When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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Dr. Meg Meeker, a friend and regular guest of the radio show, recently joined Dave and his daughter Rachel to talk about parenting. Money’s a tough subject for sure, but raising kids to become mature, healthy adults is on a whole other level.
The good news, as Dr. Meeker explains it, is that God wired each of us to be a good dad or mom. All we have to do is follow our instincts, and we’ll win with our kids.
For those of us who would benefit from a more in-depth look at parenting, Meg’s resources are invaluable. With books like Boys Will Be Boys and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters as well as a new DVD study to accompany the latter, you can better equip yourself for the road ahead.
Listen to the full hour on our website or read the highlights below.
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Dads, We Need You
Dr. Meeker originally wrote the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters because men in our culture get a bad rap. On cards and in sitcoms, they’re bumbling idiots who are only interested in drinking beer and watching football.
“I thought the best thing I could do would be to let dads see themselves through their daughter’s eyes, to see how important they are [and] what a huge factor they are in shaping strong character. I wanted to help dads own their fatherhood,” she says.
Dads often buy into the myth that they’re not needed. They believe their job is to provide for the family and then stand in the background. Don’t talk, don’t embarrass, and don’t be involved. This, Dr. Meeker says, is the worst thing a dad can do.
Now in her 20s, Rachel still places huge meaning on the little ways Dave’s words made a difference. She says, “Simple compliments like, ‘You look beautiful in that dress,’ make your heart flutter when your dad says it because you just want that affirmation from your dad.”
Meg’s research confirms this. The relationship between a father and his daughter is a wonderful, mysterious thing. When a girl receives messages from her dad—positive or negative—she internalizes them. Ultimately, all of dad’s ideas about his little girl become the little girl’s ideas about herself.
Moms, We Need You Too
The relationship between a mom and her kids is powerful as well, but it’s not the same. Knowing how your specific role as a parent is perceived by your kids will help you approach them in the right way.
“There’s an interesting phenomenon with moms and kids. Sons and daughters have a perception that mom’s love is non-negotiable. Mom’s always going to be there. It’s different with dad. Kids believe that dad’s love may be there or it may not be—they have to earn it. It’s a less ‘safe’ relationship,” Dr. Meeker says.
This uniqueness is why Dr. Meeker has written a new book about mothers and sons, which will be released next year. In the meantime, know this: Your kids trust you. That means what you say carries tons of weight.
You have the power to undermine your husband’s authority in the life of your kids. You also have the power to encourage your husband, privately and publicly, giving him the courage to be a leader in your home.
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You’ve Got to Fight for Your Kids
Above all, Dr. Meeker wants parents to fight for their kids. On air, she told Dave and Rachel about a time she was called to speak to parents at a troubled high school. The town had recently lost students to suicide and had one of the highest rates of drug and alcohol abuse in the nation.
During the question-and-answer session, a dad explained that his 15-year-old daughter continually ends up at parties where alcohol is served, even while parents are present. She couldn’t drive herself, he said, so her friends give her a ride or he takes her to the party himself.
Dr. Meeker walked to the front of the stage and literally screamed, “Are you out of your mind?”
She explains, “Parents succumb to peer pressure more than our kids do. The only reason he was letting his daughter go is because all the other parents were serving alcohol and no one had the courage to say, ‘Enough is enough.’”
Dr. Meeker calls for action, saying, “If you don’t fight to keep your kids out of homes where alcohol is served, who will? Nobody.”
No one is fighting for your kids but you. So fight with courage and hope, because your efforts of love will enable you to win with your kids.