Are You Wrapped Around Her Finger?
As much as parents want to mold their children, girls are particularly adept at molding their fathers into beings who are totally wrapped around their cute little fingers. While it's fun to think you'd give the world for your girl (and well you should), it is important to weigh this with what is fair and right.
It can stroke a dad's ego big time to know that when she needs something fixed, an adolescent girl knows to run straight to Daddy. But this can be a key sign that you are being manipulated. Do you find your daughter coming to you looking for a change in ruling from something Mom has ruled? This most likely means she knows (or hopes) you'll bend and give her what she wants that mom (or the other adult involved) has said no to. Sure, it's tempting to win her love over this way, but is it really good for her in the long run? Most would agree it is not.
If you have found in the past that you've shown a pattern of giving in when Mom does not, you need to address that with your daughter and with Mom there too. Say, “I realize I have done this in the past, but I want you to know that I respect your mother's decisions and will abide by them.” At the same time, you'll want your daughter to know she can talk things out with you.
In a rare and extremely reasonable case, where you've discussed it with your spouse in private, it's okay to bend. But make sure your child understands why this is an exception rather than a rule, and that your decision was made as a team, not as one parent pitted against the other.
Never, ever have disagreements with the other parent about how things should go in front of your daughter. Even if you strongly disagree, present a united front to her and discuss it privately. You cannot expose cracks for her to use to her advantage.
Starting to feel like an endless well of cash? Teen girls know to take Daddy along when they really want something that's expensive or not on the “necessity list.” Since so many dads are at work many hours in a day, they can sometimes try to buy their way into their daughter's hearts. Make sure you are not letting her use you this way.
Remember, your attention and love is worth more than every designer skirt out there. Offer her that instead. Spoiling is okay sometimes (that goes for Mom and Dad), but you should never let it replace what is more vital. And don't let your daughter hone in on that and take you to the cleaners. A good idea is to discuss potential purchases with your spouse before diving into them.