Braiding Hair and Having Tea: Not Just for Mommies

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I was six years old, wide awake despite the late hour. Christmas Day had been full of shiny packages and warm hugs, and as I sat near the glowing Christmas tree, I twirled my new doll’s hair. Mom had fallen asleep on the couch, Brother had gone to bed, and Dad was reading in his chair when I heard from across the room, “Do you want to learn how to braid your doll’s hair?”

I replied, “Daddies don’t braid hair!” Without a word he came over and sat beside me, perfectly braiding its silky hair. I was speechless, and taking in my expression, he laughed and kissed my cheek.

With little girls, some things seem to be for “mommies only.” Tea parties, fingernail-painting, and braiding hair seem to be activities reserved for moms. However, moms can be asleep, on a business trip, busy, or just not there, so the task then falls to the dads. How are dads supposed to survive such girly undertakings? A little patience, a fun outlook, and not taking oneself too seriously will serve dads well in such endeavors.

To look at one “mommy activity,” tea parties are special events for little girls. If this invite somehow lands on her daddy’s doorstep, here’s a little advice:

  • Let her be in charge (to a certain extent)
  • Show her you know a few things, such as lifting one’s pinky finger when drinking tea
  • Use real food if you can (I always begged to use real food when hosting tea parties)

As for braiding hair and painting fingernails, little girls won’t know that their dads have no experience in either of these, so dads, don’t feel you need to buy a For Dummies book. The real catch is letting her know that you care enough to spend these little moments with her because these moments, at least for me, have become long-lasting memories.

 

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Why Mother's Day Matters To Dads

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Dad daughterWith Mother’s Day coming up I am sure most of you guys are making well thought out plans to get your wives a nice gift or trying to make the day memorable… or you’re just winging it like always. Here’s something unique you can give your spouse on her special day, and it’s a gift she will treasure and value for a lifetime.

College Visits: Be There to Show You Care

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Oh, the joys of college visits. Parents drive for hours while their teenager snores in the backseat until they reach the campus. Then they attend an informational meeting led by a peppy college student who is employed by the admissions office, and this person cleverly highlights the college’s bright spots and manages to answer any question thrown his or her way, even if the answer has little to do with what was asked. Parents listen intently, especially when tuition is mentioned, and the potential students yawn and glance at cell phones. After a half hour or so, everyone is whisked away to tour the campus, which, they are assured, is the most picturesque, the most accessible, the safest, the greenest, etc. Tour guides point to buildings and give them apparently meaningful names and present a recently cleaned dorm room to the group’s inspection.

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Decorating with Your Kids

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As we enter the final countdown to Christmas, here are a few ideas to help while away those hours. If you're like me, your kids have a solid week or two of vacation this holiday. Why not spend that time having fun and teaching your kids about the holiday spirit.

The Fundamentals of “Patty-Cake”

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Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can. There I am, sitting in my dad’s lap with legs crossed, rolling and patting the dough. I wriggle with excitement as my favorite part gets closer when Dad will “mark it with a ‘K,’ just for me.” As he traces the first letter of my name into the imaginary cake, I grab his finger and imagine the letter on its surface in bright pink frosting, which I always tell him to use. Now put it in the oven for Daddy and me.

Daddy, I’m bored!!

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Daddy, I’m bored!! Ever hear that statement from your child? Sometimes it seems as if they could stand in the middle of a room full of toys, and they are still bored. This is your time to create those memorable moments that will last a lifetime.

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