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.
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.
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.
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?