Fathers and daughters have a unique bond. The relationship between the two, if properly nurtured, can be truly special. But why does this particular family connection have the potential to be so powerful?
As a father myself, I've witnessed the magic first-hand. My daughter is 10 now and I've been fortunate enough to spend several of her formative years as a stay-at-home dad. The experience has been so significant to me, and hopefully to Kirsten too, that I was inspired to write a book about it.
Time to Say Goodbye, my debut novel, examines what a single father might do if he was faced with the ultimate dilemma. It poses the question: how do you leave the person you love the most?
Hopefully that's not a quandary I'll ever have to face in real life. I'm not a single dad. My wife is very much around and has a fantastic relationship with Kirsten. We don't have a son, although if we did, I'm sure each of us would have an equally special relationship with him. And yet the dynamics would be different.
All family relationships are special in their own way. I'm not suggesting that one is better than another. I just want to celebrate everything wonderful about a particular connection that's important to me.
So here are my 10 reasons why father-daughter relationships are fantastic:
Daughters see dads as their hero/protector; dads see daughters as perfect little angels. The love between them is unconditional and pure. It's also the foundation for a daughter's future relationships with men.
There's no competition or rivalry to complicate things. Think kindred spirits from different worlds, who bring out the best in each other.
Fathers prepare daughters to be strong and confident adults, building their self-esteem and teaching them to accept different ways of thinking while still standing up for their own beliefs.
Daughters are great at helping dads to rediscover their inner child and to stay in touch with their softer side.
The word Daddy said in a certain voice makes all fathers melt.
A dad's patience with his daughter is perfect for things like teaching them to ride a bike or drive a car.
Dad also means 'my rock' to many girls - big and small - and no matter the crisis or problem, he will fix it.
Daughters can put dads straight about poor fashion choices without offending them.
Daughters know how to wrap dads around their little fingers. Dads know they know and don't mind.
No one gives better hugs. This works both ways.
So that's my take on the father-daughter relationship. It's by no means a comprehensive list, but I think it sums up the essence of this unique bond. Big thanks to my sister, Lindsay, for giving me an insight into how a grown up daddy's girl sees things too.
What are your favourite memories of spending time with your dad, either now or as a child? Why not share them in the comments section below?
*Former journalist S.D. Robertson quit his job as a local newspaper editor to pursue a lifelong ambition of becoming an author and to spend more time with his family. Time to Say Goodbye (Avon HarperCollins, £6.99) is his debut novel. A heart-rending story about the unique bond between a father and his daughter, it is published on 11 February.