To the Dad with a Pre-Teen Girl: Don’t Give Up
Girls and attitudes. Those two words seem to be synonymous or at least in my world they are. My daughter is only 2 and already has quite the attitude if the mood hits her. Girls are full of emotions and for Dads this can be scary. I know you may be thinking, “How can she say that she’s clearly not a day.” You are correct but I did have one and I am married to E’s dad, listening to them has clued me in pretty well. Being a girl is tough and growing up is hard, pile on the hormones, the changes, and everything about life and you end up with one crazy roller coaster.
The thing that breaks my heart about dads and daughters is that many times as girls get older it’s like dads pull back. They begin to realize they don’t relate with their daughters, the relationship becomes distant and the attitude gets to be too much to bare.
What do Dads do to persevere? How do they bridge the gap? How do Moms help? How can they make sure their little girl knows how important they are?
Dad, Hang in There
Have you ever seen the movie “Courageous?” It is a powerful story of Dads in the line of duty and what happens when families are hit hard with grief, confusion and loss. There are multiple stories happening but one that spoke volumes to me was the dad taking his teenage daughter out on a special date and giving her a purity ring.
Dads have the opportunity to set the bar for how their daughters feel they are to be treated. If they are ignored girls can go to pretty great lengths to get attention. One night stands, empty relationships, drugs, parties, etc. etc. It may seem like a lot of pressure but God created Dads to be important and it is in the pre-teen years girls need them most.
Dad, You can do it!
Emotions may flair, tempers may run hot and girls may rebel in every way, but Dad don’t give up on your little girl. Don’t give up on her potential, don’t forget God has a purpose for her, don’t see the bad actions and make that who she is. She is changing and everything is spinning in her world.
Be her constant.
Encourage her, compliment her, speak life over her, show her how special she is.
Yes, she may be pushing you and her mom to their limits. You may feel as if you are at the end of your rope but don’t give up. Pray over her continually and continue to speak the promises of the Father over her. The attitude will fade and she will grow out of it and when she does you can grow with her.
I can’t write this as a dad, but I can write this as a daughter and I know that I would have given anything to know as a pre-teen and as a teen that my dad believed in me. I know the pain I’ve carried for years and I know the struggle I’ve had to work past resentment and find love. I don’t know what my life would have looked like if it would have involved daddy daughter dates or words of encouragement but I feel like it might have made me stronger faster.
Don’t let your little girl grow up in wonder. Don’t let her search for acceptance in anyone else. Don’t give up on her and decide she’s too stubborn or hard headed. She will push but be ready to respond in love, the same love Poppa God poured out on you. Don’t give up because in due time you will see her blossom into a beautiful woman and she will know her worth because you, Dad, you were there for her when she needed you most.