Industry News

Even dads play Barbie

15 Feb - 2017

Tags from the story: Barbie.

New survey reveals the top 20 things dads of daughters will know.

How to braid hair, how to play with dolls and what objects in the house make a great popstar microphone are just some of the things Dads of Daughters will know, according to a new survey.

A study of 500 Italian dads with daughters under the age of 18 has revealed the top 20 things fathers with a little girl will have mastered. Knowing how to give the perfect cuddle, how to roller skate and the importance of colour-co-ordination also feature in the list. Dads of daughters also know how to cartwheel, ice skate and will know exactly how to dance when required.

Isabel Ferrer, EMEA Marketing Director for Barbie, which conducted the study, said: “By joining in with activities such as cartwheels, playtime and dancing, dads are showing their daughters just how much they matter – and that everything they do is important.

Knowing how to stop a nightmare, and how to make her feel like the most special person in the world are also on the top 20 list of things only dads with daughters will know. Dads of daughters know it is important to shatter stereotypes – and that girls like to play football, and enjoy building dens and climbing trees too. Dads will also be a dab-hand at face painting, know how to make everything better and don’t mind glitter getting everywhere. While being able to tie ballet shoes, and knowing what a pirouette is are skills only dads of daughters will have.

The study shows that 73 per cent of dads know it is important to show their daughters that being kind and brave is more important than being pretty, and when it comes to empowering their daughter, 52 per cent of dads tell their daughters that they can be anything.

Dads help their daughters prepare for the future with 65 per cent thinking that encouraging their daughter’s confidence is one of the most important life lesson they can teach, while 42 per cent try to teach her practical skills. Letting their imaginations soar is key for a third of dads who believe that their daughter’s dolls help foster imagination.

When dads join playtime, 79 per cent recognise that this helps build their daughters self-confidence and that time spent in her imaginary world is an investment in her real world – while more than a third of dads wish they could devote more time to playing with their daughters.

Letting her make her own mistakes, teaching her the value of money at an early age and encouraging her to be brave are amongst the other ‘life lessons’ dads try to give their little girls. And researchers found that for nine in 10 dads with a daughter, empowering them to become strong young women is of utmost importance.

As Dr. Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University explains in her work, decades of research show that girls who have loving, communicative, supportive relationships with their dads from early childhood on are less likely to suffer from a lack of self-confidence and self-reliance as she grows up.

Isabel Ferrer, EMEA Marketing Director for Barbie continues: “A huge part of a dad’s role is to empower their daughters to be confident, imaginative and sure of who they are. Global research shows how time spent in her imaginary world is an investment in her real world, and the importance of nurturing the father-daughter relationship to raise the next generation of girls to know their limitless potential.


  1. How to make her feel special
  2. What a pirouette is
  3. How to give the perfect cuddle
  4. How to play with dolls
  5. How important it is to colour co-ordinate
  6. Girls like getting dirty too
  7. How to dance with her on your feet
  8. How to braid hair
  9. Glitter can get everywhere
  10. How to dance
  11. What objects in the house make a great popstar microphone
  12. How to roller skate
  13. How to make everything better
  14. How to cartwheel
  15. How to ice skate
  16. How to stop a nightmare
  17. How to face paint
  18. Girls want to learn how to build a den and climb trees
  19. Girls play football too
  20. How to tie ballet shoes

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