There is another girl who stole my heart and she calls me, Daddy.

It's neither Fathers' nor Daughters' day but it seems it's always baby girl season. I saw a daddy stare lovingly at his daughter the other day at a park when she asked, "Daddy, would you take me to swim class tomorrow?"

He said "yes of course", with a broad smile, she kissed him and ran off to join her friends. Time changes yesterday. There was a time in Nigeria that it was considered sissy for men to be at parks, swim class and nail studios.

I looked round and noticed there were only 3 mothers there in the park. The remaining 10 of us were dads and 7 of us came with our daughters.

It has sunk into my head that we now live in a world where daddies are equal partners in care giving. From diaper changing to bathing to cleaning up rooms and attending PTA meetings, daddies are gradually becoming the majority.

Are you wondering why I keep using daddy and not father? There is a huge difference between both.

A father is someone who believes that by donating his sperm for your creation, he has done his duty in life. He also believes that by paying your bills especially school fees; he owes you nothing else.

When you hear, a child utter the phrase "my daddy says"; you can sense the passion and belief in the child’s voice. Whatever daddy says is true.

So, in case you don't know, a dad is someone who gets up every day and does whatever he can to put a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food on your table. He might have to do several odd jobs to make ends meet. He also teaches the value of hard work, selflessness and honesty.

From Toddler To Teen To Woman

Girls are quite sensitive. Everything has its own meaning to them. Nothing goes unnoticed and they have some 6th sense that makes them ask unique questions. While she is getting down on the floor to crawl or learning to walk I beg you to be there; Mr. Always Busy I am talking to you!

It’s the foundation you lay while she is a toddler that will determine whether you will be included on her exclusive list during the teenage years. Yes; that list exists! And many fathers don’t make it, only dads.

Fathers who do not make the list often say "it's one of those pesky hormonal years when she is moody and sometimes standoffish, I don't know what's wrong with her".

Most likely you will never know until she has a boyfriend, gets a job, gets pregnant, gets married, gets divorced and returns home to you.

Self-image And Worth

A dad's involvement in his daughter's life is a crucial ingredient in the development of a young woman's self-esteem.

Dads support their daughter's self-image and curb any possibility of low self-esteem. What you say to your daughter is really, really more important to her than what anyone else thinks.

Verbally encourage her no matter what. Teach her right from wrong and be consistent in your actions. She is always watching you. Be consistently present in her life and sensitive to her feelings. Take time to listen to her thoughts and be actively interested in her hobbies.

Influence Her Relationships Positively

The type of men that women date and have long-term relationships with are also directly related to the kind of relationship a girl has with her dad.

Treat your daughter with respect and love. Whether you are married to or separated from her mom, show more respect to her mom; this is extremely important.

What you believe about women is assessed by how you value and interact with them. Never lie to her; they have lie detector apps in their heads!

Let your adult daughter make her decisions on who to date or be with but be close enough to tell her the truth about what you think. Regardless of what she says or does after, still trust her to do the right thing.

What’s In It For Dad?

I could give you one hundred points on how great you will feel about yourself for making these tremendous sacrifices for your girls but I won’t.

Great men die every day. They are usually not world leaders or famous doctors or war heroes or sports figures. They do not own businesses worth billions of naira and you would never see their names in newspapers or tabloids. But they are some of the greatest men who ever lived.

They are dads, they are never forgotten, they don't need anniversaries to be remembered because they are celebrated every day.