I have been the father to a daughter since 2005. It is wonderful. I have always known that I played an important role in their lives, but a book that I read a few years ago completely stunned me. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters – 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Dr. Meg Meeker, is a book that every dad of girls must read. Dr. Meeker is a pediatrician, wife, and mother, and she brings all of that experience together to tell fathers an important message:
Your daughter needs you.
You can do it!
This is a great book with helpful ideas and good insight. What struck me the most was just how much power I have over my daughters’ self-worth, confidence, and actions. To be honest, there are parts of the book that will somewhat freak you out. She makes a very good case that it is a big, bad world out there, and if a daughter is not prepared then things have the potential to go very wrong. She has seen it, in the many patients who come through her office. But it isn’t just a scare tactic. She lays out the cold facts, but then she reassures you that you have what it takes. She points out that dads are different from moms, and we are both essential to our daughters’ development. God has wired us dads this way so that we can give our girls what they need.
There is no way I can do her book justice with a summary here, but here are the chapter headings, just to get you interested:
- You Are the Most Important Man in Her Life
- She Needs a Hero
- You Are Her First Love
- Teach Her Humility
- Protect Her, Defend Her (and use a shotgun if necessary)
- Pragmatism and Grit: Two of Your Greatest Assets
- Be the Man You Want Her to Marry
- Teach Her Who God Is
- Teach Her to Fight
- Keep Her Connected
As the book says, “to become a strong, confident woman, a daughter needs her father’s attention, protection, courage and wisdom.” Are you willing to do this? Will you focus on your daughter and believe these things to be true, even on days when it seems like she wants nothing to do with you?
Remember, you can do it – you have what it takes!
I’ll leave you with a couple quotes from Dr. Meeker:
“We are a nation who needs our good dads to step forward.”
“YOU, DAD, ARE WIRED WITH EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO BE A GREAT FATHER TO YOUR DAUGHTER.”