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Portland, OR
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I exist to help dads learn to communicate and engage with their young adult daughters.  I provide resources from my vast amounts of research and experience with dads and daughters, and this is the place where you'll find the tools you need to become the hero you've always wanted to be.

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Dad, Here's Your Valentine's Month Challenge

Michelle Watson

Valentine's Month (3).png

You may think that you misread my blog title because I used the word month instead of day. But I assure you that you’re seeing things correctly. Let me tell you why.

For many men, Valentine’s Day is that one day each year when they know that if they forget the card, candy, flowers, or the fancy dinner, they’ll be in the doghouse. So the motivation sometimes is more about not getting in trouble than it is on reaching her heart.

Here’s the deal: The underlying desire for most women is that we just want to know that we’re loved and valued and treasured more than one day a year, especially when it feels a bit forced since it’s a manufactured holiday.

So if you, as a dad to your daughter, want to be the hero that she needs you to be, then on this first day of February it’s time to capitalize on this opportunity to show her love for an entire month, not just a day.

Here’s a not-very-hidden Venusian secret: We women love love. And even for those who may be less outwardly demonstrative when it comes to emotional expression, inside the heart of every girl and woman is a God-given desire to be pursued and cherished, adored and known.

And if you as a dad miss the opportunity to pursue your daughter’s heart at any point, she’ll go looking for love elsewhere because this is a legitimate need, not just a want.

Let me back up my statement with an illustration.

As you probably know, Hallmark has a corner on the market this time of year when it comes to cards. In fact, did you know that approximately 150 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making it the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas?

Thus, it comes as no surprise that they have expanded their efforts beyond sentimental words on the page and are now referred to as “the Hallmark movie empire.”

Since stats are a powerful way to underscore a point, here are some confirming facts regarding their nationwide domination in the area of romantic cinematic expression:

  • In 2010 there were 6 original Hallmark holiday movies

  • In 2014, there were 12

  • In 2015, the network added 21 new movies to their lineup

  • In 2017, they produced 33 more

  • And in June of 2018, they announced that they were debuting 90 additional new movies that now span all year long!

 
What this says to me is simply this:   If someone isn’t experiencing true love in their lives (which may or may not include heartfelt romance), she—or he--will be drawn to watching someone else live out their romantic story.

What this says to me is simply this: If someone isn’t experiencing true love in their lives (which may or may not include heartfelt romance), she—or he--will be drawn to watching someone else live out their romantic story.

 

And even though every single Hallmark storyline is predictable, cheesy, unrealistic, anticipated, scripted, and improbable, the draw we have to the fantasy becomes a substitute for reality, particularly when it’s non-existent.

So Dad, here’s where you get to shine. Become the Prince Charming in your daughter’s romantic story. Whether she has a special someone or not, you can let her know every single day during this entire month of February that she is your treasure.

Start today and make a commitment to communicate love to her daily for the next 28 days. And rest assured that some days will be more significant in terms of your time, money, and energy, yet by mixing it up it will add strength to the impact of your loving expressions.

Here are some practical ideas to get you started:

  • Text her an affirming message (to highlight something you’ve not typically highlighted before, such as a character quality that you admire in this season of her life)

  • Write a note and send it via snail mail so she sees your loving words in your own handwriting (and if she’s like me, she’ll save it forever)

  • Call her to tell her why you thought of her today (leaving a voicemail message is a great idea so she can replay it again and again)

  • FaceTime her and ask questions about her day, her feelings, her fears, and her dreams (make it your goal to get her to talk while you listen)

  • Send her flowers (and make sure to send a card that tells her why she’s amazing in your eyes)

  • Buy her a gift or two (tangible expressions of your love---where you put your money where your mouth is--- it will remind her that she’s your treasure for days and months to come)

  • Stop by her workplace or school and leave a treat with a note (which I guarantee will be shown to all of her friends and they’ll wish you were their dad!)

  • Take her out to breakfast, lunch or dinner (let her choose the place…and then between the time you set up the date and the time you spend together, it will bring joy to her heart as she looks forward to time with you)

So there you have it, dad: your February challenge

I can hardly wait to hear how you, as dialed-in dads, give Hallmark a run for their money this year by showing who the real hero is in your daughter’s story.

(p.s. Write and tell me how it goes so I can celebrate with you!)