Any dad with a daughter will need to come to face it at some point: Going from the best and greatest guy on Earth, who rides the roller coaster, the protector, the fun one, to hearing those words: “I’m growing up, Dad.”
That was the premise of a recent episode of Girl Meets World, the new Disney Channel series which follows Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and her best friend, Maya Hart (Sabrina Carpenter), as they face the challenges of life in 7th grade.
On Season 1, Episode 4, dad Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) struggles with Riley, 12, growing up when he learns she’d rather go to the school dance than participate in their annual tradition of riding a Coney Island roller coaster.
All the while Riley is bonding with her mom and talking over girl stuff, like makeup and boys.
The episode walks the viewer through that process.
It’s something that all of us dads with daughters will experience at some point.
“A few weeks ago, I came to the harsh realization that my daughters are growing up. While on some level I understand that this has to happen eventually, I would prefer that eventually was much farther in the future,” writes Dan Staffin on San Diego Family. “Fortunately I have found a way to deal with the situation, at least with my own daughters. Close my eyes. It turns out that most of what comes out of their mouths still sounds like girls—asking questions about math homework, objecting to cleaning their room, comparing notes about their teachers with their friends, giggling uncontrollably, etc. They don’t act like women yet, even though I know that day is coming—too soon.”
It’s a turning-point for sure for so many dads–and a critical one. It’s vital that dads figure out how to continue staying close with their daughters as they grow up.
“As I have talked to my girls about these and other experiences, and also talked with other dads with daughters, I have come up with some thoughts about what it takes to stay close to our daughters through their growing up years,” says fatherhood expert Wayne Parker on the About Parenting blog.
Parker suggests dads do several things among them: Respect her mom, know her friends, learn to listen, read together, take her on dates, get involved in her interests and be there when she needs you.
“It’s important to remember that our daughters need us to be a great dad and the most important male role model in her life. Helping her have a great relationship with you is good for both of you, and will help her be a better companion, wife and mother later in her life.”
Say what you want about television. But sometimes it takes a sitcom to offer a reality check.