15 03 2012

I was listening to a Focus on the Family Broadcast on the radio the other day when the woman who was being interviewed shared a story about a young girl named Katie who was giggling as she waited for her date to come around and open the car door for her. She took her escort by the hand and together they walked happily into the local ice cream shop. She again snickered as the gentleman pulled out the chair for Katie to sit down at the table and as he proceeded to gaze attentively into her eyes while sitting across from her, he asked his sweetheart quite boldly, “What flavor would you like tonight, Princess?” 8 year old Katie smiled and said, “I think I’ll try the chocolate chip mint tonight, Daddy.”

Last Thursday I was walking through the new Books A Million store up by the Hamilton Mall when again I was emotionally moved by a scene happening in the coffee bar area.  Sitting there at a table for two was a Father and his girl who had to be about 10 years old and she was proudly wearing a crown upon her head.  She absolutely glowed as her Daddy very practically but yet so powerfully shared amazing words of affirmation cherishing the apple of his eye right before mine.  He listened to his angel not only with his ears but also with his face as she went on and on so animated speaking about a zillion words a minute talking of her experiences, her interests and all that was going on in her busy life.  If a picture is worth a thousand words than I was in the presence of a masterpiece!  I said a prayer of thanks to the Lord for this wonderful Papa who was not taking his responsibility for granted!   

More and more fathers are becoming aware of their important influence and regularly taking the quality time necessary to invest into building the self-esteem of their daughters. “The research clearly says that daddies make all the difference in the world,” says Kevin Leman, national speaker and author of What a Difference Daddy Makes. “I have tremendously more impact on my daughter than my wife does.”

Pete, a 38-year-old father from California, has already started taking out 9-year-old Cassie, hoping to get a jump on the dating scene. “I believe the openness she has at this age is only for a season,” Pete explains. “Right now I have an opportunity to love her or reject her. If I ignore her now, she isn’t going to come to me later with the tough questions. I’m hoping that doing these special ‘nights out’ will help her understand that she’s valuable and will stop her from even accepting attention from a guy who doesn’t treat her with the same respect.”

Conversation is the crown jewel of the relationship between a Father and a Daughter. The connection that you develop with your child during real times of heart to heart chemistry will pay incredible dividends just around the corner as she grows up to become a woman.     

I have been blessed with two wonderful daughters who I am immensely proud of.  Leah is 24 and is working as a Substitute Teacher until she can land a regular classroom position and Abbie is 21 and a college student preparing to become a Nurse.  Leah is my Princess and Abbie is my Puumpkin- pet names that I have had for them all of their lives!  Even though they are both now officially and legally adults, they still live at home for this season and I know what a gift it is for I also know that this time will not last forever!  I want my girls to know that they are incredible young ladies who don’t need to ever settle for just any guy!  I love the times that we get to hang out together and I know what a gift it is that they still don’t mind their Daddy tagging along!  And while deep down inside I know one day soon some nervous young man is going to approach me and ask me for my permission to take my girl away so he can welcome her as his wife- I want to always be Leah and Abbie’s biggest fan and supporter so they will never doubt how much I delight in who they are!

If it has been too long since you had some “just us” time with your daughter whether planned (“Let’s see that new movie Tuesday night”) or spontaneous (“Come on, let’s go out and run together”), dates with your kids are a great way to enhance the relationship. Do something different. Sure, your child likes it when you take her out for pizza, but how about getting a slice at a nearby venue where you can surprise her with tickets to a concert that she will remember forever?

If you need an idea or two- let’s go back to that Focus on the Family program that offered the following ways to pamper your Princess!  See the town. Go for a drive pointing out areas to avoid and fun places to hang out. Dine out. Eat at a restaurant that doesn’t serve toys in a bag. Make it a fancy evening.  You both can get dressed up! Drink hot chocolate. Visit your local coffeehouse or bookstore and talk. Get fit. Go bike riding, inline skating or play some tennis. Share a hobby. Paint or create something together. Play games. Go bowling or miniature golfing or hit the arcades. Shop till you drop! This may be the only chance you ever have Dad at helping your daughter pick out an outfit. It also provides a great opportunity for a healthy talk about the importance of modesty. Take a risk. Ask her what she wants to do. After all, you’ll expect her potential dates to think about her interests as he plans outings.

I just played the song “Daddy’s Little Girl” on my radio show.  I know that the days are flying by but today is here- right before our eyes!  It is a new 24 hours and a new opportunity to initiate a loving way to take care of your Princess.  The dance you have today will keep you from the regret that wants to steal tomorrow!  Don’t miss the chance because you were too proud or too afraid to cross a bridge to discover the heart of the royalty that God gave you!





3 responses

15 03 2012
Dorothy Hewitt

Love this! I have one friend in particular that I am forwarding this to as she has two young daughters and she is concerned that their father doesn’t see the importance always of his influence on his girls. Hoping she can get him to read this! I still remember one time my Dad surprised me with tickets to see musical “Milk and Honey” in the 60’s in Philly. Just the two of us went and had dinner afterwards. He did this as I was singing in All Philly Jr. High Choir and we were doing few pieces from the musical. It was a total surprise! I especially love this memory since my Dad is with the Lord now and miss him everyday! Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts with us once more!

15 03 2012
Sally Paige

Thanks for sharing this Rudy. You’re still an awesome dude!!

16 03 2012
Jody Erickson

Such a wonderful perspective Rudy! As a single mother, going on six years now, this has been a topic of concern for me regarding my almost 9 year old daughter, Madilyn. Fearing she would look for her absentee father in every “bad” man she encounters in her future, it has been important to me that she is surrounded by positive male role models who love and support her. Among so many amazingly wonderful reasons I am now embarking on a new journey with the love of my life, it is the qualities of this man, as a father and human being, that will shape my young daughter’s life and self.image which will last a lifetime. I cant stress enough how important a ” father’s” role is, whether biological or otherwise on a young girl’s life. Thank you for sharing such an important topic through your thoughtful insight.

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