Friday, October 14, 2011

More wisdom from Dr. Meg Meeker

I just finished Dr. Meg Meeker's EXCELLENT book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know. And as I said in a previous article, "I can't say this strongly enough, but if you have daughters, this book is an absolute MUST read! So many things I thought I knew and so many things I had no idea! - just read it!"

In Christ,
Jason Jasper

Here are a few more nuggets from Dr. Meeker:

(pgs. 219-220)
Chapter 10
Keep Her Connected
    "Are you crazy?" I said to my husband. He ignored me. Padding to our children's bedrooms, he whispered, "Come here! I have something to show you." It was 1:30 in the morning.
    I stood at the top of the stairs. One by one, he collected our kids and shuttled them outside to the front stoop. There, on the cement, they parked their tired little bodies for the next hour, staring at the northern lights flashing across the sky. Even in June, the night was chilly enough that I could see puffs of air leaving their tiny nostrils. I wanted to scold my husband for putting the kids at risk for pneumonia, but I stayed quite.
    No one said much during that hour in the dark. We simply watched and shivered as brilliant green and red corrugated sheets (they really look like this) streaked through the night. Then we all crept back up the stairs and into our warm beds.
    I had difficulty sleeping afterward. The northern lights were beautiful, but what about spelling tests and kids falling asleep in class? I stewed for another half an hour.
    I don't remember what grades our children were in that year, let alone what they faced during the next school day. I don't remember because it didn't matter. What matters is that all four of our kids remember their father's extraordinary enthusiasm to share something marvelous with them. They remember sitting in the cold next to their dad-and that it was wonderful.    Psychologists, physicians, and researchers spend untold time and money researching what keeps kids on the right track-away from drugs, gangs, drinking, and sex. And what do they find over and over again? What parents already know: you are the key to your daughter's excellence and happiness.
    Parent connectedness: mothers and fathers staying together, and mothers and fathers spending time with their kids. And no one is more important to a daughter than her father.    You don't need to read all the studies and psychology books to know what to do. Our cold little girls connected with their dad on that chilly June night.
    All your daughter needs is for you to spend time with her. Think of yourself as your daughter's base camp. She needs a place to stop and settle, to reorient and remember who she is, where she started, and where she's going. she needs a place to rest and get re-energized. You are that place.

(pgs. 231-232)
Every day is a challenge. The daily grind of work is tough. And what keeps us going is the hope that at the end of the day, life will be a little better, happier, calmer, and more joyful, that our anxiety might cease, that our internal ache for "something more" might be assuaged.
    Many days we are disappointed. We find ourselves grasping for that elusive "something" that will make us feel more complete. But the more we search for it, the more distant it becomes, because what we're searching for is sitting right there. It's not your job, or your hobbies. It's not more money or more sex. It's your family-your children, your spouse-and God. They are the real center of our lives. Men who figure this out find what they're looking for. Men who don't are never truly happy and satisfied.    The problem is that it's very easy for us to lose perspective. There are a million distractions and temptations. They pull at us and can lead us astray.
    We adults are not alone in this; our children, too, are easily led astray. Every day, your daughter faces similar temptations. Every day, she will need your guidance and example to understand why life is a great gift and how she should use it.

 (pgs. 236-237)
Fight for Your Relationship with Her    What your daughter wants most from you is your time. ...
    Your daughter looks to you for guidance, whether the issue is what instrument or sport to play, what college to attend, or what to do about sex, drinking, and drugs. If she feels close to you, she's much more likely to make good decisions. If she doesn't feel close to you, all best are off.    So keep her connected: talk to her, spend time with her, and enjoy your time with her, because she is growing every day. You can bring extraordinary richness to your daughter's life and she can bring immeasurable rewards to yours.
    One day, when she is grown, something between the two of you will shift. If you have done your job well, she will choose another good man to love her, fight for her, and be intimately connected to her. But he will never replace you in her heart, because you were there first. And that's the ultimate reward for being a good dad.

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