Captivating the heart of your daughter

In her book, “Strong Fathers Strong Daughters, 10 Secrets Every Father Needs to Know,” Dr. Meg Meeker writes, “Daughters are never lukewarm in the presence of their fathers. They might take their mothers for granted, but not you. They light up – or they cry. They watch you intensely. They hang on your words. They hope for your attention, and they wait for it in frustration – or despair. They need a gesture of approval, a nod of encouragement, or even simple eye contact to let them know when you care and are willing to help…You will influence her entire life because she gives you an authority that she gives no other man.”

Dad’s we can shrink back from it or we can embrace it. But either way, like it or not you will make the difference in the life of your daughter. You will leave a lasting imprint on the woman she becomes. You will shape her self worth and speak life and confidence into her or fear and insecurity. She will learn what her Heavenly Father is like and how to interact with Him by watching you. A tall order for sure. By no measure is raising daughters a task for the weak at heart.

As you tackle this journey one of the most powerful and yet simple steps that you can take to become the dad that your daughter always wished she had is to begin dating her. As strange as this idea may sound to some of you, it’s a concept that I promise if you build into your life you’ll reap incredible results in the years to come. In fact, here are a couple of pointers to get you going in the right direction.

#1 Start young

My wife and I made a decision together that I would start taking our daughters out on a consistent basis beginning at age 4. We wanted our girls to have special times just with daddy and start building trust, safety, and security into the hearts of our girls at an early age. While it’s never too late to start building this habit into your life, it’s also never too early.

#2 Make it tough for the guys that will follow you

Treat her like a lady. Open the door for her, seat her, hold her hand, and make sure that she knows that she is the most beautiful young lady in the room. When those guys come knocking on the door to take your daughter out, their steepest competition should be you.

#3 Talk about her

Little girls (and big girls) love to talk about themselves, their world, and what is going on in their lives. So ask questions and be prepared to listen. Pay attention, ask secondary questions, and listen. Did I say ask and listen?

#4 Pick the right place

Some places are built for fun like miniature golf, bowling, and the movies. But one of my girls’ favorite places is a coffee shop. Nothing is better than sitting down for an hour at a coffee shop with one of my girls. All there is to do is talk, and if we can build the habit of talking together now while they are young, it will pay off later.

#5 Don’t cancel

One of the worst things you can do is cancel on your daughter. You can cancel on a client, after all it’s just a job, but you can’t cancel on your daughter. Do that a couple of times and she’ll learn that you’re not a man of your word, you can’t be trusted, and it will breed insecurity in her heart.

#6 Ask her out

Don’t just spring it on her at dinner by saying, “Hey let’s go out and get some dessert after dinner.” That’s not a date, that’s just dessert. Actually go to her personally, in private, and formally ask her out on a date. Make it special, calendar it, and tell her that you’re looking forward to it.

#7 Make it a routine

This isn’t a one time deal. Go out once a month, or once a quarter, but be consistent. You want her to think back and remember that special moments with just the two weren’t the exception but simply normal life for her. Consistency builds trust and nothing is more important to the heart of a girl than trust.

Posted in Family

7 Responses to “Captivating the heart of your daughter”

  1. Joe McGinnis July 29, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    Great Stuff! With 3 girls (and one more on the way) we understand that every man in my daughters life is going to be compared to me. So how I “stand up” is going to be reflective in with whom she chooses to spend her time. Pressures on! Good thing-I’m a pressure player!

  2. Lauri Barkman July 31, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    Let me speak from the heart of a woman who never once went on a date with her father. A woman who watched her father leave her mother, his family and the ministry to be with other women. What I read here is precious and true. You father’s who have young daughters, and older daughters, no matter what they say, you will never know how much these girls love you. That security a girl longs for in her father, I never experienced. To this day there is a hole in my heart that aches to be recognized. It is very hard to put Jesus in that hole, because I never had an earthly father fulfill that role, so to Trust Jesus with the role as Father is something I struggle with daily. I have even met men later in life who have given me fatherly advice, so Ive tried to put them in that daddy role, which is unfair, because the only one that belongs there now is Jesus! Daddy’s are strong and its the dream of every little girl to have a rescuer and until she grows up and God marries her off, the daddy will always be the rescuer. Dads out there go give your daughters a hug…just because!!

  3. mark connelly April 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    love it Paul, so true. I’m heading out with my daughter tonight. thanks for the tips.

    • Paul Alexander April 12, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Glad the post was helpful Mark. How was the date with your daughter?

  4. Marty Boardman August 10, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Great tips Paul. I’m not very good at this. I find myself getting caught up in my own thoughts/plans and don’t focus enough on my girls. I’ll check out the book.

  5. Steve Fox August 10, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Great stuff, Paul! And a great book too!! Thank you for the reminder!!

  6. Paul Alexander August 12, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    Marty & Steve – being a Dad of girls…I have to come back to this list often myself! Glad the post was helpful!

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image