Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The “I’ll Always....” Agreement

If we want our daughters to make smart, healthy decisions, then we have to do the same ourselves. That’s not always easy to do—but here’s a possible solution to help both Dad & Daughter.

Draft an agreement in which you and your daughter each commit yourselves to take care of yourself. For example, you might vow to quit smoking and she vows to not start. You could promise to get a yearly physical and your daughter might promise to avoid parties where alcohol will be consumed. Plus, the document can include steps that each of you can take to help look out for the other. Your daughter could encourage you while you quit smoking, and you can promise to always come get her if she finds herself at a party where people are drinking or doing drugs.

A contract like this encourages communication about specific (and often difficult to discuss) situations like alcohol, drugs, peer pressure and being healthy. Continuous and open father-daughter communication is critical in helping your daughter make healthy decisions.