Dad, don’t let your teenage daughter fool you.
She needs you.
I know her attitude may not always reflect that, but it’s true. She’s caught in a whirlwind of uncertainty, hormones, and confusing messages that skew her sense of identity and self-worth. On top of that, her social world is topsy-turvy, and she’s growing, changing, and feeling awkward. With you. With everybody.
Along the way, you’ll be tempted to disengage from her and keep her at arm’s length. Don’t. Your daughter will interpret that as you not wanting her around anymore.
Instead, lean in.
Leaning into your daughter’s world – even in ways that seem insignificant at the time – has an enormous impact. The research proves it. When dads are in the home, every measure of a healthy childhood improves. Depression, low self-esteem, early sex, and drug and alcohol use go down. IQs and graduation rates from both high school and college go up.
So, take heart, dad. Your daughter isn’t pulling away from you. She’s temporarily leaning back as she sorts through the details of her life and searches for answers. Don’t push forward. Just lean in. Connect with her, raise her with a moral compass, and empower her to become everything she can be.
With time, she’ll find her way and lean back in.
We’re discussing this topic at length on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “A Father’s Influence in His Daughter’s Life” with our guests Dr. Kevin Leman and Focus staff member Kim Trobee.
Our conversation centers on Dr. Leman’s book What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter’s Life. He and Kim share practical insights that will help every dad come alongside his teenage daughter and create a lasting, positive impact on both of their lives.
I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Dr. Leman’s book What a Difference a Daddy Makes as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, click here or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).