That’s my girl! Find your way into your daughter’s heart
Focus on the Family // September 26, 2019, 9:15 am
Walk the talk: It takes effort to build father-daughter relationships. Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash.
As parents, we long to know and love our daughters well. We earnestly pray and hope that we will be the first people our daughters will come to if they meet with any challenges.
How then do we begin to ensure that our relationship with them is just right where it needs to be for this to happen? Here are some indispensable tips on finding your way into your daughter’s heart.
1. Talk regularly
Mothers, take the time on a daily basis to connect with your daughter – be it during a 15-minute car ride to school or a 10-minute chat over the phone before bedtime if she is staying at the university hostel, for example.
It’s an indispensable pocket of time that offers a wonderful opportunity for the both of you to share with each other any concerns, fun plans to make or entertaining trivia.
Simply taking time off to do the things your daughter loves demonstrates to her how much she means to you.
Fathers, don’t wait for your daughter to approach you for a chat. Take the first step and check in on your daughter regularly too, so she knows you care and that she is never far from your mind.
Ask questions that show you care rather than attempt at asserting control.
Refrain from making jokes in your daughter’s presence about having a shotgun or parang ready when she is ready to date.
Instead, have real conversations about boys that give her insights into the male psyche, so that she can better understand what to expect when she is ready to enter into a committed relationship with a young man.
She needs to know that she can come to you if she needs help with having a trusted male perspective on relationship issues.
2. Spend time with her doing things she loves
Mothers, from crafting with your art-loving four-year-old to going on a staycation at a resort of her choice with your teenage girl, simply taking time off to do the things your daughter loves clearly demonstrates to her how much she means to you.
Fathers, date your daughters. It could be a casual outing to a fast-food joint and movie or a very formal dinner that you both dress up for.
Relax, have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Get your daughter to bring you to places she loves and allow her to share with you what it is about those places that puts a smile on her face.
3. Pray for and with your girl
Pray together with her. It could be all three of you together or you could take turns doing it one-on-one.
Ask her about her prayer requests and what she is thankful for.
Ask her regularly about her prayer requests to find out what might be bothering her, or make it a habit to have her share three things that she is thankful for each day.
This way you’ll get to know exactly what makes her happy that she is grateful for.
Pray together as husband and wife to seek fervently what God would have you do to be the best parents you can be for your daughter.
4. Love her – ‘warts’ and all
Celebrate how God has created her. That includes encouraging her strengths and learning to have a sense of humour about her less endearing traits.
She needs to feel loved and accepted by you. She needs to be confident and secure about being herself in your presence.
Our daughters need to know that they can come to us any time at all, without fear of being judged harshly – that we will be ready to listen, help her through life’s challenges with the same unconditional love and grace that our Abba Father bestows on us.
5. Fathers, love her mother deeply and openly
Having a strong and loving marriage will really speak into her heart.
She needs to see what a healthy relationship looks like between a husband and wife. Your marriage will be a blueprint for her to model her marriage on, for better or worse.
She needs to know she can trust you when sharing challenges in her own relationships. She needs the assurance that you will give her good, godly advice on matters of the heart.
A tall order it might seem, but if we focus on our walk with our Lord, He will empower us to do all that we need to do to be the best parents we can be to our girls and they will let us into their hearts.
This article was first written for Focus on the Family, Singapore and has been republished with permission.