to love unconditionally. “I want my daughter to remember me as someone who can do the most impossible things out of my love for her, and that I am always there for her through thick and thin”

    Ace loves spending time with Audrey, 13, even if it means just sitting on their couch talking about school and her future, although they do like to dance together!

    Rowace confesses to being a stage dad, her number one fan. “I don’t deny it, and I’m proud to say it to the whole world.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Rowace Ordonia

    7. You have to work harder let her live the life she chooses.

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    Work takes up most of Arbee Tan’s weekdays, so he and his daughters, Summer, 13, and Layla, 10, make sure that they call each other before the girls go to bed. He sees to it that his weekends are always spent with the family, even if it means watching K-drama!

    Arbee says, “I try to enjoy every moment because I know I will have to let them live their lives when they become adults. As much as I always want them to be around, I need to let them pursue their interests, and I can’t be the obstacle to that.”

    Arbee wants to teach his daughters to enjoy life. He wants them to find what they want to pursue and go for it. And the best thing about being a girl dad? The “lambing” that he gets from his girls.

    Arbee says, “I always get hugs from them, which really zaps away weariness I feel from work.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Arbee Tan
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