Monday, August 9, 2010

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

I worry about our girls. A lot.

I have seen Ella changing so much lately - she's growing, and learning, and just getting out of that little girl stage. I am watching her interact with other girls, and seeing that even at this early age, girls struggle with fitting in, comparing, and doubt.

I hate it.

I just want to scoop all 5 of them into my arms and say, "don't worry about what others think, just know that God made you just like He wanted, don't listen to them, don't do what they're doing, stay close to Him, focus on Him, and believe Him, just be you, you're a beauty, don't doubt yourself! Alright? Promise mommy you'll do that, ok?"

I know that every child will go through the awkward growing up years, and there will always be mean kids. I just want to protect them - but I know I can't do that all the time.

I hate that too.

So along with asking God everyday to help me be the mom to these girls that He wants me to be - and to please, somehow make me a role model for them, I also read a lot. I love a good book, and lately, I have come across some great ones. I picked up Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson - and it has this great section in it from the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker. I thought these were some great paragraphs, just wanted to share...

"Daughters 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 is 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 daughters 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.

Many fathers believe that they have little influence over their daughters...But your daughter faces a world markedly different from the one you did growing up: it's less friendly, morally unmoored, and even outright dangerous. She will see sexual innuendo or scenes of overt sexual behavior in magazines or on television before she is 10 years old, whether you approve or not...

Once upon a time ugliness was somewhat "contained" - gangs, drugs, and the "bad crowd" stayed in defined pockets, in certain neighborhoods and schools. No more. The ugliness is all around you...

You will make the difference in your daughters 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.

Pretty good stuff, huh? Well, good but tough. It reminded me that I need to be praying for Eric more, and encouraging him as well in this specific area - cause I do think Dads can have huge impacts on their little girls - sometimes good and sometimes bad.

What do you think?

11 comments:

susan said...

Kate they are strong words but they seem pretty on the money too. I want to say that I grew up in a family with divorced parents... so my mother my sisters and me. When I eventually lived with the man I married I was totally unprepared for how boys/men behave. It was just quite nightmarish. I wasn't aware of teasing, sloppiness.....oh I could go on but that's not my point. I had been educated at a girls school too...... my mother did not think very much of "men" and let us know, over & over.

I would have lOVED to have had a more present father in my life. Let alone brothers. I'm not a religious gal but I think God has given me five sons so I can learn some lessons :)

I can only say through my lack of male role models that I couldn't agree more on the positive influence a father can have on his daughters.

Susan :):)

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Wow! I love this! While I just have one daughter, I find myself so apprehensive for her with fitting in, staying pure, loving God...
I am thankful, too, for an awesome daddy that loves her and teaches her and am challenged to pray for more for my husband!
I recently read an article along the lines of a daddy who dates his daughter will keep her out of the arms of another man because she feels so securely loved by her daddy that she doesn't need to go looking for it. (It was much better written than that, but I can't remember where it was!)

Thanks for a great reminder! I need to get that book!

Beth W. said...

I gave my husband strong fathers strong daughters for Father's Day, and he loved it and it has already changed the way he interacts with our 18 month old little lady! I didn't have a strong, loving father and I'm so so thankful my daughter's experience will be different from my own.

Jenn said...

I read Bringing up Girls a couple months ago and when I got to that chapter, I read quite a bit of it to my husband.

Great post about something that is close to every mother's heart.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

So ironic that you would post about this - I was just telling Dave on Saturday that there are some things about raising girls that just really, really scare me. I LOVE this excerpt! I'm going to share it with him tonight!

bass family said...

I agree 1000%! I have "Bringing Up Girls" I need to read it! And SOON!

tabby said...

This post is close to my heart. Being a mom to girls and being raised by my single Father from the age of ten, I too think and worry abouty girls future. My dad was a huge influence and now my bff:)
Girls have so much more to worry about than I did growing up. A Christian radio station was having a discussion about this topic and they said to not only pray for your children but pray that they desire the right friends and a relationship with God.

H-Mama said...

Beautiful, but hard post. Sigh...

Sarah said...

I think you sound like such an amazing mom and that the simple fact that you care about shaping them will help them grow into amazing women.
And yes, I think a father's role is huge. I had an amazing, loving Christian father and fully believe that helped lead me to pick a loving Christian man to marry.

My Casa Bella said...

I may not be a mom but I am an Auntie and I spend alot of time with my beautiful, strong minded, sweet 3 year old niece and I too want to scoop her up when other little girls are not nice to her. I never realized that even at that age they do struggle with fitting in, she has a strong personality and can take care of her self well, but, she just loves other little kids like her and wants to be "mommy" to them, but they can be not nice and I want to go over to them and say "what is your problem?! she just wants to play!!!" but I figure that may not go over well....but I teach her that not everyone is going to be a friend but that she should still be nice either way, scary thing is, she understands me....they're just little adults! I love her!!!
Arlene
MCB
PS daddy's are very important!

tracie @ {tsj} photography said...

don't think i've ever left a comment before? but wanted to chime in today ... i'm not a fan of leaving links ... but ... :) have you heard of the modsquad blog? {mothers of daughters}. right now we're reviewing bringing up girls for our book club ... http://modsquadblog.com

love the book!! and from it {i'm reviewing it}, got the recommendation to have my husband read it. he's not saved and it's always hard to get him to read something i ask ... but he did and he loved it! he was amazed to learn how important fathers are in a girls life.

anyway ... love your blog! and glad i found it ... :)