Recently, one of my single dad friends was looking for ideas for “girly things” to do with his daughter, who was coming to visit for the day…it made me start thinking about what that term even means…
My dad used to cook breakfast for us every morning. I remember a couple of times we made pies together. He also took us tobogganing, built us a go-cart and a treehouse, and took us fishing. He taught me how to throw and catch a softball. When I was eleven, he taught me how to drive our 1948 Ford farm tractor! I’ll never forget the yell he let out when I “jumped” the front by letting the clutch out too fast (considering I only weighed about 60 lbs at the time, it was amazing I could push it in at all, let alone let it out slowly!). We planted seeds in the garden, and picked apples together. He encouraged us to climb the horse chestnut tree in the back yard.
My mom would put stuff back together after my dad took it apart. She also painted the exterior of our two-storey house! In addition to sewing a lot of our clothing, she used to design and build furniture too. She taught me to cook and bake, and how to drive.
I have three daughters, a stepdaughter, and a granddaughter – I should be an expert on “girly things.” Our downstairs kids’ bathroom is a mess of ponytail holders, hair dryers and straighteners, and nail polish!
I’ve always told my girls that there are only three things men can do that women can’t:
1. Father a child.
2. Pee standing up (we can do that too, but it’s messy).
3. Show somebody their Adam’s apple.
My children know that there’s no such thing as “girl toys” or “boy toys.” Hope wanted a firetruck for her fifth birthday, and we got her one (she also had lots of baby dolls).
Instead of thinking of “girly things” to do with your daughter, why not come up with activities which will strengthen her self-esteem, and her bond with her dad?
1. Take her to the library. Show her some of your favourite books when you were a kid – she might like “The Hardy Boys.” I did!
2. Take her for a drive to a place you like – tell her why.
3. Take her to a movie that both of you will enjoy – Pixar has come out with some excellent 3-D movies lately.
4. Play computer games with her. Jim and Brianna play WOW together.
5. Go to the park and swing together.
6. Go for a walk on the beach and look for pretty stones or shells.
7. Think of an art project to do together – maybe a present for a grandparent.
8. Take her to the driving range or the batting cage – my niece, Taylor, goes golfing with my brother.
9. Cook or build something together.
10. Teach her to do something you’re good at.
11. Go to a concert or a play together.
12. Take her to a go-cart track, and let her drive.
Your kid doesn’t care if you do “girly things” with her…she just wants to do stuff with her dad!