Dads, Daughters & Sports

Tips for Dads & Daughters Watching the Super Bowl Together

Dads & Daughters watching TV sports together–one of life’s pleasures. But what about those moments (like during some commercials) when you want to cover her eyes with your hands?

Here are a few simple tips from the national nonprofit Dads & Daughters for fathers and stepfathers watching the Super Bowl (and other TV sporting events) with their daughters.

1. First, spend part of the pre-game afternoon tossing a football around with her! A dad who plays sports with his daughter increases the odds that she’ll grow up healthy and strong!

2. If she doesn’t like to play catch, take a walk or bike ride together. Let her know that you enjoy being with her. The time together may give her an opportunity to share what is going on in her life. Daughters may see our enthusiasm for sports and think we’re more interested in our favorite team than in her. Making time for her on Super Bowl Sunday (and every other day) can counter that perception .

3. When watching the game, be aware that what your daughter or stepdaughter sees and what you see may be entirely different. She may be struck by the cheerleaders, whose partially clothed bodies look so “perfect.” Instead of enjoying the game, your daughter may be comparing her body to theirs and feeling inadequate.

4. Try to watch the broadcast through her eyes. Would any images, commercials, or events look or feel different if it was your daughter on the screen? You might share these perceptions with her and ask her what she thinks.

5. Use the remote! If you see an ad or image that disrespects or objectifies females, change the channel so you, your daughter, and your family don’t have those images in your home. Let her know why you decided to flip and ask for her feedback.

6. Compare the number of female sports announcers (usually fewer) and their roles (usually on the sidelines) to the number and role of male announcers. Talk with your daughter about what you think those numbers mean. Do they mean that your daughter “can’t” be a big football fan? Could she be taken seriously as a sports announcer someday or should she eliminate this from her career aspirations?

7. Ask her which players and coaches she admires or sees as heroes. Tell her which ones you admire, and then share your reasons with each other.

8. After the game, debate what each of you thought were the crucial plays and most exciting moments. Then invite her to do something special together next Sunday to keep these conversations rolling and to convince her that the most important man in her life takes her seriously—and enjoys being with her!

9. Use the Super Bowl to become more media-literate and sensitive to your daughter’s experience. Decide to pay more attention to how media portray women and girls. When you see an ad, ask “What if it was my daughter?”, and then reassess your reaction to it.

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