Dads, hear me when I say this, your daughter still needs and wants a relationship with you. I know it may be hard to see, especially as your daughter hits adolescence.
It may seem as she gains more independence; she wants to be around her friends more than home with dad or mom. You may find her detaching from you, or seeming to be in another world. For heavens sake don’t take it personally! It’s part of growing up.
Daughters still very much need their fathers!
The need to know you still care, even if they act like they don’t. They need to know you worry about them, that you are concerned about their safety, their wellbeing and that more than anything, that you love them.
Sometimes these important relationships suffer from the trials and tribulations of growing up. Sometimes men feel like they don’t know how to connect to someone who was once their baby, but is now looking more like a grown woman every day.
It’s downright frightening, trust me, I know, I have daughters. More importantly, I see daughters, everyday, and I hear first hand how they still need their father. Here are some ways that you can try and stay connected with your growing daughter.
- Date Night- You heard me right. Find a time and make it happen. How else will your daughter know what a date is suppose to look like if you don’t show her. Pick a movie, play mini golf, go for milkshakes, anything that your daughter would like to do, and make a point of showing her how much you love her and what a date should look like.
- Tuck In- Make a point of checking on your daughter before you/she retires for the night. It’s a great way to reconnect quickly, and ask her about her day if you haven’t already done so. A quick hug, kiss and I love you can do wonders here, even when she doesn’t reciprocate.
- Get to know her friends- Ask questions, even if she seems annoyed by them. Find out who she hangs out with, and why. What does she like about these people. Her responses to you will help you gain a better understanding to what is important to her as she is maturing.
- Do homework with her- Even if she doesn’t need your help it’s a great idea to pop in on homework just to be company if nothing at all. Watching homework time, will help you see how your daughter’s brain is developing, how she problem solves. It is also a great way to sincerely comment on her schoolwork and how she excels in something that has to do with her brain. Now don’t go making things up, but be sincere. If she is a great note taker, say so. If she is awesome in understanding science, tell her.
- Discover her love language. This is so important. Often times we are showing love to the people around us in a way that isn’t registering. You may be using words to tell her how much you love her, but her language is quality time.
The words won’t register, even though you truly mean them. I strongly urge any parents I work with to purchase this book, “The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. Use this link to find it on Amazon. It helps so much in learning how to effectively communicate with your children, and help to build strong, lasting relationships.
Pace Counseling Group is a professional counseling firm, focused on continuously improving the quality of life for our clients and their families. To learn more, visit us at Pace Counseling Group or call (210) 481-3727.