I’m an involved parent, particularly for a divorced dad. My daughter Annie and I have a great relationship. I see her all the time. I rarely miss an event. When I’m not around, I make sure to text or call.
I’m also bad at long stretches of unplanned time. I like to do things, whether at home or out in the world. Since I’ve never really raised my daughter to be anything but a kid, we’ve done everything together from sitting on the floor playing with dolls to riding dirt bikes to building stuff to playing board games.
As she’s gotten older, it’s been harder to figure out stuff to do. Sometimes the things I think she’ll find interesting fall on their face, and sometimes the stuff I think of as just okay are big hits.
Late last week, I was looking for some ideas for things to do yesterday with Annie, since I had swapped a single day with her Mom. After looking through some of my favorite event sites, and not finding a whole lot, I googled “fun things to do at home with your teenage daughter.” If you click the link, you’ll see the results I saw. If you don’t feel like doing that, here’s a screenshot.
I had to get to page two of the search before dad was even acknowledged as possibly wanting to do something with his kid.
Bloggers, writers of all stripe, please take a moment and listen to me. We dads exist for a reason. We’re not just sperm donors. We’re involved parents, just like moms. The 1950s are over. Maybe instead of “15 Mother-Daughter Activities Your Preteen Will Actually Love,” how about “15 Parent-Daughter Activities Your Preteen Will Actually Love?” You might even think about focusing on dads once in a while.
At the very least, maybe you should acknowledge our existence and value as parents.