Just a year into my marriage I told Sonja that we were going to have three daughters. Gut feeling, prophesy call it what you want but since our first born daughter in 1995 my life has been filled with the mystery of 'a woman'. I hope that by sharing these life experiences that others can reap the benefits of this Dads of Daughters Only journey he has me on.
Have you ever had that moment when your child is in their room supposedly doing their homework, when you get that gut feeling they probably aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing? You know in your soul that you need to put down your ipad, get up off the couch, and go check it out? But…
You quickly begin to second guess yourself. They have to be doing their homework, after all you told them too. Are you right? Are you just paranoid? Truly, they are old enough to handle it, aren’t they?
Some have been asking if it can be done, especially for those getting out of college, looking to rent, getting married, and/or looking to purchase their first home. Here are some resources that the folks at Financial Peace University directed me to, along with some resources I found in my own research.
1. Going FICO ‘free’ will not be as ‘easy’ as having a good FICO score. However, getting a good FICO score also means you have to acquire debt of some sort. Even if it’s a gas or store credit card that you commit to paying off every month … it comes with temptation and why walk the line if you don’t have to.
2. If we just put the same effort into staying FICO ‘free’ as it took some of us to get out of debt we’d be better off in the long run.
Do we let the little things go or face them for what they could become?
My daughters get a little frustrated at me sometimes when I ‘pick on the little things’ as they see it. You know the times when something happens and it seems like ‘no big deal’ to your daughter, but as a parent you recognize that if this moment passes without taking the opportunity to teach, you may have allowed a potential ‘bad seed’ to take root.
For example, Jenna the other evening is talking with her oldest sister in the dining area of the house and I am sitting in the living room. Ashli asks Jenna, ‘did your phone crack or just the protective cover’? Of course that sparks my attention and I lift my head up in their direction and Jenna is peeking at me with that look. You know the one with the ‘ I didn’t want dad to know about that’ kinda look.
I let the conversation play out and then lovingly, but firmly asked her to never do that again. “No need to keep anything from dad. Even something as simple as the condition of your phone … it’s not even about the phone, it’s about the fact you decided to keep it from me”. It wasn’t about trust on her part in this situation, it was about fear in this case. Fear of having a consequence, fear of disappointment.
So, did I over-react? As a parent what do you do? How should we respond? Do we just let it go and not address it? Is it really ‘no big deal?
How many times have you been frustrated with one of your daughters? How often during that frustration have you reached a point when your frustration turns to anger? The point when you know your blood is beginning to streak through your veins at Indy 500 speeds? Your temper gets the ‘best of you’ and whether you blurt it out or not you want to shout out … WHY CAN’T YOU JUST…
… Keep your room clean? Pick up after yourself? Do your chores? Stop putting mom and dad on the spot? Be responsible? Be kind to your brother? Save your money? Behave yourself? Be where you say you are going? Do what I ask you to do?
Seeing the speed-bumps with a secular higher education.
As a dad and mom you’ve raised your daughter in a ‘protected’ environment. When she was a toddler, you made sure the dangerous ‘things’ were just out of reach. As a pre-teen you were cautious about which friends she was being influenced by. Now as she enters adulthood she is considering going to a local community or state school and you are second guessing if that’s the right environment for her to ‘get educated’ in.
I was recently at a Christian university for a high school girls basketball tournament and at dinner one evening the adult conversation naturally led to where our daughters were heading off to college. The opinions and insights were as diverse as the families represented. However, a few themes jumped out related to what our daughters would face, no matter where they attended…
From butterfly kisses at bedtime to the daddy daughter dance
I remember when my first born, Ashli, was growing up. When she was 2, I thought wow only half way to 4, lots of time left. When she was 4, I thought wow, only half way to 8, lots of time left. When she was 8, I thought, she’s only eight, plenty of time until she is 16. Now she’s 20 with a ring on her finger and a wedding only 10 months away, plenty of time!
Wait, stop … rewind. Where has the time gone? As a dad and mom we often think and act like we have plenty of time with our daughters and then when the future arrives we sit back and wonder where did it all go.
The journey of love and relationships for Ashli has been jammed packed with ups and downs, curves, one-way’s, and dead ends. I even think there may have been a ‘what were you thinking’ crossing sign along the way, at least time or two:) But haven’t we all been there as parents? How perfect was your entry into dating and finding your life long friend and partner?
We’ve always encouraged Ashli … ‘as you follow after God, making the right choices, serving where He’s planted you, honoring mom and dad, when the right man comes along , we will know, God will reveal it’! Of course, as parents we say many things that we hope and trust one day will come true, and for Ashli it did.
A year ago when … well, let’s just let Ashli and her fiancee Simeon tell the story …
It’s way easier to choose what God has for us when we are ‘walking in the light’ rather than when we are stumbling around in the dark, making all kinds of goofy, self-serving decisions. The Bible states it nicely that ‘there is no greater joy than to see my children walk in truth’.
Both Sonja and I are happy. We have a peace. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Simeon is the right guy for our first born daughter, our ‘test case child’, one of the cherished loves of our lives.