The Importance of QT with Your Teenage Daughter

BY: - 20 May '16 | Parenting

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Recently, I had the opportunity to go shoe shopping with my 13-year-old daughter.  She has an important event coming up that she has been looking forward to and she needed some shoes to wear with her dress to the event.  She had already found a pair of shoes and had her heart set on them.  But when we arrived at the store, we found out they didn’t have the shoes and other stores in the area didn’t have her size, nor was her size available online.

So we looked for an alternative, but she couldn’t find anything she liked. I found a pair of shoes I liked, and I asked her to try them on. They fit and, while she got compliments from people passing by on how good the shoes looked on her.  She eventually agreed they looked good, so we bought the shoes.  It’s funny; it’s always a big revelation to a 13-year-old girl to learn that her Dad has good taste in fashion.

Anyhow, the point I want to share is how much fun we had together during our shoe shopping adventure.  I think it’s so important that Dads spend quality time with their daughters. So I wanted to mention a few benefits of hanging out with your young lady?even in those teenage years when they don’t necessarily want to hang out with you very often.

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Become the Example

I’m sure this is no surprise to parents out there, but my daughter and I don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. She’s growing up and learning about life and the world through her eyes. So you can bet there are times when we can frustrate each other. That’s okay. It is a part of parenting to have your child’s best interests at heart. And when they don’t take every bit of advice, that’s obviously going to be frustrating.

That said, sometimes the best, most effective lessons in life are not explained but rather shown. When we as fathers are the example of how to treat a woman, whether it is their mom, a stranger or the daughter, it’s priceless when our daughters can look to us as an example of how to expect to be treated by a man.

You often hear a father is the first example of a man to a little girl. I would take it a step farther to say a father is the example of a man by which all other men should be measured.  When you spend time with your young lady, she experiences the example of how she should be treated by men for the rest of her life.

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Making Memories

Dads like to take their sons to ballgames, camping and other fun things that guys can do together.  That’s a great way to make memories together.  Girls want to have similar experiences; they could be slightly different, such as going swimming or horseback riding or maybe playing tennis (those are some of my daughter’s favorites).

It doesn’t matter what you do together as long as you find the opportunity to hang out and have fun together.  You can’t take those experiences away; they stay with both of you forever. They will mean quite a bit to you as a parent, but those experiences and time together will mean even more to your daughter.  It’s something they will never forget.

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Enhancing Your Relationship

The time you spend with your daughter is important for multiple reasons. None is more important than enhancing the bond and relationship you have with each other. As she grows and has to depend on her own decision-making more and more, it’s important to have a strong relationship. If the relationship is strong, she will continue to share personal details about her life, and she will continue to come to you for counsel as she grows.  Quality time is more than just the time we spend, it’s relationship we develop during those times together.

When adolescence ends, your daughter is going to be a step closer to being a young woman.  Continue to use this time to be a positive influence on your daughter and remember even when you don’t think she’s listening or paying attention, she is absorbing so much of what you are pouring into her.  The quality time you spend with her will not be in vein.

BMWK Dads, what’s your fondest memory of spending quality time with your daughter?

About the author

Jay Hurt wrote 85 articles on this blog.

Jay Hurt is a Relationship Coach, columnist and author of the book, The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship (http://9tenetsonline.com/about-the-book ). Jay’s focus is working with people who want to design better relationships and get more out of life!

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5 Things to Every Parent Must Say to Their Graduate

BY: - 24 May '16 | Parenting

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I have spent more than a decade of my career working in higher education. I’ve helped students transition into college, giving them access to the tools and resources they need to be successful. I’ve spoken on the phone to parents who are concerned about their child’s journey and who are frustrated because they aren’t sure how to help.

I admit my children are only 3 and 6, so I can’t say my guidance comes from my own personal walk through this experience. But as a professional, I have been able to help countless students and their families have a positive transition into college—as well as into the real world.

Graduation season is an exciting time of the year. Students are graduating and preparing for their next steps in life. Parents are excited, proud but also concerned about what lies ahead. It’s a time filled with mixed emotions, and understandably so. Transition is never easy. You embrace the joy and excitement that comes with successfully completing one thing, only to be left with anxiety and doubt about what your new journey holds.

But I believe parents have the ability to give their graduates invaluable words of wisdom before they embark on their new journeys. No, they won’t follow every piece of advice you share. Actually, they will intentionally ignore most of it. That’s normal. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening. Pieces of what you say will stay with them, and that information will potentially help them make the right choices during those moments when they need it most.

Here are 5 things every parent must say to their graduate.

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Ask for help often. It’s a sign of strength

When students venture off to begin a new journey, asking for help is difficult. As parents, we have to remind our children that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. Tell your child that there are always resources available, so whether he or she needs academic support, support with a disability, mental health support or anything else, there is help available if they simply ask. So many students don’t get the help they need because they are too afraid to ask for it. Don’t let your kid fall into that trap.

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Carefully choose who’s in your tribe

Forming authentic friendships is difficult for both youth and adults alike. Surround yourself with the wrong tribe and trouble is sure to follow. Have honest conversations with your kids about the mistakes you’ve made when choosing whom you allow into your circles. And give them tips on how to separate the phonies from the gems. If your graduate starts a new life adventure with the right people in her corner, she is sure to be okay.

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Consider home your safe space

Graduates often think of graduation as an event that brings them that much closer to freedom. And although that is true, they need to know that the world can be brutal, but home will always be their safe space. Let your child know that no matter what happens—even if they mess up epically—home will always be a place that makes them feel safe. You may not always agree with the choices your kids make, but if they know you will continue to offer unconditional love and comfort in their most painful moments, it makes all the difference.

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Don’t compare yourself to anyone

Oh how I hate the painful game of comparison. I wish I could tell you to tell your kids that this comparing game stops in adulthood, but we all know that it doesn’t. Yet, we still need to advise our kids to try their best to never compare their situation to someone else’s. I have seen college students flunk out because they believe all their friends are just chillin’ and having fun, and they want to do the same. But you know what? Those friends who are “always chillin’” end up with a 3.0, while my student is crushed because he’s on academic probation. The truth is, you never know what’s going on with someone, and appearances are deceiving. Tell your graduate to focus on who they are and what they are capable of.

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Failure is a stepping-stone

Failure feels so crushing when you are young. And it’s especially crushing after an accomplishment like graduating from high school or college. But let your child know that failures are a part of life, and they often serve as stepping-stones to something pretty remarkable. If your children recognize that failure is designed to help them grow and achieve greatness, they will develop the resiliency required to get up, dust off and keep pushing forward.

BMWK family, what do you plan to tell your graduates as they embark on a new journey?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 496 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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