Influential book guide to raising girls

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Most of you know that I am a stay at home dad. This has brought me a lot of joy and a lot of ribbing from my friends. Heck, all my golfing buddies call me Mr. Mom.

I always knew I was doing the right thing for my girls, but as they get older I wondered. Is there something else? My mother-in-law gave me a book for Christmas that reaffirmed everything I have been doing and gave insight in to my girls’ minds. Other than their mother, this book is the best thing that has happened to me and my girls.

The book — “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” is written by a pediatrician named Meg Meeker. The following is from the inside cover of the book:

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“The most important person in a young girl’s life?

Her father. That’s right — and teen health expert Dr. Meg Meeker has the data and clinical experience to prove it. After more than 20 years of counseling girls, she knows that fathers, more than anyone else, set the course for their daughters’ lives. Now Dr. Meeker, author of the critically acclaimed Epidemic: How Teen Sex Is Killing Our Kids, shows you how to strengthen — or rebuild — your bond with your daughter, and how to use it to shape her life, and yours, for the better.

Directly challenging the feminist attack on traditional masculinity, Dr. Meeker demonstrates that the most important factor for girls growing up into confident, well-adjusted women is a strong father with conservative values. To have one, she shows, is the best protection against eating disorders, failure in school, STDs, unwed pregnancy and drug or alcohol abuse — and the best predictor of academic achievement, successful marriage and a satisfying emotional life.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters reveals:

4 The essential characteristics and virtues of strong fathers — and how to develop them

4 How daughters take cues from their fathers on everything from drug use, drinking, smoking, and having sex, to self-esteem, moodiness and seeking attention from boys

4 Why girls want you to place restrictions on them (even though they’ll complain when you do)

4How to become a hero to your daughter — and why she needs that more than anything

4 The one mistake fathers make that is the primary cause of girls “hooking up”

4 Why girls depend on the guidance of fathers through, and even beyond, their college years

4 Recipe for disaster: the notion that girls “need to make their own decisions and mistakes”

4 Why girls need God — and how your faith, or lack thereof, will influence her

4 How to communicate with your daughter — and how not to

4 True stories of “prodigal daughters” — and how their fathers helped bring them back

Dads, you are far more powerful than you think you are. Your daughters need the support that only fathers can provide — and if you are willing to follow Dr. Meeker’s advice on how to guide your daughter, to stand between her and a toxic culture, your rewards will be unmatched.

I am telling you that if you have daughters this is a must read!

I hate to read, and I could not put this book down. Halfway through the book, I ordered 10 copies to give to my friends. It moved me that much. That is why I am telling you about it. When you were a little boy you dreamed of being a hero. Now that you have a daughter, you are. So buck up and be one. Every decision you make concerning your daughter affects her life. We need to protect our girls from this sometimes cruel world.

I am begging you for your daughter’s sake. Please read this book. If you can’t find it in our local bookstores, go online and order it. Come on dads, it’s time to be a hero.

Kurt Russ is a Natchez resident and the father of two daughters.