Monday, March 12, 2007

Classics of Conservatism - Part XVIII - Dr. Meg Meeker - Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

While I have neglected "Classics of Conservatism" for many months, it is never too late to start again.

Click here for a previous edition.

This month's classic book selection is Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, by Dr. Meg Meeker. Dr. Meeker draws on her years of experience as a physician and counselor for families in crisis. In particular, Dr. Meeker has counseled many teenage girls suffering from eating disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, etc.

Dr. Meeker

The one unifying theme with most of the cases involving teenage girls is the girl's relationship with her father. Dr. Meeker draws the connection between strong, active fathers and strong, self-confident, safe, successful daughters. Dr. Meeker also draws the connection between weak, overindulgent, absentee fathers and daughters that end up in trouble.

Dr. Meeker explores such issues as eating disorders, teen pregnancy, infidelity among parents and STD's.

She relates the difference between Princesses and Pioneers - and how a father can make the difference between a daughter becoming one instead of the other.

Dr. Meeker makes the point that a strong father might not realize the effect of his parenting until some day when the daughter faces a crisis. If the father has shown strength, the daughter will call on him in her moment of trouble.

Most importantly, Dr. Meeker points out that a father does not need to change who he is in order to be a good father. A father does not need to become "sensitive" or "politically correct" or "in touch with his feminine side" etc. in order to raise his daughter effectively. Simply spending time, enforcing the rules and providing a good example will give his daughter the guidance and strength she needs.

The book is an easy read, with concrete advice mixed with numerous examples and anecdotes. The book is generally good news for anyone who has a daughter and has been anxious about raising her in a world that often preys upon children. As the book reminds us, the world is not child friendly. Popular culture tries to lure our children into sexual promiscuity without regard for consequences, into habits of reckless spending and away from God. But the solutions are much more basic and do-able than I ever imagined.

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