I was browsing the web and found an article on www.education.com entitled “What a Girl Wants” by a pediatrician involved with the National Fatherhood Initiative. I didn’t even know there was a National Fatherhood Initiative!
I read the below answers from a pediatrician involved with this initiative and was blown away by how much this resonates with what we are finding and what girls themselves are saying.
She says, “As a pediatrician, I have witnessed the magnanimity of the father-daughter relationship crystallize before my eyes. have watched them wrestle with the choking grip of eating disorders, heard them sob over their parents’ divorce, and asked them how life feels with and without stimulants to help them concentrate in school. As one who took an oath 23 years ago to care for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being of girls, have come to the realization that the very best way can do this is to help their fathers. Why? Because a father holds influence over a daughter’s heart unlike no other human being. Research confirms this, human intuition reveals it, and my experience as a mother of three grown daughters solidifies this truth to me. The problem is, most fathers haven’t been told this. They have been taught that they are unnecessary, stupid, “out of touch” with girls’ issues, and consequently, fathers – as a group – are suffering a serious crisis of self esteem.”
When asked “if you could share just one piece of advice for fathers with daughters, what would it be?” she answered:
“Engage your daughters. Please. Your daughter needs the person that you are. She needs the best of your character, your influence internalized into her mind and onto her heart. The only way this can occur is for you to take the initiative to move into her life.
Many fathers are comfortable with their daughters until they become 10 or 11 years old. Then, when puberty brings a sour voice or an angry look, fathers often take these changes too personally and back out of their daughters’ lives. Please, please don’t. Our daughters are growing up in a world which is extremely difficult for them to navigate and they need their fathers more than ever. Girls need their dads more during the teen years than at any other time. Girls growing up in this generation are lonelier than they have ever been and the antidote to that loneliness and all the pains it affords is right in front of you. It is you.”
Dads – please walk in confidence that your daughter needs you. She may shrug you off, she may ignore you, she may seem like she’s not paying attention, you may question what you have to offer, it may seem awkward at times, you may be really busy, but engage!
But – I am adding one more piece of advice – please also remember that the God who created you is the Only One capable of perfect love. We will all fall short, but HE never will. Please make sure your daughter knows the One who will be there for her when you may not be.
On June 15, Alan and I will conduct a two hour, interactive, live seminar at Real Life Church in Valencia. We would love to see you and your friends there. Click the banner below to get more information and get signed up.
Below is a sneak peek at the cover of the soon to be released book entitled Prized Possession. It should be available approximately June 1. More detals coming soon.