I’ve heard it said that a lot of men do best when they’re challenged. And not just challenged to do something that could be possible, but dared to do something far greater than they could ever imagine doing.
Case in point: I watched a documentary a while ago where men voluntarily attended a week of grueling military boot camp, paying large sums of money to be pushed past their limits. Why did they do it? They said it was simply to prove that they could.
A question comes to mind as I see men who are willing to go the distance physically: Would they be equally responsive to opportunities to prove that they can push past their limits in something potentially more important, that of pursuing and engaging their daughter’s heart? I understand that it’s often confusing, exhausting, and downright frustrating to figure her out as she matures (hence my reason for talking about this as a challenge that pushes you beyond your limits…a lot!). Yet she needs you, Dad, to hang in there as a fully engaged father throughout her entire lifespan.
So right here, right now, I am counting on the fact that you as a dad, with this specific challenge, will rise to the occasion---or will keep rising to the occasion---to prove your commitment to fatherhood. In response, I offer you both a truth and a dare.
Truth: Commendable men take the initiative to invest in their kids, accepting challenges even when it means sacrificing their own comfort, needs, and personal agenda.
Dare: Take your daughter on a date (a scheduled time where just the two of you can talk freely and openly where you are investing in her with your time, money, energy, and focus) and ask her three of the most important questions you could ever ask her.
But first you must let her know that you won’t get hurt (at least in a way that is outwardly expressed to her) or angry in response to what she tells you. Assure her that you want her honest feedback so you can be the best dad you can be to her.
One other thing: If your daughter (or son, should you choose to do this with him too) does better with expressing her thoughts and feelings in writing, she may prefer to write her responses to you. Then make sure you talk about it with her later. Having the conversation in person may be hard, but is really powerful when you add your voice to the mix.
Dad, if you’re willing to accept the challenge, then here goes. Here are three questions to ask your daughter…if you dare:
1. On a 0 to 10 scale, what rating would you give me as a dad? (With 0 being the worst and 10 being the best)
2. What are three things I’m doing as your dad that make you feel like I’m on your side and supportive of you?
3. What could I work on to be a better dad to you? (These last two words are key because, as you know, each one of your kids has unique wiring and therefore needs you to individually pace with him or her accordingly)
So there it is----three of the most important questions you might ever ask your daughter.
Prove to yourself today that you are a proactive dad who initiates by starting the daring conversations with your daughter. It can all start by courageously challenging yourself to ask three simple questions.
On your mark, get set…ask!