Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters
I received Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters as a gift for Christmas a year ago. I’m the father of two awesome little girls, and I’d like very much to guard them from and prepare them for the world they are growing up in as much as I can. This book went on my list when I heard the author, Meg Meeker, interviewed on a podcast I regularly listen to. I was impressed with most of what she had to say, and I was interested in what further insights I could pick up from her work.
So be bold. Your daughter wants your guidance and support; she wants and needs a strong bond with you. And, as all successful fathers know, you need a strong bond with her.
As a medical doctor, Meeker is able to speak with a great deal of authority regarding topics such as the effects of teenage sexual activity and STIs, depression and eating disorders, the dangers of drug abuse, and a host of other medical topics. As a woman, she is able to speak on the way her father has impacted her life, and she also has the insight of many years spent treating young women and interacting with their parents. If you are looking for a solid primer on how your role as a father impacts your daughter’s life, you would do well to read this book.
The book’s subtitle is “10 Secrets Every Father Should Know,” and Meeker organizes the book into one chapter for each “secret.” Speaking personally, I didn’t find all of the “secrets” (e.g. that you should protect and defend her, that you are the most important man in her life, and that you should be the man you want her to marry) to be particularly new and eye opening. Even so, Meeker’s input on these topics are worth the read. And there were some “secrets” that I hadn’t considered. Her chapter on teaching your daughter humility is one of the best reasons to read this book.
[T]here are two types of women in the world: princesses and pioneer women. Princesses believe they deserve a better life and expect others to serve them. Pioneer women expect that any improvement in their lives will come through their own hard work; they are in charge of their own happiness.
Dr. Meeker appears to come from a traditional Christian upbringing, and there are some parts where the book reflects that. For example, at one point she writes about how marijuana is ‘the gateway drug.’ Many studies have shown that isn’t necessarily true, and I found her unqualified statement a little off-putting. Also, one of her chapters is about teaching your daughter who God is. Now, as a father and a follower of Jesus, I’m interested in raising my children to love God, and I’d like them to have a responsible and educated view when it comes to the use of drugs, including alcohol. So, these passing comments didn’t deter me from continuing, and they certainly don’t make up the bulk of the text. I found that Meeker’s overall wisdom and expertise more than made up for the moments where I found myself at odds with her thoughts.
I’ve recommended Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters to several friends who are the fathers of young women, and I will continue to do so. At under 250 pages, it’s a quick read, and Meeker was good enough to provide a thorough index, which is convenient when a father wants to return to the book for reference on a particular topic. It is filled with a good balance of valuable data and statistics, powerful insight, and touching stories. If your daughter is 6 months or 16 years old, you should put this book on your reading list.
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