A poll was done of female employees of a Christian organization to find out their thoughts on what they think girls need from their dad. Their first response? “She needs you to be involved.” A daughter needs her father to be actively interested in her life. “Actively interested” does not refer to the second-long conversation that sometimes happens between a father and daughter when he asks how her day went and she replies with one word. A father should participate in his daughter’s hobbies and activities by displaying interest. For example, if she is interested in collecting coins, he takes her to coin shows. Uses the Internet to learn about rare coins and talk about them. Or, if his daughter is athletically talented, he enjoys watching the games and becomes an enthusiastic fan! You get the idea. Just be there, wherever your daughter feels called to go.
On this Memorial Day, let’s think about building memories for our kids. Our children need us to build lasting monuments in their lives. I call them “memorable monuments.” Memorable monuments are things you do with your kids that create lasting, loving memories. Discover what he/she most likes to do with you and then do that together on a weekly or monthly basis. Your child’s favorite thing may be photography, working on engines, jogging, biking, cooking, or gardening.
Tim Kizziar once said, “Our greatest fear… should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” Is there anything worse than giving something all you’ve got when, in the end, it amounts to nothing? Determining where to invest your time and energy can be tough. Be sure to limit the time you spend on things in life that don’t really matter in the end…things like the pursuit of worldly wealth, endless TV watching, or the latest gadget. Instead, invest in your family. Invest your time and energy in people. True success is living not for things, but for others.
In the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays a single father facing some tough stuff, along with his son. Yet, Smith’s character maintains his self-confidence. He is determined to create a better life for himself and his son. As a parent, it’s so important to have a strategy to build confidence in our kids in a world that constantly tells them they can’t. First, start by listening to your child. They just want to be heard. Second, be their number one encourager. Take time to attend their activities and tell them how proud you are of them.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us what greatness is all about. He said, “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” One of our jobs as parents is to talk to our kids about the significance of serving others and show them how to do it. First, serve in your home. You don’t have to look any farther than the four walls of your home to serve others. Doing chores together around the house, like washing dishes, vacuuming, and taking the garbage out, will teach your child how to serve. Serving is a great lesson that your kids should learn how to model.
Dividing up responsibilities between mother and father when our kids are young can be a daunting task.
But it turns out that there’s one duty I, as a father, should always take on, according to science, no less: the bedtime story.
Kids who are read to by dad, according to a study by Harvard University researchers, have better-developed language skills than kids who were read to by mom. So, if families have a choice—meaning the father is in the picture and present in the household—dad should take on the nightly bedtime story.
Let’s face it. Most dads interact with their kids differently than mothers and those differences can be hugely beneficial—dads roughhousing with kids, for example, helps children sync physical action and mental concentration and helps them learn to regulate themselves.
So Dads, let’s read to our kids!
Dads – if you want to do something really special for your daughter, take her on a date! It will be a great way to show her you love her and give her an idea of how she should be treated once those dreaded teenage boys start showing up at your door. Dates do not have to be expensive – it is actually better if they aren’t, but they should allow you to spend time with your daughter and express to her how much you value and love her.