Dads, Daughters, and Sex

bw_dad-dtr.jpgFact: your daughter or stepdaughter needs a healthy sense of sexuality in order to be a healthy and happy woman.

Open, positive conversations with mothers and fathers about sexuality give our daughters a better foundation from which to deal with some of the world’s ugly realities, like sexual assault and abuse. It’s much easier to balance the positive and the negative when we consistently paint the whole picture, and not focusing only on the perilous scenarios.

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Parenting in a Commercial Culture

kids_unbranded.JPGRaising kids in today’s noisy, fast-paced culture can be difficult. For good or ill, modern kids are exposed to a wider world of marketing—and parts of that world are still foreign to us parents.

Fortunately the Center for a New American Dream has brand new Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture to help parents (and caregivers) protect children from intrusive and harmful advertising.

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Support for Men

Children's media activist Amy Jussel just posted her interview with me about the dilemmas facing dads, stepdads, spouses, partners, and other men who have someone in their life who is struggling with an eating disorder.

We specifically discussed the problems dads encounter when trying to shelter our daughters and stepdaughters from the dangerous "appearance-first" messages raining down on their heads--and ours.

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Halloween Tips for Dads of Daughters

Feel trapped by over-sexed and over-commercialized Halloween costumes for your daughter? You should. The search for Halloween costumes can be treacherous, filled with over-sexed and stereotyped "choices."

These healthy ideas from Drs. Lyn Mikel Brown and Sharon Lamb (authors of Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes) help Dads fight back and let her creativity sparkle! (Use these tips with your sons, too--kids' resiliency grows if they don't get stuck in arbitrary gender roles.)

1. Help her think outside the box (especially boxes of store-bought costumes). Imagination and creativity can help girls break out of gender stereotypes...and are great practice for reality.

2. Encourage her to be anyone or anything for Halloween--and the rest of her life. Help her to be inspired by real women doing wild, brave and phenomenal things.

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Daddy Birthday Present

birthday_cake.jpgMy grandson’s birthday is approaching, and that prompted me to look through some advice dads have shared with me over the past 20+ years.

A father wrote asking for gift suggestions for his daughter’s upcoming first birthday. I asked other dads for ideas, and received this email full of wisdom from a guy named Michael:

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