Author: Shaun Smith
“Every Sunday I take my 6 year old on a daddy daughter donut date to our local spot. Today, on our way home from our date I thought I’d ask her how long she’d let me continue to take her for donuts. Her answer caught me off guard. “Until I’m 50 daddy,” she said with much enthusiasm and joy. I wished I could have bottled her love for me in that very moment because I would absolutely love to take her for donuts every Sunday until she’s 50.”
Work, stress, chores, financial obligations, your relationship with your wife, your son(s), your dog, your fantasy football league…these are just a few things in our life that pull us in many directions as a father. Yet the one direction we should never lose sight of is the unique and special bond that a father shares with his daughter(s). To fail to do so, and not realize the impact you, as a father, has on your girl’s current and future relationships would be most unfortunate. If everything turns out right, the extra special time and attention that you give her now will help her to learn the type of relationship that she should accept from the suitors who will float in and out of her life in her future.
You, yes you dad, must date your daughter! You must show her how a girl should be treated, respected and loved. Special dates with just you and your princess show her that she matters, that she is still tops in your crazy world, despite all of your other obligations. Plus this will give the two of you a little quiet time away from her siblings, her pets, her tv shows, her friends and yes, even her tablet. Give your daughter a chance to speak with you. Listen to her tell you about her day at school, her friends, her teacher, and especially her dreams and aspirations. Truly listen and you’ll be amazed at the wonderful woman your daughter is becoming. If getting away is too hard for the two of you, find a quiet time and place to devote all of your attention to her. Maybe it is breakfast or maybe it’s bedtime, just find the time to let her talk to you.
Just a few examples of daddy-daughter dates that I have enjoyed with my 6 year old over the years, are trips to the zoo with just the two of us, treks to our local parks and playgrounds, lunch dates, daddy-daughter school dances and of course our donut date every Sunday. Allow me to emphasize this last one: it’s EVERY SUNDAY. It has become our routine-a tradition you might say. Our date is something that we both can look forward to together. It’s an hour for her to have my full and undivided attention at least once every week. With 2 year old twins running around our homestead like little tornados, this time alone with me is important for her to know, and be reminded, that she has not been lost in the chaos. As she giggles while she eats her donuts I slowly sip my coffee and I get lost in her innocence. It’s the moments like these that remind me how quickly time goes by, and deep in my heart I know that one day she won’t be so little anymore.
When the time comes for your daughter to inevitably grow up, start dating and (gulp) maybe even get married, as her father you want to be confident and proud, knowing that you did everything in your power to be the best example of how her future soul mate should love her and treat her. You need to be sure that she has set her standards extremely high for love when she finds her future love.
Just remember, now that you have helped to set the bar so incredibly high, don’t be too disappointed if you think your little princess’s choice in a mate falls short of your standards. After all dads, as much as we’d like to believe, even our little girl is not perfect. We are not, and were not so perfect after all – and neither is she. The extra special time and attention that you gave her, every week, has hopefully shown her the type of relationship that she should accept and expect of her spouse.
On that day, all we can do is hope and pray that everything we’ve done is enough.
Now be proud and delighted dad, that you took the time to date your daughter.
P.S. I’d be remiss and quite frankly a fool if I didn’t mention how important it is that your little girl sees you treating her mother with the proper respect and love that she needs and deserves. Don’t forget dads, your daughter is observing and watching your relationship with her mother at all times. r:#4