When the fall football season rolls around ,sometimes Dads find that there is a real disconnect with their daughters. The daughters who enjoyed swimming, sailing, even fishing in the summer may suddenly disappear when the television goes on and Dad plops down for a Sunday afternoon of football. As much as Dad may love to watch the action there may be a little ache there to share the real action and excitement of the sport with his female offspring. Is that just an impossible dream? Not so. With the six easy steps to sharing the joy of the pigskin you to can discover how dads can teach daughters to love football
1. Invite them in to your world. It sounds simple because it is and yet too often Dads can overlook this first and most basic approach to teaching daughters to love football. Dad’s need to soften up just a bit and invite daughters into their world. Asking our daughter to share part of a Sunday afternoon professional football game can really be a big deal for your daughter and for you
Kids love to be included and whether your daughter is 9 or 14 , the idea that her Dad wants to spend time with her is flattering and not without a positive effect. Too often Dads can just slide into the habit of getting in front of the television set and losing all contact with the outside world while football is played out in front of him. It doesn’t take much reasoning to recognize that with just a little effort you can increase your own enjoyment by inviting your daughter to join you in your world .
The very first step that will help dads teach daughters to love football is to bill football as something that you hope the two of you can share. Inviting your daughter to join you in the family room for some Sunday Football may seem strange at first but continuing the invitation may eventually make it a weekly activity for you both
2. Make it Easy and Surround it with Ritual If your daughter “takes the bait” and decides she is willing to give watching football a try, then proceed cautiously so as not to scare her off. To begin with, let her off the hook after a quarter or a half time has gone by if you see her interest fading . But make sure you tell her you hope she will join you again soon.
As you watch the game give her just the basics . At nine all she needs to know is that there are two teams with different colored uniforms trying to take the ball in opposite directions to the end of the field for a touchdown. What is important is that you disconnect enough from your own watching to give her the kind of interaction she may need. Be ready to answer questions but also be ready to initiate conversation to make sure she is understanding the flow of the game. Let her know what team you are hoping will win and encourage her to cheer right along with you.
You will find that introducing your daughter to some of your own football watching rituals and encouraging her to come up with some of her own can help to cement the deal and is a good way for dads to teach daughters how to love football. Do you wear the team shirt or hat while the game is on? Perhaps you can get a child size version for her. Do you enjoy a special sandwich while you watch the game? Perhaps the two of you could share a sandwich or she could develop her own favorite. Probably you have a favorite chair or end of the couch reserved for watching football in the greatest comfort , why not help your daughter to select her viewing space?
Dad’s really can teach daughters to love football by making the game easy to understand and surrounding the watching with fun rituals that will allow you to enjoy your time together.
3. Play the game with them, touch style A very important way how dads can teach daughters to love football is to spend time with your daughters playing touch football. Involving the whole family in a non tackling game, makes football seem less like a man’s game and more like something everyone can enjoy together. Organizing the family to play touch football will depend on the ages and abilities of those involved. But the important thing for Dad’s who really want to teach their daughters to love football is to make sure that daughters really get to play and not just act as blockers or extras.
Kids are smart and they will quickly lose interest in a game from which they are being effectively excluded . They’ll hang in for a while and then gradually you will see them migrating more and more to out of bounds and then on into the house. You don’t have to cheat to let daughters get involved in playing touch style football, you just need to be creative and look for the skills they really have. Most important of all recognize the reason for playing touch football with your daughter is not to show off but to draw her in. If you focus on keeping her in the game and you make the goal of the game to have fun ( not to win ) then you will have taken another big step towards teaching your daughter to love football.
4. Go to a Live Game A very entertaining step Dads can use to teach daughters to love football is to take their daughters to see a live football game. This doesn’t have to be a pro game in a big stadium with very expensive seats. In fact it is probably easier if it’s a college, high school or even middle school game. At a school game you will find it easier to get what you want out of the experience for you and your daughter with the least amount of effort.
Going to a live football game and sitting where you both can really see the field and the action will give her a whole new perspective of the game. She will feel the excitement of the crowd, see the cheerleaders, hear the band and feel the emotion on the field even if she doesn’t understand all the maneuvers going on down on the field. If you are lucky she will get to see a touchdown, watch an extra point go through the uprights, be amazed by a long pass play or a break away run.
Remember when you go to the game that the purpose isn’t to see every play or even to stay til the end, unless she really wants to. The idea is to give your daughter a taste of live competitive football and all the excitement that surrounds it. So if she has had enough at the half, then that’s when you should leave. Don’t defeat the purpose of going by turning the game into an endurance contest for your daughter. Stay as long as you both are having fun.
5. Make it a Trade Off To demonstrate to your daughter that your interest really centers on wanting to get to know each other better ,a great step is to offer to join your daughter in activities that she is really into. Sure you want your daughter to love football but it’s because it will be something to share. For the same reason you can make an effort to be the one to drive to and from her dancing lessons, making sure to come early to see her in action. You can take her to a live ballet or watch ballet with her on television If you are really brave you may try a few turns yourself.
The point is, by introducing a trade off, you will demonstrate to your daughter the sincerity and the point of what you are trying to do. Your willingness to give ballet a chance may encourage her to give football a chance and together you may both develop new interests but you will definitely get to know each other in a whole new way.
6. Thank Her for Watching with You As the two of you spend time together watching football, don’t forget one of the most important steps by which dads cam teach daughters to love football. When the game is over, or when your daughter has had enough for the day, don’t miss the chance to tell her “thanks”. She may be surprised that you really enjoyed her company. It’s very important for her to know directly from you that her being with you while you do something you like means a great deal. This may be just the kind of encouragement your daughter may need to bring her back to her chair for another game.
Daughters really can learn to love football in their own way and for their own reasons. Some daughters can and will honestly come to enjoy the display of athletic prowess. Some daughters may get caught up with support of a particular team and be drawn in that way. But all daughters will find football a game to love if they realize that its something that they can share with their Dads . So don’t give up too quickly. Be patient and know the effort is worth it. There really are ways how dads can teach daughters to love football.