By Rob Jones
A few years ago, my wife was offered a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity.
A strange turn of events resulted in the family moving to two different cities over 1,800 miles apart.
My daughter and I live together, and grandma (my wife’s mom) stays with us from time to time. My wife visits, but travel was difficult during the early days of the pandemic. It was a tough decision, but we ultimately found that our daughter had more opportunities in the city with me.
And opportunities, my daughter is into everything! At the time of this article, she is six years old and has been taking piano classes, taekwondo, and an online art class since she was four.
She and I have always been close. Being apart from mom has brought us closer. Being involved with her hobbies has brought us much closer together.
Over the past two years, she has gotten pretty good at piano. She and I even post some of her videos on YouTube and TikTok now and again. She seems to find Taekwondo more of a chore. She only likes to test for her belts but doesn’t like to put in the hours of training to get there. But art is her passion. She loves to draw, sketch, paint, and build crafts with anything she can get her hands on.
The only thing she enjoys more than art at six years old is teaching me art. Several times a week, she screams “Dad. Let’s have art class!”
It was only a matter of time before my daughter taught me how to draw. I love watching her create beautiful things. So when she sat down next to me one day and showed me how to hold the pencil and start drawing just like her, exacting like her, I was excited to begin this new journey. You see, in her art class, there is only one way to draw, color, or paint. The only way is her way. I don’t mind her bossy behavior. It makes the time we share that much more fun and memorable.
For context, she has her art class with her teacher once a week. Immediately, after she finishes the project, she runs to show me her work. And yes, as a proud father, I post it all over social media. Then the work begins for dad.
She will spend the next few days teaching me to replicate her work. “Let’s have art class!” And so it begins. We sit down at the dining room table and draw. She takes her original drawing from her art class and uses it as a guide. A few times I tried to cheat and use her original work to get ahead of her instruction. Needless to say, she got real bossy and put a stop to that. Now she hides the original artwork in another room. She runs back and forth to learn a step and comes back to teach me. This is funny to watch and brings a smile to my face.
It’s been so much fun spending this time with my daughter and learning something new together. If you’re a dad and want to learn something new with your daughter, I recommend finding out what they like to do and asking them to teach you all about it!
It can be a memorable bonding experience. Dads can show their daughters that they care about them and want to spend time with them. Best of all, a dad can experience one of the hobbies that his daughter enjoys, which can help him better understand her.
Learning together can be a fun and rewarding experience for both father and daughter.
If you are a dad, I have simple advice. Spend quality time together. Be a part of their lives. Learn to do things they like. By being involved in their hobbies, dads can build strong relationships with them and help shape their interests and personalities. You can go on hikes together, play games in the park, or just hang out and chat. Spending quality time with your daughter (or son)doing what they like is one of the best things you can do for them— they will appreciate it.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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