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A Life-Changing Work
on July 30, 2002
If this book ever achieves the popularity it so richly deserves, there is no doubt in my mind that it will be trashed by some groups in the U.S. society. If that level of acceptance is ever achieved remember to read it before you judge or accept someone elses judgement of it. This book will challenge you. It will force you to evaluate your place as a father, and your place in the world as it affects girls. As the author states in the Foreword, it may offend. It is not written from a Christian perspective and it is not written from Atheistic perspective. It is about exactly what the title states.
There are two things that are almost universally true for all fathers of daughters. 1.) We don't talk to anyone at all about our jobs as parents. 2.) We did not grow up as girls (Ok, this one is universally true.) What Joe Kelly does in Dads and Daughters is point out that these are two of several major hurdles we must accomplish to be good dads. Luckily, he also provides great information on how to overcome these hurdles.
Covering the first hurdle brings surprises. In his research, Joe interviewed dozens of fathers from all walks of life. In that research he found common themes. Themes that each of us as dads of daughters know to be true for us, but have no idea that there is another soul on the planet with the same concerns, the same desires, the same stories. He points to our lack of father to father communication and says, "here are some ways to fix that."
The second hurdle is obvious once stated but not so clear until then. We grew up as boys, and generally find girls as perplexing as we did when we were their age. That is a problem for a grown up boy given the task of raising a girl. The tools that our fathers used with us (if we were lucky enough to have that father) probably will not work with your daughter. And quitting is not an option. (For what it's worth, you the humble reader may find that some of the techniques Kelly describes are just as useful with the grown up girl that is the mother of your daughter.)
With Dads and Daughters, Kelly forces us to turn the light of understanding inward to see so many things that we already know, but forgot. Most of us imagine ourselves cleaning the shotgun when our daughter's beau comes a callin' yet almost none of us remember our own insecurities and true desire to find love when we were that age. Many of us have grown comfortable in the role of secondary parent; many of us have forgotten how important we are.
It is incontrovertabile that your concern and love for your daughter brought you to look at the details of this book. What you may not realize is how important of a role you do have now, through her adolesence, and beyond. You may not realize what you need to be for your little princess. This book will help, and if you're like me it might re-awaken those feelings of unrestrained joy, love, and hope that you had the first time you saw her and realized, she was your daughter and you are her father.