I’m reading a book called “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know” by Dr. Meg Meeker. The bio in the book says she has “spent the past twenty years practicing pediatric and adolescent” and she pulls a lot of examples from her years of practice.
Having come from a family of three boys and no girls, and now having three daughters of my own, this book would have been useful to me 20 years ago when we had our first daughter. What I enjoy most about the book is the author’s ability to break down the differences between fathers and mothers.
One of the chapters focuses on men’s tendency to be pragmatic and solution finders, while women tend to analyze and try to understand the situation. She shared an example of a little first grader who after about two months of school lost all enthusiasm to attend and did what she could to avoid it. When asked about it, her parents really couldn’t pinpoint what was going on. Mom thought she was depressed and needed medication. Dad decided to investigate a little more.
He began to go to the school on his lunch break and he’d stand outside the classroom door so he could listen to what was happening in class. He discovered that the teacher was mean and rude. She threatened kids and bullied them into good behavior.
Discussions were had with school officials and the teacher herself, but the way she treated the students didn’t change. Mom was ready to hold her daughter out of school or change schools. But dad took a different approach.
He decided to spend more time with his daughter by driving her to school each day and to talk through the problem with her. He told her that she was in a bad situation, but that he didn’t think running from the problem was the solution. He helped her understand that life isn’t always fair and that in these types of circumstances she needed to learn to make the best of it. So they brainstormed ideas that would try to make the best of the situation. Some ideas were silly, some were practical. At first the daughter resisted but each day she grew more enthusiastic about having the conversation, finding solutions, and applying the ideas they discussed.
What a great dad! He took a proactive approach to finding a solution and found a creative way to involve his daughter in the process. He recognized the importance of teaching a great lesson and helping her learn how to be self-sufficient.