Being a Dad to girls is hard work, their wants and desires could be the furthest from yours.
From something trivial like wearing a certain colour, or watching Glee on the TV all the way to ‘BOYS’ and doing things that involve money rather than mud and goalposts.
Dorothy’s 1 but Bethany’s 14 and while this seems like a million miles away for Dottie it’s best to be prepared now for the change. Although it’s a cliché, little girls become women yet they will always be your princess. It is a hard pill to take for both parents, but especially for fathers. It’s hard because that Princess that would spend all day dancing around or on your shoulders as you go to the zoo or the cinema and spending every day together, you will see less of each other as she grows up.
It is a part of life, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Still, does that mean that you should grow apart? Of course they will want their independence yet you can still be close.
Here’s some of the things that I’ve learnt over the last 8 years with my relationship with Beth and hopefully it can help with your relationship transition.
Kids don’t like to be smothered, especially when they are adults. You understand because you were once a young adult and you need to keep that in mind. The more your parents smothered you, the more you resisted. It is easy to worry too much and do it without even realising you are doing something wrong. But, that is why you have to check yourself whenever possible.
For children who no longer live at home a phone call once a twice a week is perfectly acceptable; one every day is a bit much. You’ll find the more you respect their boundaries the closer they will grow to you on their own. It isn’t uncommon for kids to drop in on their parents because they miss home.
You’ll always be parents
They might not seem like it now, but they will miss that close relationships. Regardless of their independence, there are times when we are asked for advice. So, they will want to see you as much as you see them but keep it relaxes and look forward to quality time instead of quantity time. A nice dinner once a week or every other week is a great time to catch up and get your fill.
Get Involved In Their Life
Obviously, there are parts of their life that you need to stay away from, and that is fine. After all, there are parts of their life that you don’t want to meddle in either. However, it does mean there are parts that they want to involve you in, and you should embrace that with open arms. Dads of daughters, this is potentially going to happen one day! She may want to get married!!!!!! #SHOCKHORROR. If she does, don’t reject this and embrace everything from personalised wedding invitations to picking up the dress. It might be boring, admin work, but it is still time with your daughter. Plus, she’ll love you forever for helping her plan the biggest day of her life. Of course, this scenario only applies to some fathers. The trick, though, is to find a part of their life where they need your help.
Communication is the foundation to a great relationship. Sure, communication is best face to face, but you might not have that luxury. If your daughter is busy or lives away, you can still spend quality time together. A phone conversation might not beat the real thing, but it is a very good fall back option. Talking is the best way to find out what is going on in her life and invest in her well-being. It doesn’t matter whether you are in the same room or miles away because you can do it over the phone. In fact, with technology these days you can even see each other. A Skype call or FaceTime call is almost like being next to one another. Sometimes, you have to get creative if you want to spend time with your daughter as she gets older. She won’t always have the time to visit, which is why a call is better than nothing.
Be A Friend
Being a parent is a full time job. Sometimes, though, it is best to down tools. Whether you like it or not, children don’t always need a parent – they need a friend. And, who better to turn to than their father? Sure, there are some things that are off limits, but they have other friends. What their others don’t know is the intricacies that make them the person they are. Talking to you is better than talking to anyone else, as long as you are a friend and not a parent.
Kids get older and that is hard. But it doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship.