That response would quickly be followed with, “Whose turn is it next?” While Monday night is set aside for family home evening at our house, Thursday night is set aside for dad to have some special one-on-one time with one of his daughters.
Daddy-daughter dates can positively influence a young girl’s emotional and spiritual life. President Ezra Taft Benson taught us that daddy-daughter dates are one of the ways “fathers can give spiritual leadership to their children.” A young girl’s sense of self worth, sense of acceptance, and understanding of how males and females interact, are all significantly influenced by the relationship she has with her father. This relationship carries on into adulthood and influences other relationships she will form later in life.
Our approach to daddy-daughter dates is simple. Each Thursday night, one of my daughters and I have a simple activity –a date. We rotate whose turn it is from oldest to youngest. Here’s what we do:
1. Early in the week I remind one of my daughters that this coming Thursday is their turn for a daddy-daughter date. I ask if she has some ideas on what she would like to do.
2. When Thursday evening comes we kneel down in prayer and ask Heavenly Father to bless and strengthen our relationship and to help us have fun!
3. We enjoy our activity.
4. We have a treat, usually ice cream with toppings.
We have found that daddy-daughter dates don’t need to be long. Recently my three-year-old daughter, Rebecca, and I made a simple craft that took about twenty minutes, the ice cream took as long as the craft! Usually the activity is the choice of my special date. It should be something she enjoys and something she wants her Dad to be a part of.
Run errands together: “Going to the hardware store to pick up random things for Saturday projects, then getting a milkshake on the way home was always my favorite growing up,” Ashley Jones said on our Facebook page.
Have a tea party: Invite her and her dolls to have “tea” (aka lemonade or hot chocolate) and dessert. You can even dress up for the occasion!
Go to the driving range: “My dad was a big golfer and he used to take me to the driving range. I was horrible at golf but I had fun and loved spending that time with him,” said Ashley Evanson, the Online Editor at LDS Living.
Have a picnic at the park or playground: Pack a meal together and head out to the playground. Play on the swings, throw a Frisbee, or see what kind of shapes you can make out of the clouds.
Try a new restaurant: “When my mom went out of town every once in a while, my dad would take me out to dinner to an exotic food restaurant. We would go eat Indian food, Moroccan food, and stuff like that. It was fun to feel like we had our own little tradition, and that we were trying new things together,” said Kate Ensign-Lewis, the Associate Editor at LDS Living.
“Pinewood Derby!” Katijo Allred Meyers said on our Facebook page.
Visit the library: Have her pick out a stack of books, find a quiet corner, and read them together. See if you can find some of your favorite childhood books and show her what you used to love.
Play a sport: “My dad and I would play basketball or go on bike rides together,” said Ruthann Cunningham, the Circulation Coordinator at LDS Living.
Go bowling: This is a great activity for young girls or teens. Make it fun by having silly contests: who can get the most pins down by rolling the ball through your legs, who has the best warm up routine, etc.
*What is your favorite daddy daughter date? Leave a comment below.