Love Lessons for my Daughter Heather Hopson February 15, 2013 Uncategorized (Photo Courtesy: Diasporan Darlings) Dear Diary, I learned a lot about love from my father. He didn’t lecture me. As a matter of fact, he didn’t say much about the subject. Instead, he taught my sister and I love lessons through his actions. He adored my mother. Still does. He bends over backwards to keep a smile on her face. She does the same in return. But he always says he loves her more and that women should find a man who loves her just a tiny bit more. He respects her, cherishes her and praises her. Even when he doesn’t like her, he tolerates her. That’s the biggest take away. When I was heartbroken and lonely, my father taught me the biggest lesson on love. He said love isn’t about all the things you like about the other person. It’s about what you don’t like. Can you tolerate their flaws and weaknesses? If so, you will remain with that person even when times are tough. I wanted to know what my friend’s are teaching their daughters about love, so I reached out to about a dozen dads to find out. Arnold & Alleah, Pittsburgh, PA When it comes to love I try to teach her the art of having a listening ear. I often tell her that loving someone–whether it’s God, self or others–requires the want or desire to listen openly. That will develop into a loving and communicative relationship that’s built on trust, respect and understanding. Naturally, most people feel loved when someone takes the time to understand who they really are. When you take the time to listen to yourself and God, it allows you to develop a relationship that increases your ability to love others even greater. B.J. Butler & Danequa & Alexis, Virginia Beach, VA One of the greatest lessons in love I have taught my daughters is to love God and love yourself. If you can’t love God or yourself, then you will struggle loving anyone else. But distinguishing with them what is conditional and unconditional love is probably the second biggest love lessons I am still teaching them. I take it so personally when one will ask me that question, “Daddy, do you love me?” and I say yes only to hear it followed up with a “Well, do you think I can have…?” Then I explain to them and demonstrate to them that my love is never conditional but unconditional. If a boy begins questioning your feelings/love for him by you meeting certain conditions, it’s not love. He doesn’t know what it is. It’s important they know and see what unconditional love is so when the counterfeit comes, they will know it and can also help their friends learn it as well. Eric & Jackson, Atlanta, GA I’d like my daughter to know that love is an action that maintains the intermittent feeling so many people casually refer to as love. Love is working through hard times together. Love is having the other person’s interests at heart. Love is making sure that you are living the best life you possibly can so you can be a blessing, rather than a curse to someone else. Jackie & Jaicey, Indianapolis, IN I want her to know that she is special and loved more than she’ll ever know. No matter what happens, what people say, what people do, she will always be very important to me, and to Jesus. I want to teach her to walk and talk like it. Jermaine & Kayla, Owings Mills, MD I plan to teach my daughter to be herself, that is all you have in life besides family. Jerome & Aubrey, Dallas, TX I want to teach my daughter to love and respect others, no matter their differences. As for the matters of the heart, I will to teach her to be patient with love. I want her to love God and herself first and to never accept anything less than what she desires. I want to teach her that the love of another person does not define her as a woman; but compliments her very essence. I want to teach her that her love for someone is a gift to that person; one that should be equally received. Lastly, love should never physically hurt. This is ever so important as Daddy would gladly catch a case should any man decides to hit her. That level of disrespect will simply not be tolerated! I want my daughter to know that love may be unconditional in theory, but conditions do exist and that her love should not be taken for granted. Kyle & Kendal, Pittsburgh, PA I want to teach her to love herself, be self-sufficient, and happy being in her own skin. With those things, she can never be steered wrong. Octavis & Nia, Lansing, MI I want my daughter to learn the love lesson of honesty and respect. There is no relationship without either of these components. If one cannot respect themselves, then they cannot respect the relationship that they are in. I also want to teach her honesty. I want her to learn to always be true to herself first. Don’t allow yourself to morph into someone who you are not for the sake of developing and/or maintaining a relationship. If people cannot accept you for who you are–good or bad, then that person is not the one that you should spend your precious time with. I always tell my daughter, you were not mass-produced. You are an individual that God carefully created. Spend your time with someone who appreciates God’s work. Shawn & Kennedy, River Rogue, MI The thing that I most want to teach Kennedy is that she can be whatever she wants. To not accept traditional ideas of what little girls should play with, think like, and look forward to in the future. That with hard work and dedication she can achieve all that she puts her mind to. And most importantly I want to teach her what a real man is–that a real man protects, provides and professes his love through his actions. This way she won’t accept anything less from a man not coming with his A game. Tacuma & Mikhayah, Winston-Salem, NC In the area of love, I want to teach her resiliency. Of course, I want her to set high standards for herself and make perfect decisions about who to date and how to conduct herself. But more than that, I want her to be able to pick up the pieces and move forward even if she makes mistakes, bad decisions or uses poor judgment. So I want her to recognize that falling in love and being giddy about boys and breakups are a part of growing up, and that no matter how strongly she feels about a boyfriend at any given time, that relationship should not consume and dominate her life. If she can keep some sense of context, she’ll be fine. Also, I want her to know that the pain of rejection or disappointment does heal. Finally, I want her to understand that being a genuine, open, and loving human being may cost her heartbreak or two, but bitterness and cynicism will cost her much more. Tony & McKenzie, Chicago, IL I want to let McKenzie know that there are different degrees of love. She may not love everyone with the same intensity and often that love will not be returned to her with the same intensity that she is accustomed to at home but that does not mean that the love is not there. Hey DFTM Dads–What do you want to teach about love? Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.