Fathers have been given a tremendous ability to influence the lives of their daughters – either positively or negatively. How a father treats his daughter will shape how she views herself and how she expects to be treated by other men for the rest of her life. This is a massive responsibility for fathers to show their daughters love, respect and appreciation.
A new book, That's My Girl: How a Father's Love Protects and Empowers His Daughter, will help fathers understand their daughters on a deeper level. Bestselling author Rick Johnson shares his own experiences raising a less-than-cooperative daughter to help other men realize the important role they play in shaping their daughters. That's My Girl is an honest look at what girls need from their fathers and provides applicable advice for men with daughters of any age to transform their relationship.
"A daughter is a gift from God," says Johnson. "She needs to be treasured, nurtured and even protected by her father. God has placed within a daughter's heart the inherent desire, even need, to love and respect her father," He tells fathers, "The most important thing is for you to make sure your daughter knows you love her. She derives self-esteem and value from what you speak into her heart."
Johnson talks about the importance of fathers communicating with their daughters, even when it seems like an impossible task. That's My Girl will equip men to honestly and openly talk to their daughters about the difficult subjects such as puberty, dating, sex and eating disorders. No topic is off limits. A father has the ability to speak emotional health and spiritual growth to his daughter – but he has to invest the time and effort. By leading through example, a father can instill character and faith in his daughter that can last a lifetime.
One of the most important lasting effects of women having healthy relationships with their fathers is a strong sense of self-worth as she matures. However, the benefits of having a close relationship with their father start as young as when they are in diapers. Toddlers with father attachments have better problem-solving skills, and girls with healthy father relationships achieve higher academic success. As a girl gets older, father-connectedness is the number one factor in delaying or preventing pre-marital sex and drug or alcohol abuse. Girls are more assertive and have higher self-esteem as well as higher verbal skills and intellectual functioning.
Johnson explains the biological and psychological makeup of girls to help fathers understand how and why their daughters act like they do. As girls go through puberty, she changes physically, mentally and emotionally. These changes can seem alien to a father, but Johnson believes if you understand the chemical and physical changes your daughter is going through you can react and create a game-plan for every stage of life.
Rick Johnson is a bestselling author of That's My Son; That's My Teenage Son; Better Dads, Stronger Sons; and Becoming Your Spouse's Better Half. He is the founder of Better Dads and is a sought-after speaker at many large parenting and marriage conferences across the United States and Canada. Rick, his wife, Suzanne, and their grown children live in Oregon. To find out more about Rick Johnson or his books, visit www.betterdads.net.