As many of you know, raising daughters can be a challenge; sometimes even more so for fathers going it alone. There are a lot of things to deal with that that we lack experience in. I couldn't help but smile many a time while sitting out on my back stoop. The neighbor across the road is also raising his teenage daughter... and mostly alone. Although I occasionally saw the mother's car there, but not that often.
They recently moved, but after the 3-4 years we were neighbors (although I never introduced myself) I feel like I know him. Basically, he is just a regular guy with me, doing the best that he can.
One of the things we have to contend with in this day and age is getting our daughter's respect. The way popular movies and television have been portraying men and fathers suggest that men don't need to be respected. They are made the butt end of jokes; portrayed as incompetents. Sometimes they are also portrayed as objects for female aggression. I recall one episode of "Seinfeld" where his co-star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, gives him a very forceful shove and screams at him to "get out!" If this had of played out the other way around, I imagine the station would have been flooded with calls about the show endorsing violence towards women. As it was.... it's just a man who got shoved; no need for alarm.
Other damage created by the media is teaching daughters that they need to be slim, super pretty and sexy in order for their lives to have any social value. This means I have to learn how to counsel my teenager, that this isn't true. We have to find a way to do this and it isn't something we studied in school. And, I'm not alone....
In an article on education.com it says:
According to the U.S. Census' most recent information, there are approximately 13 million children living in single-parent households. That in itself isn't all that surprising, but here's something that is: 2.5 million of those children are being raised by single fathers. That's nearly 1 in every 40 households –over half as many as ten years ago –in which custodial fathers are raising children, many of whom are girls.
Watch video below as Dr. Meg Meeker , author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters discusses these issues in an interview.
In her book of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters you'll discover:
- the essential virtues of strong fathers–and how to develop them
- the cues daughters take from their dads on everything from self-respect to drugs, alcohol, and sex
- the truth about ground rules (girls do want them, despite their protests)
- the importance of becoming a hero to your daughter
- the biggest mistake a dad can make–and the ramifications
- the fact that girls actually depend on their dads’ guidance into adulthood
- steps fathers can follow to help daughters avoid disastrous decisions and mistakes
- ways in which a father’s faith–or lack thereof–will influence his daughter
- essential communication strategies for different stages of a girl’s life
This would be a great book for anyone who feels a bit over-whelmed. It has received many favorable views. There are other resource out there too, like the National Fatherhood Initiative. And whenever you're faced with indecision, call your closest friends and family and ask for opinions. Tell them you have a list of people you're going to call to get a wider perspective, but you would value their opinion. If they ask whether you will take their advice, tell them you are just collecting ideas, and later after you have a chance to sort through them, you will make your choice.
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