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