One Way to Win Your Daughter’s Heart


Do you cherish your daughter enough to step outside your comfort zone? Rich Bennett did...and won his daughter's heart.

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine, and I surprised myself with just how energized I was in describing my first experience at a “daddy-daughter dance.”

Father-daughter dances have really taken off in recent years, and hopefully you have an event like this in your community. I love spending time with my 10-year-old little girl, but I really didn’t anticipate that the evening would be such a special time.

Here in Colorado Springs, we are fortunate to have an incredibly well-run event called “A Daughter’s Heart.” For the past 16 years, the event-planners’ goal has been to create a memorable night out that connects fathers to their daughters through a formal dinner and a program, followed by plenty of dancing.

When my daughter and I arrived, our initial task was to pick up her first-ever wrist corsage. I don‘t think she’d ever even seen one in action, let alone wear one. She was quite proud of the three white roses she wore on her wrist that night.

Next, we were off to get our picture taken, both formally and informally. A professional photographer took a couple pictures of us – followed by a fellow dad taking our photo under the threshold of the entrance. Then it was time for a delicious, sit-down dinner.

After we finished eating, Focus on the Family’s director of marriage (and fellow “Dad Matters” blogger), Greg Smalley, led the fathers in recording some of the things we most appreciate about our daughters in a journal provided just for them. Idea starters ranged from sharing physical traits and God-given talents to spiritual gifts and valued things they do.

Then, Greg encouraged each father to ask his daughter about the things he does as a dad that she appreciates. The one my daughter shared with me that stuck with me – and made me commit to doing it more often – was:  “I really like it when you tell me I’m beautiful … like you did tonight.”

As for the dancing, let me be clear. To say I’m no Michael Jackson is on par with saying Josef Stalin was no humanitarian. Phil Collins is not the only one who can rightfully and boldly proclaim: “I Can’t Dance.”

Yet, as the evening wound to a close and we headed for the door, my daughter looked up at me and said, “I’ve never had as much fun dancing in my entire life.”

The fact that I can’t dance meant nothing. Cherishing my daughter enough to step outside my comfort zone – and step my two left feet out onto the dance floor – meant everything. It made for a night that neither one of us will soon forget.


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