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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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dads

This is a message we've all needed at least once in our lives.

Dads don’t typically get labeled as the parent you come to with an emotional issue—that’s usually one of the many jobs reserved for mom.

A father’s sensitivity, or lack thereof, is often depicted as going straight for “practical solutions” and preaching the values of stoicism—you know, the manly stuff. . There’s of course nothing inherently wrong with these coping strategies, but in times of despair when all you want is a shoulder to cry on, they can feel a little…less than satisfactory.

But sometimes we get stories of fathers breaking the mold with profound compassion. And when we do, it can help heal the parts of ourselves that maybe didn’t get that from our own dads.

That’s certainly the case for the millions of viewers who were moved when a woman named Fallon Thompson shared the incredible text her dad sent her right after a breakup.

As Thompson explained in her video, her partner dumped her in the driveway of her home, and her father saw the entire thing—prompting him to send a little reassurance.

First, he shared how his own experience with heartbreak helped him find the relationship he truly wanted.

“Hey baby girl…here is some perspective from your old man…I have had lots of relationships…from one night stands, to flights, to friends with benefits, to girlfriends, to live-in girlfriends, and then I met your mom” his message began.

girl dads, fatherhood, emotional intelligence

"What you are dealing with today is necessary in order for you to one day be able to discern when a person is really right for you."

www.tiktok.com

“I can say with certainty that when I met her, it was instantly different. I can also say I knew it was different because I went through those other experiences,” he continued. “So what you are dealing with today is necessary in order for you to one day be able to discern when a person is really right for you.”

He even tried to remind her to be grateful for the experience, without trying to diminish her pain.

“When someone lets you know that you are not for them, deal with…the knowledge that this person gave you back the most valuable thing in the world—your time…Rejoice…that your life is still completely yours and you have not wasted it shackled to someone that did not completely want you.”

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more poetic, the dad then used a brilliant metaphor about cows, bulls and bravery.

Simply put, he said that cows run away from a storm when they see it, and in the process “end up being tortured by the storm longer” since they inadvertently stay in it longer.

Bulls, on the other hand, run towards the storm. The feeling is initially “terrible” but the storm passes by quickly, bringing peace and a renewed sense of strength.

“Be the bull, and lean into your storm,” the dad concluded.” Embrace the suck and let it fill you up. You are strong enough to endure, and very soon you will be at peace. Still on your path, achieving goals, and with all of your time still in surplus. Love, Dad.”

This dad’s heartfelt message not only helped his daughter in a time of need, but millions of viewers as well.

“Tell you dad thank you on my behalf, I need that sm,” one person wrote.

Another echoed, “Your dad just fixed a little part of me. Thanks for sharing.”

One even quipped, “Oh to have an emotionally intelligent dad.”

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Scott (Thompson’s father) shared why it’s vital for dads to be emotionally available to their daughters.

"To the girl dads out there: Just be there. Be invested in their lives; they are so much tougher than us and deal with so much more than we will ever know. That’s why it’s so important to lift them up for both their wins and losses. The world is tough on our girls, and if we can support them during the challenges they face, eventually, they will be able to support themselves and make their own path. Hug your girls tight, never be afraid to be vulnerable with them, and tell them you love them any chance you get," he said.

Indeed, research has shown that fathers play a crucial role in helping their kids to become emotionally resilient adults. Not all fathers will actively take on this role, but even the second hand healing from witnessing it in other father-child relationships is potent. Thank you to dads like Scott who show just how impactful a father's love can be.

Family

Two girl dads debate on which public bathroom they should take their daughters into

These dads disagreed on whether the women's of men's bathroom was best. So they asked TikTok to weigh in.

@djdrewski/TikTok

It’s a dilemma every girl dad must eventually face—choosing whether to take their daughters into the women’s bathroom, or the men’s. Sure, some places (more and more these days) have all-gender or family bathrooms with changing stations, but generally speaking those are far and few between.

Recently, DJ Drewski found himself and his brother—a fellow girl dad—facing this common predicament, and each father had a different opinion on which bathroom was the correct choice. So, Drewski thought he might settle the debate on TikTok.

“So two girl dads in Disney, we're in Disney World right now,” Drewski begins. “As a girl dad, I bring my daughter into the men's room, of course, into a stall in that bathroom. My brother brings his daughter into the female restroom. The women's restroom. We don't know which is the right way to do it or how women feel.”

@djdrewski As a “Girl Dad” which restroom are you supoose to use with your toddler DAUGHTER in public places??? #question #girldad #toddlersoftiktok #disney ♬ original sound - DJ Drewski

Where Drewski “doesn’t feel comfortable’ going into the women’s restroom, his brother argued that the women’s room is cleaner, and therefore better suited for his daughter. The second opinion matched the rationale of a girl dad Upworthy covered back in 2021, who lamented that “Men's bathrooms are DISGUSTING. They smell like pee and nothing is set up for a woman or a person with a child.”

Other moms seemed to share a preference for dad’s entering the women restroom, so long as they announce they’re coming in.

“Women’s rest room just yell girl dad coming in,” one person commented

Another said, “Ladies will accept you, just announce yourself. If any ladies give you trouble, they obviously don't have kids. Ignore them.”

However, folks weren’t vehemently opposed to taking daughter’s into the men’s room.

“As a Girl Dad... men's room straight to a stall... never have I ever had any issues .. lol” one viewer quipped.

Another shared, “My dad used to bring me to the guys bathroom and have me close my eyes until we got into the stall! Never was a problem to me or my mom ! Whatever you prefer I think.”

And of course, another viewer added that it sure would be nice to “normalize” changing tables in men’s rooms as well.

It’s clear that each of these dads are trying to do what’s best for their daughters, and are willing to have open conversations about how to best go about it. That’s perhaps the biggest and best takeaway of all here, regardless of which bathroom they choose. Just wash those hands!

A husband admitted he tended to "trust" his mom's parenting advice more than his wife's.

A dad who goes by @sergey.be.be on TikTok reached out to viewers in hopes of better navigating a perpetual argument with his wife.

In the clip, he shared that his wife is “frequently offended” that he seeks advice from his mother on how to raise their daughter. But since his mom has had “experience raising three children” compared to his wife’s first time at motherhood, he “tends to trust” mom’s advice more.

Unsurprisingly, this has led to frequent quarrels, and has persisted after the baby was born.


The dad went on to explain that, unlike his mother, his wife “insists she knows everything, suggesting we can always look things up on Google if needed.”

He then offered this example: “when I inquired about swaddling for our newborn, my mother recommended swaddling with straightened legs because if you don't swaddle your baby, his legs will be crooked, while my wife disagreed, saying it was a thing of the past."

@sergey.be.be My wife is frequently offended when I seek advice from my mother regarding raising our daughter. Our differing opinions have led to frequent quarrels. How can I navigate this situation? #newborn #momanddaughter #baby #babylove ♬ Surrender - Natalie Taylor

Well, not taking sides here, but a quick Google search does in fact list several resources which state that straight-leg swaddling is, in fact, not recommended, and considered potentially harmful. So it’s understandable that this man’s wife might be frustrated that her husband actively chooses his mother’s objectively inaccurate opinion over her own research.

Viewers unanimously agreed with this sentiment, though the responses ranged somewhere between gentle and brutally blunt.

“I guess he is TRYING to get divorced,” one person wrote.

Another quipped, “You should marry your mom 💕 hope this helps!”

Others tried to help illuminate the wife’s point of view, and point out why this husband’s action might be so upsetting.

“Your wife probably did HOURs, DAYS MONTHS of researching the current safe ways of doing things,” one person argued. “If you aren't’ going to trust her, at least ask to read what she’s reading so you can get insight. Then, if after reading you still have doubts, talk to your wife. Do not bring up your mom’s opinion.”

Another reasoned, “that’s like her asking her dad how you should be a father.”

Professionals also weighed in. A NICU nurse wrote, “things have changed in the last 3 years alone. Your mother doesn’t know. This is the woman you chose, learn and grow with her.”

And finally, I think this warning from a couples therapist really sums it all up: “prioritize your new family over your old family.”

If this man was indeed seeking advice (and not justification for his actions) then he certainly got what he asked for. Either way, the conversation can hopefully help put things into perspective for others.

The Starkeys' epic dance battel.

Chris Starkey posted a video to Facebook on Monday of himself and his daughter Brooklyn doing a dance-off to Flo Rida's "Low"—and it's unexpectedly awesome. Starkey wrote, "My daughter challenged me to a dance off and said I don't have it anymore. See that closet in the back she is still crying in it!!!" So much silly shade thrown around in this family, it's delightful.


When you see their fun banter and Starkey's middle-aged-man moves, you'll see why the video has been shared more than 280,000 times in two days. Starkey wrote in a comment that the reaction has brought tears to his eyes and encourages everyone to "Give back to your community" right now. He also says another video will be coming on Monday.

Excellent. We need this kind of levity right now more than ever.

Chris Starkey

This article originally appeared on 03.25.20