Dad Matters to His Kids

Today and tomorrow we have the pleasure of having guest blogs from our Daily Broadcast guest, Nina Roesner.  Nina is the author of The Respect Dare.  Check out our Daily Broadcast page where you can listen to the broadcast as well as learn more about Nina and purchase her book.

A Dad Matters to His Daughter

 Several years ago after dinner, our daughter, a four-year-old at the time, wandered into our kitchen dressed in full pink regalia complete with tiara.

My husband and I were still sitting at the table, talking. She put her small hand on my husband’s arm and said, “Oh, Daddy, will you puh-lease please take me to the store with you?” My husband smiled at her, looked at me, and eyes wide said, “Uh, sure, honey, I’d love to.” She skipped off happily and he looked at me and said, “Is she going like that?”

“In the princess costume, you mean?” I asked.

His eyebrows arched. He nodded. “Isn’t that a little odd?” he inquired.

“James, your princess wishes to be escorted by her king to the store. I think it would be absolutely marvelous if you took her – as she is,” I replied.

Earlier in the evening, she’d overheard us talking about Jim running to the store to pick up a few items. She’d raced upstairs and dressed in the costume, and my heart swelled at her efforts to “make herself look special” (as she’d seen Mommy do) for the most important man in her life.

They went to the store.

They both had a blast.

Our princess goes to junior high next year, and while many of her classmates are distancing themselves from their parents, she’s weathering these bumpy years in solid relationships with her older brothers and her parents. Recently, while I spent the weekend at a leadership retreat for our ministry and both her brothers were out of town at a youth retreat, she spent the weekend playing games, watching movies, talking, cooking, eating, and just doing life with her dad. And most importantly, she was treated well by a man who prizes her, in the face of a culture that is doing its best to destroy innocence. I recently blogged about some shocking sex-based conversations I had with eleven-year-old girls. I’m thankful my husband is doing something to help our daughter wrap up her identity in what God thinks of her – while modeling for her how she really should be treated by the boys in her life.

This is the same guy who, after swearing we’d never have two dogs at the same time, gave her a puppy for her twelfth birthday. In his wisdom, he knew the years ahead would be rough with her friends. He wanted her to have the distraction of responsibility and consistency in companionship that a dog would provide. This is so far turning out great – while her friends are coming and going and changing and being hormonal (and she is, too) she has a consistent companion that helps her weather the storms. This is not the answer for every twelve-year-old, but he knows his little girl well.

A Dad Matters to His Sons

You’re also seriously looked up to by your son, even if he doesn’t say so. Several years ago, my boys, then 13 and 15, went on a road trip with my husband. I still don’t know what they did exactly, and they enjoy keeping some of that information from me. Realizing some of their antics are things that might make me nervous (they went on a week-long cross country trip to Colorado) I literally told them, “I don’t want to know. You’re all back safe and sound, and that’s what’s important to me.” I didn’t want to hear stories about snakes, hiking, or otherwise. They nod and smile and look at each other out of the corner of their eyes and inevitably begin laughing. My husband, during the discussion about my concerns prior to their leaving, took my hands and said, “It will be fine – don’t worry. We’ll all be back safe and sound, and we’ll have a ton of memories.” I had said a prayer and chose to respect the patience my husband showed me in the midst of all my voiced (and not voiced) worries. I chose to respect him as a dad, as a man, and my boys as men. That trip did more for their relationship than anything since. They’ve planned another trip for this summer, and now that they’re older, maybe I’ll want to know more about their adventures. I haven’t decided yet.

The bottom line is simply this – develop your relationships with your kids yourself. Understand that your relationships with your children are your relationships. These people are worth risking looking silly, eating too much pizza, playing hard – and choosing to spend time with. Be blessed, be encouraged, and remember that you matter.