Media Contact
Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790

January 23, 2009

Discovering the Connection Between Dads and Daughters

As heart-shaped chocolates, flowers and love notes begin to appear in stores and schools, it’s important for Colorado dads to remember the other women in their lives – their daughters. According to the National Center for Fathering, girls who have fathers who are actively and positively involved in their lives do better in school, are more likely to become confident adults and less likely to become sexually active at an early age. This February, Colorado dads are encouraged to spend time with their daughters by playing the COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION Game together.

As girls grow older, they often begin to distance themselves from their fathers. Communication can be awkward or strained. The COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION Game was created by Gary Burns in 1995 in an effort to reconnect with his own teenage daughter.

The game is specifically designed for fathers of daughters ages 10 or older. It consists of 365 thought-provoking cards and a journal. The fill-in-the-blank cards are sorted into 26 packets, which are organized in alphabetical order. To begin, a father and daughter are instructed to go to a restaurant that begins with or contains the letter corresponding to a specific packet of cards. Each month another packet is used and another restaurant is chosen. If a father and daughter play the game once a month, they will have enough cards to cover more than two years worth of father/daughter dates.

“Even when we made an effort to spend time together following my divorce, it seemed that my daughter and I had very little to talk about,” said Gary. “The game’s open-ended statements gave us an easy, non-threatening way to communicate on literally hundreds of subjects. All while enjoying a meal together at a different restaurant each month.”

Each game card contains a thoughtful question where the respondent, either the father or the daughter, must answer in an open-ended way. For instance, “I’ll never forget the time you _______,”. The bottom of each card says, “I say that because_____,” which allows for both participants to elaborate on their feelings, give a reason for their previous answer and continue to open up conversation. 

“A daughter’s relationship with her father can often set the tone for the relationships she develops the rest of her life,” said Rich Batten, fatherhood specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Adolescence is a critical time for fathers to connect with their daughters. The COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION Game gives them the opportunity to do so in a fun, convenient way.”

Throughout February 2009, Colorado dads can purchase the COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION Game for $5 off the regular retail price as part of a Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative promotion. Visit www.coloradodads.com to purchase the game for $24.95 plus shipping and handling. A list of Colorado restaurants planning to promote the game and hand out individual game packets in February can also be found on this Web site.

The COM-MU'-NI-CA'-TION Game is a recipient of the 2007 Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year Award, the 2008 National Parenting Publications Honors Award from Parents Magazine and the 2009 Teachers Choice Award for Family Games.

In October 2006, the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division was awarded a $10 million federal grant over five years to strengthen father/child relationships and improve parenting. Colorado is one of two locations nationwide, including Washington, D.C., to receive this federal community access grant. The Responsible Fatherhood Initiative distributes more than $1.2 million in community awards to state, community and faith based organizations to assist in providing direct services to fathers and families. Awards of up to $50,000 are distributed per program per fiscal year. For more information, please visit www.coloradodads.com.