Posts Tagged ‘dating’

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.

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Dad–Need Some Advice on Helping Your Daughters Date WELL? Win a Book to Help!

March 19, 2010

If you answered yes to the question in the headline, then you’ve come to the right place.  Yesterday, I said I would be a dad’s best friend by helping you create a way for you to win with your daughter and your inner conviction that dating shouldn’t be a battle zone between you and her.  You can win on both fronts!

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Dennis Rainey, President of FamilyLife, has written a very short and practical book entitled, Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date.  I have found the book very beneficial in helping me develop a strategy for getting involved in my teen daughters dating world without being shunned or hated (and I hope it will last into their pre-married dating as well).  They needed to understood that my role as father is not to deny them the opportunity to date or to fight them about their dates.  Rather, it IS to provide safeguards so that they feel protected and cared for IN their dating.

When they knew that my love for them includes wanting them to date young men who a) have their best interest in mind, b) are grounded in their Christian faith,  and c) desire to be admirable in their intentions they have been much more open to allowing me into their dating world.  The opposite is too often the case:  we (dads) are becoming too un-invested and unaware in our daughters lives (and sons too) of one of the most important rituals we go through as men and women—checking out the other for potentially being together for life.

Therefore, I am taking it upon myself to help out the dads (3 of them to be specific plus those who want to check out the book on their own) who want to become more involved in this area of their daughters life by GIVING AWAY 3 copies of the book, Interviewing Your Daughters Date (just in time for Prom :)).  Here’s how it works:

Simply comment on this blog post about any of the following (or something related you want to share):

  1. Why you want this tool in your “daddy arsenal”.
  2. How can you see having a tool to help you in the area of helping your daughter date being valuable
  3. Mistakes you’ve made in this area that other dads can learn from or things you’ve done well that we can also learn from you about.
  4. The challenges of being a dad in this dating crazy/earlier dating/sexually explicit world we live in
  5. Your related thoughts…

At the end of the March I will randomly draw 3 names from all who commented and send you the book to help you out.  I will announce the winner on the blogpost for March 31.  I hope it helps!

**note that this is a personal giveaway and not affiliated at all with FamilyLife.  I am purchasing the books myself and giving them away because I think it’s important for Dad’s all over to get involved in this area of their daughters lives and to do it well.

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DadPad Quotes & Notes: Prom Night (not the movie)

March 18, 2010

~ Right then I realized, my day had passed. She’ll always love me, of course, but not in the same way. I was no longer the man in my little girl’s life. I was like an old shoe. The kind we manufacture and get all excited about, then after a few years discontinue. That was me now. Mr. Discontinued.~  George Banks

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That quote from George Banks, the dad in one of our family’s favorite movies (Father of the Bride-1991) is related to his daughter getting married.  Well, our daughter isn’t getting married (hopefully she’d actually be dating someone first) but she continues to knock out the logical hurdles as we move closer to that date in the (very distant :)) future: Prom Night.

In the last post I shared with you the way I, as a father, viewed this whole Prom thing.  The idea of watching her dress up for a night that signifies her last major event before before graduation and then off to college, gives me a little pain, a little tear. And, seeing the price of the dress brings more pain, more tears.  But that will all pale in comparison to the tears I will shed when I have to give my daughters hand away to the man God has brought to her for marriage.

Currently, we are far from that.  Prom night reminds me that we’re not as far off as it might seem (or as I might like it to be :)).  Truthfully, I’ve been praying for both of my daughters’ wedding day since before they were born (and my son’s as well).  Though there are no guarantees, I’m confident God will answer according to His plan for their lives.  Yet, before we hear wedding bells we will hear door bells from some Neanderthals who come by to date our daughters.

Dennis Rainey of FamilyLife (the ministry that my wife and I have served with for the past five+ years) has written a book entitled, Interviewing Your Daughters Date, and in it he has provided some great counsel for dads when it comes to meeting the knuckle-scraping young man who’s come to take your daughter out.  The idea is to actually interview her date well before the actual evening arrives.

Now, I’ve only had to do this interviewing-thing twice (for my oldest daughters Prom date–even though she wasn’t interested in him in THAT way and for a very short dating relationship my youngest daughter was in as a Junior).  But, each time, I used Dennis’ tips to help me conduct the interview.  Here are just a couple of the things he mentions in the book, Interviewing Your Daughters Date– a few of the 8 Things to ask or share with your daughters prospective date during the interview:

1) Make sure he understands that your daughter is the most precious gift in the world and she is God’s handiwork.

3) Remind him that you were once a teenager with raging hormones so you know EXACTLY what he’s thinking

7) Confirm that he understands your message

You’ll have to get the book to get the whole interview down pat.  GOOD NEWS!!  Check back on Friday because I’ll be sharing how you can win a free copy of Dennis Rainey’s book, Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date.

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DadPad Quotes & Notes: My Little Girl is Growing Up!

March 16, 2010

A father is always making his baby into a little woman.  And when she is a woman he turns her back again.  ~Enid Bagnold

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It’s not a date on the Hallmark Calendar you got for Christmas but it is a date that every dad of a high school daughter is (or should be) keenly aware of–Prom night.  It’s the night where your little girl goes out to spend zillions of dollars on a dress with very little material.  Of course, being the involved dad means you tell her, “You need to get your money’s worth and buy more dress”.  And, in addition to the dress and all the extras, there’s usually one other item of interest to the dad…the Date!  Not the calendar kind of date but the young-guy-with-hormones-raging-gonna-be-with-my-precious-little-girl-all-night-without-my-supervision kind of date.

This is our last “Prom Night” (not the horror flick–hopefully :)).  Our “little girl” is graduating from high school and this is her final Prom.  So, of course, she’s been out picking a dress for the occasion.  It’s one time that I was thankful she had a cell phone with a camera.  I actually didn’t have to go to the store because she could send me a picture of the dress.  Of course, those dads who are better at this gig than I am would have taken the time to go with their little girl to help her buy the dress (sorry, my angel).  Now, let me share this with you after having gone through this a few times with our oldest daughter and again with our youngest daughter–this is not the time to make a stance for modesty if you’ve never done it before.  I’m not saying you should let her go out in a provocative, skimpy, revealing dress.  What I am saying is that you will have much more leverage with your girl when she is choosing a dress you wouldn’t let a mannequin wear if you have already laid the foundation of having “the modesty discussion” earlier in her life.

My wife and I have not always done this well but we tried to lay the foundation early on in “assisting” our girls choose clothes that would not be too revealing and demeaning.  We fought, I mean, discussed outfits with them from a pretty early age.  Instilling modest approaches to choosing clothes wisely has not been easy.  But, it certainly has helped as they’ve gotten older to have “the talk”.  Short shorts, bikinis, low dipping shirts, bra straps, tight t-shirts, etc.  We’ve talked about them all.  I know that in this day and age many of you reading this will look to see a picture of my wife and I and expect to see her wearing a habit of some sort and me holding a pitchfork.  Yet, this is one area that I wouldn’t let society talk me into its “norms”.  There’s too much at stake.

There’s an adage that “clothes” make the man”.  If that is anywhere close to being true, than, clothes can also destroy the man.  There are plenty of biblical verses to dressing modestly.  Additionally, it just makes sense.  I’m a guy.  I know what a 16-year-old boy is thinking about (and a 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, …. yr old is thinking about too).  And, though I want my daughters  to experience the joy of looking beautiful, we’ve been as diligent in helping them see that their beauty is much more about who they are internally than what they look like externally.  My daughters ARE beautiful externally (I know I’m biased but they ARE).  More importantly, they are beautiful internally, and I believe they believe that too.  Therefore, they don’t focus on the external as much as they could.

I could go on and on about this subject but it’s an important issue to discuss, especially during this time of year.  The sheer cost of the evening is a whole other discussion.  Tomorrow, I’m going to discuss the handling of the other part of this night…THE GUY.  Stay tuned.

For Discussion:  How have you handled dealing with your daughters dress?  What mistakes have you made that you can share so other dads (and moms) don’t make the same one?  What encouragement can you give as you’ve helped your daughters make a stand toward modesty?

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Dad as Counselor

April 7, 2009

Merriam Webster defines a “counselor” as a person who gives advice. In the role of a lawyer, it’s someone who is an advocate for another. Both are descriptive of being a dad in those “tweener” years. Somewhere north of 7 or 8 years old and prior to high school, our children begin to put things together. The role of coach still applies (see previous two blog posts) but our kids are not as easily persuaded to simply take our “game plan” and they begin to want to know the “why” of life. They also need to know they have an “advocate”, someone who is on their side no matter what happens. Dad, you are “da man” for the “da job”.

dad_n_kidAs Counselor, you don’t need a degree in psychoanalysis to succeed in this role. You just need to begin taking time and invest in your children so that they can begin to ask questions about the life they are growing into. Somewhere between the ages of 8-10, I set up a time to “date” my children regularly. Coming up with a plan is half the battle. I took the birthdates of each of my kids and set that up as their monthly date night. (more…)