What Every Dad Should Know About His Daughter

Dads, don’t lose sight of the impact you have today on your daughter’s future. Here are three things I encourage you to focus on:

Affirm Her
She looks to you for affirmation, encouragement, & guidance. As she grows through puberty (ESPECIALLY, as she grows through puberty), she needs your voice reminding her that she is beautiful, valuable and worthy of love. If she can learn to believe you, then she’ll believe her future husband when he tells her the same things.

Set the Standard
Be the husband you want her to have one day. Enough said. Is it difficult? Yes. Does it mean sacrifice? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. I watch my husband daily making changes to be a better husband and dad. He’s amazing. He demonstrates for our daughter the kind of man he wants her to marry one day.

Talk About the Standard
Talk about the future. As you “Imagine the End” and think about the man you hope she marries… talk about it! Let her know what you expect. Set the bar. She’ll do everything she can to jump over it.

Let me level with you, dad. The more you affirm her today, the less she’ll seek affirmation in some teenage boy later.

What Every Son Needs from His Dad

So what do our sons need? Here are three things, I believe every son would say to his father if given the chance:

I Need You to Believe in Me

I think John Eldredge is right when he says the question every boy asks is “Do I have what it takes?” When you show confidence in them, they develop confidence in themselves. Keep your criticisms constructive and believe the best.

Don’t Withdraw, Even Though I’m Withdrawing

Every teenager withdraws. It’s a natural part of growing up. Most fathers don’t know what to do when that happens and end up making a critical mistake: they withdraw too. Take your son out for lunch. Take him golfing, mountain biking, fishing, to a football game—whatever. Just do something with him. Don’t withdraw just because he did.

Give Me Someone to Look Up To

I’ve told my sons for years that their heavenly Father is their ultimate father and the one they need to look toward every day. But it’s also true that they see me. If my life is significantly different from the life I’m asking them to live, my counsel means little. How we treat our wives is how they will learn to treat theirs. How we handle our emotions (or don’t handle them) will set the standard for them. They want to look up to us. We need to give them a reason to continue to want to. Guys, that means we need to work on our junk. If that means going to see a counselor, do the manly thing and do it.