I probably had approached this in the wrong way more often than I would have liked. Though every situation, family and teenager is different, I hope to share some personal thoughts that I hope would be helpful to you.
Thought #1 – Be Interested in Her Life
Ask yourself when was the last time you made a deliberate attempt to be part of her world?
If your life is primarily all about YOUR work and YOUR personal enjoyment, you are likely not going to make much progress in relating in-depth with your daughter.
Do you know what music she likes? Her favorite movie? What about her hobbies? Do you know what puts a smile on her face? What would she like to be when she grows up?
J, my daughter loves piano music, so guess what, I try to spend time scouring you-tube for videos of piano music covers with her. That’s part of her world and I want to be part of it. It is a simple activity but it sure gives me time to interact with J in a way that she enjoys.
You’ll have to come up with your own practical ways to demonstrate interest in your teenager’s life. But I think you get the drift.
Thought #2 – Be An Anchor in Her Life
It may surprise you but your daughter needs you to be around to provide the protection and care that she needs.
Dads, be someone highly reliable and dependable in the eyes of your daughter. I strongly believe that our daughters form mental images of what the man in her life in future ought to be. You
Thought #3 – Be Available at All Times
Time. Alas, we all have exactly the same number of hours per day, but none of us seem to ever think that we have enough.
So how much of this previous commodity are you devoting to your teenager? Are you there when she needs help? Dads have a notorious way of assuming that as long as we bring home the money and put food on the table, our job is done. Nothing can be further away from the truth.
The happiest times in my life was when I was at the lowest point financially, yet the bonds and relationship within the family was strong. We had some of the most memorable moments just being together and enjoying an ice-cream. Nothing fancy. I was just not too busy to be part of her life.
I was simply available.
You’ll need to re-evaluate your priorities. 10 years from now, will your relationship with your teenager be sacrificed on the altar of your personal achievements and goals?
Thought #4 – Be Honest in Your Life
Honesty is the Best Policy.
And trust me this policy applies even more when it comes to relating to our teenage daughters.
We all like to deal and mingle with people we trust. Our teenage girls are constantly watching us whether knowingly or subconsciously and they can smell an act of hypocrisy miles away. The way you speak to people, your attitudes and your personal integrity helps build trust in them.
No, we are not talking about being moral or perfect. Just simply being honest and sincere in all our dealings. It is a truly disarming disposition to possess, it is a natural emulsion to a strong relationship.
Thought #5 – Dads Are NOT Always Right
It is a male ego thing. We always think we are right, have the right solutions or that we know what is best.
The truth is, we are not always right.
When our teenage daughter comes to us, they are not looking for “daddy’s imperial edict”, so don’t be too quick to dish one out. Be ready to listen and be ready to understand and support. Provide advice from all of life’s experience you can muster; but please don’t ever impose your opinions. And if you have been proven wrong in your suggestion or something you have said, be man enough to admit that you are wrong.
Remember dads are not expected to be always right.
Once again, would love to hear your comments & thoughts.
Just a Dad Like You,