By Eric on June 14, 2012 10

Book Review // Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

I don’t think it’s too early to start laying the foundation of the type of father that I want to be when my daughter is older. At the recommendation of Dave Ramsey, I read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker, M.D. The author does a great job of painting the picture of the need of a father in a daughter’s life and what it means to be a strong father in order to raise a strong daughter.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

One of my worst fears is that my daughter would grow up without knowing how much she is loved.

On the flip side, love can’t always be hugs and kisses.

Sometimes love has to be tough.

In the book, the author goes into great detail of why, as a father, I must stand up for my daughter, advocate for her, teach her to be humble, show her healthy boundaries, teach her to problem solve and help her to know God. While my daughter is still just a baby, I am trying to prepare myself for the many challenging situations that lie ahead.

The wealth of knowledge and insight in this book is amazing. I highlighted and took extensive notes and will definitely have to revisit it as my daughter grows. Here is a peek at a few of the key insights in the book.


  • I am the most important man in my daughter’s life. She will first know love by how I love her.
  • I need to be her hero. Fight for her when nobody else will. Implications of not fighting for her can cause a lack of trust or even depression. (page 38)
  • Teach her to be humble: Lead by example (page 92). Gently guide her to recognize her strengths and limitations. Let her fail and let her know that I still love her when she does. (page 80)
  • I must clearly define my expectations for my daughter. Especially around sex and alcohol. Standards must be clear. (page 94)
  • Pragmatism and grit: I need to be her voice of reason. She will look to me to develop an action plan for solving her problems. Use this to teach her to solve problems on her own.
  • Be the man I want her to marry.
  • Stay balanced: Set up protective boundaries that will keep her safe, but also give her enough space for the activities she enjoys while leaving room for daily downtime.
  • Teach her about God daily by actions and words.
  • Train her to asses her impulses: Are they good or bad? Will this make you stronger or weaker?

The book obviously goes into greater detail on each of these, and there are many examples to help paint the picture of what a strong father should be. I highly recommend this book for any father who has or is expecting a daughter.

What are some good parenting books that you would recommend?

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Husband to Kelsey. Father to Rooney. Follower of Jesus. Born and raised in Iowa. I like blogging. Bulleted lists excite me. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Gah! Another fav post and this is only days after I said that your wedding ring post was my fav!

    I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Rib Bell’s little snippet called “Rain,” but this post made me think of it.

    Here’s a link to the clip:


  2. *Rob Bell

  3. this sounds like an awesome book. thank you for sharing!

  4. I read “The continuum concept” by Jean Liedloff after watching this interview
    I thought it was so enlightning and I’m so glad I came across it just as we welcomed our first baby girl.

  5. As the oldest of five girls, I have to share a little bit about my amazing dad. Whenever people hear I’m one of five girls, they always say “your poor father!” But he is such a good dad to girls… supportive, our biggest cheerleader, a strong example of faith, believes we are beautiful inside and out (and reminds us often!), loves our mom, lays down the law when needed, makes time for individual dad/daughter “dates” (usually a casual dinner, maybe a little window shopping or trip to the driving range). Sorry for the bragfest… but this post reminded me of how dads of girls are a special kind :)

    • Don’t apologize! Those are wonderful qualities to have in a father. Truely inspirational for me and the type of father I hope to be as Rooney gets older. Thanks for sharing!

  6. My husband also read and enjoyed “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters.” We both read “Brain Rules for Baby” and I would recommend it too. As a science nerd it had a lot of great references and helped me understand how my daughter’s brain was and is developing and how to best support this. The other parenting book I’ve liked is “Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood” it has some good tips for the transition to toddler-hood, it’s never to early to start planning ahead :).

  7. Bringing Up Daughters by James Dobson -Great book for both you and Kelsey (more you though!)

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