When my daughter was younger, my husband took her to lunch at the revolving restaurant in our city. I will never forget how animated she was on their return, describing to me the pros and cons of eating while the restaurant moves in circles. I loved the years when the local Girl Scout Council threw a 1950’s daddy/daughter event. The pictures of them dressed in their ’50’s finery are some of my favorite ones of them together.
There is nothing more special than the bond between a father and daughter. That relationship can change everything from how your daughter views her body to the husband she chooses to how she sees God. Yet, many fathers have only a passing relationship with their daughters. They know nothing about the young woman their daughter has become and as a result have much less influence in her life than is best for her (or her father).
Years ago, someone started the idea of dads taking their daughters on “dates” – doing something special together. A special time when fathers can really get to know and bond with their daughters while creating lasting memories.
Some dads may love the idea of daddy/daughter dates, but have no ideas other than ice cream or dinner and a movie. After a couple of attempts at daddy/daughter dating, the dates stop because the father runs out of ideas. Even if the dates continue, the conversation may be forced or on a surface level. The concept of also using a date to get to know your daughter’s heart and influence her for God is really asking too much of any dad. Or, is it?
88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates: Fun, Easy & Creative Ways to Build Memories Together by Rob and Joanna Teigen gives dads lots of ideas, not just for daddy/daughter dates, but for ways to make them more meaningful. Each date describes not only the activity, but the direction the conversation can take to make the date into a time to also share God with your child. The entries also refer to passages of scripture and each ends with a written prayer.
Aesthetically, the book could have used some photographs to brighten it up a bit. Since each date is written almost like a recipe, a cookbook format with photos of similar outings would have been more visually appealing. I asked my husband to take a look through the book to get a man’s viewpoint. I asked him if it would have been helpful for him to have had something like that to use when our daughter was younger. He thought having more ideas was a great idea, although he commented he was surprised how many of them he had already done with our daughter.
If they print another edition, I would suggest substituting the written prayer with more purposeful suggestions for questions the dad can ask the daughter to reveal more of her heart to him. Some were worked into the description of the date or the mini lesson the father is supposed to teach the daughter, but it would be easy to miss them mixed in like that. Dads who were raised in households with no sisters often have difficulty in knowing how to relate verbally to a young girl. A little more detailed guidance on how to ask meaningful questions about the daughter would be helpful to many men, I would think.
The devotions or mini-lessons were fine, but not deep enough for older girls. Many of the dates could still be done with tweens and teens, if the devotionals had a little more spiritual heft to them. Perhaps a younger and older version of the same devotional idea could have been provided.
If your husband is struggling with the idea of daddy/daughter dates or you are a dad looking for more ideas, this book can give you quite a few. If you are looking for a deep devotional time with your daughter, the devotions will not provide the depth you probably want. If, however, you would just like to add a spiritual element to your dates, the mini-lessons will give you a recipe for bringing God into your relationship with your daughter.
Once you try some of the dates (or your husband does), please let us know what happened. How did your daughter react? How comfortable was your husband introducing the subject of God into their time together? Has the daughter in your family been taken on a creative daddy/daughter date that wasn’t in the book? I would love for you to share with other parents the experiences your daughters have had dating their dad. It is a wonderful gift you can give to other fathers and daughters around the world.
A copy of this book was provided to me for free by the publisher. I am painfully honest and really do think this book could help many dads. This post also includes affiliate links. They do not cost you anything, but help provide financial support to this blog should you decide to purchase anything. Thank you for supporting Parenting Like Hannah.