The schedule of activities most children have these days leaves little time for fathers and daughters to spend together. Even if you can’t control how much time you have, you can control the quality of that time. Here are five simple, inexpensive and mutually enjoyable activities that allow for time to just talk. Making the effort is the most important part of spending daddy-daughter time, and she’ll definitely appreciate the attention.
It’s the old standby and one that still results in maximum satisfaction. The best movies on the big screen manage to keep kids interested while peppering in low-key humor for adults. If your daughter’s young, look for age-appropriate DVDs and make a date on the couch. If she’s older, take her to the theater for hot new releases. If you’re feeling nostalgic, look for some classic father-daughter movies like Father of the Bride, Juno, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast and My Girl.
Take a break from everyday surroundings and disconnect the computer, games, TV and phone. There’s something special about getting outside and back to nature that enables parents and kids to bond. Hiking is a simple activity that teaches her that nature has some pretty awesome hi-def, hi-res graphics of its own.
Golf or Miniature Golf
Golf’s slow pace has made it a favorite setting for business deals because it allows for plenty of time to converse. Make a golf outing a dad/daughter tradition, and she will also learn sportsmanship and common etiquette.
The value of reading is obvious and has even more benefits when it becomes that special time that you share with your daughter. Make it a point to read with your daughter even when she’s very young. As she grows older, have her read a passage or two out of her current reading material and talk about it in more depth. You’ll be amazed at the level of complexity and critical thinking of which she’s become capable as she’s grown.
Whether you choose to go fancy or casual, pull out all the stops and find a mealtime tradition for daddy and daughter only. Consider a twice-a-month Sunday breakfast date, late lunch after school, or dinner at a different local joint each time you go. During this time, minimize the distractions and make sure both of you turn off your phones. Make it a standing appointment and don’t schedule anything else during those special times.
Whatever venue you choose, father-daughter time is special, and the attention you give her will boost her self esteem — and yours.