Pediatrician Dr Meg Meeker in Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters urges fathers to defend their daughters. She insists on dad’s role to help his daughter ‘navigate through a treacherous popular culture’ that is ‘not healthy for girls and women’. She says, ‘Fathers, more than anyone else, set the course for a daughter's life.’ James Dobson writes almost identically, ‘A daughter’s relationship with her father is the number one factor in predicting a successful marriage.’ Jim Stenson, in Father, the Family Protector, is also totally emphatic about dad’s importance.
‘Fathers, more than anyone else, set the course for a daughter's life.’Dr Meg Meeker
Fathers are the role models of what it means to be a man. Dads by their loving presence teach their daughters that humility, generosity, self control, and attention to others, as well as a living faith and fortitude, can and should be central to the character of a man. When young girls learn this lesson they will be far less likely to be deceived, or to deceive themselves, in future relationships.
This is not being overly dramatic. Look at the data. STDs are scarring teenagers for life. Multiple sexual partners drop the statistical possibilities for a later lifelong partnership. Worst of all, children led into promiscuous behaviours are immunised against spiritual joy for which purity is a prerequisite. And whose fault is so much of this? Psychologist Tom Lickona writes bluntly of lasting damage that accrues from precocious sexual encounters and of the duty of parents to be ahead of the wave.
Why do we have this situation? Many fathers are not in the game. Through their child’s younger years they were disconnected, and later when there is a teenager in the house, dad is not close enough to give life-guidance. How is it that many teenagers are more open on social media than with their own parents?
- Do you take conversation seriously with your small child?
- Do you know what your son or daughter is thinking? Do they open their mind and heart to you?
- Do you always keep the promises you make to your child?
- Do you schedule regular daddy daughter time?
- Are you creative in doing things together that you both like?
- Do you share stories from your own life about great moments, and great lessons?
Do your fathers love you this little?
‘Driving through the cinema district of the city on one Friday evening I stopped at traffic lights. Fourteen and fifteen year old girls, heavily made up and dressed accordingly, were playing up to the boys outside a hotel. The boys needed little encouragement and were all over them. As I watched this I am thinking, "Where are your fathers? Do they love you this little?"’
Daughters desperately need three things from their fathers:
• A sense of their beauty, inside and out. Girls are more likely to fall into promiscuity when they are looking for the affection their dads don’t give them.
• Confidence... find positive and encouraging ways to package your messages.
• How they can expect to be treated by men.
Dr Bruce Robinson, What kids really need from their dads, DVD.