This is about a father who returns after a particularly long journey. Typically, he's not available very often anyway, but he deeply cares about his daughter. He also fails at behaving like a father should, because of two things: guilt for something he had to do and his duty, which prevents him from being a good father.
So, now that guy returns to his hometown and his daughter is there, and she is extremely excited that he's back. She has some big news for him about her (basically, she got involved with a duty similar to his). She thinks that he will be proud. But in fact, he's going to take it pretty badly. But before that happens, I want to show that he's trying to be a good father and that circumstances make it hard.
But, I don't have many ideas on how to do that without making him look totally awkward...
I think he could try to discuss his daughter's interests, but she's really just obsessed with the idea that her father will be proud of her because of her new duty.
So, right now, I'm trying to make it so the father tries to drive the discussion around his daughter's love interests (which is ok regarding the story), but I'm not really sure about that. And I'm not sure how the father should discuss that.
In such a context, what can a caring father do/tell to his daughter, so that the reader will consider him as a good guy trying hard to be a good father?