Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From Daddies to Their Daughters

You don't have to have a daughter or be a dad to appreciate the message today. If you ARE a daughter, hope to have a daughter or granddaughter someday, are friends with a girl, have a girlfriend or wife, if you mentor a female, or have any relationship with a girl AT ALL , you will be able to relate to this post in some way or another.

~ Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice. ~ More like, Emotions and Hormones and Everything Confusing. :) I'm a girl myself, and even I don't get girls sometimes. It's no wonder that daddies look like a deer caught in headlights when their baby girls start getting emotional, as they often do. But does it have to be this way? Wouldn't it be awesome if baby girls came home from the hospital with a handbook? Haha.

We are readers in the Robert family. Sometimes it seems as if we don't get enough time for this pastime that we enjoy so much, but now that the weather is turning cooler and we aren't spending two hours every night walking, we are entering into our season of diving into good books in the evenings. One book that Eric and I are reading is Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson. I can't remember if this was a book we were gifted or if we picked this one up on our own, but let me tell you, it's good. So good that I wanted to share with you a bit from Chapter 10, "Fathers to Daughters."

Daddies, this one's especially for you. Here are 50 of my favorite peices of advice shared in this wonderful chapter, accompanied by pictures of my girls with their daddy.

Fathers to Daughters:

*Accept the fact that [your little girl] will melt your heart anytime she chooses.
*Take part in her life now. Don't wait until she's 15 to try and develop a relationship.
*Sing to her while you're rocking her. She'll love hearing your voice - and it's a great way to pass the time at 1 a.m.
*Her mom will show her how to bake chocolate chip cookies. You show her how to dunk them in milk.
*Be prepared to watch Walt Disney movies with her some 200 times. Each.

*Relish the moments when she toddles up and for no reason at all throws her arms around your neck. Resist the urge to buy her the world.
*Trust her mom to understand the mystery of little girls. You have yet to figure out the mystery of big ones.
*Never, ever make fun of her.
*Little girls are fascinated by escalators. Make sure you hold hands.
*Keep her secrets. This way she will begin to trust men.

*Let her teach you. About what she learned in school today. About the Pilgrims, or multiplication, or manatees. How to sing her favorite song. How to bake a cake. How to braid Barbie's hair.
*Praise her often. Let her know you love her the way she is. If you tell her this often enough she might remember it throughout adolescence.
*Surprise her by showing up at her school for lunch, bearing Happy Meals or Pizza.
*Never argue with her mother in front of her. As hard as it may be, walk away.
*Remember, society is teaching her its values 24/7. You need to be more determined to teach her yours.

*Never permit her to talk back rudely - to you or to her mother. Or anybody else, for that matter.
*Teach her patience, kindness, and tolerance. If you don't, many years from now you'll wish you had.
*Don't miss a recital, concert, play, or any other performance of hers. Now now. Not until she graduates.
*Accept the fact that the loving, tender angel you've spent the last decade with may disappear sometimes. She will return.
*Remember, teenage girls spend hours in their room doing something. No man has ever really figured out what that something is.

*Drive the carpool. You'll learn firsthand what she's doing each day.
*Remember, when you're dealing with a 13-year-old girl, for all intents and purposes, you're dealing with a fruitcake.
*Watch your language around her. Insist she watch hers.
*Girls at this age can be uncomfortable stating what they really need. More often than not, she needs you to be a parent.
*Accept the fact that girls squeal when they're happy or confused or excited or scared or because they just saw a certain boy in line.

*Don't subscribe to magazines that exploit women. It makes a statement about how you view all women.
*If you don't approve of the way she looks before she goes out, send her back to her room to start over. Be gentle but firm.
*There will be days when you think you've raised an alien. Those are the same days she feels she's being raised by one.
*Never call her names. No matter how mad you are. No matter what she did. If you do, she'll remember it for the rest of her life.
*Drag her to church...every week. She may not share your enthusiasm, but after 18 years, the message will have sunk in.

*Teach her to pray for her enemies. This could possibly include a rotating cast of classmates and ex-boyfriends.
*No matter how much you are tempted, don't yell at the refs or insult the umpire. You'll embarrass her and look like an idiot.
*You will have to teach her how to drive...without making her cry.
*Make it very clear that you expect her to wear a seat belt. Even over her prom dress.
*Odd-looking boys will start showing up at your house. This is to be expected because adolescent boys are odd-looking.

*Let her see, by the way you treat your wife, the way a man is supposed to treat a woman.
*Teach her how to look a boy in the eye and say "No."
*Do not tease her about boyfriends. She may not have one, and you might make her feel like she's supposed to.
*Explain to her that there are dangerous boys as well as honorable ones, and how to tell the difference.
*If a boy pulls up and honks for her, go out and have words with him. Explain that your daughter answers to a doorbell.

*Wait up for her. Knowing Dad will be greeting her at the door has a very positive effect on her decision making process.
*Remember, every girl's heart gets broken. There's nothing you can do to fix it. Hunting down the boy won't help. On the other hand, she will also break a few hearts herself.
*Don't let her moods or anger push you away. She needs you now more than ever.
*Be firm about maintaining family traditions. They will become more important to her than either of you can imagine.
*Take long walks with her. If you just listen, she'll eventually tell you everything that's on her mind.

*There will be times when you'd rather stick needles in your eyes than have a particular conversation with her. This is when you must act like a father.
*Prepare for the day when you're not the most important man in her life.
*Have a look around her room. Take a moment to look at her pictures, her photos, her keepsakes. These are her memories. This was the childhood you gave her.
*Tell her she is the daughter you always dreamed about.
*In the end, let her go.

Sigh. If you do have a daughter and would like some really solid advice for bringing her up in this "crazy world," then I highly recommend picking up a copy of Dr. Dobson's book. Other chapter titles include, "The Wonderful World of Girls," "Cinderella at the Ball," "The Obsession With Beauty," and "Bullies, Buddies, and Best Friends." 

I can't believe that I'm already dealing with the emotions and nuances of raising a young lady. Evelyn is only 16 months old, but it's already clear that she possesses all of the mysterious, wonderful, and quizzical qualities of the fair sex. Even though I'm a girl myself, I am thankful for books like Bringing Up Girls, because I need all the help I can get! And daddies, take some special time with your girls this week. Go on a daddy date. Eric is going to be starting this really soon with Ev, and I am so excited for the both of them. :)


Anonymous said...

Great job.

Your Father in Law

Olivia said...

I CRIED! Let me just say, My father never read a book about how to raise girls. He had 3 of them. He is my bestttt friendddd everrrrr!! and he did every. single. one. of. those. things. idk how he knew what to do, but he did it perfectly. This is a wonderful post Adrien! And i'm positive Eric will be nothing less than amazing raising your little girls! :)

Cassie said...

When we found out we were having a girl we bought the small little book, Father to Daughter, Life Lessons on Raising a Girl. Melted my heart. I want to rip out the pages and make a collage of my favorite ones.
These all made me tear up!! I might have to do a similar post. hehe.

Eric Robert said...

Dr. Dobson's ministry has and will play a large role in our family. We are all very blessed to have access to the full extent of his ministry. Check out family.org for more great resources and books.

To all the Daddy's out there: act with intention. That is our job as husbands and fathers. We have more left to learn about parenting than any book can teach us, but kids can sense your intentions. Even if you don't do thing perfectly the first time, they know you still did something. Remember, if you aim at nothing you'll hit it every time.

Kim said...

As always....Loved it! (and am crying!)


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