Dads and Daughters

Barrett n MaddieI am a man raised in a family of men. My mom kept a measure of femininity as she raised two boys, but I think we had more of an influence on her than she did on us.

Now I'm the father of three girls and I find that the other gender can be a challenge to parent. Staying connected in a meaningful way to my precious daughters doesn't come naturally to me. Perhaps I'm not alone.

Todd WIlson over at FamilyMan Ministries has an encouraging word in his weekly e-newsletter.  Here's what he has to say...

Hey Dad,
I’ve been thinking about girls lately…no, not that kind...but the daughter variety, especially my daughters Katherine (12) and Maggie Rose (5). I see their sweet smiles and how much they love their dad, but I know how delicate that relationship is and how easily I can blow it.
Boys are different. They need their dad’s involvement and love...but they’re boys. Girls are like...miniature females complete with a truckload of emotional needs. Emotional needs that we must fill...or someone else will.
It’s not a new thought to me. For a while now I’ve sensed something that’s wrong with a lot of dad/daughter relationships. I’ve heard many teenage girls mention that their relationships with their dads aren’t very good.
Then I had a conversation a week ago with a guy at church whose family works with teenage girls. Speaking up front he mentioned that many of the girls are struggling in their relationships with their dads.
My ‘this-is-important’ sensor sounded and later I asked him about it.
He answered, “Yeah, most of them feel like they can’t talk to their fathers or that their relationship isn’t good.”
“The girls you work with come from Christian families, don’t they?” I asked.
He looked me straight in the eyes, and I could tell he was about to say something important. “They’re the cream of the crop,” he said. “Their families read the Bible, memorize scripture, and do all the right things.”
I stood there for a moment and a wave of despair mixed with outrage came over me. “It’s the dad’s fault, isn’t it?” I said flatly.
"Yep," was his only response.
Since then, I’ve thought more about the interaction with my girls. I noticed how curt I sometimes am, brushing them off or harsh with my looks...then I reminded myself that it’s this dad’s fault.
You know, Dad, all those emotional daughters who jump ship, flip out, or walk away for some unknown reason feel distant from their dads. They want a good relationship...but have given up and moved on.
You know whose fault it is?
His, mine, and ours. Our daughters need us. They need to be treated tenderly, spoken to gently, listened to, and loved...really loved. I don’t think it’s really that hard...we just need to do it.
So why not do some of that dad-kind of loving today? Purpose to tell your daughters they’re beautiful, give them a real heartfelt hug, or buy a little ‘something’ for them. And most of all let them see you enjoying them. 
You ‘da dad,