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Dad 101: A User’s Guide

Editor’s Note: Around here we love a good family story and the new book Daddy Dates by Austin-based author Greg Wright is the best one we’ve seen in a long time. We caught up with Greg to get an inside look at being a better dad just in time to celebrate Father’s Day.

By Kallie Mitchener

Author Greg WrightCalling all dads! Have you ever desired to develop a closer relationship with your daughter, or any of your children for that matter? Then you should add the entertaining new Daddy Datesto the top of your reading list.

Released in time for Father’s Day this year, Daddy Dates; Four Daughters, One Clueless Dad and His Quest to Win Their Hearts, reveals the first hand success tactics from author Greg Wright, who raised four daughters of his own. This “how to” guide, particularly for men raising daughters, is enjoyable and dishes advice that is sure to get you sharing with friends.

The tome is intentionally witty and appeals to all parents. The goal of the book is to ease the gender gap between parents and their children to help attain closer relationships. When asked what inspired him to write the piece Wright admitted, “It was being in the position of not knowing what to do. When I am put in a situation where I don’t know what to do I either click in or click out, and clicking out was not an option for my kids.”

Wright also explains how the book wasn’t actually his idea; people he knew witnessed his situation and continually reiterated his unique position and encouraged him to put his story in print. He decided to hone in on the opportunity and views the book as a way to encourage other fathers across the nation. Wright says he has encountered a lot of men just asking what they can do to connect with their kids. The book is intended to be a source of “practical how-to’s to implement right away that can change the course with their kids,” says Wright.

Spending one-on-one time with each individual child is a recurring theme throughout the book. To reinforce the importance of the individual time, Greg and his team established a National Daddy Daughter Tea. This year was the 2nd Annual Tea on May 14. The event consisted of dads taking their daughters to local tea/coffee shops to go on a “date.” Across the nation from Los Angles, San Jose, Austin, Dallas, Tampa, Phoenix, Baltimore, and Portland, daddy-daughter couples ventured out for a high tea. One coffee shop in El Paso reached capacity of daddy-daughter duos and unfortunately had to turn people away. This event was a huge success and will continue in the future.

Greg serves as the president of The Wright Track Consulting Company and is a motivational speaker, a business growth specialist, and executive coach. Coming from such an authentic, successful Austinite, the book is sure to be a hit. Wright states that public reactions have been “overwhelmingly positive” and we can see why.

Here’s a special look at Daddy Dates with an exclusive excerpt. For more information, visit www.daddydates.thewrighttrack.com.

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Chapter 4 — My Date with Destiny (Dating Magic Passage)

… Whitney stood there and let me open the door for her, and after making sure she was buckled in, I walked around to my side.

That’s when I thought, “this is the first time I’ve consciously opened the door for my daughter, like she’s a special young lady.” It was true. I wasn’t thinking about work, or anything else. I was totally focused on my date.

Who was nine years old.

Dinner went great. I asked her questions about her friends, and I learned more about Whitney’s world in that little dinner conversation than I had being her daddy for her entire life. I mean, I couldn’t get her to stop chattering, and it wasn’t aimless conversation. It was meaningful.

… Pretty soon I remembered she had a curfew, and her mom would kill me if I brought my date home late on a school night.

And as I was walking her to the car under the moonlight, I couldn’t believe how much was inside that little girl, and how smart she was, and how much she had shared with me that evening.

We hopped in, I threw it in reverse, and as I put my hand on the back of the passenger seat to look over my shoulder, I caught a glimpse of my daughter’s face.

Whitney was weeping. Living with five females I thought good gosh, what did I say now? What did I DO?

I hit the brake.

“Uh oh, what’s the matter, honey?”

She looked up at me, her eyelashes wet and shiny and tears streaming down her face.

“Nothing.” (Oh right, she’s a girl.)

“Honey you’re crying. Did I say something to hurt your feelings?”

“No Daddy, nothing’s wrong. It’s just that I’ve never felt this special before.”

We both boohooed all the way home.

I thought about the impact of a simple evening, one day mid-week. All I did was carve out special time for this one girl, made a real effort to get to know her in a relaxed, enjoyable environment that suited her unique personality— and the result was pure magic, and a memory of a lifetime.