Guest Post by Cheri Swalwell | Daddy/Daughter Dates

A little while ago, I asked for a few guest post submissions to tide my blog over until I get back from my paternity leave. I wanted to dedicate the whole week off to taking care of my wife and daughters. So this is a post from Cheri Swalwell, blogger at

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There was nothing like seeing the light shine in my daughter’s eyes when she got ready for her first official daddy/daughter date. It is amazing the significance that occurs when a daughter feels special in the eyes of her dad.

We started this tradition within the past year and aside from being a special time for my husband and his only daughter to bond without any interruptions, it has really grown into a time where life lessons are learned.

The first and most important lesson she learned was how special she is and how she deserves for the love of her life to treat her with respect, honor, and kindness. More than anything, the prayer we have for our children is that they will marry a spouse someday who treats them well. Manners are still important, so learning how to compliment someone, having the door held open, and not talking with a full mouth are all acts of showing someone they are important. With my husband modeling the type of behavior our daughter should expect from a man who wants to date her, hopefully she will not settle for second best in her quest for a boyfriend or spouse.

Another lesson she learned was how to let the man lead and to humbly give up control. In today’s society so many woman are single mothers or leaders in their workplace that it is hard for them to sit back and let the man take over planning the evening, choosing the restaurant, or even driving. My daughter and I had a chance while she was getting ready to talk about how nice it is to allow that special guy to have some fun planning the events. That is not to say the woman can never voice an opinion or even to plan a few surprises of her own; but if the man asks her out on a date, it is polite for the woman to allow the man to take the lead. It was an opportunity to teach her grace and to learn that sometimes just being together and eating dinner is better than making sure she is doing exactly what she wants instead of thinking of someone else’s preferences.

The look on our daughter’s face was priceless when she opened the door and saw my husband standing there with flowers (yes, we all live in the same house but going out on a date requires a little imagination). She barely knew what to say. I think it was important for her to see that she was special enough for her daddy to take extra time and effort to get dressed up for her too. Hopefully, she is learning that when you love someone, you are willing to go that extra mile sometimes.

It was not until they got back from their dinner out that I was allowed to share in the rest of their date together. My husband remarked how many people stared at them, smiling at how beautiful our daughter looked, and smiling that special smile that says they remember when their daughter was that age.

Since that special night, they have had several more daddy/daughter dates; usually coming just when she needs it most. None have been as magical as that first one (isn’t that how it goes with all first dates?) but all have been just as special. I know they are both looking forward to when their next one will be so they can make more memories together.

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Note from Josh: I am really looking forward to my girls being old enough to do the daddy/daughter date thing. If your daughters are old enough, but you don’t know what to do together, check out this book that was published by my bookstore’s parent company, Baker Publishing Group.


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