Feb 22, 2014

Fathers, Love Your Daughters

Love is Time and Discipline
Loving our kids can be pureed down to spending time together and applying consistent discipline when needed.

The past 7 days:

Cut the rug with Pigtails at the Father/Daughter Valentine dance.
Played nightly rounds of an ongoing multi-week game of Monopoly.
Downloaded Minecraft because she asked.
Explained why sex before marriage is not a good idea and why Curls and I refrain.
Grounded her from the iPod Touch when she talked smack.
Met with her teacher and brought offspring along for school conferences.
Helped her open a savings account.
Installed hair rollers on Claire, the American Girl doll.  It's a two person job.
Took PTO on a day w/o school so we could powder ski.
Drove four hours so she could hang with family on her late mom's side.

More than anything, I hope my kid looks back in 20 years and says:  "Dad loved me."







Dads are Important
Moms are obviously important.  But dads are possibly more so.  Look at the numbers.  I'd guess many of these statistics also apply to dads that are not doing their job and choose to be disengaged with their kids:

- 71% of pregnant teens...
- 71% of high school dropouts...
- 75% of adolescents in chemical abuse centers...
- 85% of all youth in prison...
- 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.

The above doesn't mean kids without dads are doomed.  There are many single moms out there getting the job done and raising their little ones right.

Make it Count
Okay ladies, please hand the phone/iPad/27" monitor over to your man and let me rip on him for a bit.

Gentlemen, man up and make parenthood count.
Our kids are on loan only for a few blinks.  Then they're out and arthritis moves in.
Play dolls with your daughter.
Teach your son to respect girls.
Call out your kids and dish punishment when they're being a brat.
Open up and share mistakes you've made so they see we aren't perfect.
Learn their currency, find what they like, then dole it together.
Introduce them to a legion of new things:  sports, music, volunteering, God, cooking, reading and investing.
Teach them it's okay to fail.
Let them know they are important, but "not all that."

But don't stop there.

Salt and Light
Look beyond your own small zone and be a positive influence for someone without a dad.  Think back to when you were 10...what would it feel like growing up without a father?

Don't tip one hour to the volunteer time bucket and call it good.

That's lazy.

Make it hurt, a sacrifice, give up your own time to serve another.

Coach a team, even if your kid's not on the team.
Hook with an organization that helps single-parent youth.
Spend 50 or 100 hours a year building a relationship, encouraging a young one to succeed.
Be a Scout leader, mentor a Lego Mindstorms team, teach a Sunday school class, go make a difference.

-Beard

19 comments:

  1. Anonymous2/22/2014

    Coming from someone who grew up without a strong fatherly influence, I am sure that pigtails will always know how much you loved her. I don't know you from anything but what you choose to share on the blog, but from what I see, your a phenomenal dad. Keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete
  2. High five Beard! (Hubby's sent wants when I read him this post.) good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  3. *sentaments not sent wants

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved this post. I'm the luckiest gal in the world to have married, quite possibly, the best dad in the land. You never know what you're gonna get, ya know? I mean, you try your damnedest to choose a good husband, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're gonna get a good dad. We have three now. 8, 6, and 2. The last two are girls and, as horrid as I was as a teenager, I'm not really worried about them. They have a stand-up dad. (Lest you think mine wasn't, and that's why I sucked as an adolescent, I lost him to cancer when I was 13 - a bad age to not have a dad around.) He's gonna be all over coaching the teams. Girls or boys, whoever decides to play. He's the guy at school who all the classmates are drawn to. We're gonna be the house where all the lonely kids wanna hang out at - I can see it all now. I'm just in awe of a guy who was raised by a single mom and still manages to rock the dad roll like he grew up being trained for it. Maybe that's why: He doesn't want his kids to get what he got. I did a damn good job of picking a mate. See how I did that? I made it all about me. I'm female. We're good at that. :) Your bean is gonna suck all that positive in and it will follow her throughout her life. Whether she likes it or not. You rock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice, thank you and glad you picked well!

      Delete
  5. Never been prouder than to hear you've mastered the art of doll curlers. She may not know it now but when she starts to look for a husband that alone sets the bar high.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rollers require these little squares of tissue paper to be wrapped around the hair first. I tried to skip that step but daughter made me do it. The curls turned out crooked and her doll looks slightly insane now, but Pigtails happy.

      Delete
  6. Her dress is beautiful, so appropriate and 'little-lady-like' for her age. Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Younkers red tag sale, $70 dress on rack for $18, ow ow!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Read this article and couldn't help but think of your post. http://m.deseretnews.com/article/865597043/The-father-factor-What-happens-when-dad-is-nowhere-to-be-found.html?ref=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FHJrDeVmOmI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Got it, thanks for the link.

      Delete
  9. Once I paste my phone won't let me keep typing. Grr.

    It has to be hard work single parenting, so I commend your efforts to go above and beyond just keeping Pigtails fed, clothed and alive. It takes effort to be intentional. Pigtails is lucky she has a dad will to make her the focus of her efforts.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That picture of you and Pigtails dancing is adorable. Much admiration for the way you are raising her (from what you post, no creepy stalking here).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not creeped out at all (slowly drawing my drapes).

      Delete
  11. Fantastic post, Beard! On the backside of the kid raising gig (our daughter just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago), but they never stop being your "kid," even when they're grown. I'm so grateful for my husband -- funny how God knew what He was doing when He put us together. We balance each other out when it comes to the parenting thing. And that 18 year old knows without doubt that Daddy (and Mommy) loves her. Pigtails will have no doubt when she is a ripe old 18 year old, either. She is blessed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoping I do the right things to help guide daughter towards a solid path by the time she's 18, thanks TxMom!

      Delete
  12. Anonymous3/07/2014

    Beard, you have found the key to womens hearts everywhere - be present for your kids. LibraDesignEye likes the twirl. Here is the lovely story my uncle told me about my beloved grandparents when they discussed as a teen why it was important to save sex for marriage. I lived with my mom and grandparents for my ages 2 - 8 years so they were like second parents to me and I was fascinated by what these wise and kind people must have told him. His father told him solemnly "Sex is best with the one you love the most." And that is just the plain and simple truth that any kid can put aside but never forget.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love this post-time invested, consistent & reasonable rules, and clear boundaries TOTALLY equal love. Thanks for affirming the (sometimes) tough but necessary parts of parenting.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the note, check back for my response!