As the father of a ten year old girl, I have watched as she has grown from a small child into preteen girl. As she has started to grow into her own person there have been changes, mentally, physically and emotionally.
I have always been close to my daughter, so some of these changes have been hard for me to keep up with and adjust to. All fathers of young daughters must adapt and integrate the changes into the relationship with our girls, or we could damage our close bond.
When our little girls become preteens it is very easy for dads to back away and leave the relationship up to the moms. While the young girls develop many fathers will start to feel awkward, moving away from the close relationship with their daughters.
This leaves the girls feeling hurt, confused and sad that they are no longer close with their father. The result, many times, is that the bond between father and daughter becomes very distant.
The key is to keep a strong bond between the dad and his girl, you never want her to be far away. Here are some points to help us in staying close to our daughters.
1. A dad should continue to ask his girl to go to the Home Depot, build a garden, work on a project, whatever you used to do together. No matter what it is, or how much the girls may seem disinterested, a common bond will help to keep the pair close.
2. Our girls will physically grow and change, and so will their interests. It is very important to find out what they are interested in and then join them, even if it is shopping or going to the mall. This shows our girls that we care enough to do things that may not be our favorite activity, but we are willing to participate so we can spend time with our daughters.
3. It is important for us to spend time alone with our daughters, we must plan father/ daughter time. This could be anything from a dinner out, a baseball game, to a long walk. This will give the pair a chance to be by themselves, share some fun and to bond.
4. The biggest point for fathers to grasp is to keep the lines of communication open. Our girls will stray away for awhile, but we always want them to know that they can come to us to talk. Of course many daughters talk more to their mothers, but they still want and need to talk to us. This can only be accomplished if our girls know that we are available when they need us.
It may seem that our daughters will need their moms more than their dads, but they do need their fathers. So we must work on our relationship with our daughters as they develop to ensure a lasting bond.