Posts Tagged ‘dads’

Chick-fil-A’s Daddy/Daughter Date night

June 23, 2010

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I had a date with my 18 year old daughter last night.  We’ve had a lot of dates during her 18 years.  This one was a little different.  I took her out to a really nice restaurant with table cloths, reservations required and great food.  No, it wasn’t a 5 star-expensive eatery.  It was a local Chick-fil-A restaurant in West Little Rock, AR.  And, it wasn’t my idea.  It was their’s–Chick-fil-A’s.  Using Facebook, the owner/operators sent out a message to all the Facebook Group members that they were having a daddy/daughter date night on Tuesday, June 22.  All you needed to do was to email or call to reserve your seat.  I thought, “what a great idea”.  Hadn’t had a date with my daughter for a while and we both love Chick-fil-A so, why not.   Then, after stopping there for lunch earlier in the week, there was a little bag stuffer that reminded me of the Daddy/Daughter date night.  I asked my daughter if she wanted to go and she was quick to take me up on the offer (probably because it was a free meal 🙂 but maybe because she wanted to spend some time with the old man too).  But, she thought that most of the “couples” might be dads with their young daughters so we went as “uninvited” guests–on the “dl” (down-low for the uncool).

We entered and saw the tables in a section of the restaurant reserved for dads and their dates.  Just before  they entered the restaurant they were given a name tag and checked off the invitation list.  The owners posted reservations in half-hour increments from 5-7 pm.  So, dads and their daughters were streaming in while I enjoyed dinner with my date in another part of the restaurant.  As the couples entered they were greeted by the CFA “Eat Mor Chikin'” cow.  After they ordered and were seated they enjoyed one of the finest chicken sandwiches (or whatever they ordered) on the planet (in my humble opinion).  Then, upon leaving, the young ladies were given a carnation as a reminder of their special evening.  Some of the dads took their young dates to the play area for an after dinner slide or climb.  All the while, my daughter and I shared a nice meal together, connecting about our days–nothing earth shattering–just some good, quality time together, along with many other dads and daughters.

For all of you restaurant owners/managers out there…here’s a great way for you to contribute to the health of your city.  By providing an evening event for dads that was easy for them to act upon, this Chick-fil-A manager provided a win/win scenario.  The popularity of the event meant he had not reserved a portion of his resaurant in vain (I spoke with his wife (they are friends) and she said the 5pm slot was sold out–not sure how the others went but we saw a steady stream of dads and daughters pouring in during and after our time there).  Additionally, there may have been some new dad/daughter date night traditions kicked off in that Chick-fil-A restaurant that night.  Overall, it was a great event for the restaurant and for dads in the Little Rock area.  Way to go, Chick-fil-A!!!  Dads…it’s also a great reminder to start dating your daughters AND your sons on a regular basis.  Chick-fil-A made this one a no-brainer.  But, it’s not hard.  In fact, I’ve heard of dads who have put on their “Sunday best” and come to the front door to pick up their finely dressed date.  Make it special…make it fun…make it simple—-but do “make it”.  And, if they are grown—start now.  Never a better time than the present to spend time with your children, no matter how old they are.

Well, I guess it’s time to start thinking about where I need to take my wife on a date now.  Any other restaurants in Little Rock want to invest in marriage dates?  I’ll be checking on Facebook.


Dad Day: Gifts and Laughs

June 15, 2010

Ties.  Ugly Shirts.  Suspenders.  Hammocks.  What do all these have in common?  Well, they are typically some of the most often cited gifts that dad’s either actually or supposedly receive for Father’s Day (which, by the way is this Sunday for my kids who might be reading this—yea right ;).  For the most part, my family has done well to provide nicely chosen, practical and useful gifts.  I really can’t offer any funny anecdotal story about some hilarious gift I received from my kids.  But, I know some of you can!  So, here’s the deal.

What are some of the most funny, useless, returnable, memorable, or otherwise discussion-worthy gifts you’ve ever received (or given) on Father’s Day?

P.S.  For a list of what NOT to give Dad this year, check out this list:

DadPad: Quotes & Notes

February 19, 2010

From one of my favorite movies:

Stanley T. Banks; Father of the Bride
You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. She looks up to you. You’re her oracle. You’re her hero. And then the day comes when she gets her first permanent wave and goes to her first real party, and from that day on, you’re in a constant state of panic.

As the father of two young women, I’m awaiting the day that my daughters meet “Mr. Right”.  For now and until that day, I’d settle for being their hero 🙂 (next to the Lord, of course).

Dad as Connector – Part 1

November 5, 2009

1st of a 2-part series of how Dads can connect their sons  and daughters to themselves and other men and women.

Get ConnectedPreviously I wrote a series of “Dad as…” blog posts.  (see the DadPad archives to read them).  They were Dad as Coach, Counselor and Consultant.  Here’s another—Dad as Connector.

Outdoor activities like hunting, fishing and camping are not at the top of my “bucket list” activities.  That is, I didn’t do them much growing up, have dabbled a little in each of them over the years, didn’t spend a lot of time engaged in them with my son and don’t plan on making them lifelong chases.  It’s all rather unfortunate, really.  They are GREAT activities for connecting sons and fathers at a deep level.  I can almost definitively say without any hesitation that where a son and his father have connected in those kinds of pursuits, there is a deep bonding between them.

During the 16th year of my son, Bryan’s, life, we did something that was special and it included camping and some fishing.  A group of 5 dads and their sons concluded a year long small group study using PromiseKeeper’s Passages material with a celebratory trip to the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota.  It was a memorable trip for a number of reasons.

First, we were out in the outdoors together.  Laughing, hiking, fishing, canoeing, tenting and so on.  Then, I had written a 4 page letter to my son to share some real intimate, personal thoughts that I had of him to encourage him.  I told him how proud I was of the young man he was becoming and of my continual prayer for the man of God I envisioned and prayed for him to grow into.  I read–Bryan paddled (no motorized water equipment is allowed within the Boundary Waters Canoe area).  Anyone who understands physics and weight distribution challenges in a small canoe can imagine what happened next.  Trouble ensued as I read and my much lighter son paddled into a stiff wind and waves.  I had plenty of time to read my mini-novel to him because it was apparent we weren’t going to get to any destination quickly.

Many memories of the weekend linger but the one that remains etched vividly is what we did the last night together.  We lit a fire in the pit.  Then, one at a time each dad stood over his seated son, laid his hands on his son’s shoulder and prayed for him.  Additionally, the group of dads prayed collectively over the 5 young men.  The dads verbally committed to pray for their son as well as for the others in the group.

I think of those men and their sons often.  This summer one of the men of the group got married and Bryan was in the wedding party.  I love each of the fathers like they were brothers.  It was a special year…a special group.  Those men took the time to speak into my sons life and I know they are words that still resonate within him today.

Though that weekend did not turn me into an “outdoorsman”, I connected with my son.  We have other interests and things we do together and though I do wish that we had more of those kind of experiences we’ve connected in other ways.  We have shared interests in football and other sports, spiritual conversations about growing in our walk with the Lord and even some more personal intimate accountability discussions.  Laying the foundation of connecting has helped us to stay connected through the years and, I pray, even after he embarks on his life post college and singleness.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:  How do you connect with your son or daughter?  What ways have you found to use both your interests and purposely finding out what they are interested in to deepen your relationship?  Make a decision to start engaging them in activities that will bring them into your world and bring you into their world!  You’ll never regret it.

Confused Them With Confusion

April 16, 2009

When I was playing high school football, film day was on Monday. I never looked forward to Monday. No matter how well I played, there was always something I knew would be caught on film. After one particular game, which we’d won, I’ll never forget my head coach telling us how he thought we’d won the game. He said, “We confused them with confusion.”

You’ve probably had conversations with your kids that would lead you to believe they were trying to confuse you with confusion. One of my children once told me she was being disrespectful because Iconfused was disciplining her. Of course, I was disciplining her for being disrespectful. I tried to explain that using that logic was like telling the police officer you were speeding because he pulled you over. She didn’t get it. Clearly we weren’t communicating.

Two days ago, I was checking one of my other daughter’s blood pressure. We needed it for a camp she’ll be working at this summer. The display on the electronic cuff showed normal blood pressure, but an irregular heartbeat. I checked two more times with the same result.


Dad Duties Part I: Dad as Coach, Counselor and Consultant

April 1, 2009

There’s a theory out there in the annals of “daddom” that the lifecycle of fathering can be loosely characterized by three major phases; Dad as Coach, Dad as Counselor, and Dad as Consultant. Over the next few posts, I’m going to break these down and look a little bit deeper into each of these “job descriptions.”


Motivational. Inspirational. Teaching. Leadership. These are just a few of the adjectives that capture the essence of being a great coach. I love sports so when I hear the word “coach”, my mind is immediately filled with some of the great coaches in sports history. Guys like Vince Lombardi, George “The Gipper” Gipp, or the legendary George Halas. Then there’s always a local lore that brings my mind back to coaches of my favorite teams. Coaches like Bud Grant of the once dominant (never Super Bowl winning) Minnesota Vikings, Billy Martin of the Minnesota Twins or Murray Warmath of Gopher football fame. No matter who comes to mind for you, every successful coach possesses these traits.

Coaches are motivational. Some of the greatest speeches ever uttered have been shared in the locker room of college and professional sports teams. (more…)