Saturday, July 30, 2011

To the Daddies

our girls and their favorite man
I read this last night and had to share:

I have watched daughters talk to fathers.  When you come in to the room, they change.  Everything about them changes: their eyes, their mouths, their gestures, their body language.  Daughters are never lukewarm in the presence of their fathers.  They might take their mothers for granted, but not you.  They light up - or they cry.  They watch you intensely.  They hang on your words.  They hope for
your attention, and they wait for it in frustration - or in despair.  They need a gesture of approval, a nod of encouragement, or even simple eye contact to let them
know you care and are willing to help.  

When she's in your company, your daughter tries harder to excel.  When you teach her, she learns more rapidly.  When you guide her, she gains confidence.  If you fully understood just how profoundly you can influence your daughter's life, you would be terrified, overwhelmed, or both.  Boyfriends, brothers, even husbands can't shape her character the way you do.  You will influence her entire life because she gives you an authority she gives no other man.
You need to stop in your tracks, open your eyes wider, and see what your daughter faces today, tomorrow, and in ten years.  It's tough and it's frightening, but this is the way it is.  While you want the world to be cautious and gentle with her, it is cruel beyond imagination - even before she is a teen.  Even though she may not participate in ugly stuff, it's all around her: sexual promiscuity, alcohol abuse, foul language, illegal drugs, and predatory boys and men who want
to take something from her.
You will make the difference in your daughter's life.

You have to - because unfortunately, we have a popular culture that's not healthy for girls and young women, and there is only one thing that stands between it and your daughter.  You.

Fathers inevitably change the course of their daughters' lives - can can even save them.  From the moment you set eyes on her wet-from-the-womb body until she leaves your home, the clock starts ticking.  It's the clock that times your hours with her, your opportunities to influence her, to shape her character, and to help her find herself - and to enjoy living.

Excerpt from Dr. Meg Meeker's
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters (8-9, 18, 28)

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