10 things a dad should tell his daughter before it’s too late

Father of two daughters shares a little life-learnt wisdom

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1 Anything a man can do, you can do
You do not need to have a Y chromosome to unblock a drain, change a tyre, assemble an IKEA cupboard, understand the offside rule or quote from Star Wars as if it was the Holy Bible. In certain strategic situations it is probably wise to pretend you do, but just don’t let the fact that you’re a woman stop you knowing useful stuff. Or applying for jobs. Or getting your hands dirty. Learn.
 
2 Always be yourself
… unless you want to be an actress, in which case: Always be somebody else.
 
3 It’s good to be different
Trust me, I know you want to be like everybody else now but nothing cool and fun would ever have happened if no one dared to walk away from the herd.
 
4 Most insults come from ignorance or jealousy
Try to develop a thick skin, learn to pity the people who dish them out and move on safe in the knowledge that half an hour later, you’ll think of an amazing killer put-down response. Write these down and save them for a future career writing sassy sit-coms.
 
5 Never measure success by virtual popularity
You will never have more Twitter followers or friends or fans than anybody else so try not to use this to calculate how good you are at something.
 
6 Listen to your instincts
Don’t trust boys when something is telling you not to trust them. And if there’s some creepy noises in the basement of a big old house where you’re babysitting, do not go down there – especially if you’re with a boy you don’t trust.
 
7 Don’t spend forever putting on make-up
I know you’ll want to look your best but know this – any man who truly loves you will love you the most when you aren’t wearing any make-up. And if he doesn’t a good man will lie that he does. Having said that…
 
8 You’re not going to look this good forever I’m afraid
Make the most of your body. I know lying on the couch watching box sets while eating tubs of ice cream is going to become a very seductive lifestyle option, but do some exercise and eat well and you’ll get to look good a bit longer than people who don’t.
 
9 Avoid becoming Mrs Bore-off
Make sure you like the person you fall in love with. No amount of attractiveness can make up for sharing time with someone you don’t actually like being around.
 
10 Call me
When you leave home never be afraid to phone me. The most important thing I’ll want to know is, are you OK? If you aren’t, don’t lie. Tell me and I’ll help. Or I’ll get your mum.

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