Being a mom to boys or a dad to girls is tricky. There’s an “I’m out of my element” aspect to it, so most parents put a little extra effort into understanding kids of the opposite sex. Dads take daughters to dinner to show them how they deserve to be treated by a boy while moms take sons to the latest superhero movie so they know what the boys are talking about when they rehash their favorite scenes. But what about moms and daughters? Just because we used to look and act just like them doesn’t mean we don’t still have to find ways to spend intentional time with them.
What’s intentional time? Well, it’s more than just a quick trip to the store to get a new pair of shoes or a chat in the car on the way to a dentist appointment. Good mother-daughter date ideas involve two things: an activity you both enjoy and a goal for the conversation. Here are 8 great mother-daughter date ideas and suggestions for what to chat about to get to know your girl’s heart.
Good mother-daughter date ideas involve two things: an activity you both enjoy and a goal for the conversation.
1. She’s a masterpiece.
In her book 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters, Dannah Gresh encourages you to thoroughly pamper your daughter during this date. Find a teahouse or swanky hotel and make reservations. Enjoy lavishing her with your attention and all the niceties of a girls’ lunch.
Conversation Goal: Try to get a sense of how your daughter feels about herself overall. Talk about how you felt at her age and share what insecurities you might have had about yourself. Respond to her with encouragement, affirmation, and love.
For this mother-daughter date idea, visit a spa or beauty salon for some girl pampering. After your spa visit, head to a quiet place for lunch where you can stay in the relaxation zone with a slow-paced meal. Your daughter will probably love being with this less-frazzled version of her mom.
Conversation Goal: Call her attention to her specific and unique beauty. Yes, compliment her pretty eyes, but also talk about her strength and her overall good health. Use this free printable if you need some ideas. Try to bring up the topic of how images your daughter sees in magazines or online are usually retouched photos. These 10 Ways to Compliment Your Child can give you some creative ideas for compliments.
3. Celebrate real beauty.
Now take the focus off the external to the beauty inside your daughter and the world around her. Infuse this date with nature—go horseback riding, have a picnic, get up early and watch the sunrise, or go on a hike.
Conversation Goal: In 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters, Dannah Gresh says, “Where does beauty really come from? As girls, we sometimes get stuck on thinking it comes from a great haircut or new fingernail polish. Sometimes we think it comes from being surrounded by friends or being noticed by cute guys. But she won’t find her beauty there.” Talk about how beauty shines forth from a strong spiritual life, kindness toward others, and a relationship with God.
4. There are plenty of fish.
This date is about looking at what role boys will play in your daughter’s life. So take her to an aquarium, zoo, or somewhere else where you can have fun with the idea that there are lots of fish in the sea!
Conversation Goal: Find out what your daughter thinks about boys. Ask her who the nicest boy is in her class. Find out who her friends like and ask her what she thinks they see in them. Help her to realize that while she will probably get married someday, along the way she might face romantic disappointments—and don’t be afraid to share some of your own heartaches. If the opportunity comes up, talk to her about sex and find out what she thinks and knows about it.
5. Take an educational excursion.
Even if your daughter is still in grade school, hit the road and visit a college campus or a community college in your town. Let her see what lies beyond.
Conversation Goal: Ask your daughter where she sees herself going to college or what kind of education she wants after high school. Talk about the freedom and responsibility college brings.
6. Chow down.
What’s your daughter’s favorite food or meal? Surprise her with a trip to her favorite place, even if it’s not the healthiest grub in town. After lunch, drive around a pretty neighborhood and let your daughter point out the houses she likes.
Conversation Goal: Ask your daughter what she thinks makes a house a loving home. Ask her how she feels about her home life. Does she like being home? Does she feel cared for and loved? You can even ask her about meals she’d like to have more often!
7. Go on a faith excursion.
Experience a different worship setting together. Attend a church as a visitor. Give your daughter a book about faith or if she doesn’t have a Bible, get her one. Suggest going through it together.
Conversation Goal: Use this time to assess where your child is spiritually. Steer the conversation toward what’s really important in life.
Yes, we can put too much emphasis on shopping if we’re not careful, but if your daughter likes to shop, teach her how to do it with fun and restraint. Visit some stores that have great buys but also visit some stores that are great just for window shopping.
Conversation Goal: This outing is a natural conversation starter for two topics: how to dress and how to manage money. Use this time together to talk to your daughter about dressing cute but modestly. You can also bring up the need to budget.
What’s something fun you’ve done with your daughter on a mom/daughter date?