Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Daddies and girls

One bit of advice that I always remember reading by James Dobson is to love on your teen with touch. Typically, at the time young girls change into women is the time typically that fathers tend to pull back from them, whether it be in communication, or touch. Perhaps they just don't know how to respond or what to do about this little girl becoming a woman...understandable. (I struggle myself!) Dobson says this is the very time that fathers should, more than ever, continue to love with touch; whether it be holding hands, giving a hug, or simply playing around, like tickling.

This week, my oldest turns fourteen. This brings out so many mixed emotions in me. On one hand, I see the potential in her, the way the Lord has taken care of her. On the other hand....this is my baby. I'm not ready to see her get bigger. However, I do know, that if the Lord is Lord over her life, then I am in peace about whatever she will endure. He does all things well, and He never leaves or forsakes us.

The other night, we ended our family devotion time by going around the table, and saying one encouraging word to the person on the right. In the end, my daughter was to say something about her dad.

"Dad...I like you because you can make most anything funny. And...I like that you are my dad."

More than anything, I was thankful for those words: She likes her Dad! Oh, that speaks volumes to me...and says a lot about my husband. I'm thankful he loves her with touch, with words, with tickling. He's a special guy.

As women, whether we are aware of it or not, we look for admiration, for love; through men in our lives. Conversely, men (and boys) look for the same in women. Another Dobson piece of information I think about. It's the reason our little girls shine more brightly when daddy says: "You look so beautiful today, honey." or "I love that skirt on you.", more so than when we say it. It's that special bond between daddies and girls that is so necessary for their growth.


Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Does it make you feel good to know you don't look old enough to have a 14 year old??? :)

I have no practical advice or experience as a mom to only 7 and under...but I sit by and watch and glean for years not too far off!

Terry said...

I agree wholeheartedly. As a mother of daughters, I am ever thankful for my husband's presence and diligence in nurturing their relationships.

Beck said...

That's some good advice. I'm still years away from having teens, but we all know how fast those years go..

Goodlikeamedicine said...

So sweet!

I agree...

To this day it still really bothers me if my dad seems to indicate his disapproval, even if my husband doesn't care about the issue.... I've always really cared to know what my father thinks and whether or not he is pleased!

Side question - so do you like Dobson's books? I've never read any of them. I know you like some of the same books that I do, so I'm just wondering. I think the reason I've never read them is because I'm a nonconformist and don't jump on bandwagons... which is a really stupid reason to miss out on any good teaching or blessings... so, what do you think?

Andrea said...

I have only read "Strong Willed Child". A lot of the advice I heard from "Focus on the Family" radio or reading it in their magazine. Overall, I like what he has to say, even if sometimes it's a little soft. That ministry has done some great things.
I've also heard the book "Raising Boys" by him is good, so I might check it out at the library at some point.
And, yes, sometimes even nonconformists can put themselves in boxes...*smile*..we can learn from everyone and that is humbling.
Thanks, Kristi, I always enjoy hearing from you.

Goodlikeamedicine said...

I'll definitely check those out...

Someone actually told me last week after keeping my daughter in church nursery that I need to read Strong Willed Child... thanks!! haha! :)

Sarah said...

I've heard it said that the best way a father can protect his daughter from unhealthy relationships with boys/men is by being the man she holds those men up against. In other words, if you're not as good as my dad, forget about it! I think that is so true about Dads being affectionate with their daughters too! I can see how the early teen years is exactly when we need it the most.

miriam said...

I am really blessed too, in that my husband is very affectionate with our daughters, and our boys too. I must admit that sometimes it stirs difficult things in my heart, because it is so different than the interaction I had with my dad growing up. But I do recognize that it's a good thing ultimately.

Andrea, I'm very curious... in what ways do you view Dobson as soft?

Brenda said...

It's so true. A friend of ours told his daughter she couldn't go out with a guy b/c he didn't open the door for her. She didn't even argue--she knows her Daddy treats her like a Princess and wants a husband who will do the same.
Having a great dad can really raise your standards.

Andrea said...

LOL, I don't want to open a can of worms!!
By "soft", I mean his advice is very easy to take by a broad range of people. I hope that makes sense without stepping on toes. There is nothing in the world *wrong* with that, don't get me wrong. I *need* that kind of advice, for certain! But at times I don't feel challenged by some his books I have read. But I dearly love his ministry and Focus on the Family broadcasts. I especially appreciate his activism on pro-life.

L.L. Barkat said...

A good father is a gift incomparable.

Mary Brooke said...

Andrea, My husband and I enjoyed reading this. Our daughter is only 1 year old and we haven't read a lot of daughter-specific wisdom yet. God Bless you, Mary Brooke

Katherine@Raising Five said...

What a beautiful thing for her to say - at such a key point in her life. Y'all are doing a great job, Andrea. Expect good things!