Dad Praised for Not Letting Daughter Beat Him in Race—'Builds Character'

A gloating dad who reduced his daughter to tears after beating her in a foot race has earned praise online for handing her a valuable life lesson.

It was Theodore Roosevelt who famously said: "Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty."

The real world can be a harsh place and parents have a duty to both protect and prepare their children for the realities of what lies ahead.

Maybe that's why vlogger and budding father DMills has earned so much praise for his latest TikTok video, which has already been viewed more than 3.3 million times.

Posted under the handle itsdmills, the video captures the self-proclaimed "girl dad" taking on his daughter in a sprint race across their garden.

In these kinds of scenarios, it's not uncommon to see the dad involved deliberately lose to boost their offspring's confidence and self-esteem.

However, DMills has a different approach, opting to run at full speed for the finish line in an effort that sees him easily beat his daughter.

He does little to hide his delight either, clapping several times before shouting "yes" and "let's go" in the direction of his defeated offspring.

His daughter, though, is far from happy at his approach and begins to cry. Her dad seems genuinely surprised at this reaction, going over to console her while imparting a few home truths. "Come on," he says. "What's wrong? You could never [beat him]."

She is unmoved by his attempts at reconciliation though, moving away as he tries to cuddle her. The video can be viewed here.

@itsdmills

I Let her win three times before this 😂😭 #foryoupage #viral #fyp

♬ original sound - 〽️ILLY GANG

Though he insists in an accompanying caption that he "let her win three times before this," most people on TikTok thought his ultra-competitive approach was the right one.

Madisonbang wrote: "She'll be fine. It's life." Tyrionna agreed: "It builds character." OTG_333 went further, commenting: "Bragging even while they cry builds character." while Mackdaddy.andy declared: "this is the type of dad I'm going to be."

Jamilsaaka praised DMills for doing a "good job" of parenting. "Can't take it easy on them because life ain't easy," they said. Critcalchris also felt it would help with her "character development" though he would have taken it further. "I wouldn't even let her win one," he said.

Newsweek has contacted DMills for comment.

According to a study from Australia's Macquarie University published in a 2019 edition of the Journal of Cognitive Therapy and Research, dads who refuse to shield their children from disappointment and do not let them win all the time do help them avoid social anxiety in young adulthood.

Researchers surveyed 442 "emerging adults" aged 18 to 25 on their anxiety symptoms and their parent's behaviors. They found that in the majority, parents who shielded their kids from disappointment led to an increase in "stress and anxiety" as these children were then "led to believe they need help and protection from the outside world."

By contrast, dads who challenged their kids to games like chess or basketball but never let them win helped their children to feel less anxiety when they became adults. In the majority of cases, the child would eventually learn how to beat their dad, with the hard-fought nature of this win instilling confidence for what lies ahead in life.

The story comes after a dad was slammed on Mumsnet for demanding access to his daughter's phone and social media accounts on the basis that he is the one who pays her bill.

Another dad came under fire after returning his daughter's birthday gift then opting to keep the money "for something useful."

A dad consoling their upset child.
Stock image of a dad consoling their upset child - a dad's gloating after beating his daughter in a running race has been praised. fizkes/Getty