Dads of Daughters

Preparing Your Daughter for Her Next Step

Posted by Michael Johnson on

Our oldest daughter, Claire, leaves for college this Fall.

(What is that in my throat? Is that a lump? Do you think it might be cancerous?)

She's not our first to leave the nest, but she is our first daughter. And our first to actually leave town.

(OK. Perhaps I'm just getting a tad emotional. Swallow hard.)

It seems like just ten days ago Claire was turning 13.

(OK. Now what's going on? I can hardly see my computer screen through all this ocular fluid!)

And just a minute before that she was 10 and learning from her Mom about all the exciting changes that were about to happen to her body. 

(Where is all this water in my eyes coming from?)

And five seconds before that she was calling me Dad for the first time.

 (Confound these allergies!!)

I'm sure you have similar feelings about your own daughter growing up. It might give you an occasional case of lump-in-the-throat and watery eyes. It ought to. After all, after a wife, children are the most precious earthly gift God can give a man. And between the male and female version of offspring, daughters are surely the deeper mystery to our male minds.

But enough of the mushy stuff. Let's talk about how we can help guide our dear daughters into relational maturity!

After all, puberty takes place automatically, but maturity does not. Which means our little girl will eventually develop the body of young woman without any help from us, but if she's going to have a mind and heart ready to handle adult relationships and responsibilities, a Father has a role to play.

And if we abdicate this role, we know what our culture will teach our daughters to do with their adult bodies. So what does it look like to speak into our daughter's relationship life?

I'd love to dialogue with you about that, because after 21 years of parenting (18 of parenting daughters) I have a few ideas. And I know you do too!

If you want to see what I think is important for our young ladies to understand about themselves, their identities and their relationships you can click this link to read a post that introduces a discussion series I created for middle and high school students called Relation^ology. The series is not speaking directly to Dads, but you'll see how you can walk through it as a Dad on your own, or with your daughter or (even better!) with your wife and daughter.

But I want to hear from other Dads of daughters (DODs). What are the important lessons you've felt impressed to share with your dear ones?

Feel free to share links in the comment section below.

If there are any DODs out there who would be interested in meeting up and comparing notes, reach out to me at this email address. I'd be glad to share a cup of coffee with you.

And if there's enough interest, I'd be open to scheduling a weekly DOD Relation^ology Summer course where we can grow together as Dads who want more than anything to connect with our daughters in a meaningful way and empower our daughters to understand and embrace their identity and their calling as women of God.

Michael Johnson

 

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