There are some amazing dads out there who up for their daughters and sons in the best of ways, day in and day out. Whether it’s teaching young girls to have self-confidence, or forging new ways of communication with young boys, fathers everywhere are raising the bar on raising their kids. And during a time when the world news seems to be constantly alarming and sad, it’s heartening to take a moment to salute the people giving us hope for the future. Here are just some of the dads out there that are utterly killing the parenting game, bringing brightness into the world.
A dad’s powerful morning affirmations
According to a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, black women in America deal with inequality in every part of society, from health to safety to education. So to see a young, black girl confidently repeating powerful affirmations at the behest of her loving father is a wonderful sight. There’s no question that this little girl will grow up knowing that she’s strong, smart, and beautiful. Dad also instills in her a sense of personal accountability, having her say out loud that she works hard, and is respectful. And you can tell that they do this often — perhaps even daily — given how well she responds, and how she knows how to answer her father’s prompts. Kudos to this sensitive, empowering dad.
Dad walks daughter to school for 13 years
Time can feels like it’s passing in the blink of an eye when you’re a parent, even on days when you’ve gotten enough sleep and don’t have to go to work. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to memorialize your precious moments, even if you’re certain you wouldn’t ever forget them. That’s what Brittany Gayler’s parents did did many years ago, documenting the moment her dad walked her to school for her very first day. That came in handy years later, when her dad walked her to school for her very last day, and again the moment was captured on film. Side by side, those pictures show the commitment this dad had for his little girl from the get-go.
Tyrese Gibson teaches his daughter self-confidence and respect
Some celebrity dads really knock it out of the park, and that’s just what Tyrese Gibson did in this video with his daughter. In it, he teaches her to say positive, affirming things about herself, and to sound confident and strong while doing so. Clearly Gibson got the memo that it’s important for fathers to raise their daughters to be powerful so they go on to have healthy and productive lives. And messages like these — that you are smart, beautiful, great — help to build that confident, solid foundation. And she is so into their practice — check out how happy she is during their hug at the end!
Son with autism reached by dad’s puppets
Individuals with an autism diagnosis can have a variety of communication issues, according to the National Institutes of Health. And while some of these issues can be mild, others can be quite severe, creating a variety of challenges for parents and children alike. So when Owen Suskind’s dad figured out a way to communicate with his son, who was non-verbal, it was a revelatory, watershed moment for their entire family. By using puppets from popular Disney films, Owen’s dad was able to have a verbal conversation with him for the first time since he was two years old.
Of course, not all people with autism will react like Owen did, as each case is unique to the individual. But since Owen had the potential and ability to communicate with words — and a super caring and observant dad — the breakthrough was able to happen.
BBC dad didn’t mind being interrupted
Every parent who works from home is guaranteed to get interrupted once in a while, which can be a bit of a nuisance. But the world was charmed when Robert Kelly, who while giving a BBC interview about North Korea, was interrupted by his two young children. They waltzed into the room and came right up to him, clearly not concerned that he was on the air. His wife rushed in just seconds later and quickly escorted both kids out. The best part is that the whole time, Kelly did not seem too bothered by the intrusion. Rather, he smiled and worked to maintain his composure, and didn’t seem irritated at all.
After the video went viral, he went back on BBC with his whole family (planned this time!) to talk about the incident. When asked if he could appreciate how the clip was “the perfect piece of physical comedy,” he responded: “We did. Everybody we know seems to think it’s pretty hysterical. So we understand why people find it enjoyable in catching a regular family off guard.” He clearly understands that kids are kids, even in the most inopportune (and, in this case, mortifying) moments, and demonstrated patience and empathy toward his little ones. Good job, dad.
A dad’s special graduation gift
While it’s great to get a big, expensive graduation gift like a car or a check, sometimes the best gifts are not necessarily monetary. Such was the case for Mackenzie Scruggs, whose father interviewed her every year on her first day of school from kindergarten through her senior year of high school. He would ask her what she liked best about the day, as well as what she was looking forward to the most that year. And through the years, she talks about those things, ranging from classmates to homework to cute boys. The final result is a montage of a young woman growing up through the lens of her loving father.
The dad and daughter singalong of a lifetime
Ask parents how they feel about Disney movies, and they may recoil at the thought of hearing Let It Go for the thousandth time. However, some parents aren’t quite so traumatized by Disney’s catchy pop tunes and wholesome lessons. That’s certainly the case for Dave and his daughter Claire, whose video duet went viral on the internet, subsequently landing them on Ellen. And the whole time, even though Dave plays guitar and sometimes sings along with his daughter, Claire is the star of the show. It’s heartwarming to see a father who clearly spends so much one-on-one time with his daughter on a shared passion.
Steph Curry’s daughter runs the show
If you’ve ever watched Steph Curry play basketball, you know that he is a talented athlete with a gift for making seemingly impossible three-point shots. But unless you stick around for the post-game interview, you might not realize how much of an amazing dad he is. His daughter, Riley, totally steals the show. When she wants to be on his lap, he pulls her up right away. When she laughs, he laughs. And when she tells him he is being too loud, he agrees with her, telling her that he knows — and chuckles when she tells him to be quiet. He’s clearly a pro as a parent in addition to being a pro baller.
Dads can be princesses too
What’s a dad to do when his daughter wants to be Han Solo for Halloween, and she needs a companion? Why, dress up like Princess Leia, of course, because that’s what dads should do, according to one father. Tom Burns wrote about it on The Good Man Project, wherein he detailed his decision to be Princess Leia in the name of gender equality. It’s nice to see a little girl who’d rather be Han Solo than a princess, and that dads can be princesses too.