Nothing brings more joy, happiness and satisfaction than raising a daughter and sharing the most precious experiences of life. At the same time, having a daughter is one of the most difficult tasks a man will be called upon to perform.
There’s no magic wand to wave that will make things go smoothly, nor is there a textbook to follow. Still, there are a few things I wish my daughter had talked to me about earlier in this journey—things that had I known sooner, would’ve made me a more successful father.
(I am honored to feature a guest post by freelance writer Tyler Jacobson. This is clearly a topic I cannot write about, as a mother of four boys. It is a must-read for parents of daughters, for parents in general!)
She Wants More Personal Time With Me.
It’s so easy to get distracted by the hustle and bustle of life. You can’t place a value on time, and no time is better spent than with those you love most.
The formative years are vital for building your relationship with your daughter. When she’s young, she idolizes you. She thinks the world of you and looks to you as her protector, provider and role model. She wants to be with you.
The problem is, you get too busy or you put off these tender moments. By the time your daughter is a teenager, if you haven’t forged a relationship of trust and haven’t learned how to communicate, it’ll be much more difficult to understand one another. Take advantage of every minute together and spend meaningful moments with one another, especially in her young formative years.Don't talk, just listen! How to improve the relationship with your #daughter. @tylerpjacobson Click To Tweet
Don’t Talk, Just Listen.
As dads, we sometimes think we have all the answers. When our daughter is having a problem, we want to solve it immediately, and we’re pretty sure our sage wisdom and advice will win her over and make it all better.
While this sounds nice, sometimes they just want to be heard. It’s OK to just listen – it’s actually really good to just listen. You don’t always have to jump in and offer solutions. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your daughter (your wife, your sister, your mother…) is to just respond with “That really sucks! I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with this.”
I Might Tell You That I Hate You…
Perhaps this has happened already. If it hasn’t, brace yourself because it’s reasonable to expect it. But don’t believe it for a second. What they’re really saying is, “I’m feeling a lot of emotions right now, and I’m not sure how to interpret them.” Or, they may be saying, “You’re not understanding me right now, and I don’t know how to communicate with you.”
Be there for your daughter from day one, and she’ll love you for life. The sooner you learn this, the better.
Be Patient With Me
Every stage of life requires some patience on the part of dad with his daughter. As a small child, you need to be patient as she learns basic developmental aspects of her life. As she grows, she’ll try your patience by disobeying, breaking curfew, undermining your authority and a host of other missteps.
You make mistakes, and she is patient with you. Do the same for her, and you’ll relationship will be significantly better.
Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today.