Gift Giving: Fathers and Daughters
This is the month of gift giving for most fathers
and daughters in our country. As father or as
daughter, youll be bombarded by
advertisements trying to convince you to buy their
perfect gift or terrific
greeting card. So heres what Im
advertising: A father-daughter outing where just
the two of you spend several hours together.
Regardless of your age, give one another the gift
of private time together.
How to spend that time? What to do? Rather than
guessing or getting anxious about whether
youre going to get it right or
not, simply things. Take time now to fill out this
form and give it to each other.
The Perfect Day Together
What is the most perfect day you can imagine the
two of you having together? Dont think about
the obstacles. Just let your imagination run
- Where would the two of you be?
- What would you do for the entire day?
- What would each of you do to make the other
- What would each of you be feeling as the day
- What would each of you be feeling when the
- How would your family feel and react to your
having such a wonderful day together?
- What would each of you say that youve
never said before?
- What would be the highlight of the day?
- What would each of you do or bring as a nice
surprise for one another?
- What are the last words each of you would
say at the end of the day? Some other activities
for your hours together might include:
- Show one another how to do something that
you enjoy or do well - something as simple as
trimming plants, grilling steaks, or playing a
- Go to a religious service together
just you two.
- Go to a movie togethershare a box of
- Go back to the neighborhood where he grew up
and walk around together.
- Visit the cemetery where a relative or close
friend of his is buried.
- Get a camera or camcorder and take pictures
of places that mean a lot to you or him.
If you sometimes feel disappointed when you open
your holiday gifts or sometimes feel that
the person must not have put much time or thought
into it try my suggestion instead. My bet is
as a father or as a daughter - youll
feel a lot more satisfied with this gift to each
other and a lot more bonded as well.
©2008 Dr. Linda
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It is easier for a father to have children than
for children to have a real father. Pope John
has been teaching, counseling, conducting research
and writing about adolescents and father-daughter
relationships since 1970. A member of Phi Beta
Kappa and the recipient of the outstanding
graduate's award in teacher education from the
University of Tennessee in 1969, she taught and
counseled high school students for several years.
After earning a Master's Degree in Counseling and a
Doctorate in Educational and Adolescent Psychology,
she joined the faculty of Wake Forest University in
1974. Her grants and awards include the Outstanding
Article Award in 1980 from the U.S. Center for
Women Scholars and a postdoctoral fellowship from
the American Association of University Women. For
the past fifteen years she has focused primarily on
father-daughter relationships with a special
emphasis on divorced fathers and their daughters.
Her work has been cited in the "Wall Street
Journal" as well as in popular magzines such as
"Cosmopolitan", and shared through television and
In 1991 she created her "Fathers
& Daughters" course - the only college course
in the country that focuses exclusively on
father-daughter relationships. In addition to
having written several dozen articles for journals
such as the "Harvard Educational Review" and the
"Journal of Divorce & Remarriage", Dr. Nielsen
has written three books: How to Motivate
Adolescents (Prentice Hall) and Adolescence: A
Contemporary View (Harcourt Brace) which sold more
than 60,000 copies and was adopted by hundreds of
universities throughout the country and abroad
between 1986-1996. Her third book, Embracing
Your Father: Creating the Relationship You Want
with Your Dad was
published in April, 2004. www.wfu.edu/~nielsen
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