During the fun ages of around 8 to 12 your daughter is considered a tween. It’s a tough time for sure. I think it’s really tough for any dad to see their little girl turn into a young lady. These years can be quite treacherous for dads as they find out their little girl who cherished them is now growing a bit distant and undergoing some major changes. Your tween daughter will go through many emotional and physical changes during the tween years but you can keep up, as a Dad here are some ways you can learn to understand your tween daughter and continue to be an active part in her life.
Master Listening Skills
During the tween stage of your daughter’s life you will have to learn how to listen more and speak less. It seems there’s this disconnect of dad and daughter during the tween years, the daughter feels dad doesn’t understand her and dad is left confused, hurt and fearful that he will never have his little girl back. Don’t fret, during this stage of childhood you simply need to spend more quality time listening to her. Hear what is important to your tween daughter, listen to her joys and sorrows, be that shoulder for her to lean on when times are tough. It can be tough because you know you know more than she does, but you have to give her a shot, too!
Don’t Let Society Steer You
During the tween years your daughter may start to develop physically and this is most likely the hardest part of fatherhood. You watch as your little girl is starting to become a woman and it’s difficult to let go of what society tells you to think or how to behave. Learn that regardless of what society says, you are still the Dad to your tween daughter and will know what is best for clothing attire and expected behavior. Now more than ever, it will matter most that you remain consistent with rules and expectations so that your tween daughter has a consistent lifestyle based upon respect and routine. I am very traditional and I intend to raise my daughter that way. I really don’t care what here friends, magazines, or celebrities have to say…at all.
Speak Positive Words
There’s nothing more important to a tween daughter during this stage than positive words from her dad. A dad plays one of the largest roles in what type of future relationship their daughter may flock to. Remain positive, praiseful and proud of who your tween daughter is becoming and stay steadfast in supporting her ventures. Continue to watch how you respond to her dreams and goals in life, remember that she is still a child and your positive words can be the difference in what direction she takes from here in life, love and adulthood. This can be very tough, especially if you are used to tough life. Stand your ground and don’g give in, but maybe smooth out some of the rough edges a bit.
Let Go Of Teasing
If you are one of those dads who is a sarcastic being by nature (yes…present), you will need to learn to ease up on sarcastic replies to your tween daughter. During the tween years your daughter’s hormones are changing which may make her more sensitive to those sarcastic replies that used to make her giggle. Try your best to keep teasing to a minimum while you listen wholeheartedly, support her physical and emotional changes while speaking positive words that inspire her for personal growth. Surely if she was raised by a sarcastic dad, she won’t need the teasing to be completely removed, just be weary of where the limits are during this stage. Throw in some jokes, but maybe not as many or not as biting. Deep down she knows it’s in good fun but sometimes that doesn’t matter.
Just Be There
The number one way a dad can understand his tween daughter is to be present. Try to set aside time each week to spend with just your daughter, give her a Dad and daughter date on a regular basis. This is something that your daughter will look forward to and continue to feel confident that she matters as she grows towards being a teenager then an adult out on her own in this world. Just the fact that you are there, listening and trying to understand the person she is becoming will matter more than anything else during this time of raising a tween daughter. I tell her I’ll always be around no matter what…and she knows it. That’s pretty much the best we can all do.
Do Your Best and Enjoy The Ride
Good luck, it’s tough out there. Do your best and try your hardest. Pray it all goes well. Always remember to enjoy it while you can. They grow up fast, as you can see. College seems to be just around the corner, so hold on to that little girl as much and as tightly as you can.