Larry Snavel and I published a new book on Issuu, this time about me and my father. A rather strange book I must say, but anyway, here it is.
This is what Larry wrote:
In order for a father to cultivate a healthy relationship with his daughter he must confess that he is completely inadequate to the task of rearing children. The effort to improve the relationship must come from the father, for the daughter is almost always waiting for dad to make that first step. The father holds all the power since it is he that holds the jewel that his daughter longingly seeks to adorn herself with. A jewel she will show off to any who express even remote interest. How can fathers do this? The first step is a simple yet extremely hard decision to make, and even harder to live up to. A father must decide to believe that his daughter is more important than any activity in his day. Once this state of mind solidifies, action will become easy when his little girl asks to spend some time with him. You might not be able to imagine the delight of a little girl when her daddy drops what he is grossly involved in just to have a tea party with her. Notice a very dramatic change in a daughter’s demeanor when you just help her set up the saucers and tea cups. See the instant degradation of her spirit when you have a “need to finish this now” attitude. Know that most fathers would never play tea party, because many men laugh and playfully ridicule it. But laughter has no impact because you will be long forgotten when the little girl recalls the experience when she is grown. Know that when she dances with me as her prince, she will someday walk over to me and hug me. She may not recall a reason to do so, but will, just because she knows that a father love her with all his heart.
Perhaps the most obvious, yet most overlooked, way for a dad to win his daughter’s heart is just to look into her eyes and tell her that he loves her. Men may never understand how this simple and sincere action stills any stormy waters in her heart, but it happens. It seems those three words are the most powerful that daddy’s little girl will ever hear. It will give her the confidence to face many of life’s challenges because if ‘my daddy believes in me, then I can overcome this present obstacle.’ Be sure to tell her you love her and prove your love by active involvement in her expanding life. Fathers, look each day for tasks or works that your daughter has done and let her know what a great job she did. She will live higher on that compliment than a day’s worth of food.
Hold on loosely but don’t let her go
All fathers admit difficulties in understanding their precious girl whose hormones have kicked in. After all, no man would claim (at least in front of a woman) that they understand women. So why should they be mystified about not understanding their daughter who is turning into a young woman? Fathers must start looking to have their daughter’s wings spread as soon as possible.
A great deal of father and daughter disputes arise when fathers unknowingly hold on so tightly to protect their children from harm, that the children crave freedom to the point of rebellion. Fathers, have you ever thought about extending the curfew for your daughter by a half an hour per year or two. Otherwise, disputes over the 10:00 curfew will escalate until the (unacceptable, in the daughter’s eyes) 10:30 comprise is reached only to be broken by an hour anyway. Dads must let their trust be known to their daughters. Don’t be afraid for them to make mistakes, but don’t be afraid to let them know that you fear for their well being. If you have this outlook, you can tell them you trust them to grow and decide things for themselves. The hardest thing any father can say is, ‘I am no longer in complete control of my child.’ However, it is better to let go in small increments than to face defiance and have them rip control away in fits of rebellion.
Remember to hold on loosely, and you will never have to fully let go, because daughters who know their fathers trust them will never be far from their daddy’s hearts. Fathers, do not drive daughters away with an angry yet yearning heart, for the consequences may be very high for both you and your daughter. Let love and trust be a mantle piece over the doorway to your soul, always being the adored daddy by your little girl.