Great Daddy Dates
Father sets high bar on dates with his girls
By Pastor David Bowen, Standing Stones Community Church, Standing Stones Christian Academy
February and Valentine’s. The month of love. As a father of three girls, I have always understood the influence and responsibility that comes with the privilege of being called dad.
In a world seemingly getting more selfish, I have made it a point to teach my girls to be generous and understand how people, especially ladies, should be treated.
Since they were 4 years old, I have been taking them out on “dates.” Every Friday morning, I take one of them out for our date breakfast. They choose the place. When they were younger it used to be McDonald’s. Now it’s places like Cracker Barrel, which means our “dates” have become a monthly budget item!
Why do I do this? Because I want to instill in them that going on a “date” is a special thing. It’s not something you do casually or with just anyone. There has to be some meaning in having one-on-one time. It’s not to be taken for granted. In parents’ language, when it comes to my girls and future dates, I have purposely set the bar high. I have taught them that gentlemen open doors. If a guy doesn’t show this kind of respect, he’s not ready for dating.
What do we do on these dates? We talk about stuff. When they were 4, we talked about Mickey Mouse; as they get older the conversations become deeper. Recently, one of my daughters asked me if we will still have dates when she is older. I responded, “Yes, especially when you’re older!”
I asked my girls what their favorite dates were. According to them, here are some great daddy dates.
At breakfast, we have planned a “surprise” family dinner. One of my girls goes above and beyond with this one. In the late afternoon, we sneak back out and pick up dinner, then she comes home and decorates the table, complete with fancy name tags.
One of my daughters loves to play games on our dates. She especially likes to beat dad at checkers.
One time we planned a family “camp out.” We went to the movie theater to get some popcorn (I’m sorry, but nothing beats movie popcorn), then we set up a tent in the living room; had some snacks; watched TV; and then lights out, the whole family in a living room, camped out.
Another favorite date was one that lasted for most of the day. After breakfast, she went to work with me. I worked half a day and then we went to the park to play.
Before vacation, my girls like to be the last date before we leave, because they get to pick out fun stuff for vacation. We will go shopping and get stuff to do while in the car or on the plane and stuff to do while we are on vacation (such as items to use in the water or on a beach).
Sometimes our dates revolve around other people. A couple of times, at their suggestion, we went to the hospital to visit someone, and a few times we packed and delivered a food box to a family in need.
Holiday dates are great as well. We buy special decorations, something one of the girls picked out. They each have different tastes and love to have their item decorating the house.
Dating my daughters is often the highlight of the week. It’s a time to enjoy being together but also a time to help guide and prepare them. They need to not only hear about but witness and experience appropriate boundaries.
When it comes to dating, I have the advantage of being their first experience, and as I said, I get to set that bar!