Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

I’ve started reading a new book: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker. I’ve got a daughter growing up ridiculously fast, and I need all the help I can get. When an author says they have secrets, they must be exposed. As such, here are her 10 secrets for strong fathers and strong daughters.

(1) You are the most important man in her life. Your daughter’s self-esteem is being ripped right out of her by today’s media and society. She will constantly be comparing herself to magazines, commercials, films, and girls at school. You need to let your daughter know that she is special, loved, and cherished. You are the one who can stand between her and the outside influences.

(2) She needs a hero. Dad, you need to be “masculine”, don’t be ashamed of it or display it wrongly. Meg Meeker says that masculinity “is the moral exercise of authority”. You need to keep control and be consistent when you are under fire. Strength and kindness can, and do go together. Be the best hero you can be. In other words, I am not talking about the stereotypical male here, but one who uses his authority properly and as the leader serves and is ultimately dedicated to his family

(3) You are her first love. Sounds simple, but love is a two way street. You need to make time with her count, listen to your daughter, fence her in with proper boundaries, use kind and gentle words, and have the will to continue to love your daughter no matter what happens.

(4) Teach her humility. Teach her through humility, that real joy and happiness come only from strong, healthy relationships. Teach your daughter who she is, where she came from, and where she will be going. Humility will show her the value in who she really is. Humility can then make your daughter feel significant, strengthen her relationships, and keep her balanced.

(5) Protect and defend her. Defend your daughter from sexual activity. You need to have a plan.You need to teach her self-respect early in life. When she starts dating, you need to let the boy who is taking your daughter out know that he is accountable to you; that you’ll be waiting up until they get back and you will be visible to him. You need to plan with your daughter that sex is sacred and should be kept for marriage; her teen body and emotions aren’t ready.

(6) Pragmatism and grit, two of your greatest assets. You need to teach your daughter to not be a princess and expect things from others. Teach her that not all of her desires can or should be met. This will help her live in the real world.

(7) Be the man you want her to marry. One day it will happen, your daughter will get married.You want your daughter to marry a nice man. You need to exemplify that. You need to do what you say you will do, and be who you said you will be. You can’t live a secret and hidden life in the digital world. You need to keep your own family together, so that she can see how she is to be treated in her marriage.

(8) Teach her who God is.

(9) Teach her to fight, properly. Help her to keep her emotions in check, and how to express them appropriately. Teach her that she can use her voice, in a non-aggressive way, to express how she is feeling. Teach her that she can say ‘No’ to something she doesn’t like or want to do.Teach her how to analyze situations.

(10) Keep her connected. Not only do you need to stay connected with your daughter, but she also needs to stay connected to reality. Show her the neat things about the world we live in. Teach her to work hard and to plan. Teach her how to connect to others, and have her involved in the community. She will then live in the world and be connected to it.

I know after reading the book, there will be several things I need to work on as a father. I recommend the book to all fathers of daughters. I hope it will enlighten you as it has for me. Remember to be a strong father so that you will have strong daughters.

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