My daughter is nothing less than awesome. When she came into this world, she stole my heart and has kept it since. Today, I’d like to talk to you about the importance of daddy-daughter relations. I will probably refer to her several times for those that may follow this blog. However, at this point let’s focus on how important this relationship is.
Dads, guys, listen up. You will set the the standard and tone for so many things in your daughter’s life. How you treat your daughter is “how men are supposed to treat women” in their eyes. This is crucial at the beginning. She will hold this in demand for those she is around and especially for the one she will one day marry.
Let me take a moment to voice an opinion. Your daughter is going to get the attention of a young man one day. If she does not get it from you, she will get it elsewhere. The choice is yours. If her dad loves, protects, and encourages her, this can set her up for success. She will not accept behavior that is below par…you are par. If she does not get her needs met by a dad that tells her and shows her that he loves her, another man will set the standard of what is acceptable.
Your daughter needs to know that she is your treasure. She needs to “hear” that you love her on a regular basis. You need to reinforce this as often as possible. In doing so, she is not the only that will benefit from this behavior. You will get so much more in return.
I remember when my little girl would meet me at the front door when I came home from work. My wife would say “daddy’s home”. This was followed by an immediate run to the door. She wanted to open it up before I did. I would see this vision of joy with Shirley Temple curls and she would leap into my arms. I could have had the worst day ever, and my little girl could erase it and make everything wonderful in one second. That was approximately 20 years ago and I’m getting choked up writing this.
This was not time to toss my work stuff aside, get a beer, and turn on the television. I needed to give my wife a kiss to show my wife and my daughter that I loved mamma. Then I would go with her, sit on the floor, and give her my attention. Only when she “released me” or dinner was ready did we move on to other things. She had to know that I wanted to be there with her and her brothers more than anything. I was not just in the moment but setting standard for her future.
I did not come about this because I was a wonderful person. I learned this from observing other dads and by my own mistakes made with my first child. When my oldest son was 5, his mother and I divorced. He was the only child of my first marriage. When he was told that he and his mother would be living without me, he cried a cry that haunts me to this day. Fortunately, he came back home to me when he was 10. I did the best I could during that time but always felt like a failure.
After my second and “final” marriage we had my second son and my only daughter shortly after. I was NOT going to screw this up. I knew I would fail at tasks, but I would not fail my kids if it was in my power. I don’t want you to read this thinking that my passion to be a great dad was because I was a great guy. It is because they were wonderful and after my oldest boy had been hurt, I was not going to hear that cry of heartbreak again.
Back to our daughters, we need to renew our focus every day. How do we do this? Mine was simple. I was addicted to her hugs and smile. I have to have them. Even today, as she is married and living in another state. I have to hear her voice, see a text message…something. Then when I do see her, I get that hug and never want to let go.
Where I think most of us screw up is when we start thinking that “we deserve” this or that. When we live for ourselves, we screw up. Even your hobbies can get in the way. Your daughters need to feel that they are a priority. They need to see you deny others that tug at your time. I’m speaking outside of the family. They know that you have to work and do things for the family that may demand your time. However, they must know where your heart is. This is determined by your time.
Talk is cheap if it is not aligned with your actions. Guys, you MUST give your daughters the love and time that they require. I promise that this will give her the best odds at being self-confident, strong, and successful. This is the greatest and most fulfilling way to spend your time/life. You cannot be disappointed.
I believe that I may do a daddy’s girl 2.0 or even see if my daughter will write on the subject matter. Thank you so much for being a part of this blog. I hope that you will follow and or forward this on to those that you believe it may serve. Be the best dad possible.