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Daddy Daughter Bonding Ideas: How to Fathers Can Connect with Teen Girls

Posted Sep 26 2008 2:53pm

Many of the ideas I have listed on my 10 activities for teens are great for dads and daughters.  Yet, I want to add and highlight a few because this is so important.

Sometime between the age of 12 and 17 there is a deep dark void that develops between dads and teen girls.  I like to call it the “anti-daddy” period.  Have you experienced this? For me, this lasted about two years.

1) Realize What We Think

Teen-Vanessa:
-Everything dad does is totally wrong
-Everything dad does is horrendously embarrassing
-Everything dad does is, like, predictably stupid.
-Spending as little time as possible with dad is ideal.
-Dad, clearly, secretly wants to make my life miserable.
-Dad sooooo does not get me…even though he thinks he does (which is infuriating)
-Dad has, obviously, never been anything like me.

I hope that you are reading this list thinking, “no, not me and my daughter.” Congratulations, you must be way cooler than my dad, because these 7 ideas were my mantra for two years.   Understand that this is normal.

2) It Passes

I feel bad actually now, but the good thing is, it passes.  My dad gets these via email every day and hopefully he is laughing…and agreeing??  I do have a great relationship now with both my dad and my step-dad (and had some of the worst ones when I was younger). So, it does get better…hopefully before her wedding day.

3) Have a Regular Date

When you are constantly asking to spend time with her, it feels like a nag.  If you can set-up a regular time, this will be less of an obstacle and she might secretly look forward to it.

4) Treat Us Like A Grenade…if we explode all over you do not take it personally

What you think is just comments, we see as unsolicited, offensive, horrible, degrading advice…sometimes.  There are some days when anything you say we are going to freak out at.  Expect this and try not to take it personally.

5) Admit You Are A Dork

Even if Pierce Brosnan was my dad, I would think he was a big loser (and he is the coolest guy I can think of).  The point is, we are going to think you are a big dork, if you just embrace this we will not fight it as much. (We will realize you are cool later).

6) Be a Constant Love

One thing I remember and so appreciate about both of my dads is that they are extremely constant.  They don’t really have mood swings, I know their stances on political issues, what they eat for breakfast and that they love me.  When you are a constant for them, they will go to you more often and love you for it.  You might not realize we appreciate this, but teen girls live in hormonal, social, emotional ups and downs, so you as a rock of love no matter what, is really a relief.
See dad, I got better! I promise my sisters will too. = )

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Daddy Daughter Bonding Ideas: How to Fathers Can Connect with Teen Girls

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