My Daughter Can Be Darth Vader
For many dads of daughters you have to struggle with the dichotomy of whether to allow your daughter’s personality shine or to help them conform to societal norms. This is definite and something that I’ve had to deal with in the 10 ½ years that my eldest daughter has been alive.
I still remember the first moments when my daughter was born and having no clue what was in store. There have been ups and downs that have challenged J-Mom and I, but in the end I think that I’ve come to an understanding that from me, my thought is that you have to let your child be themselves.
This manifested itself in a big way last Halloween. My daughters and I had just finished watching all of the Star Wars movies the previous summer and my eldest was very excited about being Darth Vader. At first I thought to myself, “what will the other kids say”, but then I quickly answered that internally by saying that it didn’t really matter as long as she was happy. On the day of the Halloween parade at her school she dressed up in her costume and was proud of showing her dark side (NOTE: this did not surprise me as her favorite Disney characters have always been Disney villains). I was pleased to find that the kids at her school all loved her costume and thought it was cool that she chose to be Darth Vader.
This same question has recently arisen at home because my daughter has started to play football with the boys at recess, at school. She definitely holds her own, but the other night, she made a comment about wanting to play football. Knowing that you don’t know my daughter, I should mention that, for the most part, she has excelled at every sport she has tried. It would not surprise me if she was able to excel at playing football too. However, in the back of my mind, the nagging voice keeps coming back asking whether she should play football. I don’t know whether she will push this and whether she will really want to play, but it is something that I struggle with.
As a father I want to give everything to my daughters. I want them to be able to do anything that they want to do, as long as it is safe for all concerned. So I do try and make sure that my daughters can achieve their trees and that I support the things that they set out to accomplish. This may not always be the popular choice or societal approved choice, but I feel it is my duty to help them to see past the barriers that may exist based on societal expectations. So whether my daughters want to be Darth Vader or the star Quarterback, I will be there, always.
How to all of you handle these complex issues?