Encouraging Our Daughters

Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers recalls the spirited discussions around the family dinner table she had when she was growing up. Their family discussed politics, world events and other goings-on of the day.

One day, the topic was President Roosevelt’s attempt to override a Supreme Court decision. The Court had declared one of the President’s new agencies unconstitutional, so Roosevelt was trying to pack the Court with men of his own choosing. 

Now, Joyce’s parents wanted to see Roosevelt’s programs succeed, even if it happened by questionable means. But young Joyce disagreed, explaining that it might not be good for the President to control the Supreme Court. She remembers her father listening carefully to her ideas, and nodding his head thoughtfully. 

Several weeks later, it turned out that Roosevelt’s plan failed. That night at dinner, Joyce’s father passed out champagne glasses and opened a new bottle of apple juice. “Here’s to Joycie,” he said. “You stuck to your guns, and you were right.” 

Joyce writes, “I felt like a million dollars…. My dad gave me a sense of self-confidence that has never left me.” 

Dads, that’s the power we have when we encourage our children. You may or may not agree with everything that Dr. Joyce Brothers says, but you can’t deny that she has achieved a lot and gained respect in her life. 

Our encouragement has that kind of long-range influence in our children’s lives—and it’s especially true for girls. It may seem more natural for you to affirm and cheer your son’s accomplishments, but it’s just as important to your daughter. If she senses that you think of her as a future achiever, that can change her whole outlook on her future.

One expert in human relations found that women who seem to have a natural ability to plot their own course in life tend to have fathers who encouraged them, showed trust in their abilities, and joined them in endeavors. As one woman who is now an engineer said, “Dad demonstrated that there was nothing I couldn’t do because I was a girl.”

Dad, you are critically important to your daughter so encourage in some way today! A girl’s desire to be nurtured by her father never leaves her. 

Watch the replay of the Fathering Breakthrough Event

Join Dr. Ken Canfield and a handful of friends and partners as we give an update about our efforts to inspire and equip fathers all over the world.

There may be no more important work than turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and that’s what this is all about. We’re seeking to repair, rebuild and restore effective fathering for the benefit of children and families everywhere.

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