What have Barbie's boyfriend, One Direction and Strictly Come Dancing in common?

Dads' understanding of girls, that's what, in a world awash with plaits and pirouettes. Or, as Paul Simon almost sang, 50 ways to love your daughter.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 11:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 11:57 am
It's a daughter-dad thing

So runs lexicon of love between we fathers and female offspring - here highlighted by "what will your daughter be like?" quiz and suitably soundtracked by Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want To Have Fun anthem - who introduce us, whether we like it or not, to dubious delights of Olly Murs, Little Mix and (hey!) Macarena ... as well as defusing fights with mum.

A study of 500 dads with daughters under the age of 18 reveals top 50 things fathers with girls will master.

Dad-daughter bond at a glance

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Knowing South Yorkshire's Louis Tomlinson and fellow boy band members and nail-painting are also key ingredients in the relationship.

Dads of daughters also know how to dance with her standing on their feet as well as best way to alleviate rows between mother and daughter, miraculously without upsetting either party.

Wendy Hill, brand activation director for Barbie creators Mattel, said: "By joining in with activities such as cartwheels and playtime, dancing and making fairy wings together, dads are showing their daughters just how much they matter - and everything they do is important."

We also know it's important to shatter stereotypes so "sugar and spice and all things nice" fairer sex can be tom boys keen to play football, build dens and climb trees.

Dad-daughter bond at a glance

Being aware of The X Factor winners and naming Taylor Swift's latest hit also fall within role of being top dad today to a daughter.

The survey shows half of fathers appreciate it is important to show girls acting kind and behaving brave is more important than being pretty. And, when it comes to empowering daughters, 42 per cent of dads assure them "they can be anything".

Dads help daughters prepare for the future with 54 per cent thinking encouraging their confidence is among most important life lessons they can share while 51 per cent try to teach practical skills.

Letting their imaginations soar is key for a third of dads who believe daughter's dolls help foster imagination. And, when dads join playtime, two thirds recognise such togetherness helps foster self-confidence of women of the future.

They believe time spent in her imaginary world is an investment in future real world while four in ten fathers wish they could devote more quality time playing with their daughters.

Letting her make her own mistakes and teaching value of money at an early age are among crucial 'life lessons' dads try to give girls with. For eight in ten dads with a daughter, empowering them to become strong young women is of utmost importance.

Wake Forest University's Dr Linda Nielsen says decades of research shows girls who have loving, communicative, supportive relationships with their dads from early childhood are less likely to suffer lack of self-confidence and self-reliance as they grow up.

Wendy added: "A huge part of a dad's role is to empower their daughters to be confident, imaginative and sure of who they are. Global research highlights importance of nurturing the father-daughter relationship to raise the next generation of girls to know their limitless potential."


1. Who Barbie's boyfriend is

2. What a pirouette is

3. Glitter gets everywhere

4. How to give the perfect cuddle

5. How to make her feel special

6. How to clean showers full of hair

7. How to shop

8. How to make everything better

9. Girls like getting dirty too

10. When Strictly Come Dancing is on

11. Who the members of One Direction are

12. How to dance with her on your feet

13. You understand it will take hours to get into the bathroom

14. That girls want to play football as well

15. They don't always want pink and purple

16. How to skip

17. That chocolate or ice cream covers a multitude of sins

18. How important it is to colour co-ordinate

19. That girls also like to build dens and climb trees

20. How to play with dolls

21. How to stop a nightmare

22. How to break up a fight between her and her mother

23. How to paint nails

24. How to show enthusiasm when watching a chick flick or musical show

25. Who the winner of last year's The X Factor was

26. How to dance

27. How to ice skate

28. How to French plait

29. How to face paint

30. That you always need to have a hairband handy

31. How to bake the perfect cake

32. How to roller skate

33. How to have a perfect tea party

34. What Taylor Swift's latest hit is

35. That she needs to change her outfit five times a day

36. How to say 'no' gently when she asks to marry you

37. The names of all four members of Little Mix

38. How to behave at a pop concert

39. How to tie ballet shoes

40. How to cartwheel

41. How to get chewing gum out of long hair

42. What objects in the house make a great pop star microphone

43. The dance moves to the Macarena

44. How to make a pair of fairy wings

45. How to be a make-up model and wear eye shadow and lipstick

46. None

47. All the words to Olly Murs 'Troublemaker'

48. The difference between fuchsia and pink

49. What to do for a spa day at home

50. The words to Justin Bieber's 'Baby'