Monday, April 26, 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.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Your daughter learns how to be treated by watching you

As your daughter shifts into the school age and starts interacting with boys, she will implement what she has learned at home about male-to-female relationships. She has been paying close attention to how you treat her mother, your wife.

If your relationship with your spouse has been shaky, your daughter will take that with her to school. What do I mean by shaky? Well, I mean that there is a lack of trust, little responsibility, and a lot of unnecessary time spent apart, your daughter will have a more likely chance of seeking out males, who are not trustworthy, don’t own up to responsibility, and are physically detached.

Let’s also think of if you have yelled or even threatened to hit your spouse. Even if you didn’t do this in front of your children, it still has an influence on them if they are present, say in their bedroom. If this is the case with your relationship with your spouse, your daughter will lean towards males who are verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive.

If your relationship has been following the “Gottman guidelines” of at least three positive acts for every one negative, your daughter will have noticed this. If you have been taking your spouse out on dates, buying her flowers, remembering your anniversary, among other things, your daughter will be more likely to seek out respectful males.
Of course, there will be the situation where your daughter gets herself into an unhealthy relationship, despite your example. Just know that you are her first exposure to a male-female relationship, and despite a poor choice, she will one day come to the realization and desire the relationship that her father and mother had.

We also need to be aware of other influences on the male-female relationship. One cannot omit the outside forces that come into our homes. What kind of shows and movies do you watch in your house, and how are women treated in them? What kinds of video games do you play, and how are the women treated or portrayed in those? How about your music, what do the lyrics contain about women? If you view pornography, think of how that will influence your daughter of how women should be treated. Take all of those into account. Even if you treat your wife with the utmost respect, but then listen to a song demeaning women, there will be a conflict in the messages you are sending her.

Make your home and your relationship with your spouse healthy, so that your daughter can see, hear, and learn how women should be treated. It will greatly affect her relationships for the rest of her life.

Has watching how your parents treat each other influenced you?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Internet Safety and Your Daughter

Photo From

I recently watched an internet safety video on NSTeens. I noticed when the teens were asked if their parents knew what they were doing online, they responded with: “My mom does.” I thought: “Where is dad? Isn’t dad involved? If other families are like mine, my dad knows more about computers than my mom.” Yet, it is mom who is usually involved the most with internet activity.

Your daughter is at risk online without the appropriate safety measures (not that a son isn’t, there are just differences). For instance, your daughter is likely to go on the internet to connect socially with peers, but also to expand her social circle. If she is struggling in getting a boy’s attention, she may look for attention online. The risk is that you never know who is at the other end of the conversation.

There are some simple things that you can do to encourage your daughter to be safe online.

(1) Limit chat rooms. Open chat rooms are a place where predators can easily put on a fake profile. It is difficult to know who is on the other end of a chat room conversation. Only use systems like MSN, Skype, or Facebook to chat. Since with these programs you are able to choose who you want to be on your friends list. Encourage your daughter to not add anyone who she doesn’t know in-person, or remove someone she wouldn’t say ‘Hi’ to in person.

(2) Have controls on the webcam. Webcams are great, especially when paired with something like Skype. You are able to talk, and see, a family member or friend, who is far away. However, only a quick glimpse at some of the top rated videos on Google or YouTube shows how a webcam can get out of control. If the webcam is a separate part to the computer, only bring it out when needed.

(3) Let the internet sleep when you do. I have heard of a family where they take the internet router to bed with them. Dad will literally unplug it and put it in his room, so that no one is on the internet alone at night. Or set up online controls that block you off the internet at certain times.

(4) Keep the computer in a family area. Make sure the home computer is in a high-traffic area of the house, so that it is always being monitored. Yes, in this day and age of wireless laptops it can be difficult to keep an eye on what she does all the time. But encourage her to do her online activities in a family area.

(5) Be involved with your daughter’s online activities. Let her know that online actions have offline consequences. Be aware of what she is doing online. Subscribing to her feeds on her profile will help you know exactly what she is posting online. It would be beneficial to know her passwords to all of her accounts. Go through internet history with your daughter, and discuss any concerns you may have, or praise her for being net smart. These actions may come across to your daughter as you not trusting her. She needs to know that you do trust her, but it is the other people that you don’t trust.

I recommend going to for more information on internet safety tips.

How do you manage the internet and keep your family safe?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Remember to Have Daddy-Daughter Dates

Spending time with your daughter enhances your relationship with her. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is not just about quality time, it is about quantity time. To make your daughter feel loved, and wanted, you need to spend time together. I, therefore, recommend daddy-daughter dates.

Daddy-daughter dates are a prime time for some one-to-one. This is a chance for you to give her your uninterrupted and undivided attention.

(1) At what age should you begin these dates? When your daughter is an infant. That way you can start to develop a relationship with your daughter as soon as possible, but to also develop a routine. Something as simple as holding her for an hour while mom takes a rest, is a great start. These daddy-daughter dates should continue until she moves out. But this brings me to my second point: frequency.

(2) How often should you have daddy-daughter dates? It is easiest to do daddy-daughter dates when she is young. As she gets older and progresses through elementary school to high school, her schedule will become more compact. You need to realize those calendar shifts. When she is a toddler, you can have a daddy-daughter date once a week or every other week. As she starts going to school more full-time, it may change to once or twice a month. As her schedule tightens during high school it may become a monthly or bimonthly activity.

(3) How long should each daddy-daughter date be? They need to be an hour, minimum. Think of it as an investment. In order to improve a dad and daughter relationship, time needs to be spent on it. Of course, again, as your daughter gets older, the length of the date may have to shorten to accommodate her busy schedule.

(4) What should we do on daddy-daughter dates? Remember, the main purpose behind the activity is to strengthen your relationship with your daughter. When she is young, it may be a trip to the park, or going to get ice cream. As she gets older you can go bowling, mini-golfing, go to a film, teach her how to drive, or even a walk. These don’t need to be extravagant activities. As your daughter becomes familiar with a daddy-daughter dates, she may approach you with ideas of things to do together. Take that as a compliment, and as an opportunity, your daughter wants to grow the relationship as well!

(5) Here are a few rules that you need to keep in mind. Remember, these aren’t dates like you went on to impress your wife and gain her love; these are dates to gain trust and to talk to your daughter. Don’t embarrass your daughter in any way; this will only cause her to lose trust in you. Always have a plan, don’t do last minute daddy-daughter dates. Your daughter will recognize a disorganized plan, especially as she ages. Respect your daughter’s boundaries, if she doesn’t want to go somewhere public with you, like shopping, plan to do something else. Don’t freak out if you miss one date-night; just make sure to do it the next time. I don’t expect perfection, and neither should you.

Most of all grow and develop a relationship with your daughter. You need it just as much as she does.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - Wonderful Fathering Site

I just found a wonderful fathering site. 

Visit it here at and explore it for yourself.