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Monday, October 19, 2009

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

The world is an ugly place, and there is no stronger influence on a little girl than her daddy. That is a horrifying and important charge.

I treat it seriously.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know is a scary and important book. Scary, because the statistics of what happens to "one-in-four", "one-in-three", and one-half" of all girls is sobering. Important, because it hammers home what dad's can do -- emotionally, physically, and spiritually to fight for their daughters, in hopes of avoiding them becoming statistics.

I say, "In hopes of", because the reality is the world is a broken place, and sadly, bad things happen. But part of this book is about equipping your daughters to be resilient, and (perhaps unintentionally), nods toward preparing dads being resilient, too.

The author (Dr. Meg Meeker, MD) is a female pediatrician, and has tremendous insight, experience, and heart for girls and women. I was a bit leery of a woman talking about parenting for males, but she roots it firmly in what she knew as a young daughter, knows as an adult daughter, a parent of daughters, and a practicing pediatrician well-versed in her clients and the research on the issues. I felt she was a bit off a couple of times, because she's not herself a father of daughters (obviously), so she's not "living it" like her target audience is -- but nothing that detracted from the book or its points.

Having finished the book, I'm now passing it around to other dads of daughters. We sign our names and our daughters' names, as an ongoing log and legacy of dads fighting for our girls.


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