Dad: Be True to Her Voice

dad-daughter_on_rural_road.JPGMuch of a girl’s strength is in her voice. By listening to her, you are being true to her voice. That will help her get through difficulties and give her courage.

When you provide your ears and your presence, you amplify your daughter’s voice and strengthen her belief in herself. But it can be painful to listen when she is feeling sad or angry.

You have to have the courage to listen, and the courage to not prevent, deny or abruptly try to end her painful experiences.

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The Risk of Listening to Girls

DadImage4.gifListening to your daughter carries some risk for a dad or stepdad. Girls will say disruptive things and challenge both the world and their fathers to be better.

There is no question, however, that the risk is worth it. None of us want our daughter to be disrespected. We dads want our daughters to be heard and taken seriously. We start by listening ourselves, an act of genuine courage in a world where girls often are silenced.

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Working Too Hard or Fathering Too Young?

Two interesting fatherhood studies crossed my desk recently.

First: If you're a workaholic, your sons are more likely to develop more aggressive behavior than fathers who work fewer hours. According to Jianghong Li, a senior researcher at the WZB Berlin Social Science Research Center in Berlin, Germany says, "This finding is important because there is limited prior research that has specifically examined fathers' work hours."

Read more here.

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When Your Daughter Slams the Door

Being the father of a teenage girl can be hard on our pride.

We may not instinctively know what our daughters are trying to tell us. We may feel disrespected by how they communicate.

When my daughters were teenagers, we had emotionally charged conversations that sometimes resulted in one of them angrily and emotionally (or actually) slamming a door on me. Sometimes, my feelings got hurt and my reaction was, “OK, if you’re gonna be like that, I’ll blow you off, too!”

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The New Dad's First Year

bare_chest_sleeping.JPGThe months leading up to your baby’s first birthday bring the first taste of his growing independence. He is getting stronger, growing teeth, eating new foods, and snarfing up more and more information. He will crawl and then walk.

Of course, this places new demands on you, since the baby isn’t going to just lie quietly in the crib anymore (if he ever did!).

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