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Chapter 2: Your daughter needs a hero

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Chapter 2: Your daughter needs a hero

Post by PastorDan on Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:46 am

You already are your daughter's hero


Adults don't think in terms of "hero" very much, and so we forget what it was like to have one. Your daughter hasn't forgotten... because she has one right now: Dad.

It happens without intention. It happens because you are her father. And so the only real question is: What will your daughter's hero look like?

And you have more control over that than any other person.

What do heroes do?


Heroes protect, persevere, love, are faithful to inner convictions, understand right from wrong and act on it, and are humble about themselves.

Think of popular culture and society like a burning building. (Sure, there is lots of good stuff out there, but there's tons of bad stuff too, and the bad stuff is bad enough to merit your full attention!)

You are a fireman. Firemen enter life-threatening (or in this case perhaps embarrassing or uncomfortable) situations in order to rescue... your daughter.

In other words, perhaps you will need to show up at a party where your daughter's friends - and maybe your daughter - have been drinking, and take her home. You might need to talk to her about the clothes she wears and the music she likes. And yes, you might even need to get in the car at one in the morning, go to her boyfriend's house, and insist that she come home.

And it should go without saying that you cannot do any of those things for your daughter if you yourself are drunk or stoned or concerned only about your own sleep.

Here is what your daughter needs from you:

Leadership


From her birth, your daughter recognizes your voice as deeper than her mother's. She looks up at your big frame and realizes instinctively that you are big, smart, and tough.

And these factors create in her a need to discover what it is that YOU like in HER. She gives you this authority because you are her dad.

And by failing to lead, you can lose this respect, alienating her in the long term. Don't let that happen. Lead.

Men, too many of us are weak at home, allowing our wives to take the primary role of leadership... because that is exactly what a mom will do when a dad decides not to. Moms are fiercely protective and when dad isn't leading, mom will step in (and often resent it!)

And how does your daughter perceive your lack of leadership? She will interpret it as a sign that she isn't worth enough for you to fight for. Over time she will begin to believe about herself that other things in your life are more important than she is, and when she is young and unable to understand the necessity of paying the bills, she will simply understand that she is not an important person to the most important person in her life. Your leadership teaches her that she is worthwhile.

Sometimes your daughter will test you to see if you're serious. By diving into a power struggle with you, all they are really trying to do is find out how hard you are willing to fight FOR HER.

So your leadership must be firm - establishing guideposts of right and wrong, of proper and improper behavior.

This isn't optional.

Perseverence


One of the toughest aspects to being a hero to your daughter is not just deciding what is good and right for her, but also keeping her on track.

Dads get tired. Daughters can become defiant, manipulative, and wear their fathers down. This is where perseverance comes in.

Here's a little secret, dad, that just might encourage you to stay tough: daughters love to boast about how tough their dads are - not just physically, but how strict and demanding they are. Why? Because this allows daughters to "show off" how much their fathers love them.

She might say she "hates" you, she might sulk, she might not speak to you for days... but you can see things she cannot see. You know that even one beer can make a teenager unsafe to drive.

And what about situations where you and her mother are divorced?

First, you should know the impacts of divorce. You must face these facts so that you can still be her hero despite the divorce.

Volumes of research on daughters and sons consistently reveal that divorce hurts kids. That's just the way it is. Daughters often feel abandoned, guilty, sad, and angry. They often become depressed. No matter how much a father tries to convince a daughter that it wasn't her fault, it doesn't matter. Up through adolescence, young people usually see themselves at the center of their family and friends, and they feel, whatever happens, happens in large part because of them. So your daughter might not only feel responsible for your divorce, she could also feel devastated and guilty that she can't change your or her mother's mind about it. These feelings exist regardless of what you do. Only time and maturity help her sort this out.

But your daughter will also feel abandoned. She'll ask, "What was wrong with me? Wasn't I worth sticking round for? If Mom really loved me, why did she walk out?" This is where you must begin to help her.

Your daughter expects parents to stay married. If she sees you or her mother renege on that commitment, she becomes confused. Heroes, in her mind, keep fighting. In reality, though, sometimes you can't. If Mom leaves, has an affair, or abandons the family through drinking, your fight is limited.

But whenever, for your daughter's sake, you can fight, you must. How you fight, how you persevere, how you manifest your courage will always influence your daughter. Sometimes perseverance for your daughter's sake means sticking with her crazy mother. Maybe it means sacrificing your own happiness for hers. This is what heroes do. It is what your daughter expects. Making the heroic choice at work, in marriage, and throughout your life will shape your daughter, who she is and what she becomes. You need to lead her wisely, consistently, heroically.

Some pointers:

  • Make a plan.
    Your aspirations for your daughter will be clearest when she is young. When she's an infant, you know with crystal clarity what you want for and from her. Write it down now and keep it clear in your mind and in hers.

  • Have courage under fire.
    Yes, you will be fired upon - by friends, pop psychologists, TV programs, your wife, and your daughter. Keep your cool, but be firm and consistent. In the best men, kindness, strength, and perseverance go together.

  • Be the leader.
    Remember that you have far more life experience than your daughter. You see the bigger picture. Be firm. Stick to your plan. Lead by know where your are leading and how you are getting there.

  • Don't cave, persevere.
    Heroes see the battle through until the end; they never run away. So stay in the fight, stay engaged with your daughter and your family, spend as much time at home as you can, stay consistent, loving, kind, and patient, and remember that you are more resilient than your daughter is. Parents often say that kids are resilient in crises like divorce. But they're not; kids just don't have a choice. You do. So be patient. Getting divorced when your daughter is 20 is far better for her than when she's fourteen.
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PastorDan
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Re: Chapter 2: Your daughter needs a hero

Post by BenZ on Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:28 pm

This is a great post! I especially loved "Heroes see the battle through until the end; they never run away. So stay in the fight, stay engaged with your daughter and your family, spend as much time at home as you can, stay consistent, loving, kind, and patient, and remember that you are more resilient than your daughter is."

The job of being a father is the most important job any of us will ever have and this is great motivation for me, thank you!
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Re: Chapter 2: Your daughter needs a hero

Post by PastorDan on Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:59 pm

BenZ wrote:This is a great post! I especially loved "Heroes see the battle through until the end; they never run away. So stay in the fight, stay engaged with your daughter and your family, spend as much time at home as you can, stay consistent, loving, kind, and patient, and remember that you are more resilient than your daughter is."

The job of being a father is the most important job any of us will ever have and this is great motivation for me, thank you!

Those really are great words. They were quoted directly from the book...
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