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A Memorable Date Night With My Daughters

Our two girls on our “date” last night

One of the best books I read shortly after the birth of our oldest daughter – nearly 11 years ago – was titled What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter’s Life by Dr. Kevin Lehman.

I found this book to be very insightful and helpful as a new father.

The most important lesson this book taught me was the crucial role that the opposite gender parent plays in the healthy development of their opposite gender child.

While both parental roles are important Dr. Lehman asserts that the role of the mom has a critical impact on her sons, while the role of the dad has a critical impact on his daughters.

Why Dads Matter

Without all the Oedipal and Freudian psycho-sexual overtones, Lehman simply states in the book that dads establish the definition for their daughters of how a man is supposed to love and interact with a woman in a healthy relationship.

The dad not only establishes and reinforces a positive relationship with  his wife – which the girls observe and internalize – but the dad also establishes a positive relationship with the girls themselves by being present as well as understanding and believing in them.

To reinforce those positive experiences with my girls, I’ll seek out “date night” opportunities with them. Last night was one such night and it was a complete surprise to our daughters.

Daddy-Daughter Date Night

The girls and I participated in a Daddy-Daughter Date Night event at a local Chik-fil-A restaurant. My wife and I were co-conspirators in keeping the secret from the girls to maximize the impact of the evening.

We made reservations online and when the girls and I got to the restaurant, there was a section cordoned off for the event complete with decorations and a red carpet.

I was encouraged to see that the Daddy-Daughter section was amply stocked with fathers who took their role as dads as seriously as I do.

Special Memories Created

The young lady who greeted us, and happened to be the event organizer, gave each of my girls a rose and escorted us to our table, where we had table-side service for the meal.

She also took our picture and gave us a copy of the photo as a memento of the night before we left, as well as provided us with a brochure packed with conversation starters that we talked and laughed about while we ate.

After the meal I took the girls to see a funny animated movie, Hotel Transylvania that centered around the relationship of a father and his daughter.

The Best Part

It was a great date and we got home a little before 9pm – which my girls couldn’t get over because it was a school night!

The pinnacle of the evening came as my wife and I tucked our daughters into their respective beds and each of them told us – unprompted – that it was the best time they had in a long time and they’ll never forget it.

What more could a dad ask for?

Question: How have you spent special time with your children?


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  1. Great reminder, Tor. The time we invest with our children are what they remember, value, and enjoy the most. My son turns 9 in a few days and lately I have been reminded how I can’t get this time back. I get one shot at this.

  2. Tor, I love this! Tom always took our children on individual date nights too. How wonderful that Chick Fil A is providing such a great place and service. I have a feeling you’ll remember this night for the rest of your life too. May you have many more to cherish.

  3. Another great reminder about the importance of this. My wife and I have talked about this many times and tried to set up dates with our daughter and sons but we always get side tracked after just a couple of dates. We NEED to schedule this and stick to it as it really does show results when we do follow through. Thanks for the reminder, Tor.

  4. I so agree that daddy’s are important to little girls. The bond you are working on now will be important to your little girls as they grow. Our little girl got married this summer and she and her daddy still have a very special relationship.

  5. This is so cool, Tor! A life well-lived requires such intentionality. You’re an awesome dad, and great role model to me.

  6. Love this Tor! I went with my daughter to the Chic Fil A Daddy Daughter date night a while ago and it was so much fun! I was so impressed with the event. It was a truly memorable experience. I have a weekly date with my daughter whether it means making cookies at home or going to the park or sometimes even the donut shop. I love it!!!

    I truly look forward to those dates and it makes my day to hear her say, “I want to go on a date with daddy!”

  7. Great tale, Tor. This is always important- but more so, now that you have JrJrJrJrJrJrJr around, which always makes the older kids wonder if they will be shunted aside.
    While I would have chosen a different locale, the dinner and the movie were a fantastic pair to offer your kids the one-on-one time with dad they need.

  8. Attaboy Tor!
    My wife and I both try to carve out time w/ our kids separately. Most recently I took my 10yr old son to see The Avengers. It was good father-son bonding time. :)

  9. Bonnie Anderson says:

    I love seeing daddys and daughters interacting, and it sounds like you planned a perfect evening for your girlies. This is a great encouragement for dads. Love it and will share on fb.

  10. Jennwith2ns says:

    I have an 18-year-old stepdaughter as of last March; obviously we’re the same gender, and she’s “older,” but my husband and I both feel like it’s important for her and me to bond, so I take her out once a month for fun girl stuff. This month it’s also her birthday, so we’re going to get our nails done. :-)

  11. Joanna Hyatt says:

    I love this!! What a great way to love on your daughters. And win for Chick-fil-a!

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