Main Takeaways from “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” by Dr. Meg Meeker

Photo of author’s book

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The book starts off with a reality check on how important the role of a father is in his daughter’s life and that sets the tone for the rest of the book. It’s one tough lesson after another about what can happen if you aren’t engaged.

The first chapter covers how schools and the culture will try to sexualize starting in kindergarten. Meeker covers sexually transmitted disease statistics and how they have skyrocketed. She talks about the high rates of drug use, depression, and alcoholism among young teens. The best way to prevent these destructive habits is to be a strong father who fights back against these harmful habits and messages. You are the authority.

One thing I didn’t understand before expecting a daughter was how important it is to date her and what it means to be her first love. You must embody respect, integrity, and honesty. It’s up to you to show her how a man should treat her. Open the door for her and demonstrate how a man should treat her at dinner. She will recognize bad signs if she’s out with a guy who doesn’t treat her like you did. The best thing about the chapter is several examples of how a father’s instinct was correct about bad guys their daughters dated. Trust your gut because it’s probably right.

It’s critical you be the one to teach your daughter about God. She won’t get it from the government school system. Besides the obvious eternal benefits of her believing in God, there are proven reasons why you should raise her as a person of faith. Kids who believe in God have better moral guidance, it will give them a better perspective on life, reduces the chance of depression, makes girls cut less, and helps to keep from sexual activity.

You don’t always have to know the right answers about God, but you can always demonstrate behaviors to let her know the importance of faith. It’s obvious to take her to and get her involved in church but you can show your belief by letting her see you reading the Bible or praying. A mission trip to a poor country will change her life. Have her listen to or read great teachers of your faith and discuss them with her. There are plenty of Christian movies to watch with her that aren’t cheesy with good messages.

The last topic in the book is about forming real connections with you and others. I have the 2017 paperback edition and sounds a bit dated about technology because it refers to Blackberries, but the message is correct. Make sure she gets real experiences in the world and explores nature. Get time with her even if it’s helping with dad duties or man chores she wouldn’t be interested in. She needs to know how to have real conversations and not get stuck in the instant messaging, social media, and texting world where people say things they wouldn’t in person.

One theme that ran through the entire book was to give your daughter all the time you can and realize who you are to her. She will always wonder if you are there for her and you need to be. You are in a fight against the world for her mind, body, and soul. You are her protector so be serious about that role. It’s up to you to fight for and make the relationship happen. The more time your daughter has with you, the better odds she has of living a happy, healthy, and successful life. You should read this book if you need a reminder of how much positive influence you can have on your daughter.

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