As the father of three daughters (and three sons), I had a strong reaction to this book. It is terrific in the way it guides and urges fathers to be active and involved in the lives of their daughters. It doesn't provide a list of detailed actions you must take to have a successful relationship or a healthy child. Instead, it provides ten needs that can best be met by you as her father as she grows into a wonderful woman and makes her own way in the world.
When a father realizes the way her relationship with him and his with her defines so much of how she will define the male-female world in her life, it gives one pause. Daughters need heroes; she learns a lot about love from her father, she can learn important qualities such as humility, faith in God, and standing up for herself. How a father protects and defends her has a big impact on her self-image. The way a father demonstrates practicality and tenacity can provide a great example when hard times inevitably come. And he should be the kind of man he would like his daughter to marry.
Above all, he needs to help her get connected and stay connected with life. Never let her drift into a shell and withdraw from the world. This can't be done by command. It is a participatory experience that requires the father as much as the mother.
This is a fine book with lots of good anecdotes and examples. A great read for anyone still raising daughters and a terrific gift (if given the right way) to a new father of a little girl.
on May 3, 2007
The more you know; the more you know you don't know.
This is a powerful book for fathers who are already great Dads... It will validate who you are and encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. It will help forge your mind around your absolute responsibilities as the father of a girl and young lady. It will remind you that baby girls, young ladies, and women have only ONE Daddy.
I have read other father/daughter books, including Dr. Leman's book (which I also recommend in another Amazon review). Like all advice, one must temper the input from outside sources. Dr. Leman and Dr. Meeker's books, however, are treasures that you can simply gorge yourself on... without regard to having to sift the psychobabble and tenuous opinions with little research and/or validity.
Dr. Meeker's book, in particular, is superlative from the standpoint of a no-holds barred, in-your-face reality check of the awesome responsibilities associated with being your daughter's Daddy. Whereas Dr. Leman's book was more of a semi-autobiographical and quasi-emotional journey of the Daddy-daughter relationship, Dr. Meeker's book is much more robust, profound, and, in some case, quantitatively advanced.
Best of all, though, Dr. Meeker is a daughter; a former girl; a woman; and a doctor. She has lived the life of a Daddy's girl (not the spoiled type - but, rather, the type who can look back upon her youthful Daddy interactions with fond appreciation). She has also lived the life of a doctor who has talked with, counseled, and commiserated with many, many girls and young ladies... THIS is an insight worth a King's ransom.
This book is very, very special. If you want to understand the touchy-feely side of how a Daddy affects his daughter's life, buy Dr. Leman's book. If you want to cover the full gamut of your superlative responsibility as a Daddy; if you want to delve deep into your daughter's eyes and see what she sees, wants, and needs... buy THIS book.
By the way, I HIGHLY recommend giving this book to both genders, as well as any other adult male who has daughters.
on May 29, 2007
I have a three-year-old daughter and thought this would be a good Doctor's guide about raising a daughter. I found it to be interesting and Dr. Meeker makes some geniune points about the psychological make-up of young women and girls (although she is Family M.D. and not a Psychiatrist or Psychologist).
Some of the end tends to get a little preachy about God and the like, which you see coming over the horizon about midway through the book. Nevertheless, if there's one thing we know about people who are religious and those who are not, it's unlikely that a child-rearing book is going to convert you one way or the other; so, if you don't agree, that section won't kill you. I'm living proof.
In my opinion, this is an enjoyable book with some very relatable anecdotes and a lot of food for thought about the oversexualized nature of pop culture and the dangers facing our daughters every day.
As a father who tends to see things left of center in most cases, when it comes to youth (especially our daughters), I couldn't agree more.
on March 15, 2007
I was dumbfounded when I read (the few) negative reviews of this book. It's unbelievable what some people will delude themselves into believing when the truth doesn't fit their agenda. If you're the kind of parent that thinks it's ok to let your 15 year old daughter's boyfriend spend the night with her in her room in your house "because it's safer and at least you know where they are", this book IS NOT for you. You have already made your (and her) bed and you will both have to lie in it and live with the consequences for the rest of your lives.
However, if you cherish and value your daughter's innocence, positive attitude (that they are *all* born with until the world crushes it from them), love of life and bright, happy, healthy smile, this book IS for you. If you want her to grow up emotionally healthy and able to face the pressures that our parents never knew and therefore didn't know how to equip *us* to deal with, read this book, it will tell you how.
This book will give mothers and fathers alike a crystal clear understanding of the emotional consequences (forget the medical consequences) of having sex too early and with too many partners and how to help your daughter stave off pressure. You can ignore and deny the consequences but that will not change the feelings of worthlessnes and yes, downright depression, that your daughter will feel if you, her parents, do not protect her from the onslaught that is our sexually charged society made up of hormonal teen (and pre-teen) boys who believe it is their right to take your daughter's innocence and your daughter's female friends that will tease her and call her a prude and a geek if she doesn't "give it up" to the guy she's been "dating" for a month.
I am a mom and this book taught me so much about my precious girls and how to be a better mom. I taught me so much about my awesome husband and enabled me to understand and appreciate the traits about him that make him so valuable to our girls' healthy development. Things that I sometimes used to get annoyed and angry about that he would do in dealing with issues I now understand and even appreciate. I understand how he deals with things differently from me and why it is not only good but invaluable.
Lastly, it taught me so much about myself. Burdens have been lifted from me that I have carried for years because, not only do I now understand the things I went through as a teen and preteen, but I am now equipped to help my daughter avoid the mental anguish that I experienced (and am still experiencing, so some extent). My parents were great, but our society changed so much and so fast from when they were kids in the 40's and 50's that they had absolutely no clue what they had to equip me with and protect me from, much less how to do it.
If you are a parent (mother OR father) that cares desperately for your daughter and wants to keep her safe, healthy and happy - emotionally and physically - I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better book than this to help you reach those goals.
As for those that think this book is "old-fashioned", I ask you, did we have the problems with teen pregnancy, skyrocketting STD's and teen suicide in the "old-fashion" days? These are the fruits of our "progress".
Sorry this was so long, but this book has had a profound impact on me.
on August 11, 2007
Every father should read this book, not only once, but every year. I have recommended this book to everybody I know with a daughter, and everybody has thanked me for the referral. My children are 3 years old and younger, and I learned a ton. Friends with older children and teenagers told me that everything Dr. Meeker said in the book has come true for their kids as well, once they start paying attention to her advice, following her recommendations, and paying attention to our daughters responses to our actions. Awareness is key, as the book points out.
I think this book gets 6 stars, not only because it's well written, but because of how it changed my life. I think I'm a better person and will be a better father for reading this book. How do you put a value to such knowledge?
Don't think twice, just buy this book. Every chapter is a gem. Fatherhood is underestimated and nobody seems to talk about how important it is. Is it not a manly thing to talk about how important it is to raise and protect your daughter? Look at fatherhood in this way - it is the ONLY job that only YOU can do! You are your daughter's protector and according to the book, her savior. Put your ego aside and admit that no matter what your job, career or profession is, someobody else can do exactly what you do or even better. If you died tomorrow you would be replaced in no time in the workplace. But what about your role in your family, and as a father? That will be a permanent loss. NOBODY can be the father to your daughter, however, except you, so why not read about how to do it right or how to do it better?
Every man in the world will try to hit on, sleep with, or get something from our daughters except us fathers. We're the only men who our little girls may ever be able to truly rely on, that is, if you do what this book tells you to do. Just being a father by title isn't enough! You need to follow the advice from this book, otherwise you will be just another man in the world disappointing their daughters. As the book points out, you can actually do tremendous harm to your daughter if you don't follow the recommendations in this book. That puts a great responsibility on our role. As a professional, I've read hundreds of books and articles about how to do my job, which isn't nearly as important as being a father to my daughters. So, why not start reading about our real "most important job?"
I know this review is a bit over the top, so I disclose that I have no relationship to the author or to the publisher and have nothing to gain for praising the book. I just want every father to be the best that they can be, and that will make every daughter better prepared for the world. I almost never write reviews, but this book is so amazing that I felt I owed it to us fathers out there and to our daughters, hoping to get at least one other person to buy the book.
on September 24, 2006
My husband and I label this book as a "must read" for any daddy raising a daugther! We never realized the impact a father has on setting the course for his daughter's life until reading this book. It heightens the motivation to be that special man in your daughter's eyes. The author had a wonderful way of touching our hearts and opening our eyes to the role played by the father.
on October 9, 2006
Dr. Meg Meeker has written an important book for fathers in the 21st century. I purchased this book to pass on to a young father that I know and I'm hopeful his family will benefit from it.
As a father of two daughters, I worked hard to perfect the "10 secrets every father should know" that Dr. Meeker writes about in her book. Fathers, it is crucial you understand how important you are to your daughter. Dr. Meeker points out that you are her hero and her first love.
Dr. Meeker says, "Your daughter looks to you for guidance, whether the issue is what instrument or sport to play, what college to attend, or what to do about sex, drinking, and drugs. If she feels close to you, she's much more likely to make good decisions. If she doesn't feel close to you, all bets are off."
I encourage all fathers of daughters to read this book. If you aren't a father of a daughter then buy a copy for someone who is!
Meg Meeker MD’s “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” is an A-list book for both fathers and mothers…and for daughters. There is something in this book for everyone.
Meeker is a practicing pediatrician and Clincial Assistant Professor at Michigan State University. She has written five other books on the raising of children – “Strong Mother, Strong Sons”, “Your Kids at Risk: How Teen Sex Threatens Our Sons and Daughters”, “Boys Should be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons”, and “The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity”. She writes from an unabashedly Catholic perspective. Her books draw from her 20+ years of experience as a pediatrician and a counselor to young girls. She has seen the impact of absent parents, promiscuity, drugs and alcohol, and unhealthy friendships on children, their development, and subsequent happiness.
In “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters”, author Meeker outlines the importance of the father’s role in a daughter’s development and ultimate happiness; and she provides ten key “secrets” to guide fathers in navigating the path they must take for success.
Secret #1 - “You (the father) are the most important man in her (your daughter’s) life” – is the overarching theme throughout the book. What you do and don’t do has big, big impact on your daughter’s development, overall well-being, and her eventual happiness. When she is 25, she will mentally size her boyfriend her husband up against you; when she is 35 the number of children she has will be impacted by the life she had with you.” Fathers are critical to a daughter’s self-worth and growth - physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
Nine other secrets every father should know follow. They are:
1. She needs a hero – Heroes save families. They meet the deepest needs of the human heart. They teach undiluted commitment and faithfulness.
2. You are her first love - Your daughter yearns to secure your love, and throughout her life she’ll need you to prove it. Every man who enters her life will be compared to you.
3. Teach her humility – Genuine humility is the starting point for every other virtue. Humility means having a proper perspective on ourselves, of seeing ourselves as we really are. It also means knowing that every person has equal worth.
4. Protect her, defend her (and use a shotgun if necessary) – Boundaries are a sign of love. The father is a far more effective protector of his daughter than anyone else in life. Teens are getting mixed messages from their schools, churches, and civic groups.
5. Pragmatism and grit: two of your greatest assets – Teach her to appreciate grit as nothing makes a heart melt like a man with courage and resolve. We admire men who are willing to risk their lives to help good triumph over evil and have the moral wit to distinguish between the two.
6. Be the man you want her to marry – Like physicians, see it, do it, teach it. She needs to see what a good man looks like, she has to know one: a model of masculinity; a man of integrity; a man who inspires trust and respect; a leader; committed to family; willing to sacrifice for them.
7. Teach her who God is - Your daughter needs God. You should be glad that she wants to believe in something larger, because you know all too well that many times you will fail her. And the evidence (provided by Meeker) says: religion is protective for kids.
8. Teach her how to fight – Reason, experience, and our moral compass help us decide what to do. It is your job to provide your daughter with a moral compass, to be the voice of reason when she talks about feelings, and to show her the power of will that allows you to live with the outcome of moral reasoning.
9. Keep her connected - Stay connected with your daughter and make her part of your everyday life. Have her help you with chores, or take her out to a theater, or go on a mission trip with her, but whatever you do, focus on her.
Meeker goes into great depth on each of the 10 secrets, providing supporting data and ample real life examples of prodigal daughters that are sure to resonate.
I was a single-parent, raising a son and daughter from ages 13 and 10 respectively. I wish this book was around when I took on the responsibility of being the sole parent of two wonderful children. I was not a perfect father but I did do a number of things right. I quit work to be available to both as we adjusted to a life without a mom. I spent time with both and also individually as we shared special events like a football game, a concert, the symphony, and special summer trips to Big Fork, Montana. My children are now doing the same for their children (my son has two and my daughter has five). They grew as did I.
Key take-aways of this book include the essential virtues of strong fathers; how a father’s modeling contributes or denigrates a daughter’s self-esteem; the importance of boundaries and how to enforce them; the biggest mistake a dad can make; the importance of faith; and how girls depend on their dad’s guidance well into adulthood.
We all know women whose father’s failed them. What will your daughter’s life say about you?
on January 12, 2007
This is a book for fathers as "Men are from Mars/ women are from Venus" by John Gray is for couples.
I am a father of 3 daughters, and hopefully will have more daughters soon, and once in a while I come across a book which slaps me and not just makes me realize how essential is my presence as a father to my daughters but also how important is for them what they see, they hear, they feel from my actions. This is one of those books. I am a "must" in their lives; and it is my duty to give them the best life possible. Each of my daughters is a masterpiece, an individual and therefore must be treated as one.
This amazing book helps you in this wonderful task by giving you ten tips (the author calls them secrets, I call them rules) for being a better father. We are not perfect, but this gives you a step forward towards perfection on this matter. I am recommending this book to those friends of mine who have the blessing of having a daughter or daughters and it is because this other girls will influence my daughters in one way or another, so it is my interest to have around my daughters other strong girls with strong fathers.
on July 12, 2007
I think this book should be required reading for fathers (future and current). Dr. Meeker doesn't pull any punches, nor does she cut any corners when describing what daughters need: namely, a Dad who is involved at every stage in every way, and at every turn in their lives. There is much technical data to help support her arguments, and, besides being a woman (i.e. a daughter) she is a M.D. There is much to be mined from this book, and I can't recommend it highly enough.