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What a coincidence to read this -- I've just started going out for breakfast with my 14-year-old daughter. You're absolutely right: it can be a challenge to maintain a relationship when your little girl is becoming a young woman. The alternative, though, is to lose touch a critical time in her life. Thanks for your article.


that's precious. My husband, daddy to our 2 girls, started doing this with our oldest when she was just 2 years old. It was invaluable when our second came along and she needed to know she was still special and loved. Daddy has been through a trial by fire with his "quality time" love language wife who always has something to talk about, his "touch and quality time" love language preschooler who always has something to talk about and I think he'll be ready when daughter 2 starts talking ;) It's a powerful thing, dad connecting with daughter..I know, it shaped me.

Greg England

I had similar moments with each of our children. They are both grown and out of the house, but if we go very many weeks (usually anything over 3 is too many) without seeing each other, I just take off and drive up to where Jessica lives to take her to lunch or dinner. We see Josh often enough, but I'd do the same to see him as well. During his senior year of college, we would have lunch together at least once a week, usually a couple of time. Best days of my life are days spent with my children.

Jim Martin

Thanks again Alan--and thanks for mentioning what you are doing with your 14 year old. Perhaps your comment will give some encouragment to do the same with their own daughters.

Thanks for coming by this blog.

Jim Martin

Thanks for your comment and for coming by my blog. I commend your husband for what he has been doing with your daughters. Sounds as if you had a good experience with your dad as well.

I just looked at your blog. Very nice!

Jim Martin

What a great comment! And--a reminder of way to stay connected with our children even as finish high school and move on. I suspect this will encourage some of us to make the effort to connect with adult children.



I've really appreciated your last few posts. Being a father to our children involves so much more than fathering them!

I agree with what you've written here, but would hasten to add that my experience (4 children: 3 boys: 24, 18, & 16; and, 1 girl: 14) has taught me that there is no substitute for spontaneity. Here's where I'll let you in on one of my secrets. Some of the most important conversations I've had with my kids have come as a result of a little "planned spontaneity".

My three sons have taught me that the "silent man" sometimes gets an early start. If we want to stop the cycle from repeating, we must start early.

Well, that's my two cents worth. God bless you, brother!

Wade Tannehill

Thanks Jim. I was recently with my six-year-old daughter at a Daisy Girl Scout field trip when I overheard her tell the leader, "Guess What. I'm going to lunch with my daddy today." She didn't know I was listening and her enthusiasm confirmed the importance of these "special days"--a tradition I started because of your influence years ago when you spoke of these times with your girls. I thought, "When I'm a father, I'm going to do that." Friday I'm spending the day with my daughter. We'll probably hike, watch cartoons, and eat ice cream. I look forward to these times as much as my kids do.


My husband, Richard, worked 12 hours a day and missed some of the fun with our 3 daughters, but at bedtime he always sat with each of them and talked. He was very honest with them about teenaged boys (since he had been one) and when they had sex ed questions they went to him, not me. That was great for me and for him. I just listened.

Jim Martin

Very good point about spontaneity! In fact, those have probably been some of the most important moments with our children. Thanks.

Jim Martin

I really admire your husband. After 12 hour days to still sit and talk with each one of them at bedtime. That is wonderful.

Jim Martin

How wonderful! Your children are really blessed to have a dad like you. Thanks for letting all of us look over your shoulder for a moment. That was helpful.


Dad...I liked this blog entry. I still enjoy going on special days with you. It is such a valuable block of time we spend together. I love you!

Jim Martin

What a nice surprise! Thank you for what you said. That means A LOT to me!

I love you.

Scot McKnight

Great set of blogs to read when we got back.

Jim Martin

Thanks! I and others as well missed you while you are gone.

(If you have not visited Scot McKnight's blog, let me encourage you to do so. The address is:


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