What Makes A Great Dad GREAT?
When my second Father’s Day rolled around, I asked my female friends what it meant to be a great dad to a little girl. Savannah was our one and only child, so I wanted to do it right. I have never forgotten these words of wisdom my friends shared with me – some not so easy to swallow – but I have tried to live up to them. Here’s the original question and their answers.
Ladies, what makes a great dad GREAT? I have a 20 month old daughter and I’m sure I’m a good dad, but if you ladies had a great relationship with your father, or if your friend had a great dad, what was it that made him great? What makes a great dad to a girl? (of any age)
KT: Unwavering character.
TP: Complicated for me, since my mother passed away when I was 4 years old and my Dad had to play many roles. He was never the most hugging/loving type, but now that he has Grandbabies, he has made trips down to Tampa for no reason. My Dad endured so much loss in such a short time and somehow managed to raise 2 kids who did well for themselves. He will always be a GREAT Dad in my mind!
JB: My dad stepped into the shoes of another man and raised me! That makes him the greatest dad ever in my eyes!!
JM: Unconditional love! And I did not have a good relationship with my Dad but I know he loved me.
JHW: Times spent fishing with my daddy, just the two of us.
AM: Just be there for her, no matter what. When she gets older and she feels she can come to you with any problem without being embarrassed, ashamed or judged makes a big difference.
JW: Humor, but know when to dispense it. When she is crying over her first breakup……that is not the time for a joke. Let her cry and when she is through, then make her laugh and smile. Take her fishing. Take her out to fancy dinners. Take her and her friends to a concert. Believe in her, no matter what. If she goes to art school, don’t shake your head and wish she got a business degree. Rejoice in her confidence to follow her dream, and believe that she made the right decision for her (even if you are cringing over the nude models, lol). And whatever you do, when she goes on her first date, do not write the boy’s name on a shotgun shell and show him when he comes to pick her up! Looking back I find that HILARIOUS, but at the time……omg!
SKJ: making family priority….
ASB: Making time for his little girl….
MM: My father has been a heroin addict since I was a little kid, so he is not the man that I look to when I look for a great dad- not to mention he has been out of my life for many years. My husband, however, is a TERRIFIC daddy to our little girl (17 month old). He is there for her anytime she needs him: plays girly games with her (as well as teaching her about sports and cars already, lol), paints her nails, lets her pick out her own shoes, etc.
From my experience with other males in my life who have been “father-like,” they have offered advice, but supported me no matter what decisions I have made. And they have been there for me during the most trying times of my life. Some of those men include uncles, friends dads, father in law, but they are the men who I recognize on Father’s day.
Dan, just be there, in the present, for her and listen to her when she speaks- which doesn’t mean that you MUST agree with her. Allow her to believe that as long as she turns out as smart as she is beautiful then she will be able to do whatever she decides with her life. And never refuse her cuddles. Do those things and you will always rate as top daddy!
LH: I would argue that I have the #1 dad in the world. There isn’t one thing in particular that makes him great. I guess the sum of the machine is better than the parts 🙂 For example, growing up (and still today) my dad would always tell me how proud he was of the things I was doing in my life. It’s a great confidence booster and it’s neat to see someone else get excited about your life. I also looked up to both my mom and dad for their ambition and hard work ethic. I am always proud to say they are my parents and it gave me motivation to be just as successful. Also, when I was a young girl, he used to make up stories before bed time and me and my sisters were the main characters of his stories. He had multiple character voices and as a kid we thought that was GRReat! Overall, my best memories were from our cottage growing up. We used to have bonfires, bike rides, berry picking, picnics etc. We were also allowed to paint our cottage bedroom. It’s pretty neat to go back and see a sketch of our hands from every summer growing up- one for every summer growing up.
RW: Be non-judgmental and give her unconditional love.
DH: Love, support, encouragement, honesty, and tons of laughs!
HB: The way you treat her mother, and other women. She will learn from you how to be treated by men. Shower the women in your life with patience and affection.
MNR: Lots of time for her, interest in everything she tells, she does, she worries about. Honesty, confidence and trustfulness.
CRW: Having fun with the family even with the small things
DPM: KT hit the nail on the head. One manifestation of this is loving your daughter’s mother. That is the model for her future relationships.
If your dad was great, feel free to say why. The learning never stops.
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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1425128559&sr=1-1 and check back often for interesting stuff.