Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why Daddies Need to Date Their Daughters

I remember going on dates with my father.

I can't tell you how many there were, or what we did on any of the (I'm pretty sure McDonald's was involved), but I do remember that my dad took out the time for me.

The dates that I do remember the most were the last two weeks of my summer before attending college. My father and I would set our alarm clocks to the time I would need to get up in order to make it to school on time (I commuted all 4 years, one hour each way. Gas was under a dollar at the time!). He wanted me to get used to the traffic that I would be facing on my way there. On our way back we would always stop at McDonald's for their breakfast burritos.

Our dates were not flashy, but they taught me so much and showed me just how much my father loved me.

Now, we have a daughter, and Brian has made taking Addie on dates a priority as well.

So, why are Daddy/Daughter dates so important?

1. It teaches a girl that she is loved by her father, the most important male figure in her life.

Little girls want to be loved, but more importantly they want to be loved by their fathers. Having a father take the time out of his day or weekend speaks "I love you" louder than just saying those words. If a girl feels loved by her father, she is less likely to look for love in the wrong places. When she knows that her Daddy loves her unconditionally and that she is safe with him, she will know that she can take any question, thought, or idea to him and she will be safe from criticism, ridicule, and humiliation.

Recently, when Brian and Addie came home from a date, Addie was more sweet and helpful than usual (she usually is, but this was even more than what is considered normal for her). When I mentioned how sweet and helpful she was being, she flipped her hair and said, "It's 'cause I went on a date with Daddy!" Her confidence gained a boost just because of the extra time Brian had spent with her.

2. It teaches her how to expect boys to treat her in the future.

When she watches how her daddy opens the car door for her, pays for her movie ticket and pop corn, and their lunch or dinner, she knows what to expect from the young man who comes to take her on a date (when she's 30!). If he honks for her, doesn't get her door, expects her to go Dutch on the date, she will know that he does not value her the way her Daddy did.

By the way, mothers with boys, it is called chivalry, and it is not dead! Teach these things to your sons, so they will treasure the young woman that God brings to them in the future. (We have a son, too!)

3. It teaches her how she is to behave when she is on a date.

She looks her best to go out with her Daddy- just like she will for the young man God will bring her way. She learns how to sit and converse at dinner and not to take up the entire conversation. She learns from her father what is and what is not appropriate behavior around boys and young men- he was a young man once, too. She learns that saying a sincere thank you at the end of the date is sufficient and nothing "more" is to  be expected of her.

I can say from personal experience that when I began dating my husband, I was able to go to my father with any question that came to mind concerning our dating relationship because I knew that, at the time, no other man loved me like my father did. He ultimately gave us pre-marital counceling and officiated over part of the wedding ceremony. I knew right away that Brian was different from most guys because of the way he treated me- just like my dad did. He always came to the door to get me, treated my parents with respect, opened the car door for me to get in and get out, and always paid for everything. I also knew how to conduct myself on each date we took.

Moms are important for the day to day teaching that goes on in the home, but there are some things that only a father can teach his daughter.

That is why Daddy/Daughter dates are so important.


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