As part of our commitment to deepening the relationship between fathers and daughters, Daddy Daughter Time’s D.A.D.U.P. program informs and encourages fathers to “Dad Up” with purposeful and intentional parenting advice.
The D.A.D.U.P. program focuses on five traits we feel every father should implement into his day-to-day parenting. Our organization delivers advice, research, and information each month to our members to help fathers realize their worth and the impact they have on their daughters’ lives.
Can you take care of a house plant? If you’re too busy to water your philodendron once a week, there’s no way you’re going to find the time to diaper, clothe, feed, entertain, and nurture a baby (not to mention get her to field hockey practice when she gets older.) Being dependable builds trust so she knows she can count on your word and you’ll be there when you say you’ll be there. This goes double for divorced Dads who don’t get to see their girls every day. When fathers are a “no-show” both children and their mothers suffer.
Listen up. No, really…listen. It’s the number one way you can become more approachable to your daughter. A recent survey stated that only 4.1 percent of the teenage girls in America felt that they could approach their fathers and discuss a serious problem. You may think she’ll come to you, but another survey from USA Today showed that girls first turn to music, then friends, then TV when faced with a crisis. Moms came in at #31. Dads? #48. There’s 47 reasons for you to make sure she understands that she can approach you when times get tough.
When you listen to her you are subconsciously telling her that she is important. There is nothing more encouraging to your daughter —preschooler or teenager—than to have her father’s undivided attention when she is speaking to him. You can add ACCESSIBILITY to this one, too. You can’t hear her if you’re not near her.
Remember that time you tried to learn the guitar? Or that summer you tried learning how to wakeboard? Admit it: You may have set out with the best of intentions before quitting those projects once the going got tough and the real work set in. Make no mistake about it, children are a lot of work. If you’re not in it for the long haul, you shouldn’t be in it at all. Remaining devoted to being a constant and reliable presence in your daughter’s life is a key factor of fatherhood. The good news is, it’s never too late to go “all in.”
It may be hard to believe when she’s just a baby, but at some point in her life your daughter is really going to get on your nerves. Whether it’s intentional or not, affirming how she is feeling is an important trait in understanding who she is and a vital part of remaining an influence in her life. Refuse to see her point of view and you are shutting down a line of communication that may be tougher than you think to reopen. Plus, girls learn from their fathers what they should expect from a man.
We aren’t saying you should excuse or condone her disrespect or unwise decisions. But maybe you can try to put yourself in their sneakers and see life from her perspective more often. It might not change any of your family’s rules or values around the house, but it might change your tone of voice when you talk to her as you try and really understand what’s going on inside.
This trait may be the biggest challenge you’ll face. It may also be the most important. When it comes to fatherhood, patience isn’t a virtue. It’s a necessity.
Make no mistake about it, you will have Lego blocks flung at your head, baby food dumped into your lap and any number of ballistic devices aimed at your groin…all before she learns to talk. Kids will be kids. They act out, test their limits and boundaries, and make mistakes. As fathers, our job is to give them a safe environment to make those mistakes and learn from them. At the same time, you’re getting thrown under the bus at work, her mother isn’t your biggest fan these days, and it feels like the last time you had a break from the grind you had a lot more hair on your head. The temptation is to throw in the towel, and go have a beer with your friends. That may be an acceptable choice but so is talking with her mother, exercising, and basically not taking it personally. Just make a plan and find a way to make sure you keep a level head.
Keep your cool. Cool Dads Rock.
MONTHLY D.A.D.U.P. REMINDERS HANDED OUT AT EACH MONTH’S EVENT.
D.A.D.U.P. Dependable – 08.31.19
If she wants to do some vaulting on a horse… that had better be one DEPENDABLE horse, right? You’ll want a horse with an even temperament, steady pace, and strong back.
She’s looking for the same type of DEPENDABILITY in her father, too. Someone she can DEPEND on to keep his cool, be a voice of reason, and help support her through rough patches. Be that dad. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. Understanding – 07.18.19
Being UNDERSTANDING starts with affirmation of how she is feeling. Seeing her point of view can help you UNDERSTAND how to be there for her. Change your tone of voice and perspective (sit down) to help her open up. That line of communication will be vital for when the problems become more challenging later in life. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. Patient – 06.09.19
When hairy situations arise, your daughter may not be at the point where she can express her frustration or anger well through words. Be PATIENT. Is lying becoming a problem? Stay PATIENT. Emotional swings? Yep, PATIENCE.
You’ll want to talk with her, stay positive, and reinforce your family’s rules. But you can’t do any of that if you’ve already torn your own hair out. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. Approachable – 05.21.19
The game of life is full of chutes and ladders. When trouble hits, you’re going to want your daughter to be able to APPROACH you.
Giving her the monopoly of your attention once a week to play board games is a good start. You’re both at eye level and spending some quality time together. It’s a great way to bond and show her you’re an APPROACHABLE father.
D.A.D.U.P. Devoted – 04.23.19
Fatherhood is the same. Remaining DEVOTED to being a constant and reliable presence in your daughter’s life is a good step. It’s never too late to “strap up your laces” (and hers) and hit the “dance floor.” You may not become the greatest dad in the world, but you’ll have shown that she can rely on you to lead. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. Patient- 03.22.19
We just witnessed some awesome Girl Power at the Monster Jam event! Kayla Blood Granger drives the Soldier of Fortune truck and was incredible behind the wheel! Here’s the DADUP card that we gave to each guest.
“Sometimes Dads just want to fix things. And if you’ve ever tinkered around under the hood, you know that fixing things can test your PATIENCE . The same holds true for our daughters. When we can’t fix the problem, or a fix isn’t what is wanted, we can get impatient and frustrated. The next time her “warning light” comes on, leave the wrench in the toolbox. A PATIENT ear may be all she needs so she can work out the misfire. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. Understanding – 02.10.19
Think this ninja course is tough? Wait until she starts dealing with social media, body shaming, bullying… there are plenty of real life obstacles. To be there for her, you’re going to want her to know you UNDERSTAND her. Look at the world through her eyes and then talk with her about the issues she’s facing. Become an UNDERSTANDING and empathetic father and she’ll know she can come to you for guidance. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. Dependable – 01.12.19
She may be adrift and needs to turn to you for shelter and guidance. Being DEPENDABLE is simple. When you say you’re going to be there, be there. When you say you’ll do something, do it. Dad Up and show her she can count on you. When she’s older and an avalanche of issues comes crashing down, she’ll know she can turn to you. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – 12.12.18
Over the past year we hope you have been able to use our D.A.D.U.P. program to stay involved in your daughter’s life.
Good Dads are a lot like Santa! (shhhh.) He is ‘Father Christmas’ after all.
DEPENDABLE – He always shows up… like clockwork.
APPROACHABLE – He never turns away a kid from his lap.
DEVOTED – C’mon, they made him a saint. He’s devoted.
UNDERSTANDING – I never got any coal. Did you?
PATIENT – Have you seen the line to see him at the mall?
D.A.D.U.P. – Devoted 11.18.18
Successful artists don’t frame things around “not enough.” There is NEVER not enough time, money, confidence, or whatever it is at that moment to do what they need to be successful. It’s called DEVOTION.
The portrait of a successful Dad is the same. If you’re not prioritizing time with your daughter, you should be. Remaining DEVOTED to being a constant and reliable presence in her life is a key factor of fatherhood. Brush up on your skills and #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Understanding 10.20.18
There are some things we’ll never UNDERSTAND… like how Pumpkin Spice Pringles actually exist. Those can’t be good.
Someday your sweet daughter will be just as confusing to you as those chips (or pumpkin spice deodorant. Yes, that’s a real thing.) UNDERSTANDING your daughter starts with listening. If you don’t listen to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big. Because to them… all of it has always been big stuff. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Dependable 9.22.18
It’s something most of us don’t give a second thought. You turn the key. The engine starts. It’s called DEPENDABILITY .
Your daughter should have the same feeling about you. You want to steer her away from danger to to be able to handle the speed bumps of life. Does she know she can DEPEND on you?
When you consistently respond to her smaller needs, she’ll trust in you and call on you when her needs get bigger.
Make eye contact. Listen and help when you can. Show her that she can look to you to be a DEPENDABLE source of nurturing, safety, protection, respect, and love. Not at home? Make sure she knows she can reach out and call you whenever she needs to… just not while driving. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Approachable 8.26.18
Most young girls APPROACH a horse with a little bit of fear. And with good reason – They’re bigger, stronger, and don’t always clearly express whether they are in a good mood or not. This may sound familiar… because it can describe you as well.
Being APPROACHABLE isn’t automatic. But it’s vital if you want to build trust and communication with your daughter. She needs to know, without a doubt, that she can APPROACH you with any issues she may be dealing with. If she doesn’t do that at age 4, she more than likely won’t at age 14.
Get down to her level. Sit with her. Listen. Nibble sugar cubes from her hand. Ok, maybe not the last one (Unless you’re playing “horsey” and you’ve got a sweet tooth). APPROACHABILITY is the goal. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Patient 7.18.18
No matter how great of a dad you are, there are days you’re going to get “soaked.” Something in your daughter’s world is going to burst and splashes of emotion are going to come raining down.
Or it may be you that’s getting bombarded and events have left you wondering when the barrage will end. Here’s your reminder to take a breath and remain PATIENT .
When it comes to fatherhood, PATIENCE isn’t a virtue. It’s a necessity. Your daughter looks to you as an example of how to deal with stress (even stress she’s caused.) Pro Dad Tip: Make a checklist of healthy ways to handle overwhelming stress. Keep it handy and use it to help keep your cool. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Approachable 6.10.18
You want to protect her. You want to help her develop and grow. you want her to succeed. None of that happens if you don’t know what she’s dealing with from day to day. To get that line of communication, you must become as APPROACHABLE as you can.
There are hundreds of little things we can do as parents that either build up or tear down the hearts of our kids. By simply listening and letting her know she can come to you when she needs an ear, a hand, or a shoulder to cry on, she’ll see you as someone she can APPROACH and confide in. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Devoted 5.6.18
It would take a pretty DEVOTED candle maker to make a candle for each variation… and that’s just for one flower.
But what really makes a candle’s scent blossom is the flame. That’s your job. You are the fire that keeps burning for your daughter. Remaining DEVOTED to being a constant and reliable presence in her life is a key factor of fatherhood.
It’s never too late to spark something special. Your DEVOTION and dedication to her can start at any age (if it hasn’t already.) Dad Up and DEVOTE time for you and her to connect. Your heart may be the only thing that gets melted. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Understanding 4.24.18
But if you take the time to try and UNDERSTAND her point of view, you may avoid shutting down a line of communication that can be hard to reopen. Your daughter could be going through normal physical and hormonal changes or there could be a change of social circumstance. It’s pretty common for young girls to experience dramatic emotional ups and downs.
Your job? Relate more and ‘fix’ less. They say that 90% of being a good dad is just showing up. But that other 10% is vital and it includes trying to UNDERSTAND the world from her viewpoint so you can keep your relationship strong and grow closer. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Approachable 3.11.18
It’s a pretty safe bet that your daughter will find you APPROACHABLE enough to reach out if she feels herself falling. It’s a physical reaction and hopefully your roller skating skills are up to the job and you won’t tumble with her.
But being emotionally APPROACHABLE is much more important. When her world starts to slip, you want her to reach out to you before she turns to her friends, TV, or social media for guidance. Recent stats show only around 4% of teenage girls feel that they can APPROACH their fathers to discuss a serious problem.
You can change that. Start by listening. Undivided attention goes a long way in showing her that she can APPROACH you when she needs some real advice. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Devoted 2.11.18
And it’s that type of DEVOTION that you need to be an all-star Dad. It’s the repetition of being a constant guide in her life, with the day to day stuff, that creates the muscle memory to make it second nature.
Remain DEVOTED to staying involved and being active in her life. Be her coach. Be her cheerleader. Be her defense. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Dependable 1.21.18
Ultra violet light is invisible to the human eye. but it’s effect is impressive in the right situation (like the DDT Glowzone!) Along that same line, many things you do as a father aren’t things your daughter can necessarily see until the right situation arises.
One of those things is your word. When a situation where she really needs you does come up, will she know that she can DEPEND on you?
Being DEPENDABLE builds trust so she knows she can count on you to be there when you say you’ll be there and do the things you said you would do. The payoff? The glow on her face when she realizes you are a Dad of your word. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Patient 11.12.17
Not many famous artists were an overnight sensation. It took years of practice and plenty of PATIENCE before they became great. If you want your daughter to grow up to be your “masterpiece,” you’ll need that same level of PATIENCE . It doesn’t happen overnight.
Parenting is an ever-changing art form. You have to constantly adapt and think about your “canvas” in different ways. Some days your brush strokes are smooth. Other days it feels like you’re finger painting and drinking the rinse water.
Take a breath. PATIENT parenting starts one day at a time. While you may never become a Rembrandt, the time you spend each day remaining a calm presence in her life may help produce a truly priceless work of art. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Devoted 10.21.17
They are a finicky bunch. Pumpkins are a thirsty plant to raise but too much water and they rot. Too much sun or humidity throws a wrench into things too and that’s before squash bugs are even in the picture. You have to DEVOTE a lot of time, energy, and money. Sound familiar?
That same DEVOTION should come into play when you’re raising your daughter. Like the farmer, you can’t take a day off… even when you aren’t at your best. They continually need your guidance to grow every day. To her, you are the water and sun (and we suppose that would make that boy you don’t like the squash bug.) #dadup and make sure you DEVOTE time for her every day.
D.A.D.U.P. – Understanding 10.09.17
Glow in the dark mini putt. It’s just like regular, grown up putting… but it’s in a completely different-looking world. You still use the same techniques to read the terrain, line up the putt, and hit the ball.
Your daughter’s feelings. They’re just like regular, grown up feelings…but come from a completely different-looking world. Self esteem, dating, peer pressure, depression, substance abuse. The techniques you use to deal with these issues may not be the same techniques she needs to use.
UNDERSTANDING what she’s going through, from her point of view, is important. While you’re dealing with Bermuda grass, she’s working her way through windmills. It starts with your ears. Listening and affirming how she is feeling is an important trait in UNDERSTANDING who she is and a vital part of remaining an influence in her life. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Patient 9.23.17
You know the feeling. You are hitting every red light and each one seems to last forever.
You take a sharp breath, grip the wheel tighter,… and then remember that your daughter is in the car with you. What you do next will affect how she sees you as a father. PATIENCE may not be your strongest trait, but it is vital in being the father she needs you to be.
Red lights will be the least of your struggles as you try to remain PATIENT as she grows older. Endless questions, screen time battles, eye rolls… idiot boyfriends?! The list goes on. Remember, she’s watching how you respond to stressful situations – even to the ones that she has caused. She’ll take her cues on how to respond to stress from you so take a deep breath, remain calm, and #dadup.
D.A.D.U.P. – Approachable 8.27.17
She’s not always going to have a trampoline handy to be able to communicate with you ‘eye to eye.’ So spending more time with her, getting down to her level, and most of all listening, will make sure she sees you as APPROACHABLE .
That’s important. A recent survey asked young girls who/what they turn to in times of crisis. Dads came in at #48 on that list…47 reasons to make sure she understands that she can APPROACH you when times get tough. There is nothing more encouraging to your daughter — preschooler to teenager —than to know she can have her father’s undivided attention when it is needed. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Dependable 8.12.17
Just like those trusty Hollywood horses were always so DEPENDABLE , it’s your job to saddle up and be there for your daughter day in and day out.
Being DEPENDABLE builds trust so she knows she can count on your word and that you’ll be there when you say you’ll be there. This goes double for divorced Dads who don’t get to see their girls every day.
So whether it’s a ride around the living room on your back, a ride to soccer practice, or when she needs a ride home from a party…be the one she can DEPEND on. (And don’t scrimp on the expensive padding for the carpet next time. Your knees will thank you.) P.S. Tornado was Zorro’s horse. You knew that one, right? #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Devoted 7.18.17
Most Dads would like to keep their daughters in a bubble of safety and peace. But we all know that at some point it can all burst and the world can come crashing in with trouble you didn’t see coming. (And sometimes she may be the one doing the popping.)
Make no mistake about it. Children are a lot of work. If you’re not in it for the long haul, you shouldn’t be in it at all.
Remaining DEVOTED to being a constant and reliable presence in your daughter’s life is a key factor of fatherhood. The DEVOTION to parenting her with purpose, without fail through good and bad, is the path you chose the moment you learned she was coming into this world. Stay true to being the man she can hang onto when things get slippery. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Understanding 6.11.17
They say you can’t fully UNDERSTAND a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. Well, you’ve just spent some time “in” your daughter’s hair. So you may now better UNDERSTAND why it takes her so long to get ready in the morning.
But a “bad hair day” meltdown isn’t the only thing you’ll be dealing with as she grows up. Each stage will have its own emotional knots to untangle.
Affirming how she is feeling is an important trait in UNDERSTANDING who she is and a vital part of remaining an influence in her life. Refuse to see her point of view and you are shutting down a line of communication that may be tougher than you think to reopen. We aren’t saying you should condone her disrespecting you or her unwise decisions. But maybe you can try to put yourself in her sneakers and see life from her perspective more often. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Dependable 5.16.17
As a father, you know there are a few items missing there.
But your daughter has her own list of “ingredients” that make up her Daddy. At Daddy Daughter Time, we think these five: DEPENDABLE , Approachable, Devoted, Understanding, and Patient should make up a big part of who you are to her.
There may have already been a time, (and if not, it’s coming), when she’s going to be part of a mess much bigger than what you made today in the kitchen. When that happens, you’ll want here to know that she can DEPEND on you for support. Make sure she knows she can count on you. Be a DEPENDABLE Dad. It’s part of the recipe for a sweet relationship. #dadup
D.A.D.U.P. – Patient 4.25.17
Fatherhood, much like the Argentine Tango, can be a challenge and whether she means to or not, your daughter is going to test your PATIENCE . So how do you develop composure and not sweat the small stuff when PATIENCE is your Achilles Heel?
Here are five tips from Dads who have been doing this dance for awhile…
- Don’t take it personally. It happens to almost every Dad.
- Leave work at work.
- Think constructively – Take a breath and come up with a plan.
- Find someone to talk to and vent. Get it all out.
- Exercise. (We recommend weekly dance parties with your daughter.)
We hope that helps you remain calm and PATIENT when things get tripped up. #dadup