Since The Top Needs of Teenage Daughters has been one of my all-time most popular blog posts, I asked my husband Rodney to share about the teenage years from his perspective. I hope you enjoy!
Guest Post by Rodney A. Wilson
It’s been a while since either of our two daughters were teens. (No dears, you’re not getting older – just prettier!) Yet, I can still hear their voices in some of the following statements as they told me – some verbatim, some in spirit – what they needed from their daddy as they approached and journeyed through their teen years. I think we all came through it rather well. (Thank-you, Lord!)Dads, do you know what your teen daughters need from you? Here are 8 essential things: Click To Tweet
So here are some thoughts that bring back a lot of (mostly) fond memories on daddy and his daughters, with a little commentary from Rodney along the way. Apply as needed.
1) Run after Jesus. Let me see you reading your Bible or praying in difficult times. You might have blown it, but let me see you seeking the Lord in those moments.
If there is going to be any God-first mentality in me, any biblical serving in my life, any “As for me and my house” spirit of Joshua 24:15 – it’s probably going to come from you. I need a daddy who will run after the Lord so I will do the same.
2) Celebrate the changes in my life. I don’t always like the changes that are happening to me right now. My body is not the same, my peer group is different, school’s harder, I’m so insecure and the boys are crazy now!
Some dads would say, “Where is that cute little 5-year-old? I miss her.” Well I miss her too, but it’s not my fault I’m changing. Help me celebrate the changes I am working through.
Jen and Nat loved the philosophy Selma and I adopted that each stage they went into became the best one ever. And it was true, including their teen years!
3) Don’t stop hugging me. Let’s still wrestle. Or tickle me as you always have. Or hold me when I need holding. Give me permission to cry or be silly even though I might not be able to explain why. I’m coping through these years and need you. As changes in my life occur, I need the constant of my daddy’s touch in playful and loving ways.
4) Show me how a man should treat a woman. I’m probably going to marry someone a lot like you. And he will treat me like you treat me now. Please think about that. (That indeed happened with both of our girls. A lot of people have told us that. I can’t help but still cringe when I hear that. Heaven help them!)
5) Model a good marriage for me. Whether it’s with my mom or stepmom, I need to see that you value marriage and are working on yours. This will encourage me, down the road, to make my own marriage a priority when things get tough. If you are married, I need to see that you care about it.
6) Apologize to me. Talk about building authenticity! You are real to me when you admit that you’ve done me wrong. It’s okay. In fact, it’s healthy. When you tell me you were wrong and ask for my forgiveness, you are telling me, “I want you to know that I know I am not perfect.” That means the world to me. It might be the ultimate act of honesty you could give me.
Whenever I would apologize to Jen or Nat, it would be such a “cleansing” experience for me. I started it when they were young and those little hands would hug my neck and say, “Of course I forgive you, Daddy!” Wow. Just wow.
7) Talk to me. I know my world is getting farther and farther from yours, but don’t give up on connecting with me. Ask me about my friends, my music, and guys, of course! Show me that you are interested in my world although it is rapidly changing.
As she was entering 7th grade, Jennifer asked me to read a book that was assigned to her. She said she just wanted me to know what kind of books she was being told to read. That began an ongoing conversation as to what she was reading throughout her teen years and one way of staying connected to her.
8) Don’t give up on me. If I am defiant, sassy or disrespectful (and I will be some), respond. Ground me. I will be mad but I will know you care. I am not a lost cause, I’m just a girl who has never been a teen before. I’ll push your boundaries, but I will feel secure if those boundaries are secure.
I’m getting closer to being an adult but I am not there yet. So don’t check out on being my parent. Sit down with me when I need it.
Show me anything but apathy. Please don’t throw up your hands and quit. Apathy tells me you don’t care and I sooo need you to care. Teen life is tough. So many changes, so much pressure. I need you there, checked into my life.
No, you won’t do it perfectly, but these are some reminders from the daughter’s perspective that can help you when you feel out of place or out of touch as a dad. Hang in there … and refer to need #1 frequently.Here are 8 things teen daughters from their daddies: Click To Tweet