Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dance With Your Daughter

When the music comes on in our house, and it is a song my two-year-old likes, she comes looking for me to dance. Not mommy, but daddy.

Dancing with your daughter, no matter how bad of a dancer you are, is a great way to interact with her. It shows that you are willing to let go of yourself and are available to have fun with her. Think of the message that sends to her: “My daddy is willing to take time out of his day to dance, jump, and spin around with me.”

You can start dancing with her as soon as she shows interest in connecting her body movements with the beats of songs. You can always start sooner, than that, when she is an infant, by just holding her in your arms and swaying with her.

You need to be willing to not just dance to the slow songs with her, but also to jump around with her to those faster tempo songs.

When she gets older and starts to go to school, you may not have as many dancing moments, but you can still work them in. During the teenage years, you will most likely have to do things on her terms. You might only have the chance to dance with her on special occasions, like New Years, her birthday, Christmas and other family events. Cherish those moments.

Think of how important that daddy-daughter dance at her wedding will be if you have been spending time dancing with her. It won’t be something foreign on the dance floor. That last dance with her will have meaning and value. It will be something that you and her can appreciate. It will be a symbol to everyone around of all the fun that she had with you while growing up. It will be an ending to the dances with you, but for her it will also be the beginning with her new dance partner.

Of course, a little warning. Dad, make sure you dance appropriately. She’s your daughter. Have playful fun with her, not romantic fun (that’s meant for your wife).

Most of all, enjoy, have fun, and cherish those dancing moments with your daughter.

Do you think dancing with your daughter will help build a relationship? Did your dad dance with you, and did it help?

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