My wife, daughter, and I were enjoying lunch today, and then a father-daughter duo came in and sat at the booth next to us. For those who know my nosey tendencies, it comes as no surprise that I was listening in on their conversation. But I was really blessed as I listened to the father talk to his preteen daughter.
The father talked with the daughter about what she would like to order, and then allowed her to pick the appetizer that they would share. As they waited for their food, he launched into a conversation about how proud he was of her and how he couldn’t wait to show her mother all the school supplies they picked out. He pointed to my 11 month old daughter and told his daughter that he remembered when she was that small. They talked about how much she had changed. They laughed and talked the whole time. At one point, I looked over and the father had reached across the table and was holding the hand of his daughter. She wasn’t pulling away or embarassed, which told me that this was not the first time they had shared a moment like this. I was impressed and inspired by how this dad had captured the heart of his preteen daughter.
The event just reminded me of the importance for fathers of preteen girls to date their daughters. By dating your daughter, it builds confidence in who they are maturing to be. It also helps to set a standard for how they should expect to be treated by men. But most importanly, it opens a line of communication that will allow you to speak into their lives for years to come.
Dads, if you’re not already doing so, DATE YOUR DAUGHTER!
Take them for breakfast before school
Pick them up from school unexpectedly and go for ice cream
Schedule a Friday night and dress up for dinner and a movie
Keep a regular time each week that is just time for her
Buy her flowers for the date
Always keep the conversation centered on her and your approval of who she is