Rock it out

I’ll admit that I was pulled in by the video of a dad singing Bohemian Rhapsody with his kids on the way to school.  I just love how the dad starts a tradition with his kids, especially with his daughters, just showing them how to have a good time.  It’s just a ride to school, after all.  But I’ll bet you that’s one awesome ride to school.  C’mon, growing up, you would have thought that was awesome until the age of 13.  Then it would just embarrassed you.

No...THIS would embarrass you

The video did make me step back and pause, though.  What sort of traditions am I making with my kids?  We often think about Christmas traditions, 4th of July, or the last day of school for doing something special, every year.  But did you think about on the way to school?  How about on Sundays?  What about before every baseball game?

I recently chatted with a co-worker that was reviewing the blog and she mentioned that her dad was a shining example of an engaged dad.  His tradition?  Every softball game of hers, he was there and watching, and afterward he’d take her out for Wendy’s.  Look, Wendy’s isn’t the most amazing food (I’m asking for arguments, right there), but it’s not about the food.  It’s about that dad investing the time with his daughter.  He built her confidence up bit by bit, by every game he was at and every Wendy’s meal he bought.  That’s a good tradition.

Way better than "Butterfly Kisses"

So what’s your tradition with your daughter?  Is it a Daddy-Daughter Date?  Is it watching her softball games?  Is it a ride to school?  Whatever it is, it might be something so simple and so basic, yet it’s building that confidence, brick by brick, by you being that engaged dad.  Don’t have a tradition?  Look around on the blog; you’ll find something.

Dads rock. Enough said.

Thanks for being a dad….

-Scott-

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Daddy-Daughter Date #20: Grocery Shop

Time: 1-2 hours
Cost: Your grocery budget
Recurrence: weekly
Age: infant – 12
Impact: =)

Grocery shopping may not seem too much like a Daddy Daughter Date, but we’ve already seen a few dates on this blog that are day to day activities that can be turned in to a special time for dads and their daughters.  Chances are, you probably need some groceries at some point.  Chances are that she would be willing to go along with you.  Both of you may even earn brownie points with mom by taking care of the shopping and giving her a little bit of break from child-care (unless you have multiples).  Grab your list, a few reusable grocery bags, and your daughter to go do some shopping.

She's got a Groupon for those Cocoa Pebbles

Your daughter’s age is going to make a big difference in your experience here.  I think taking an infant is a fine thing as a date, as you can still talk to her and interact with her as you’re shopping.  As the age levels go up, your daughter can take more and more responsibility during the shopping trip.  The critical element is having a game plan ahead of time WITH your daughter before you enter the store.  If it’s her first time there, walk through the rules of the grocery store (no running, shouting, or GRABBING ANYTHING Dad DOESN’T TELL YOU TO, etc).  If it’s not her first time, still walk through your expectations for her in the store (see above).

"Lisa, where are you honey?"

Plan out how your daughter is going to help.  Obviously, you want to gauge your daughter’s sense of responsibility first.  Maybe she’s just going to push the cart, maybe she’ll be finding different foods in a different aisle.  If your daughter is the appropriate age, going an aisle or two over with a specific item to find is a good self-esteem builder, but it should be something she has seen before and knows how to locate easily.  Don’t ask her to find a new version of the crunchy peanut butter with 50% reduced fat, no sodium, and gives 5% back to the rain forests.

While inside the store, talk through the choices you’re making.  Show her how you buy on value or buy on quality.  Your daughter, even at a young age, will be able to understand differences.  She knows when you have an haven’t shaved, correct?  She’ll be able to pick up why you’re buying whole grain bread versus regular wheat.  Talk about prices and have a calculator to keep a running total BEFORE you get to the counter.  That is an amazing way for her to learn about money and sticking to your budgeted amount for groceries.  She’ll learn to make choices with her money, when the time comes.  Once you get to the checkout line, have your daughter see how close you came.

"Why did you spend $40 on Cocoa Pebbles? I thought you had a Groupon..."

At the end of the trip, make sure to have a few bags or items light enough that she can carry.  This helps her realize that she’s part of the team and can make a contribution.  It might be just a grocery run, but she’ll see it as a time with Dad where she felt needed.

DID IT! with Adam from Fodder4Fathers
“My wife and I both work, but every weekend, my daughter and I go shopping.  So, it just me walking down the aisles with my daughter.   So I’m walking with the cart, but she’s right in front of me, so no one can actually see her.  Often times, it will look a ghost is just pushing the cart, because I’m walking behind it, she’s pushing it, but I don’t have my hands on it.  I’ll get strange looks because I’m throwing things in the cart, and she’s banging in to stuff and the carts going all over.

My favorite part of that is just watching the eyes of all the moms, just staring, like, “Why doesn’t my husband do that?”  People that are from older generations just watch you and say, “You’re doing such and amazing job!”, but I’m like “How is this any different from a mom doing something like this?” “

“Dads and daughters have a different relationship than boys.  That one on one time is really the only way to get her over Mommy-itis.  Like, if it’s the three of us together, it’s almost impossible to get my daughter’s full attention.  Being a dad has totally changed my life.  My life is still about me, but now I get so much joy from doing things from her. I’m the one that wakes her up the morning; I’m the one that takes her to daycare; I’m the one singing kid songs out loud, when no one else can see her in the back seat.  I’m the one that makes her dinner.  Being a dad, it’s just a great joy, especially with a daughter.  “ Adam @Fodder4Fathers

Thanks for being a dad….

-Scott-

How do you sacrifice for your daughter?

What kind of sacrifice do you make for your daughter?  Okay, that’s heavy, I know, but just stay with me here.  Some dads will ultimately identify their work as their sacrifice for their daughters.  Sure, you could say “family” here in place of daughters, but some of my readers are single dads just making it work on his own.  I think it’s safe to say that every man sacrifices, at some point, for the ones he loves.

We sacrifice willingly.  As dads, we wake up every morning feeling the responsibility of each and every member under his house.  He feels the needs to forgo his own enjoyment to direct, decide, protect, and provide.  He has great power, and with it, great responsibility.  I think Uncle Ben said that once.  Right before he got a cap popped in him.  Hmm.

Why do I discuss sacrifice?  Because I’ve seen it, first hand, what a dad is willing to persevere for his daughter.  I’ve seen a dad faced with mountain that he decided to climb, rock by rock, cliff by cliff, for his darling child.  I’ve seen it first-hand.

I now present you with that dad

So Homeskillet here probably is a CPA or a Director of Marketing somewhere and has been planning this trip to Disney for 8 months.  He’s got it in his mind which parks to go to and what they’re going to see.  He probably paid through the teeth to get the last rental car available and unfortunately found out that EVERYONE ELSE had the same idea, so he fought 2 hours of crowds just to get in the park.  And when he did, he got to carry the magic wands…..that he just paid $24 for….each.

Really, the man is probably dropping at least $6k on the trip and going to be waiting 50 minutes in line to snap a photo of his daughters with a college student dressed as Pocahontas.  The hours he toils away at his desk, preparing numbers for his boss or getting yelled at by customers, is being converted in to revenue for an already rich franchise.

OOOOOOOOO!!!!

And it is worth every penny.  Maybe it’s not princess dresses or Dora coloring books.  Maybe it’s 4 a.m. practices that you run her to.  Maybe it’s sitting through 13 years of screechy violin concerts.  Maybe it’s moving her in to her third apartment in 4 months after her latest breakup.  Dads do that.  Dads lay it on the line and do it with a smile.  She’s worth it and you’re communicating that to her in one of the only way dudes know how: by being there.  And just when you don’t think you can give any more to her or sacrifice any more, you do:

Dad Level: 99

So, how do you sacrifice for you daughter?  Whatever you do, thanks for being a dad….

-Scott-