Posts Tagged ‘“dating your children”’

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.

Dating Dads

August 3, 2009

No, this is not a blog article condoning dads to date outside of marriage.  Rather, it’s one to encourage dads to date their kids.

I first heard of this concept about 15 years ago when my children were 7, 5, and 3.  Bob Lepine and Dennis Rainey discussed this as something that every dad should do with their children.  I never went on a “date” with either of my parents so this was a foreign idea to me.  Now, I’ve not been great at doing this on a regular basis but I have made it a habit to intentionally take each of my children out individually to do things that they enjoy.

To make it easier for me I set up a system to date each of the kids monthly on the date of their birthday.  For instance, one of my daughters birthday is January 3.  So, I picked out the 3rd of every month as our “date night”.  Realistically, I have not ever been consistent with making that day for each of the kids every month.  But, it did cause me to try to get time with them each month as close to that date as possible.  I might miss a month or two but it was on my calendar and in front of me regularly.

Sometimes we would go out to dinner (this was/is the most common date event).  We’ve been bowling, putt-putt golfing, walking, riding in the car, breakfast, coffee house times, etc.  The key is not the “what” but the fact that I make time to be with them.  During our “date” times, I simply try to engage them in discussions that may not always come up in everyday discussions.  I might press into their friendships, guy/girl relationships, spiritual activity or questions, frustrations they might be going through at home, school or with friends or any other number of things that are on their mind.  Specifically, I really try to listen.  I’m not very good at just listening without offering “dadsdom (wisdom from dad)”.  But I do try.  Sometimes, we don’t talk about anything of real importance.  We end up just hangin out together.  That’s fun too.

Spending time with your children individually is one of those investments in life that will NEVER come back void.  It communicates your love to them and that you value them as individuals.  If you’ve never consistently set up times to “date” your children, it’s not too late.  In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve dated my children so I’m going to do the same.  Put a time on your calendar and surprise them with a nice evening at their favorite restaurant or doing their favorite activity.  Call them on the phone or send them an invitation.  Make it fun and they’ll not only appreciate it but they will remember it the rest of their lives!

SHARE:  What ways have you made an effort to “date” your children regularly?  What’s worked?  What benefits have you experieced by spending quality time with your children?