I can still remember the day my daughter was handed to me and I promised her, while kissing her head, that I would protect her. When I was younger, prior to married life I would say I lived life to the fullest. And being a dad has made me grow up and I always like to reflect on what being blessed with a daughter is really about. As she turns 6 the job gets bigger and bigger every day so here are my thoughts on what’s important, as a Dad in progress.
1. Spend time
You’ve got to spend time with your daughter to have a build a good relationship. The fun times make the times you’ve got to step up and set boundaries less challenging.
2. Give them space
As much as you want to wrap them up you’ve got to give kids the space and the confidence to learn new things and take risks. I want my girl to fly.
3. Help with the homework
Do the homework together – phonics is a mystery and I don’t know all the dinosaurs but we’re on that journey together.
4. Be a role model.
In the future when she has a partner (that day will come as much as we want to deny it) – I’ve GOT to accept that my relationship with her mother sets the standard. I want her to seek a man as good as her daddy, not despite of her daddy.
5. Lot of cuddles
Give her cuddles and tell her you love her often, this needs to be genuine and not while on the phone. You don’t want her to grow up seeking this male attention.
6. Know her friends
Know who her friends are and always have an interest – this means you can advise when the inevitable fall-outs come and keep an eye out for trouble.
7. Say sorry
Let her know that you’re human and you make mistakes, say sorry if you get it wrong.
8. Be the adult
Remember that you’re her father and will always will be so as hard as it can be we need to act like the adult in this relationship.
9. Be approachable
Allow her to be able to talk to you about anything even if it makes you angry or disappointed or scared.
10. Tell her she’s enough
Make sure she knows that she’s enough just as she is. That she couldn’t be any funnier or prettier or cleverer because she’s the whole deal, and you love her.
The 10.5 part is that with all of these things in place you may have a chance at earning the best relationship of your life.
I’ll go back to listening to Nas now and take my daughter off to kick boxing.
Written by Jermaine Smith (from The Smith Family)