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.”
Do you like this post? Check out some other Dad posts here! We have plenty of great ideas to help you be the Purposeful Dad that your daughters (and sons) need you to be!
Sounds like a really good book. I’m not a father yet, but hope to be one someday soon!
Thanks for the comment, Kevin. It really was a terrifying and encouraging book for me. Highly recommend!
There is a lot you can be doing now to prepare. First and foremost, enjoy the season you’re in! Pre-parenthood has many advantages that you should utilize and enjoy. Second, I would say that the effort you put into your marriage relationship is crucial. I’ve heard it said that the best gift you can give your kids is to love their mom. You want to bring kids into a solid and safe environment. Last, Dr. Meeker talks about ‘being the kind of man that you would want your daughter to marry,’ and you can get a running start at that, long before you have any kids. Specifically, Dr. Meeker commends the dad’s deep connection with humility, pragmatism, grit, courage, and protection. All of those are attributes that you can pursue right now, to prepare yourself to be the strong father that you hope to become.