This is a great article I came across not long ago. Please click on below link to read 🙂
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So many girls try hard to earn the affirmation of their fathers. And, many girls never feel like they can live up to their father’s expectations or feel like they can “get it right”. My husband is a coach and he shares this statistic – a kid needs 10 positives for every negative thing said.
I think we tend to assume people know we are thankful for them or that we appreciate things they do, but we need to actually tell them!
Dads, you have life-giving words for your daughter within you that often go unspoken. Please know that she is craving those. It may be uncomfortable for you – that’s ok, please still try it – typically the best things we do are a bit uncomfortable at first!
In some of the girl’s groups I have been a part of we have passed around papers with someone’s name on it. We then pass these around and everyone writes words of thanks and affirmations on the paper for that person. Girls have shown me papers they have saved for years and that they treasure! How cool would that be for them to have something like that from their dad? Something that can remind them of the love you have for them, something they can treasure and pull out when they need it, something that can remind them of how they should be treated by a future spouse or boyfriend.
It’s possible that the best gifts we have for one another don’t cost us anything!
Here’s the idea:
– Write a list of 10 specific things you are thankful for about your daughter (if she is too little to read, write it anyway and put it in a box for her so she can read them when she’s older )and put the list on her mirror, her dinner plate, her door, etc!
Stop. Grab a piece of paper right now. And do it!
2 Minutes of your time could be a life-long treasure for your daughter!
Sydney gave me permission to share the beautiful story I have heard her tell about her father, his love for her, and his faith that has helped shaped her life. Sydney’s dad had a long, hard battle with cancer and he went to be with the Lord not long ago.
I have heard Sydney talk about their special times spent together, the goofy things her father did around her and her friends, dates with her dad, her knowledge that her daddy adores her, and the love that her dad has for Jesus. Sydney looked to her father Clif over the years with admiration, respect, fondness, joy, and great love.
When Sydney talks of her dad I think – I”t would be every dad’s dream to hear their daughter talk like this of them” – Sydney’s dad Clif has made an indelible imprint on her life, heart, and faith.
Clif showed his daughter how to laugh, how to fight hard for something, how to be silly, how to pursue dreams, how to be herself, how to love others, and how to have hope and believe that God is Good even when life is not. Sydney talks of her dad’s role in all of these things in her life. It reminds me that others, especially our kids, watch us closely to know what these things look like. She shares of the power of watching her father claim the Goodness of God and the hope, trust and strength that he was able to pass along to others because of his faithfulness.
A good dad can leave a big mark! A good dad can change the trajectory of the life of their kids! A good dad can show their kids and others what God the Father looks like! A good dad can help reflect the Good God we have!
Thank you Clif for being a good father! Thank you for modeling to your daughter what a good man looks like, what a good husband looks like, what following God in good times and in hard times looks like, what faith in action looks like, and what real hope and trust look like.
I recently had a high school girl tell me how much she missed the dates that she and her dad used to go on when she was little. Life had gotten busy and hectic and dad probably thought she wasn’t interested anymore now that she was 18 and had her own boyfriend. Not true!
Dads – I challenge you to take time in the next month to go on a purposeful date with your daughter. Plan something fun for the 2 of you and while you are waiting for your order have fun with some questions for each other. You can use the lists below or come up with your own.
10 ?’s for dad to ask daughter:
1) If you could do anything in one day – what would your day look like?
2) What is one thing I should know about you that maybe I don’t?
3) What has been the best day of your life so far and why?
4) What is one thing you wish I did with you more often and why?
5) How do you think we are similar?
6) How do you think we are different?
7) What is one thing you wish I didn’t do?
8) What do you want to be when you grow up and why?
9) How can I be a better dad to you?
10) What is your favorite movie and why?
10 Questions for daughter to ask dad:
1) When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up?
2) What was the hardest thing for you when you were my age?
3) What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
4) What is your favorite memory of growing up?
5) How were things different when you grew up?
6) What do you think is the most important thing a parent can teach a child?
7) How do you think we’re similar?
8) How do you think we’re different?
9) What made you fall in love with mom?
10) What do you like about your job?
Have fun with these and hopefully this can be a springboard for many conversations to come 🙂
PS – we have a book of fun challenges like this one in a handbook called “30 Day Challenge” you can find in the store.
Not long ago I said something to a friend about the importance of a dad’s voice in the life of their daughter and a girl’s desire to hear from her dad. The man I was talking to said “even my teenager?” It can get difficult in the teenage years. But yes, your daughter still needs to hear from you (and perhaps maybe even more so now).
I read the below story from a book called Sticky Faith which demonstrates this.
“Plus, we can’t assume that just because our kids say they don’t want to talk to us, they really mean it. I’ll never forget hearing the story of Jin, a pretty rough seventeen-year-old whose single dad sent her to a Christian school in hopes that it would “straighten her out.” Whether it was because her friends were going or because she warmed up to “the whole God thing,” Jin signed up for the school’s spring break mission trip to Guatemala.
Jin ended up sitting on the flight next to Joe, the school’s campus pastor. For the first few hours, Jin was her normal tough self. She put on her earphones and mostly ignored Joe. He tried to ask her questions about her family, but Jin summarized her relationship with her dad by saying, “I asked him to leave me alone. And he has.”
Throughout the mission trip, the Lord worked in Jin and she softened. By the end of the trip, she confessed to Joe through her tears, “I wish my dad had not done what I asked. I wish he hadn’t left me alone.” (p 83)
I too wish he hadn’t done what she asked. I bet in retrospect, her dad wished he hadn’t either. I can imagine that he thought he was doing the right thing by leaving her alone.
It’s tough to keep at a relationship when it feels like you are swimming upstream.
However, it’s usually the things that don’t come easy that end up to be really amazing.
This situation is not all that unique – I have heard this from girls before.
They often are seeing if you will fight for them, pursue them, and not give up on them.
Keep at it dads. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s well worth it.
Yes, even your teenagers want to hear from you!
~ Kristy Fox