4 Ways to Have a Good Father-Daughter Relationship

I poked my head into the second-grade classroom where my 7-year-old daughter was having a snack. I called her name, waved at her, and smiled. Her face lit up, and she ran across the room and gave me an incredibly tight hug. A small detour for me meant the world to her.

Dads have a unique ability to make a daughter’s heart sing. Still, many dads struggle to find ways to connect with their daughters and stay close to them. Here are 4 ways to have a good father-daughter relationship.

1. Get to know the things she loves.

Whether or not it comes naturally, it’s important to learn about the things your daughter loves. Get to know her favorite stories, songs, and characters. Engage with these on her level. Point them out to her whenever you come across them in day-to-day life (bonus points if you remember their catchphrase or sing their song!). Your choice to care about the things your daughter loves will teach her that you value her.

2. Master the art of doing her hair.

Many dads have never had long hair and don’t understand the work that goes into making long hair do its thing. It can be intimidating to try and get the knots out of your daughter’s hair, to make the perfect ponytail, or to braid it. Try anyway. Let her do yours from time to time as well. Not only will this provide you with focused, intentional time together, but your efforts to learn a new skill for her benefit will also help your daughter learn how much she means to you.

3. Discover her love language.

Gary Chapman strengthened marriages by teaching spouses to learn one another’s  love “language.” In addition to marriages, these love languages can apply to all sorts of relationships, including fathers and daughters. Learn your daughter’s love language and make an extra effort to speak it. Feeling secure in knowing she is loved by her father will be a strength your daughter will lean on for years.

4. Do it with more power.

If you ever watched Home Improvement, you’ll remember how Tim Taylor would go to great lengths to soup-up just about everything from a riding lawnmower to a “man’s kitchen” by giving it “more power.” As a dad, you have a unique ability to bring more power to the things your daughter loves. If she likes to play tea party, take her to the fanciest teahouse in town. If she likes to dance in the living room, put on your finest suit and take her ballroom dancing. Finding ways to share unique experiences with your daughter will make for core memories she’ll think of again and again.

Sound off: What are other ways to have a good father-daughter relationship?

Huddle up with your daughter and ask, “What is one thing you love to do with me?”