I was never prepared to be a dad let alone a dad of two daughters. I mean I was a boy so when we had our son I kind of had that one figured out. But daughters really, two of them, I was really deep in the weeds. So I wanted to be able to share with you some of the things that I have learned being the dad of two daughters that have grown up to be amazing women. So here you go:
- Listen to your wife! I had to listen to my wife a lot because I am the oldest of four and my sister was ten years younger then me. So I was clueless to a lot of areas when it came to what girls didn’t need or did need from a dad.
- Hug them always. One of the things that I always have done is hug my girls. I hugged my girls even when they didn’t want me too. Yep I went against the first one but that was only because I wanted my girls to know that I was going to love them and care for them whether they wanted me to or not.
- Be Honest with them. Now if you are a dad to a girl then you know the dreaded questions that start like this, “Dad what do you think about . . . ” insert hair, dress, make up, and a long list of others. Unfortunately when we first started with these questions I was to honest and I did not set up my answer. So I had a lot of looks from my wife and coaching with, “You don’t say that to a girl”. To which I would answer, “Well then why did she ask me?” So I would preface my answer by saying, “Do you want me to be honest?” Now I said that when I didn’t like what I saw and I have said that when I did like what I saw. (Be consistent)
- Set the Tone. If you want your daughter to have a man that is going to love and care for her, then you need to set the tone. So that is where you as the dad need to model exactly the kind of man that you want your daughters to look for in their life. In fact I think that you should set the bar so high that your girls will go out on dates with the young men in their life and expect them to act like you. And when the young men don’t act like you make sure you teach those same girls to not except it. So if you haven’t got what I am saying, then here you go. Love your wife the way that you want your daughters to be loved.
- Prepare them for Life. I know that you are probably thinking, well that is a big statement and you are right it is. But I believe that it is something that is very important. So prepare them to handle their finances, prepare them to take care of their car, prepare them to defend themselves if needed, prepare them to speak up, prepare them to trust, and prepare them to leave home well. I don’t expect my daughters to have to have a man to take care of them, I know that they can do it. But I also want to prepare them for a life with another, so prepare them to talk with a man, prepare them to love someone, prepare them to sacrifice for someone, you see prepare them for life.
There are just a few of the things that I would say are important when it comes to being a dad to daughters. But here is the last one and the most important prepare them to say, “I am sorry.” How do you do this? Learn to say it yourself. If there are some others that you can think of then feel free to comment and share them.
When you get to a certain mile stone in life you should take the time to reflect on how you got there. The reason that I believe that is important is because wouldn’t it be great to share that information with those that are coming after you. Especially as parents and to be honest in this day an age as a father we need to show more young men on how to lead the way in married life. So here are a few things that I have learned over 25 years of marriage. (This is the short list)
- Keep a long list of ways that you can make her feel special and loved.
- Keep a short list of the fights that you have and the things that are said.
- Make time for talking about her day not matter what she does in life.
- Find older men that can talk to you about what they have done to be a healthy husband and father.
- Have a group of men that you can have the tough conversations with about marriage and parenting. (Your wife will not always understand you. DUH!)
- Always find time to get away for at least 24 hours without the rest of your family. Couples need to take time for themselves, your relationship needs to matter or your family will not get your best.
- Celebrate the things that show your wife and your family that they matter. (Anniversary’s and Birthdays are the easy ways, get creative.)
- Make sure that you take the time to date your mate. (If there was more courting in marriage there would be fewer marriages in court.)
- Pray daily for the ways that God can continue to grow and unite you as a couple.
- Start back at one . . .
If you have an idea of one thing that you think is important to remember for a long lasting marriage please feel to make a comment and share. The more that we learn from each other and the more we share the better we become as men.
I have been watching and have been curious about the OCCUPY movement and all that they are doing. I think that no matter what your political persuasion is that their intent is good when it comes to those that are losing homes during this season of life. So I am thinking about starting my own OCCUPY movement. It is the OCCUPY your home movement and it is for fathers.
Facts compiled by the Department of Justice
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
90% of all homeless and runaway youths are from fatherless homes.
85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes.
71% of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.
70% of youths in State institutions are from fatherless homes.
75% of adolescent patients in substance abuse centers are from fatherless homes.
85% of rapists motivated by displaced anger are from fatherless homes
I am encouraging and praying that we can rally fathers to OCCUPY their homes. To see that the need to be at work or even at play all the time is damaging our country more then the housing crisis. I believe many men have not had the benefit of a father themselves so they are just continuing to follow in their own fathers foot steps and some where along the line things need to change. We need a group of men that are discontent with the way that things are going with families today and they need to lead by OCCUPYING their homes. By lovingly leading their wives and children, by spiritually setting the bar for their families, and by showing their community what a difference a father can make when he OCCUPIES his home.
1 Samuel 22:2, 2 Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men.
These are the same men that would be later referred to as David’s mighty men. I pray today that we will have fathers that are just discontent with the way things are going and that they choose to OCCUPY their homes.
I have three children two daughters and a son. I had the privilege to grow up in a house that had four children three boys and one girl. She was the youngest and I was the oldest of the family we are ten years a part. I never was around for the teenage years of my sister when she was growing up so I never experienced walking through life with a teenage girl. Well now we have two in the house and I am learning everyday from them and theie mother about walking through life with a teenage daughter. While they were growing up I have always read books from men that have had daughters. I have read books about parenting and at times especially parenting daughters. Why? Because I was afraid. I did not want to be a total screw up when it came to being the father my daughters needed. So as a dad of daughters I want to share a couple of things I have learned. I want to start with this scripture so that you know what I am sharing comes from a biblical presence:
Col. 3:21 (NLT) Fathers, don’t aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying.
As I have studied this biblical passage I know that so many times we take it as what we are to do when it comes to disciplining our kids. Or you will even hear some people that say that it means not to tease your kids, I don’t get that one. But as I have walked through the last 16 years with daughters here are some things that I would encourage dad to do when it comes to not “aggravating your children”.
Dads don’t withhold your love and affection to your daughters mother. How can this aggravate your daughter? It is aggravating because she will not know what a healthy relationship will look like. She will then become aggravated by trying to figure out if and when she gets married if she is to be like her parents or like the people in relationships that she sees on t.v.
Dads don’t with hold your love and affection to your daughter. How can this aggravate your daughter? It then makes her want to get that love and affection some where else. I can then pretty much guarantee that is the love and affection you don’t want her to be getting from some hairy legged teenage boy that thinks being a man is what he does between the sheets with a girl. No matter what age your daughter is you need to kiss and hug her. No matter how she has developed she needs to snuggle with her dad on the couch while watching a movie. No matter how much you may get frustrated with her because you just don’t understand how she can change moods like you change channels, give her a hug before she goes to bed.
Dads don’t with hold your words about how beautiful she is. How can this aggravate your daughter? She will then look for her beauty identity from other places. She will compare herself to the magazines, which she will do anyway. She will compare herself to the girls at school who have made a choice to where clothes that have less fabric then a band aid, which she will do anyway. You may right now asking your self well if she is going to do all of this any way then what is the use? The reason you need to do it is because you love your daughter and a daddy speak into this part of his daughters life like no other.
I am sure that if you were to ask most women today they would have never complain that there dad loved their mom to much, that there dad loved them with appropriate God ordained love to much, and that there dad told them they were beautiful to much. I am here to say DADS don’t aggravate your daughters If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying.
So this last week I have had awesome opportunities to have conversations with my kids about life, faith, dating, sex, and funny thoughts. I think that so many times that we jump in the car turn on the radio, maybe plug in the IPOD, or even pop in a DVD for those with the kick-in systems. Then we forget that we have time with our spouse, time with our kids, heck time with God where either we or they are captive. So I know that I am in a state where you have to have hands free phone. I have not heard of a hands off life law when it comes to our families. Take some time this week to turn off the radio, shut off the T.V., and stop some of the noise of life so that you can hear from your family and from God. It is time for the men that call themselves followers of Christ to take the lead and take their place in being the men of God. Have BIBLE will drive.
What are the topics of your latest car conversations? What have you learned to do to talk with others in your life?