Dads need to start being connected with their daughters before and while they are teenagers. Quite a number of fathers say they had a bad relationship with their teenage daughter. One was becoming obnoxious and obstreperous, so her dad started either taking her on dates or took her on a trip. Their relationship was transformed and now they are friends.
The key thing about dad dates is that it’s not dad and all the kids. If you have three daughters, you have to have three separate dates. They appreciate the one-on-one time with dad. It’s not dad and his mate taking their daughters out. There has to be no other adult there. It’s just dad and the daughter, and the dad has to listen.
You have to go, sit there, and listen. She will, most likely, talk about her friends and her the music she loves. They might not be of interest to you, but you’ve got to listen. If you start asking, “What about your homework? What about the way you dress? What about this?” it won’t work. Dad has to take her on dad dates and listen, and it works a treat. 97 percent of fathers are poor listeners.
Take them on trips. You might think, by definition, whatever dad did would be boring. But they remember every single moment of those trips, and it’s not just the experience with their dad or where you go. It’s the fact that you bothered to spend time with them. That makes them feel worthwhile. The fact that it’s a work trip and you’ve sacrificed some of your work time makes them feel even more worthwhile. Dad is really important, but he wants me there with him. For a child, to feel worthwhile is a wonderful gift to give.
There are all sorts of things you can do to maintain your work. Have the kids sit in at conferences, stay in the hotel room, stay with your friends, or get babysitting services. There are all sorts of things you can do.
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