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Dads of Reddit: What types of things can I do to help inspire confidence in my adult daughters?

Me: Father (56) of 4 with 2 daughters aged 24 and 22. Both are out of the house now. Both are recent college grads (May 2020) with OK jobs that “pay the bills” but are not their ultimate dream jobs. They were both excellent students. On a confidence scale of 1-10, I would rate the older daughter as a 6 and the younger as a 5. My older daughter is my stepdaughter, and her bio-dad is nearby but distant, if that makes sense. She is getting married soon to a guy we like, so that helps. She is more outgoing. My younger daughter is more career oriented, and is not in a relationship. She tends to be more reserved expressing herself. I love them both dearly.

I feel I’ve always been there for my daughters. Now that they’re on their own, what kind of things can I do to help influence them and let them know they are still important, still great, and that I’m interested in helping them grow into adulthood with supreme confidence? What has or has not worked for you?

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  1. Based on the adult women I know, a “proud of you” and “love you” seems to be all they need. They are adults so unless they ask for help with something specific you already did your job.

  2. Just let them know that you’re there for them because no matter how old they get, you’ll be one of their primary sources of knowledge/help/sounding board/etc. Encourage them as much as you can and let them know that you’re proud of them.

  3. I don’t see how you could do anything more than you already have.

    Even when they are young children and permanently in contact, it’s difficult to bring “supreme” confidence. There is a personality aspect that you can’t influence. Even less so with adults that live remotely.

    Make sure you are there when they need it. Can you help them out getting the job of their dream?

    Keep communicating with them at a rate comfortable with everyone.

  4. Full disclosure, not a dad. However, as a woman who was in your daughters position a few years ago (now 30yo) the best advice I could give you would be to let them foster their own independence. Confidence will bloom as they get older, as they survive and thrive in the unknown, make mistakes and come out the other side stronger for it.

    Make sure they know you’re always there for them, like many others have said. They probably won’t want you interfering in their lives too much, especially as they figure things out, but keeping the dialog open, encouraging them to take those leaps, that they CAN do anything they want to, that you’ll always have their backs will honestly be enough!

    Sounds to me that you’re doing a pretty awesome job so far, OP. Your girls are lucky to have you.

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