The Challenges Single Dads Face Everyday

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Despite the rising numbers of single-dad households in the country, they continue to face and silently battle these seemingly simple, everyday challenges.

More often than not, fathers are involuntarily relegated by family courts to the role of “accessory parents,” instead of active caregivers. — Edward Kruk Ph.D.

Continue reading The Challenges Single Dads Face Everyday

For Single Dads: What To Do When Your Daughter Starts Asking “Those” Questions?

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Some families are lucky enough to have both mom and dad present in their daughter’s life. In this case, it’s the mother whom the daughter can run to when puberty and boys make their life more exciting.

…recent Census data (US HHS) show that there were 1.96 million single fathers in 2012 (with 16% of custodial single parents being men) and an estimate of 189,000 stay-at-home dads in 2012 (defined as those who were out of the labor force for at least a year to care for children younger than 15). — The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMF

On the other hand, dads usually take care of their boys when they finally have “the talk.” But what happens when dads have to do both? Are you ready for questions about their first period, their crush, or their self-esteem issues? Although you might feel less knowledgeable about your daughter’s teenage predicaments, you still might be underestimating just how much you can help.

Be Extra Sensitive

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Know when it’s time. More often than not, your daughter will try to hide everything as much as they can. It is the time in their life wherein they feel embarrassed about what’s happening with their bodies.

It might be better to slowly initiate a conversation with your daughters rather than wait for them to come to you. If you do the latter, you might just be waiting for nothing. It might be awkward at first, but they will appreciate your concern far more than you can imagine. Even before that, do your research or talk to other people so that you don’t go in empty-handed.

Don’t be a stranger to your daughter. Be sensitive enough to create an environment where they don’t have to hide things out of embarrassment or fear of you.

Good fathers engage in less risky behaviors – I had a father who decided to quit smoking once and for all so he could be there to walk his daughter down the aisle. — Chen Oren, Ph.D.

Ask Help From Others

Let’s face it: dads know about a boy’s puberty. They are all too familiar with problems involving girls and all the fiasco that comes with being a teenage boy. With girls, however, it is an entirely different terrain they haven’t tried to cross.

As much as dads want to be a guide for their daughters, sometimes it is just different when “the talk” is with their girls. If you feel like you are an insufficient guide, then you might want to tap your trusted relatives or friends to have a friendly chat with your daughter.

Try not to make a big deal out of everything. It might make your daughter feel even more embarrassed to open up. Instead, be as casual as possible. Invite some female friends or relatives for lunch, brief them about your problem, and let them work their magic.

Of course, this will still be a case-to-case basis. Do you think your daughter will willingly open up to other people aside from you? Or does she need more privacy and want to talk only with you? With these questions in mind, you can approach the situation accordingly.

Don’t Just Be Her Dad

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Your daughters might be longing for a mother figure or, really, just any woman they can trust. Your judging them is the last thing they need when they open up.

As a father you take a lot of pride and integrity in your relationship with your children. Your main priority is to be the best possible dad you can be, but the circumstances of divorce can make this difficult or even impossible. — Andra Brosh, PhD

It is the perfect time to act not only as a dad but also their friend. Your daughter will have lots of questions, and you have to make sure that you answer from your heart. They will feel that you care for their welfare and, in turn, build a trusting and open relationship with you.

So, there you have it. Don’t worry; this experience doesn’t have to be painstakingly awkward for either you or your daughter. It might all seem daunting, but it will surely elevate your father-daughter bond to the next level. In the end, you will find that she treats you as her new best friend. How much better can that get?

The Best Dad Movies To Watch

Whether it’s Father’s Day or you want to have a movie night with the whole family, you should try watching movies about dads. You’ll probably relate to the heartbreaking storylines and comedic father–children scenes.

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If you’re not familiar with this movie class, don’t worry too much because we got you covered. Listed below are some of the best dad movies you can watch with your loved ones.

Father Of The Bride (1991)

Father of the Bride is a remake of the famous 1950s movie called Vincent Minnelli’s. This film is a father-daughter classic, which tackles the issue of the daughter’s marriage.

Steve Martin is a clingy and overprotective dad who got jealous when his one and only daughter began spending most of her time with her fiancé. Since he’s not yet used to the fact that daddy’s little girl is all grown up, he goes a little bit nuts.

This movie is such a comedic delight, especially during the scene where the dad goes through a full wedding panic and breaks down at the grocery store.

He Got Game (1998)

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This pick is perfect for sports-loving fathers. In the story, Denzel Washington took on the role of a father who was trying to rebuild his relationship with his son, a top-rank basketball player. This yearning happened after spending around six years in prison.

It turns out the state governor only released him for seven days so that he can convince his famous son to play for the governor’s alma mater. If he succeeds in this conquest, the official promised a massive reduction in his prison sentence.

Morris From America (2016)

Morris From America is a delightful coming-of-age story starring Markees Christmas and Craig Robinson. Morris (Christmas) plays the role of a 13-year-old New Yorker who moved to Germany. This transition was a challenge for him because he had to come up with strategies to fit in. While his classmates are more inclined into dance music, Morris considers himself a rapper, always writing rhyming poems and songs.

Another challenge he faced during this time was the fact that his dad makes fun of his ambitions him all the time. Morris From America is a beautiful film to watch due to its perfect balance of comedy and drama.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

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Mrs. Doubtfire started with a divorce finalization scene. Because of this unfortunate event, a loving father, portrayed by Robin Williams, drafted a wild plan so that he can see his children. He transformed himself with costume and makeup to pass for a nanny for the household. Everything was going well until he and his wife were both invited to a family dinner. This event put his secret at risk of exposure.

Although it has its comedic aspects, the film also touched on love, patience, and the sacrifice of a father.

These movies about dads and families will put a smile to everyone’s lips. It will also be more memorable if the whole family gets to watch these films with the number 1 guy in their lives.

Dads, Here Are 3 Signs You’re Doing A Great Job

A father’s greatest nightmare is being told they’re doing a poor job at raising their little humans. They already get a bad reputation for being the less involved parent as it is.

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Being a father is no easy task; there are lots of things to remember that you might not get a grip on everything. But don’t be so discouraged. Your relationship with your kids is probably healthier than you think. To check, look out for these signs!

The term “good enough” implies a kind of parenting that sets the stage for child development without micromanaging the entire process. The idea behind it is that growth is an internal drive unique to the nature of each child. — Jonathan Bartlett, MA, MFT

Your Kids Are Not Afraid Of Telling You Things

You communicate with each other. You find that you can easily confide simple things to them as if they are your pals. In the same way, they also update you about what’s happening with their lives. When they experience any stress or discomfort, they run to you for advice. You realize that hearing your help is crucial before they make any decisions. You are not a stranger to them, and you know this because you rest in confidence that you know what’s going on with your kids. You know how they’re doing at school and their extra-curricular or if they have any crush—everything under the sun.

They tell you things simply because you are a great listener. When they share their experiences with you, you offer the best advice you can give. You act not only as their dad but also as their best friend—and that’s a great trait to have.

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Fathers spend a higher percentage of their one-to-one interactions with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. — Ditta M. Oliker Ph.D.

They Are Kind

Their kindness to you and other people is very apparent. They are selfless and thrive on doing things for other people. Still, they remain headstrong and brave. Your kids know how to stand up for themselves and for other people. Your kids are compassionate and empathic. You find that they handle conflict well, and they know when to apologize. They are aware of when they have hurt others’ feelings and are mature enough to approach you if you have hurt theirs. Overall, they are just great humans who are emotionally intelligent with a brave heart.

They learned this by watching you. You have become a fantastic role model for your kids that they know your kindness is something noble enough to embody on their own.

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A research study of school-aged children found children with good relationships with their fathers had lower incidence of depression, disruptive behavior, and lying. This study also found that boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and that girls with such fathers had higher self-esteem. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.

They Make You Proud

Our kids tell a lot about how we have raised them. In most cases, they turn out mostly as a carbon copy of us even when they are unconscious of it. They take on our traits and our values, and they merge it with their own experiences.

You know you have done an excellent job as a dad when seeing them be the way they are makes your heart burst with pride. Ultimately, you are satisfied with the thought that you have raised them well. You rest easy knowing that your kids are on the right path and that, despite your flaws, you have still done an excellent job.

There is no single method on how to be a better dad. As always, it remains to be a case-to-case basis depending on the relationship dynamics of a particular family. If you feel like you are still doing worse than you aim, don’t give up. You have every single day to try again with your kids. Until you find the approach that best suits you, don’t be so hard on yourself. Here’s to being a better dad!

How To Be A More Hands-On Dad

With our busy schedules even outside our 9-to-5 job, it’s hard to be active and present in our children’s lives all the time. By the time we know it, we’re missing out on so much, like their first goal in soccer class, their recitals, or their science fairs. Sometimes, our wives are even at the receiving end of our lack of time. We begin to innocently forget small things and, eventually, start missing out on anniversary dates, birthdays, dinner parties, and such. Although fathers present their love and affection in multiple languages other than presence, this can have undeniable effects on our kids still.

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Fathers are not just providers. While we must focus on ensuring we have food on the table, we also can’t deny that our fatherhood is compromised at times. No dad wants this, so this guide below can help you thrive at work while also being present in your wife and child’s life.

Deciding what kind of father you want to be is important and laughable at the same time. Laughable because the days, weeks, and years are unpredictable. Having a co-parent may make it easier, but it also introduces the unpredictability of another person. — Justin Lioi, LCSW

Share Responsibilities

Fathers should not be the only ones who assume the role of the provider. Sometimes, fathers tend to detach themselves from other responsibilities because of work. They think that, because they are earning for the family, they are already relieved from other house tasks.

We must realize that these all fall to our wives, who are carrying the load we should be sharing. Delegate and agree on specific household tasks that you and your wife should be responsible for.

It is easy to be ignorant about what our wives feel. But one great way to start being a more hands-on dad is to be a hands-on husband too. Empathy is vital in making a family work. Realize that you are not the only one tired from a long day at work. With this understanding, we can start to share the same empathy with our kids.

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Children who live with their fathers have better physical and emotional health, better academic achievement, and lower incidence of drug use and delinquency. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.

Prioritize Family

Don’t wait until you no longer know how old your child is before you start making efforts. Make it a point to at least maximize whatever free time you get with your family.

After work, try to spend at least 15 minutes to play with your kids or ask how your wife’s day was. Help in washing the dishes, taking out the trash, or putting the kids to sleep. Read them bedtime stories when you can, or initiate a movie night.

Weekends should mainly be a work-free time dedicated for you to bond with your family. Try planning a lovely family day occasionally to remind your family that you are still present.

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Most fathers today are keen to experience both the joys and challenges of parenthood, derive satisfaction from their parental role, and consider active and involved fatherhood to be a core component of their self-identity. — Edward Kruk Ph.D.

Be Available, Accessible, And Approachable

Sometimes, being physically present alone won’t do. You must make sure that you are there in the moment physically, mentally, and emotionally.

We underestimate how much our kids sense our interest (or lack thereof). Being mentally absent is sometimes even worse than not being there at all. Fathers must maintain a positive and loving attitude whenever we’re with our kids. Do not project stress from work onto them. Instead, think of family time as an escape from all the work-related problems you might be facing.

When you are with your kids, involve yourself as much as you can. Do not just stand there waiting for them to finish so that you can go home. Immerse yourself in their activities. Through this, they will start to feel that you genuinely care about their interests.

Once you follow this guide, you will realize that fatherhood is not a chore, and you should never treat it like one. Enjoy it and love your kids to the best of your abilities!

Words Of Wisdom From Dads That Are Pure Gold

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Therapists are known to cater to a lot of depressed individuals across the globe. Some of them feel helpless because their boyfriend or girlfriend left them for the third party. Others cannot get over the death of someone they love of the loss of their dream job. Thus, the most practical solution that comes to mind is to employ the help of mental health professional

Of course, there is nothing odd or wrong about this decision. If you are ill, you go to the doctor. If you have psychological issues, it is only natural to think of consulting a licensed therapist about how you can overcome it. They are the experts in this field; they are supposed to know how to help you.

Nevertheless, I know that the number of individuals who go to mental health professionals does not cover the real total of depressed people across the globe. Many refuse to visit a therapist’s clinic as they fear of getting criticized or feeling invalidated. Others prefer to try to get over their problems on their own, even though they know their chances seem bleak.

While mothers (typically) introduce children to the world of relationships, fathers introduce them to the world. — Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW

Considering your case is closer to the latter than the former, you should talk to your daddy or any man who plays that role in your life. The reason is that fathers can be brutally honest whenever they give their opinion, especially if the concerned individual is their kids. You may or may not disclose the details of your depression to your dad, but I am sure that he can share some of his words of wisdom to you that are pure gold.

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Source: obamawhitehouse.archives.gov

Some of the common enlightening comments that fathers offer can be found below.

If The Shoes Don’t Fit, Stop Forcing It

Some women have a hard time accepting that the man they love does not love them back, and vice versa. The former keep on texting or calling the latter, hoping that their mind will change at one point. Alternatively, they believe that the indirect harassment will annoy the love of their life, to the extent that the individual will agree on going on a date with them. So, if it doesn’t happen in reality, the romantic becomes hopeless and goes into depression.

Engulfment: This occurs when a child is not encouraged to separate and individuate from the mother in early childhood. As an adult, the engulfed child becomes an adult obsessed with relationships, demanding others meet all their needs without taking responsibility for meeting their own needs. — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT

What most dads can advise in this situation is to stop forcing yourself on people who are not into you. If someone does not like you, that’s fine. You will be able to find others who will want to bring you the moon and the stars even if you don’t ask. It is such a waste of time to keep on devoting your efforts on people who do not appreciate you.

There’s No Point In Crying Over Someone Who Has Already Hurt You

The first thing that my father has honestly told me one day he saw me crying after a bad breakup was, “Dry up your tears. You only cry over someone who has loved you.” At that moment, I wanted to argue that he was wrong, that he did not even know what happened. I was thinking, “How could he be so mean?”

But then, my dad made me realize that my ex would not have hurt me if he loved me for real. No man or woman in love could bear the sight of their partner being in pain because of them, after all. That short interaction with my father has allowed me to see that, yes, there’s no point in shedding tears over someone who does not mind hurting me. No one has the right to do that, no matter how much you love that person. It’s something you should remember as well.

When children are autonomous, they are more likely to feel capable of making their own healthy choices. — Eva Lazar, PhD

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The World Doesn’t Stop Revolving Even If Your Partner Leaves You

There are people, men, and women alike, who take a split so hard, to the point that they no longer want to go out or do anything else. They don’t eat or shower; they cannot even be bothered to charge their phones just in case someone wants to check up on them. It is as if their life is on a standstill, and everything will only return to normal if their partner takes them back.

The truth is, it seems rare for exes to find love in each other’s arms again, especially if you have broken up because your partner has found another person to love. Despite that, it does not mean that you cannot move on from it. You can fall for someone new again, someone better. Your world should not stop revolving just because the love of your life has left you.

In The End

I am aware that such words of wisdom may not make sense to you immediately, primarily if you are still in the grieving stage. However, keep them in your mind and talk to your dad more. Who knows, he may be able to share more of his know-how about how you should handle different situations in life.

Good luck!

Can’t Go To The Barbershop Anymore While Your Kid Pursues Psychology Degree? Here Are Tips On Tapering Your Own Hair

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Source: flickr.com

Sending your child to university to get a psychology degree tends to entail that you have to make sacrifices to help him attend school without worrying about student loans. For one, you might work double shifts or look for a part-time job. You may also sell a property to be able to pay for their tuition in full. You are a dad, so no one will question your decisions to give your child everything that he or she needs.

Now, in case you want to give up going to a barbershop to save some money, you should know that you can taper your hair even if you are not a professional.

Tools You Need

  • Clipper Guards
  • Hair Clipper
  • Comb
  • Scissors
  • Mirror
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razor
  • Fade Brush (Optional)

Method 1: The Free-Hand Taper

Step 1: Picture Out The Cut

How short your shortest hair will become depends on you. It’s alright to copy your favorite Hollywood artists’ do or search for the cut that will match the shape of your head and face.

Step 2: Utilize The Scooping Motion

After thinking about the haircut, attach the guard to the clipper. The scooping motion is a technique in which you run the tool from the nape to where you want the taper to end. Feel free to interchange the guards to blend the style.

Step 3: Trim The Sides

Take the comb to roll the strands upwards and then the clippers to chop off the hair that sticks through the former. Since it’s a taper, your locks have to thin out from top to bottom.

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Source: pixabay.com

Step 4: Cut The Fringes And Top

The scissors come in handy in case you wish to create bangs or shorten the top. Just remember to comb up for the latter and comb down for the fringes. Considering it is the first time you’re doing it, perhaps make tiny cuts until you get satisfied with the length.

Step 5: Check For Irregularities.

The final step is to get your handheld mirror while facing the bathroom mirror to ascertain your taper is smooth.

Method 2: The Sportsman’s Taper

Step 1: Chop Off The Top Portion

Utilize the clipper with a 1/8-inch blade to trim your mane starting from the crown towards the forehead. What it entails is that you are cutting with the grain of the hair so that it stays a bit longer.

Step 2: Cut The Locks At The Back And The Sides

Continue working along the same direction of the hair. Take your time to ensure that it’s even on both sides.

Step 3: Taper From The Temples To The Ears

Attach the ¼-inch blade to the clipper and move your hand diagonally from the temple to the ear area. Then, instead of removing it abruptly, pull the tool away from the head. It should make the blending easier.

After that, change the attachment with the 1/8-inch one. Taper with it in both open and closed positions respectively, and do the same thing for the 1/16-inch blade. Unlatch the guard once done before running the clipper without any accessory over the blended portion.

Finish the step with the 1/8-inch attachment to get rid of the excess waves on the hair.

Step 4: Work On The Hairline And The Back

It is very significant to run your clipper up to the middle part of the ear with the ¼-inch guard to create a division between the top and bottom layers. This will remind you of where to stop the tapering.

The next thing to do is perform the scooping method like how we’ve explained it in the first method. The only difference is that you need to do it with and without attachments. The order to remember goes this way: 1/8-inch blade (open and close), 1/16-inch guard (open and close at a 45-degree angle), and no attachment (open, half-closed, and close). You also have to blend everything with the 1/8-inch guard after all of that.

Step 5: Line Off The Hairline And Temple Area

Press your clipping device lightly into the central part of the hairline. It serves as your guide in doing a straight line closest to the forehead. Follow through by making a sharp cut where the hairline meets the temples on both sides. Be sure to have a large mirror in front of you.

Step 6: Create An Outline Behind And Around Your Ears

After curving the haircut down the sideburns, pull one ear away from your head to reveal the hairline behind it. Trim this portion diagonally in a similar manner as with the strands on the temple area.

Step 7: Clean The Outline With A Shave

Cutting the hairline can leave patches of hair detached from the rest. For this reason, you have to smear the shaving cream on them and shave off with a straight razor.

Step 8: Style It As You Please

The sportsman’s taper is usually short on every angle, so you can brush the hair forward and apply pomade on it.

Method 3: The Gentleman’s Taper

Step 1: Cut The Top Layer

Combing the hair parallel to the ground, chop off several inches from the crown area. The length left should be long enough, however, to prevent it from sticking upwards. It becomes your guide as to how long the strands on the sides and the back have to be.

Step 2: Start Blending Around The Head

Maintaining the same position of the comb, utilize the scissor-over-comb system for blending the hair from the crown to the top section. Always begin at the middle going to the left and right sides to keep the balance.

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Source: picryl.com

Step 3: Blend The Side And Back Areas

This time, work on the lower segment of the head with the same technique to mix it with the upper layer.

Step 4: Use The Clipper For A Semi Finish

The fourth step asks you to practice clipping over the comb to produce a semi finish. Angle your clipper at 45 degrees to cut the hair near the temple area nicely. By placing two fingers above the ears, you see where it should end.

Step 5: Apply The Blade-On-Skin Technique

You may put the comb away for now and adjust the hair clipper to the open position. Perform the scooping movement for this step so that it seems naturally tapered, and do it again with the blades half-closed and closed.

Step 6: Tidy Up The Sideburns And The Ear Section

If you are already happy with the outcome, get your T-trimmer to emphasize the sideburns and remove the excess strands behind both ears.

Step 7: Shape The Neck Area

Line off the neck area at the back of the ears as well and shave up the back without touching the tapered part. It is supposed to clean the hairline.

Step 8: Shave The Outline

Considering the T-trimmer has left stragglers out, you can eliminate them with a razor after applying the shaving cream.

The Verdict

As you have probably noticed from the methods above, the necessary tools for each are almost similar with small variations. With practice, we are pretty sure that you can do any of these methods and will not have to hire a professional to achieve the tapered look ever again. Cheers!

Anxiety And Depression In New Dads

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Depression and anxiety are usually associated with women, especially those who just gave birth. This mental state is considered a disorder since it has a significant effect on the person’s behavioral, mental and emotional state. However, anxiety and depression can happen to anyone. And this is also true for men, specifically new fathers.

Continue reading Anxiety And Depression In New Dads

Gift Ideas That Might Erase Your Gift-Giving Anxiety For Your Daughter’s 21st Birthday

It is such an anxiety-inducing thing to realize that your daughter is turning 21 soon for all moms and dads. For one, many find it hard to believe that their baby is now a full-fledged adult who can do stuff on their own. The situation may be a bit different as well from when they were away in college, in the sense that the child has every right to create their nest without needing to come home during school break.

Nonetheless, what worries parents more upon knowing this fact is that not everyone knows what kind of present to offer to their 21-year-old daughter.

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Source: flickr.com

It should be something unforgettable, after all. It will have been easy if you are buying a gift for a 7-year-old girl since most kids at that age love dolls and teapots. For a woman who is in the last year of young adulthood, however, she deserves to receive a special gift that will make her thankful for having you as a parent.

Here are a few ideas that might erase your gift-giving anxiety before your daughter’s birthday.

Buy A Car

Although a car may sound like a gift that wealthy celebrities or rappers tend to give their kids, it will be a thoughtful present if you buy one for your daughter as well. Having a vehicle, after all, will allow your child to go to job interviews without being late or looking haggard due to using public transportation. Aside from that, it can serve as her first taste of responsibility because she will have to pay for her gas, car maintenance, et cetera.

The thing is, it is not a necessity to get a super expensive car, to the point that the rest of your family has to eat one-dollar ramen for an entire month. Whether you can afford a brand-new or second-hand auto, your baby girl will undoubtedly appreciate it.

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Source: nps.gov

Pay For A Trip

You may know of a specific place that your daughter actively wants to visit, but she does not have the time or money for it. The location may merely be out of town or in a country that even you have never been to. As it is her special year, therefore, it is only fair for you to surprise her with an all-expense paid holiday with everyone she loves the most.

This trip may signify your child’s transition from being a little girl into a young woman. Once the vacation is over, the daughter will have to look for a job and ideally not need the parents to buy everything for her.

Rent A Club

If you are the kind of parent who won’t get mad if you see your daughter drinking and partying, you may consider renting a club for her birthday celebration. She can invite friends and relatives who enjoy booze and music all night long. You may set up a food buffet on one side of the room as well and let everyone soak in the fact that you already have a 21-year-old daughter.

Offer Passes To Extreme Adventures

However, if you think clubbing will not suffice to have your daughter feel entire that she is now 21 – and if she loves challenges – you can take her to death-defying adventures like cliff diving, parasailing, bungee jumping, and parachuting. It may increase her sense of freedom and allow your baby girl to see that she can do whatever she pleases as long as it does not negatively affect other people.

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Source: pixabay.com

Shoulder The Downpayment For A New Flat

21-year-olds have this intense craving to show the whole universe that they can be on their own by working hard and getting their place without the help of their family. That is especially true for millennials who love their independence more than anything.

Despite that, if you know that your daughter will most likely crash at a friend’s unit while looking for a job in the metro, it won’t hurt to get an apartment for her and shoulder the downpayment on her behalf. Not only will it ensure that you are aware of your kid’s whereabouts, but you can guarantee that she is in a safe space.

Final Thoughts

These gifts may all come out as a bit costly, but they are the things that your daughter needs before entering the real world. You have been there; you know how difficult it is to stand on your own. However, considering you have the means to ease your baby girl in on their new path, why don’t you go all out for her?

Think about what we’ve mentioned above so that you can make a decision soon. Good luck!