The heartache of any child raised without a father around is well known. What we're less familiar with is just how crucial it is for a father to stay actively involved and affectionate with his daughter all through her teen and young adult years.
 
In her new book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: Devotional, Pediatrician Dr. Meg Meeker highlights the tendency for fathers to back off just when teen girls start spending more time with their friends, activities and computers. While it may seem that daughters at this stage don't want attention or affection, Dr. Meeker says this cultural thinking is all wrong. The truth is, it's crucial.  Many of the risk-taking behaviors such as sexual involvement, drinking and drugs are found at higher rates among girls who lacked an actively involved dad around, and sometimes these behaviors are a way of seeking the attention and affirmation they're missing at home.
 
Busy dads, pulled in numerous directions, are too often speaking to their daughter only by a text here or there, or passing each other running out the door. They usually assume their busy daughter has no interest in his time or interest as she did when she was a younger child. Dr. Meeker says  pre-teen and teen girls need to know their father is committed to them and makes intentional time for them. Her twenty-five years of pediatric and parenting experience have demonstrated that in many ways, love equals time. And that time can mean a huge difference in the path a daughter takes into adulthood. She suggests that dads schedule uninterrupted time with their daughters, as opposed to just waiting for the occasional random moments that happen here and there. Time with dad can instill virtue, self-worth and reliance on God, and encourage confidence.
 
A strong father-daughter bond reduces risky behavior and increases happiness. That carries over into the relationship later on when the daughter has left home, leaving a legacy of love, respect and gratefulness. 
 
Weekly Bible-based reflections in this easy-to-read new book will encourage dads to continue building strong relationships, and to center them around God.
 
“At the beginning of her life, she will feel your love. At the end of her life, you will be on her mind. And what happens in between is up to you. Love her extraordinarily. This is the heart of great fathering.” —Meg MeekerStrong Fathers, Strong Daughters