As a single dad to a soon-to-be 7-year-old daughter, and as someone who is always interested in things I can learn and do to improve myself, I read books on parenting from time to time.
It’s been a little while since I read the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, by Dr. Meg Meeker, but the things I learned from this book are still every bit a part of my life and my relationship with my daughter, so while this won’t be a full book report, I do want to share. It’s a very good book with some great ideas and actionable steps to help strengthen the ties between dads and their daughters.
In times like these, this kind of family bond might be more important than ever. I feel that it is for us, anyway.
One of the central themes throughout the book is that as a dad, I’m already starting out in the position as her hero. My job is to stay there. One of the most important ways to do that is just to be there for her when she needs me.
This sounds so simple, but as parents each of us faces different challenges, and if we don’t intentionally decide to spend time truly connecting with our kids and being present with them, this incredibly important role can easily be neglected.
Dr. Meeker points out that it’s not just while she’s young that this dynamic exists — throughout her entire life, my daughter is going to need to know that I’m there for her. This makes sense to me, and one of the commitments I made to myself is to make sure she knows she can count on me.
One of the most difficult things to do, Dr. Meeker says, is to understand things from her point of view, and step into her world, which is very different from mine. By understanding what she is going through and setting the right example, I can continue to lead her and keep her on the right track as she grows up and other influences are at play in her life.
Of course, protecting her is also a huge responsibility that’s covered in the book as well — not only protecting her physically, but also fighting for her mind and her soul. Lots of good suggestions for doing these things are in the book, and since I didn’t write it, I don’t want to run the risk of putting words in the author’s mouth!
Throughout the entire book, the recurring theme is to stay connected to her. That’s something I can do! As you’ve seen in some of my other posts, connection and the brotherhood that is the human race are very important to me. One of my favorite things to do and something that energizes me tremendously is to connect with people in a meaningful way.
Who better to connect with than my daughter?