Time Stinkin’ Flies
Time goes sooooo quickly! I have a daughter that will turn 14 in a couple of weeks – if I let her. I know “old people” kept telling me when she was born that I should enjoy my time with her, because, “She’ll be gone before you know it.” But, I didn’t know they were serious. I didn’t think it was true. There were nights that seemed so long. There were days I wanted her to grow up faster so we could get through whatever tough stage she was in. I regret ever feeling that way.
OK, old people, you were right! The time has gone so fast! Too, fast! I have about 4.5 years until my baby girl goes off to college. Not enough time – where did it go? Before I know it she might even be dating (I keep threatening that dating has to wait until her thirties, but I have a feeling that won’t stick).
I can picture it now – I am sitting in the living room cleaning my guns (you know, because I do that all the time – said facetiously). At the door is a young man who intends to date my daughter. He’ll ring the doorbell and I will let him stand there for a longer than usual, awkward amount of time – then I will let him in. I will sit him down and threaten to kill him if he hurts, offends, or even looks at my daughter the wrong way. Off they will go and before you know it she’ll be getting married. I will walk her down the isle and it will seem like just yesterday that she was born – and I’ll wish she were still that precious baby I held in my arms all day long!
Daughters Need Dads
More and more, girls are growing up without fathers or without any other positive male role models in their lives. The statistics are horribly alarming. Who do you think these girls will pick to marry one day if they don’t have a positive male role model to look up to? A girl needs her daddy!
My daughter will one day give her heart to another man, besides me, and that scares me to death. How can I help make sure she chooses the right man, especially since most men are complete idiots and won’t be good enough for her any way?
I need to make sure and show her the kind of man she should date and eventually marry. I need to be the type of guy I would want her to marry. I can tell her all day long what kind of guy to look for, but if she doesn’t see it modeled for her – she won’t hear me.
I need to show her how to choose who to marry…
- Show her in the way I treat my wife and make her feel special every single day.
- Show her in the way I talk about, respect and treat other women, at work, at the store, in her school, at church, everywhere.
- Show her in the way I parent her and will always love her.
- Show her in the way I am committed to staying with my wife for life!
I need to show her! She will remember what she sees a lot more than she will remember the principles she hears about, but doesn’t witness. I will show her!
Daddy Daughter Date Night
I have found that one of the more effective ways to show my daughter how much I love her and desire to grow closer to her is to take her on daddy daughter dates. You need to spend some time with your daughter. You need to make your daughter feel special. Start going on daddy daughter date nights.
You will be making memories that she will cherish for a lifetime. You will also go a long way in building her much needed self-esteem.
Start as early as you can. Start right now! Even if she is so young that she doesn’t fully understand what a date night even is – start impressing in her mind that daddy was willing to set aside specific special time for his daughter, because she is special to him and she deserves it. She’ll get it eventually and it will pay off for both of you.
Maybe you’re in a situation like me where you almost feel like there just isn’t enough time left. Start now! It’s never too late. Redeem the time that you have left.
Date your daughter! I know, it sounds like the beginning to a bad “I’m from Alabama” joke, but it isn’t. You need to do anything you can to let your daughter know how special she is to you.
Show her! Support her! Date Nights are key! Remind her how special she truly is!
Dads Need Daughters
You ever have those days when you wonder, “Why in the world did I even have this kid?” Maybe you were stressed out, because they consume so much of your time, money, energy, and heart. Maybe you were worried about providing a good, loving, spiritually nourishing environment for her and you are feeling overwhelmed about how you can continue to love her for so long and take care of her for 18 years (and longer)?
I like to pretend I am doing these daddy daughter date nights really just for my daughter. But, I have to admit that I need them as much, if not more than she does. I so covet her love and affection. I want nothing more than for her to be made to feel special, but I need my daughter as much as she needs her dad.
This daughter of mine has made me a better man. She will continue to make me a better man. I will always need my daughter. She brightens my day – makes me smile when I don’t even want to. She tries so hard to please me. She makes me want to be better spiritually. I don’t want to be my daughter’s downfall. I don’t want to disappoint her. She makes me want to be a better man.
I need that girl and I love that girl more than she will ever know!
Date Night Ideas
So, how about some quick date night ideas?
- Go buy her a new outfit, something that makes her feel special – doesn’t have to be expensive.
- Do a wood working project together – build and paint a jewelry organizer for her wall. If you don’t kill her making it then you two will always have that visual reminder of some special time spent together.
- Go for a hike – take her somewhere you don’t normally go – make it a special effort.
- How about dinner – something fancy or something simple – it’s about the two of you spending time together. Chick-fil-A does a special daddy daughter date night – use that as your opportunity if need be.
- Go see a movie – even one of those chick-flicks that you pretend not to like.
- Get dressed up – put forth some effort – show her that this is a special night.
- Double-date with another friend and his daughter – we do this one a lot – still makes her feel special and even lets her show off a little bit – that her dad wants to hang out with her.
- One of my favorites is to go to a bookstore and look for new books. Sit there together and compare what you picked out – show her that you are interested in what she is.
- Get a special drink for her at Starbucks. You might even hate coffee – who cares – go! She probably loves it and a $4 tall caramel latte can make someone feel pretty good.
- Let her drive your car in her school parking lot – this one I wouldn’t recommend doing, too often – your heart may leap right out of your chest. I have video evidence of this one. 🙂
- Go serve someone else together – share your love together with others.
- Sit around the mall and people watch – I would not condone sitting there and making fun of people although it is tempting, but you can make up stories about the people you see and their situations.
Do what she likes to do!
Make it about her.
Even on non-date nights, I urge you to stay relevant in your daughter’s life. It doesn’t mean you should try to be her best friend. That’s not the goal. She will still need the dad who has to take her phone away or has “the talk” with her. But, stay relevant – know what interests her! Know what she is thinking. Be the man in her life that she can open up to about absolutely anything!
One lesson I have learned, and a good friend reminded me of the other night… don’t try to control her – that won’t work. You are raising a soon-to-be-adult – she needs to learn to make the right decisions on her own. Help her reason and don’t overreact. You will only turn her away.
Talk about modern trends with her. Know what apps are on her phone and who her contacts are. “Follow” her on Instagram, or Twitter, or Facebook, or Snapchat, or whatever. Don’t ignore her and what she is in to. One way I have learned to do this is to send my daughter selfies. We send them back and forth to each other while she is at school and I am at work. She is embarrassed by most of mine, because they are admittedly horrible, but we connect that way.
Listen to her. Sing Taylor Swift songs in the car at the top of your lungs with her. Take chances – inspire her. Set a high moral standard for her.
“She’ll be gone before you know it,” said some old wise person.
I loved her first and I can guarantee her that I will always love her most!