Dads matter! A lot!
Here’s a wonderful post from a guest expert Joe Bruzzese, M.A. Got questions about the middle school years? He’s your guy! Please feel free to contact him if you have questions.
I asked Joe, What can dads do to positively affect their teen daughter? Here’s his advice:
- Wait and listen. Great coaching for parents of either gender but truly a top tip for dads with teenage daughters. Open your mouth too soon and watch as your daughter connects a series of eye rolls and facial contortions that will make you wish you had worked late at the office. Choose instead to wait for the rare opportunities when your daughter says, “Well, what do you think?” Although few and far between, when your daughter asks for your opinion the resulting conversation can be truly rewarding and lead to further discussions in the future.
- Model. I’m speaking of course about modeling in the sense of demonstrating what a positive male role model can be. Modeling as a profession is better left to men half your age and your daughter will take every available opportunity to reinforce this point. Eventually, your daughter will walk through the door with the “love of her life”. The only profound effect a father can have on this decision is to model the attributes that he would hope for in his daughter’s suitors.
- Laugh. A simple yet powerful action that can wipe away tension faster than a trip to Macys with a loaded credit card. The lives of teenage girls (and boys) become embroiled in daily drama that can quickly move a dad past the point of calm and into frustration. Focus your energy on finding the comedy in everyday situations that you know will one day subside. Although I suggest laughter as a “to-do” my recommendation comes with a caveat. Laughing in your daughter’s presence may be perceived as an attempt to bring attention to her thoughts, words or actions and thus should be held for moments when you are either alone or in the presence of other dads.