Rule #3

Are you truly present when you are with your daughter?

Perhaps the most important rule we’ve heard from both dads and from daughters is this. If you want an enriching relationship that will withstand the complexities of time, you must “be present” when the two of you are together.

This means, for a single day or afternoon, don’t be on the cell phone or iPhone. Don’t be talking to your buddies or otherwise distracted. Don’t be thinking of work or something else.

Consider your time together with your daughter as yoga, as therapy for both of you, as a time to wind down, to truly “be” with each other.

This may seem simple, but how profound this is, escapes many dads, sometimes until it’s too late.

For one day or one afternoon, free your mind of everything except the time you are spending with your daughter.

Here’s why.

Amazing things will happen to you, and your relationship with your daughter will grow strong in ways that may affect her and you throughout your entire lives.


People who learn to take time off like this, putting their daily issues out of their mind for short periods, tend to be healthier and in some cases, even smarter.

Archimedes, one of the greatest scientists in human history, was in his bathtub when he discovered the eureka moment that changed his life. Isaac Newton was goofing off in an orchard watching apples fall from trees when he got the eureka moment that changed his life, and changed our world. Archimedes and Newton could just as easily have been goofing off, spending time with their daughter when the eureka moment struck each of them.

If it happened when they were with their daughters, the added benefit would have been a greater connection with their daughter.

So take some time right now, put down this booklet, and hug your daughter. Both your lives may become infinitely enriched for it.

A Quick Story

We saw a young dad shopping with his four year old daughter. She was so excited to be with her daddy, but he was busy cackling in idle chatter on his cell phone. For this dad, he will never be able to reclaim this time with his daughter. One day he will wake up and realize, her life has passed him by with few, if any, memorable moments.

Shut your phone off and share a few minutes with your daughter. Really be “present” with her. Listen to her without giving advice. Tell her how amazing she is, and how important she is in your life.

Sure there will be moments when you are overcome with emotion, where you may get angry or frustrated with her. But those moments will pass, and what you will be left with is a lasting and profound connection to this person you helped raise, and who you are connected with, ’til death do you part.

If you have ideas or suggestions that could help, we are always interested in your ideas.