He was the first guy we met in life, and we learned a lot from him. Soon, we are celebrating Dad in all his Big Man glory. Wonderful, good, or not-so-good, the relationship every girl has with her father is monumental because it helps to define who we are. So today, we are toasting him, and reminiscing about all the lessons he’s taught us.

In the Brazen Insiders group on Facebook (join us here to chat about all things woman!), we asked: What did the Big Guy teach you? Here are some wonderful answers from our community.


Daddy's Girl: Lessons We Learned from Our Fathers

Denise and Dad

My Dad taught me a lot of things: to appreciate art for its beauty and not its value, to treat food and mealtime as a celebration, to avoid paying interest at all costs, to be yourself no matter what, to smile and say hello to everyone you meet. But above all the most important lesson he taught me was to let the ones you care about know that they’re loved. Every time he greeted me or said goodbye (or sometimes for no reason at all), he’d wrap me in a bear hug and tell me that he loved me. -Mara

My favourite quote of my dad is an oldie but a goodie. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” -Cindy

My dad passed away at the age of 51. I was 32. My mother was a terrible parent. My dad was all I had. His death was devastating to me. After he died, his wife told me that, according to him, I had never done anything wrong in my entire life. I am unable to put into words how much that means to me even now, 18 years later, especially since my mother made sure to let me know everyday that I never did anything right. I only wish I could tell him. -Denise

My dad reminded us to “think before you speak – once it’s out of your mouth, you cant take it back!” -Sandra

Daddy's Girl: Lessons We Learned from Our Fathers

Ellen and Dad

When I was a little girl, my dad would always ask, “Ellen, do you think all dads love their daughters the way I love you?” My answer with a little giggle, “I think so dad, I really do.” Now I find myself asking my dad that same question. His six-foot-three frame was built to fit that massive heart which never stops loving those who are lucky enough to be loved by him. -Ellen

My father always told me to be a duck, which had two meanings, depending on the circumstance. 1. Just let it all slide off your back or 2. Stay calm and cool on top and swim like hell underneath. -Laurie

I was trying to do several things at once while drinking a cup of tea. My dad told me to sit down make a hot tea and just sit down and drink it and do nothing else. That was so hard to do as my mind kept going in high gear for a couple of minutes after I sat down. It surprised me that I was so tense. -Lilly

Daddy's Girl: Lessons We Learned from Our Fathers

Randi and Dad

The greatest lesson I learned from Dad is that men are loyal, loving, smart people who make you feel safe. He always leads with kindess and interest in everyone, from the bank teller to the guy ahead in line. Oh, and he taught me to whistle through my teeth, a cool trick indeed. -Randi

My dad died suddenly in 1990 at age 56. I have now lived three years longer than he did and that is a sad, funny feeling. My favourite dad moment came on my wedding day. My MIL-to-be really was trying to do everything to ruin the day because, plain and simple, she didn’t want me to marry her son. When we got to the front of the church, in a very clear voice, he said to me: “Are you sure? I will pay for everything right now if you need me to. Nobody should have to live with THAT (and he looked right at the blubbering mother of the groom). Especially you. You deserve better. You deserve the best.” My mother was mortified and she was trying to shut him up. Even the priest was looking at me, waiting for my answer, which was “I’m marrying him. Not her. If he ever chooses her over me, I’ll let you know.” My dad kissed me, shook my groom’s hand, and said to him, “My daughter first. Otherwise, you deal with me”. Thirty-eight years later, he has never disappointed my father. -Patti

Daddy's Girl: Lessons We Learned from Our Fathers

Jennifer and Dad

My dad started showing symptoms of Huntington’s Disease when I was around 5 years old. I don’t remember much of the man that he was before the disease took hold, but I remember sitting on his lap and feeling his love. I remember him drying me off and combing my hair after a bath as he sang to me. These strong memories have taught me that it’s so important to give little people good and loving memories, because you never know what the future will hold. Hold their hands, hoist them up on your laps, and give them bear hugs that will live in their subconscious for their whole lives. -Jennifer

My dad taught me that alcoholism’s a bitch. -Kristen

My dad continues to teach me at the wonderful and sharp age of 89. He taught me to be fiscally conservative. Invest carefully, forego the prospect of large gains and go for something safer with no loses. His strategy has stood the test of time well. Help your kids but don’t give them so much that you take away their desire to succeed on their own. Most of all, he taught me the value of tzedakah (charity), given quietly and without the desire for recognition and kindness. -Wendy

Daddy's Girl: Lessons We Learned from Our Fathers

Jill and Dad

“This above all, to thine own self be true”. Oh, and “Don’t make the same mistake twice”! Going strong at 90. -Jill

My dad is a Holocaust survivor. He was a tender age of 11 when the war was over, having lost his only sibling (sister). Coming to Canada when he was 26 years old, alone, no language, no one but himself to depend on. There are many life lessons that my dad (now 82) has taught me. One is the meaning of family. The unconditional love, sacrifices, guidance, support continue to be shown every day. Married now for 57 years, there is no doubt my dad (and mom) are true examples of these qualities. Sharp as a whip, loving as always. -Gale

I lost my dad when he was 58 and I was 23. Before he died he said to me: “Do everything for love and it will aways be for the right reason” -Natalie

Daddy's Girl: Lessons We Learned from Our Fathers

Joanna and Dad

My dad while teaching me to drive: “DON’T HANG AROUND IN THE INTERSECTION!” Now picture that in a thick heavy Polish accent. This weekend, I introduced him to the wonder of Snapchat filters and laughed so hard I thought I might need to start considering the new Poise product you guys recently trialled! -Joanna

I lost my dad. I was 53 years old. Still heartbroken. I was his fair-haired girl always, and the baby of the family. He was a police officer, and instilled in my sister and me the inherent value of  ‘doing the right thing’. He told us to not value anyone or anything that did not work for what they got, telling us, “Ill gotten gold is nobody’s gain.” -Laura

Do it right the first time. I agree 100%! -Cindy

My dad was an ass but he did teach me to appreciate nature and I’m grateful for that. -Colleen

Daddy's Girl: Lessons We Learned from Our Fathers

Shayla and Dad

My dad passed away the week of my 11th birthday, in 1977. He lived 7 years longer than expected, after a nasty fight with cancer and then diabetes. I still think of him often, and wonder what he’d think of my choices, my family, the men of my past, and I wish he could have met my husband. I truly believe he is my guardian angel, and has turned me the right way when I was heading the wrong way, literally and figuratively. I was his little princess, after two sons. I believe he found the strength to live those extra years because he wanted to have a chance to get to know me. Oh, how I wish I could know him now as an adult. The conversations we’d have! From what I remember, he was salt of the Earth, a mensch, and followed in the footsteps of his father and mother, always giving to others in any way he could. He would clothe poor Jewish boys for their bar mitzvahs, giving them the same treatment as any other paying customer. He would help out jobless men who needed something nice to wear to interviews. If they could pay something, great, if not, no worries. When times were better… I think that is the lesson and blessing he has given to me. He instilled in me the values I have deep inside. I’m a Gunter through and through—from my double chin to my desire to be the best person I can be and help who I can. He taught me that in every experience, in every setting, you have the ability to find the goodness and the joy that is around you. Oh, and don’t make bad investments. I learned that the hard way from him. -Shayla

Daddy's Girl: Lessons We Learned from Our Fathers

Sharon and Dad

My dad was an old school New Yorker. When I was about 10 years old, he said to me “If a guy evah tries to grab you, elbow him in the Adam’s Apple.” That always stuck with me. He died in 2007 and I still miss him every day. -Sharon

My father taught me that we should be thankful for all we have and life is more than material goods. He was a family man who gave his time, his love and his attention to family, friends and customers around him. He said hello to everyone, was charming and sincere. Towards the end of his life, he told us that we should never live with regrets. He lost his own father when he was a young child, and lived a difficult life before WWII and through the Holocaust, losing his mother and siblings. He made his way to Canada and made a life for himself, marrying, raising a family but most of all, leaving behind a good name. – Pearl

My Dad was a funny guy. I was a teenager and a commercial came on for FDS (feminine deodorant spray) and my dad says, “Do you know what FDS stands for?” After I answered correctly, he said, “Wrong. It’s For Da Snatch!” LOL -MaryJane

Featured Image: Mara and Dad


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