At The Grit and Grace Project, we love recognizing the strength inside of women, but we also love recognizing our strong male counterparts and the beauty found in our gender differences. Men and women each hold special roles in our society and communities. More importantly, though, these differences are also highlighted within our families. Enjoy this excerpt from Darlene Brock’s book, Raising Great Girls, as she speaks to the men in our lives who step into the shoes of a father. And download a free chapter from the book especially for Dads, here! Share this gift with the #girldads in your life.
A FATHER’S JOB DESCRIPTION:
“Embrace and exhibit the best characteristics of a man’s nature and set the guidelines for acceptable behavior. As the first man in a daughter’s life, create the standard for all who follow.”
The day we discovered we were expecting a child my husband was perfectly calm. Like most of the male gender, he is the steady one who virtually never becomes unnerved, unlike his female counterpart, which would be me. So, when we discovered we were having a baby, his reaction, while excited, was slow and steady. Other than the realization that his responsibility had increased significantly, he appeared unfazed that our life would be turned on its head with this new little person. I, on the other hand, expressed immediate terror that we were going to have a child. But the day that I discovered our child was going to be a girl, my anxiety rose to a whole new level. Maybe it is because I, being the female, had slightly more understanding of the challenges that were coming.
Perhaps it was the seemingly non-stop morning sickness, or pure exhaustion that tipped the balance. Whatever the cause, my anxiety elevated beyond rational thought. In hindsight, I believe that I did understand my gender, but I was also the parent who would create entire plays in my head illustrating every future event with hypothetically terrifying consequences. I would find myself imagining our daughter’s life choices with pitfalls and problems that wouldn’t have a happy ending. Without his steady life outlook, I would have probably been more of a blithering idiot than I already was.
His trepidation about raising his daughters did come. It was quite a few years after we brought her home from the hospital. The arrival of his unnerving landed when our first daughter entered the preteen stage. This season she was in full swing of how a preteen female can act. I saw my steady, always calm, never flustered husband look at me with complete bewilderment. There was this “Who is this girl, and where has my daughter gone?” look of panic on his face. What had transpired was the sweet little princess that had crawled up on daddy’s lap since she could crawl had launched into an illogical, emotional storm that only she understood. From screeching fury to unexplainable crying the emotional whirlwind ended with the “you just don’t understand.” Our little girl completed her twenty-minute performance stomping up the steps then slammed the door to her bedroom. This was not daddy’s little girl (if you haven’t gotten here yet dads, don’t let this derail you, this phase does pass). This was one of the evil witches that were prominent in the Disney films he had been forced to watch with her. And he possessed not one bit of understanding of how to handle it.
A dad’s job: embrace and exhibit the best characteristics of a man’s nature and set the guidelines for acceptable behavior. As the first man in a daughter’s life, he create’s the standard for all who follow.
It was during these years, the ones he could not comprehend what had transpired or who this girl had become, that he doubted his impact on her life. I told him as I will tell all dads from the day they are born through their entire life, girls need their daddy. Even when everything in your girl adamantly states she doesn’t want you near her or need anything you have to offer, she does.
Here’s why. While either parent is capable of doing all parenting jobs, there are some that are better performed by the mom, and there are most certainly jobs much more effective when fulfilled by the dad. Your woman can bring you up to speed on the mom jobs earlier in this book (many of which you will share with her). But, I want to take just a little bit of your time and let you know what the jobs that, to create the most impact, are yours. Also, I will give you a few examples of how to do it, as well as share a few insights from dads who performed these jobs well. This will not be too long or be laborious reading because if you’re anything like my husband you want a lot of life in “Cliffs Notes.” I understand that you’re busy and unlike most females, you don’t need all of the details. Let me encourage you with this, there are days I wonder where all the dads have gone, but if you’re reading this, you aren’t one of them. So, kudos to you for caring enough to take the time to gain a little more insight on what it takes to do this job we call dad.
Raising Great Girls features 3 chapters just for Dads where Darlene details the “jobs” of Master Gemologist, Stunt Coordinator, and Bodyguard.
- Master Gemologist: The first man to treasure your girl, setting a standard for all men who follow.
“There are primary functions of a Master Gemologist, which are applicable for the job of dad. The most important is that you realize that you are the first, as well as the most influential individual, to determine the value of the gems you assess (in this case, your little girl).”
- Stunt Coordinator: Teach risk, safety, and encourage self-confidence.
“When my daughters are involved, I default to protective “momma bear” (as most mothers do). It was my husband, being willing to let them reach past the ledge, who helped them love adventure, believing they could accomplish things that other people would tell them were too difficult or dangerous. He was their Stunt Coordinator.”
- Bodyguard: Protect your little girl and teach her how to protect herself.
“Dad not only do you have to be a masterful Stunt Coordinator. You also have to provide the services of a Bodyguard as well, protecting your daughter. Then you will be tasked to teach her how to protect herself. This is a job for which I know you are well-suited.”
To continue reading, Raising Great Girls: Help for Moms to Raise Confident, Capable Daughters (perfection not required) is available on Amazon here. We’re also offering a free download of the “Master Gemologist” chapter! Download it now to share with the dads of daughters in your life.
For more encouragement in parenthood, start here:
Raising Great Girls: How to Do the Job with Darlene Brock
Why Girls Aren’t Just “Drama” and How to Raise a Strong One
Dear SAHM: I See You and Want You to Know These 8 Things
How to Make Your Man Feel Like a Great Father
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