I’m not here to teach you guys how to be a dad, just offering a gentle nudge in the right direction. I recently wrote an article on my own blog, reminding people just like me – that not only are we father – but that we also need to be dad!
I guess it’s a lot easier to be dad when you have a son. You want to mold junior into mini-me, and do lots of man stuff together, like rolling around in the dirt, kicking footballs and boxing, stuff like that.
But what if you don’t have a son? What if your child is a girl? Does that absolve you from bonding? I’ve seen it happen! The only acknowledgement a little girl getting from daddy is a pat on the head and a “hiya baby” as dad walked in thru’ the door. I could see the hurt in the kids eyes.
Trust me, you really need to get involved in your daughter’s life, don’t just leave all the bonding up to mom. Your daughter will really appreciate it, and the rewards you receive in hugs, kisses and unconditional love, will more than repay your time and effort. I’ve listed some of the things I do to make sure my daughter knows that I’m not just father, but DADDY too.
- I attend doctor/dental visits with her, also PTA meetings at her school. I know who her friends are and what they like to do together when they play.
- We spend a lot of quality time together at weekends. I join in her play, even to the tune of being made to look totally ridiculous. I’ve had curlers and make-up applied and ended up looking like a Stephen King version of Ronald McDonald! Thankfully, there are no photo’s of that one!!! Also, make sure you have nail polish remover at home! It’s kind of embarrassing when you’re paying for stuff you’ve just bought from the store and your nails are a lovely shade of pink, sheesh!
- We do art and craft projects together, and do you know what? I get as much from that as she does. We also cook and bake. That’s my particular favourite. Don’t just leave that stuff to mom. If you do, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. My daughter, Aimee, is only 7, but already she is adept at making bread, scones and cakes. She is also getting quite good at peeling and chopping vegetables (supervised, of course). The best thing about doing that is we know what is going into our food!
- We take nice walks together, when the weather is on our side anyway. It’s during those walks we do a lot of our talking, when we get to know each other better. Aimee knows she can talk to me about pretty much anything, because she realises that I’m not there to make judgements, I’m there to offer advice and help if I’m able to.
I’m getting lots of rewards for my efforts now, and as Aimee is only 7, there’s plenty more to come. So keep on putting the effort in DAD, and you will reap the rewards too. There’s plenty more stuff you and your little girl(s) can do together to build your relationship. Come back and take a look around this excellent site, it’s full of good ideas.
Image Credit: Public Affairs Office Fort Wainwright