As the mother of a girl, I know all too well how utterly important it is for my daughter to have a strong relationship with her father. When I watch her with her father, his very presence ignites a little twinkle in her eye; their silliness and mutual adoration for one another is so palpable, at times I feel a bit like an outsider looking in.
Yet, I am so grateful that my husband understands how important his interaction with her is and how he needs to imbue her with the sense that she is capable of doing anything she sets her mind to. He really gets, or at least after my having drilled this idea into his head, that he must ensure her she will always have an unconditional reservoir of love and support from him, the first man she will ever have a relationship with. And, the relationship my daughter has with her Dad will for better (I pray!) or worse, set the tone for the relationships she will have with boyfriends and ultimately the man she chooses to marry and spend her life with.
So I've complied a list of some things my husband and every dad should keep in mind when building a relationship with his daughter:
Share your passion: If a father shares the depth of his interests with his daughter, the odds are very good that she'll get enthusiastic about one or more of those interests. Whether you're passionate about football, NASCAR, baseball, carpentry, painting, community volunteering, fishing or reading, the key is to share your hobby with her. Your enthusiasm for football (or anything else) increases the chances that she'll be interested and open to learning more about what you love.
Work up a sweat: A Dad who plays sports with his daughter increases the odds that she'll grow up healthy and strong. If she doesn't like to play sports, think of taking a walk together or a bike ride. The bottom line is to let her know that you enjoy being with her and to use it as an opportunity to find out what is going on in her life. If you live on Staten Island check out ROLLER JAM USA Exert some physical energy in a fun, lighthearted way roller skating with your daughter at this 17,000-square-foot facility where you can roller skate under strobe lights to classic disco and pop music tunes!
GO SHOPPING: Upon reading this, some dads might wince, but a shopping excursion does not need to be reserved just for Mom! Dads can use this opportunity to connect with their daughters and find out the types of products they're interested in and a way to sneak in some quality time. You can use this shopping excursion as an opportunity to teach your daughter about the value of a dollar and sound financial choices. And you can have somewhat of an influence over what she wears, so long as you still let her be a young girl, and reflect her personal sense of style within reason! This shopping spree will provide Dads will an ideal opportunity to find out about their daughter's likes and dislikes and whenever she uses the items, she'll remember that you purchased it together.
Overall Like Nike says: Just do it! If you love your daughter, it is key to show it by spending time together shining the spotlight of your attention on her, taking her seriously and listening, listening, listening.
Got any activities to add?