Lessons Learned on Dates with Daddy

It was a typical Texas June afternoon. The sun was shimmering through the windows, and the air in our house was heavy with anticipation. I was helping my daughter get ready for her first date. I helped her pick out her dress, her shoes, and did her hair. When she felt everything was perfect, she waited anxiously for his arrival. I always thought I’d be nervous on this day, but I had no reason to be. I’m on pretty good terms with the guy who was going to pick her up. After all, he’s her dad. 

Lessons Learned on Dates with Daddy | Houston Moms BlogOnce the doorbell rang, our little three year old leapt up to answer it. She already had big plans for their date. They would go to Lone Star Bounce Town, and then Daddy would take her to Santa Barbara Italian Restaurant. 

When they came back, she excitedly raced through the events of the date. She and Daddy bounced all over IN SOCKS! Then Daddy won her a toy dinosaur, and she even had PIZZA! Charlotte also told me that she couldn’t wait to go out with Daddy again, hopefully tomorrow!

Their date tradition never did evolve into a daily event. They have, however, gone on several dates since, and are looking forward to their annual date night this Father’s Day.

Looking past the happy glittering eyes of our daughter, the cute pictures, and memories made, we also hope and pray that she learns important lessons on these dates with Daddy. Lessons that she can use to build a foundation for a healthy view of herself and her dating life for years to come.

Manners

My husband and I are two Yankees by birth, but we are trying our best to raise our Southern Belle to show manners and to have a healthy level of expectation of manners from others. For now, for her, this means that she uses a napkin when she eats, says please and thank you, displays patience, and helps others. 

On the dating side of it, my husband always makes sure to treat her with respect. He comes up to the door, usually with flowers, and asks her permission to come inside. Then, he asks her what she’d like to do for the date. He opens the door for her, and helps her with anything she needs. 

By introducing her to well-mannered interactions, we’re hoping when a guy tries to take her on a date {like 20 years from now}, she’ll have a high standard set for how she and he should behave. In other words, if someone texts her from his car, in the driveway and says, “I’m here. Come out,” my husband won’t be the only one telling the kid to get lost!

Expectations for Positive Interactions

Yes, dates can be super-awkward {especially in high school}, but awkwardness aside, a good date should be a positive experience. As evidenced by her first date, Charlotte got to choose activities she loved. She also enjoyed conversation with her Dad over dinner {without smart phones present}. 

My husband works hard to set the standard high for her dating life. He wants to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience, so in the future if she is ever in a situation where she feels uncomfortable, upset, or unsafe, she’ll know to get out of that situation as quickly as possible.Lessons Learned on Dates with Daddy | Houston Moms Blog

It makes me nervous to think that one day my little girl will walk out our front door holding another boy’s hand. Knowing that we are working hard to build her awareness of positive interactions on a date gives me a sense of peace. We’re doing our best to prepare her for that day. When it comes, we’ll trust her to know her gut instincts.

Self-Confidence 

We have truly been blessed with a little girl whose self-confidence rivals that of Beyoncé. {If you ever doubt me, I can easily show you a video of how she “boogies” during her tap dance routine, and you will be in total agreement with me.} Her natural self-confidence aside, as we know, society today can be a difficult place for a young girl to continue to develop a healthy level of self-worth. Body image. Instagram. Degradation in the media. The list goes on.

Because of these obstacles, we work hard to make sure our positive talk to her is something she can internalize. To do this, her Daddy weaves constructive conversations into their dates. He’ll give her the typical compliments on her dress and her hair, but then he makes sure to delve deeper as well. He tells her how he’s proud of how she helped her brother, or how she read a story so well. He lets her know that he’s so happy to be there, in that moment, with her. 

In doing this, we hope that in the future, if she’s in a relationship or on a date with a young man who doesn’t treat her as she deserves to be treated, she’ll be able to identify that. She’ll know that she’s worth more than a casual glance up from a smart phone, and will have the awareness to put an end to it. In short, our baby is not going to settle.

A Healthy Relationship with Daddy

At the end of the day, these dates evolve into precious relationship-building time with Daddy. It’s commonly said that a Daddy is a girl’s first love. I feel like I need to raise the bar on this saying. In my opinion, a Daddy is not only a girl’s first love, but also her highest standard of a healthy relationship.

.Lessons Learned on Dates with Daddy | Houston Moms Blog

These dates help to build a solid foundation of love and trust between the two, one that we hope will continue on later in life. We want her to be able to come to us about anything, and building a relationship with her Daddy in such a special way may do just that.

I hope that this Father’s Day you’re able to add this precious tradition to your family as well!

 

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One Response to Lessons Learned on Dates with Daddy

  1. Montoya
    Montoya June 20, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

    This is so sweet! My husband takes our daughters on dates too and it’s been so impactful! Especially for my daughter that spent the early years of her life with just me. Thank you for sharing this!

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