By Josh Wooten
I’m sure I could have many more teenage followers from my daughter’s school had I entitled this article “How to Date MY Daughter,” but alas I have her convinced that at this age dating boys is not in her best interest right now. But that is another blog post for another day. The truth is I do eventually want her to date one day and find a man that she loves, get married, and enjoy all the incredible blessings that come with married life, but in the meantime, it’s my job to show her what a Godly man of character and integrity looks like and how that man should treat his bride. She doesn’t have to look very far to see that in our home. I struggle in many areas of life, but loving my wife is not one of those. If you were to ask my children if their dad loves their mom, the answer would be an emphatic yes. They may go on to say “yes, it’s almost nauseating how much dad loves mom!” But the truth is, that’s ok.
You’ve heard people often say to their dismay, “Oh no, I’m turning into my mother, or father.” Well I hope my daughter one day grows up to have a husband who is willing to love Jesus and her more than he loves himself and is willing to put their needs before his own. That is why I schedule dates regularly with my wife, because it is important to her. She likes to get dressed up and go out to celebrate our love for one another, and I do too. It’s fun to still have the opportunity to date the woman of my dreams. My kids don’t always like it, but they have no doubt that it is important to mom, so it’s important to me as a husband to meet her needs in this way.
But as much as I love to date my wife, I love telling my daughter “Hey go get dressed up, I’m taking you out.” I know this is not normal, but my teenager loves picking out a cute outfit, fixing her hair, going out to eat, to the movies, and maybe taking in a little shopping. I actually have grown to love shopping with her, although our tastes differ and I prefer clothes with a little more material than she does at times. The bottom line is, some of the most meaningful conversations with my daughter happen on our “daddy daughter dates” as we like to call them. We talk about music, celebrities, boys, Jesus, our dreams, her goals and future aspirations, and I try to help her with a plan to attain and achieve those goals.
You know what my wife and I talk about on our dates? We talk about music, celebrities, our kids, Jesus, our dreams, our goals and future aspirations, and we work through plans on how to attain and achieve those goals. I want the same things for both my wife and my daughter. I want them both to know that they are loved, valued, and to have a man that is willing to put his own needs aside for theirs, because they are worth it. After all, in most cases little girls will end up marrying a man who is a lot like their father. For me, that’s a lot of pressure because I am at best, a work in process, but in this season I am working on making my #DatingGame #Strong. For the sake of both of the special ladies that God has placed in my life.
Here are some tips I have found helpful in connecting with my daughter. These are great conversation starters and I pray they will lead into a deeper and rich relationship with your child.
Questions to ask:
Who are some of your favorite musical artists these days?
What is your favorite song and why?
Who is your favorite teacher at school, why?
What do they do different from the other teachers?
What’s your favorite class these days?
If money were no object, where would you like to go on vacation? (This one is to get them dreaming a bit.)
If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you like to try to do?
What are some of your biggest struggles in life right now?
What can I do to help you overcome these struggles?
“Be Quick to listen and slow to speak”
Allow her to open up and share her heart.
Daddy/ Daughter Date ideas:
– Dinner and a movie (cliche I know, but let her pick the movie and dinner spot).
– Day at the mall
– Day hiking trip
– Overnight camping trip (state parks usually have great affordable cabins and lots of free activities).
– Let her show you her favorite Youtube videos.
– Go through old pics and family albums. Be sure to share about who she was as a baby and share about where you were in life during those times.
– Take her to get her nails done. You may even want to be adventurous and get a pedicure yourself.
– Take her to a concert of a group she likes. My daughter still shares with me how about much fun she had on our Concert Dates.
– Check out your local paper for free and cheap community events. Remember your daughter spells love, T-I-M-E.