22 Jun My Dad will always be King
My Dad is a great example to me. One of the greatest lessons I learned from my Dad is the importance of telling your children how much you love them. Children don’t just know they are loved. They need to be told. Guess How Much I Love You is a children’s book that teaches this lesson. This is a story about Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, who are father and son. Little Nutbrown Hare wants his father to know how much he loves him, and expresses this by stretching his arms out to indicate this. Big Nutbrown Hare replies by stretching his arms out even further (as he has longer arms) to show that he loves his son even more.
The story continues by measuring and comparing how much they love each other – by how high they can reach, how they love each other to the end of their toes, by how high they can hop, and how far the river is. Big Nutbrown Hare can always do things better as he is bigger and cleverer, which impresses Little Nutbrown Hare. At the end, Little Nutbrown Hare falls asleep saying he loves his dad as far as the moon. To which Big Nutbrown Hare whispers (to his sleeping son) that he loves him just as much, but more.
This story means a lot to me. My dad and I get into “I love you more battles” all of the time. These battles are a fun way my Dad tells me how much he loves me. I have tried to win these battles but he always wins.
Another way my Dad tells me how much he loves me is by nudging me three times. I know this might sound a little weird but the three times mean “I love you.” Like I said it may sound weird and seem a little silly but it is one of my favorite things I learned from my Dad.
My Dad continues to teach me the importance of spending quality time with each of his children. I recently went on a 16 hour road trip with my Dad. We had 16 hours of quality time. It was a fun bonding experience that I will remember always, especially the game we started by pointing out all of the animals we saw along the way.
Dad’s, you might not think the things you do with your children have any special meaning. Let me just tell you from personal experience, they do. A great example of this comes from “Charles Francis Adams who is the son of the second president of the United States, a successful lawyer, and ambassador to Great Britain. Although he had little free time, one day he took his son fishing. In his diary, he wrote, “Went fishing with my son today. A day wasted.” On that same day, his son wrote “Went fishing with my father today, the most wonderful day of my life”
Our relationship with our father plays a huge part in who we will become. In many segments of society, people grow up without ever knowing their fathers. This is unfortunate because fathers should play as important a role in raising their children as mothers. A father is the model of a man for his daughter and she will choose a man who is like him.
Daughters look to their dads for much more than allowance, the latest phone, or trips to the mall. The relationship she has with you is something that influences what she will expect from men for the rest of her life. She will watch how you show affection and respect to your wife, your commitment to being with your family, and the ways that you show love to your kids. In other words, you are the model for the type of man she’s likely to be attracted to.
It can be daunting for a man to figure out how to bridge the gap between, for example, his love of pro football and his daughter’s passion for the latest boy band. But, the main thing is to spend time together, to try to regard her interests with an open mind.
Some examples of ways you can get involved in your daughter’s life are:
- Carpool-The more time dads spend with daughters and their friends in the car and at their school, the more insight they can have into their daughters’ world.
- Take an interest in her activities– Studies show that when fathers take an active interest in and play sports with their daughters, the girls are less likely to have unhealthy or abusive relationships.
- Listen without judging– Fathers sometimes want to rush in and fix problems; daughters don’t always need solutions but want to air their feelings without fretting that Dad will freak.
- Share your experiences– Girls benefit from knowing that even dads have faced adolescent uncertainty.
- Spend one-on-one time– Bike riding, going out for ice cream or playing board games together is great for younger girls; older girls enjoy going alone with Dad to a favorite restaurant or having a regular bowling date.
There is a cute quote that says, “Someday I will find my prince but my Daddy will always be my King.” Remember Dads that a strong relationship is important to have with your daughters. If you don’t have a strong relationship with your daughter it isn’t too late to start now.
McBratney, S., & Jeram, A. (n.d.). Guess how much I love you.
Widmer, M. (2004). Strengthening marriages and families through wholesome recreation. Retrieved from http://marriageandfamilies.byu.edu/issues/2004/Summer/wholesomerecreation.aspx