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Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,413 Ratings  ·  527 Reviews
The most important person in a young girl’s life? Her father. That’s right—and teen health expert Dr. Meg Meeker has the data and clinical experience to prove it. After more than twenty years of counseling girls, she knows that fathers, more than anyone else, set the course for their daughters’ lives. Now Dr. Meeker, author of the critically acclaimed Epidemic: How Teen Se ...more
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published August 30th 2006 by Regnery Publishing
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Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. The title drew me in, and the basic premise (that daughters need dads to stand up for them in a world that tends to consume young women and to provide them a role model of how a decent male behaves) was something I could get behind. However as I started reading I was increasingly disappointed. Several things put me off or marred the book for me:

1. The condescending attitude towards both men and young women. Dads are stereotyped to be basically a witless bunch of hyper
Jul 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
As the father of a young daugher, I was hooked by the title, but extremely disappointed. The book offered very little practical information for me. I found it extremely preachy and too religous to be useful (I know this is not a popular opinion these days, so please save the hate mail). I was extremely put off by the author making large leaps in converting isolated anecdotal evidence into broad sweeping generalizations dsguised as research (although there are some actual statistics in the book, ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it
I was looking for a good book that I vehemently disagree with. This is such a book.

This book was written by an intelligent person that I have a philosophical disagreement with. I came to find this book through colleagues. It was highly recommended. I do recommend this book but for different reasons.
It was recommended to me as a guidebook for fathers for understanding, relating to and knowing the role they play in their daughters lives. I recommend it as a critical study to identify what your per
Natalie Snapp
Dec 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
OK, if you have a little girl, or a big girl, YOU MUST READ THIS. If you are the father of a little girl, run, don't walk to the bookstore. If you are a mother, don't let the title deceive you - you will want to read it as well. We recommended this to a friend and he just told us it completely changed his views on raising his new baby girl. If this book were issued to all new parents of little gals, our girls would not face the challenges they face today. I am a staunch believer in preserving th ...more
Oct 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Portions of this book deserve 5 stars, others 1 star—at least in accordance with my sensibilities, politics, and personal philosophy. Others will have different ratings in accordance with their own. In the course of my fathering a freshman adolescent, I have found myself subject to objections, criticisms, and detachment quite unfamiliar to me a couple of years ago. Children grow up and seek independence. This is to be expected, even desired. But I began to ask myself, “is my work finished here?” ...more
Alicia Mitsch
Sep 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Wow. After slogging through two chapters, I have learned that my daughter will become a cracked-out junkie who will sell her body for drugs and a sense of self-worth, all because she lacks a father in her life. While I did agree with a few of the author's points, overall, I felt she was making a point that was somewhat close-minded and offensive. Yes, our media and culture have oversexualized our children; everything from clothing to television portrays the idea that every girl aged seven to fif ...more
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book has become one of THE most important, life-changing, books that I've ever read, and it's not even written for me as a's written for my husband. Lane is already an amazing dad, and I couldn't imagine anything that could make him a better father, but just from reading the first few chapters we've learned some important new parenting stratagies. We've been reminded of some that we'd forgotten about and we've recommitted to some that we already had in place and have also spent ...more
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My husband read this book over the summer and it transformed his parenting! He has always been a wonderful father, but this has really helped open his eyes to how vital he is to our daughter's emotional - and physical - well-being and health. He has applied what he's learned with our preteen daughter and all I can think is that I wish my father was able to parent me like this, it would have prevented a lot of pain, heartbreak and tangles of sin. I would have felt treasured and loved. My father d ...more
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
On some levels this book was disturbing, not because the content was incorrect, but because the facts presented are themselves disturbing. In one section it gives a sample dialogue of what a teenage girl might be thinking as she becomes a victim of anorexia. In another she talks about the statistics and consequences of teenage sexual activity, focusing on STDs for a large part of it. It seems that each new chapter presents another disturbing issue that I don't really want to deal with, yet is a ...more
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone with Daughters, Especially Fathers
Recommended to Michael by: Matt Shill
Shelves: family, non-fiction
Without a doubt, one of the best books I have read that has already begun to help me as a father of daughters. Meeker did a fantastic job of clarifying the differences of mothers vs. fathers and why fathers are so important in the lives of their daughters. Obviously while our daughters are young, they are impressionable, but it is at all years of their lives that we as fathers can and will have an affect on them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the statistics that were included, even if they were beyond sca
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book provided very few real insights, and those were backed up with mostly anecdotal evidence. There were some hard facts (study results, etc.), but the reference material was more revealing than this book. I felt like some of the material was presented in a disingenuous way. For example, the information regarding sex education standards seemed like it was cherry-picked in an attempt to shock the reader's sense of decency. Furthermore, studies about STDs and depression seemed to be used to ...more
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, parenting
This is a very scary book! As a man who has a 3mo old daughter, this is a horror book to beat all horror books! But if you can make it past the doom and gloom there are a lot of good ideas and excellent advice to be had. Be a man, be there for your daughter, and be a parent, not a friend. I was leaning to four stars for most of book, but I really wish the author took a clearer stance on the importance of Christianity. Having faith is way more than just statistically relevant and important for yo ...more
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knowledge
Every father with a daughter needs to read this book. Every man who's thinking about having children, needs to read this book. Every wife who has a daughter, needs to tell their husband to read this book. And every married man should read this book. This book brings up topics, you may think are common sense, but they are severely underserved. It brings the stats and personal stories to justify the argument the author is making. It made a believer out of me, and I definitely will read this over a ...more
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every father, most mothers
I recommend this book for every father who has, will have or may have a daughter. It emphasizes the important role that fathers play in their daughter's lives, their values and their morality. I even might venture so far as to say that a failed daughter is the result of a failed father. It is also important to remember that some women do well in spite of their fathers. All this, however, does not discount the importance and usefulness of a father to a boy, but just to emphasize the importance of ...more
Jonathan Rolfe
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Message received. Raising daughters is really going to suck. A depressing and defensive view of raising daughters where fathers are the only thing standing between a toxic culture, predatory men, and a girl's proclivity for anorexia, STDs, depression, and suicide. The author seems overly obsessed with sex...she must really think about it a lot. I appreciate the Christian worldview and the recognition that girls need strong dads--and there is a lot of good advice--but, sheesh, I've been put throu ...more
Legacy Dad
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fathers With Daughters
Shelves: legacy-reading
Great book for fathers to get into the minds of their daughters and understand what they need, why they need it and at what ages it is most important to be extra active and diligent in our daughters lives.

This book showed me the research and studies on why certain areas of parenting are more important then others in the lives of our daughters. It further shows why the passive and democratic parenting styles of the 70's and 80's were wrong and how daughters of today need to be parented.

Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fathers of girls
This was a great read with very practical information for dads. I am impressed with the author's expertise. I read on the kindle and the bibliography starts at 86% if that tells you anything. She writes as a medical doctor who has seen many, many young girls in her practice that provides her with an insight that is quite deep and broad.

I would encourage any father to pick this book up and learn from it. It could change you and your daughter's life.

Highly Recommended.
Alfred Stappenbeck
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Review Title: Limited value for atheist fathers

I’ll start this review off charitably and finish with criticism. From the title of my review and my two out of five star rating I’m sure you know where this review is ultimately headed but I do think there are some qualities displayed and I don’t want to lose sight of them.

***The good***

There are some great quotes that I think by themselves are very useful and might be worth the price of the book alone. For instance,
“Most of you out there are good
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes people judge books by their covers. Sometimes you are right and sometimes you are completely wrong. I felt like this book would be difficult to read and engage and I was surprised to find the writing empowering, encouraging, and overwhelming.

In a society where men often take marginalized roles with their daughters this book challenges you to increase your presence and leadership. I felt the charge to be a better dad - for my daughter's sake. Sure some anecdotes were a little too conve
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this book highly enough. Men, if you have a daughter (or several daughters), you need to read this book. You can't hear too often how important you are in your daughter's life and how serious the implications of your relationship are for her. Being a dad is a serous and sacred duty, and we need to pour our hearts into and souls into it with determination and devotion.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a book every father and mother should read. While some of the statistics of the incredible challenges our daughters face with scare the tar out of you the influence you have to combat these challenges will give you a tremendous amount of hope. I am encouraged by what studies have shown that we as parents can do to help our own daughters and realize what is important in our own lives.

Speaking to husbands "Many days we are disappointed. We find ourselves grasping for that elusive "somethin
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author is an established physician who regularly sees young female patients. This gives her credibility and fathers should know this book is not a litany of what men do wrong. Instead, it is an eye-opening look at how important fathers are to daughters and how our daughters look to us for an example as well as for help and protection. The book takes a conservative tone-"marijuana is a gateway drug" is in my opinion only true because flawed conservative drug policy criminalizes it- but most o ...more
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dads with daughters of any age.
There's probably a lot of information here that is intuitive to wives. And some information we sorta knew as husbands. But to see the clinical data that supports the need for dads to be involved in their daugthers lives is really shocking. Being highly involved in our girls life eliminates the need for them to go outside the home to find approval, self confidence and love. A strong relationship with their father helps their sense of self-worth and delays or prevents all sorts of antisocial behav ...more
Jordan Lockman
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was straight to the point, which I found is a good way to deliver this sort of information. It started off with a little "shock and awe" about the scary things that kids can get into, but ended with some great advice that every father should hear.

It is written from the point of view of a Doctor, woman, christian, and mother. So it offers a viewpoint that I found really helpful as a Christian father. Much of her advice are things that we naturally do as fathers, but there were some thi
Steve Hebert
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
First and foremost, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The author presents a compelling case for the various roles that fathers fill in a daughters life. She does so by relying on facts and anecdotes from her career and she doesn't rely on platitudes (religious or otherwise) that tend to plague this genre. She also writes with a palpable passion for the topic and relates her reasoning quite well.

Reviews of this book tend to run hot or cold. If you are looking for a book to agree with, you are look
Anthony Alvarado
Feb 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Very practical read but too devoid of the gospel and the engagement of God in our lives. A dad could read this and simply try to muster his way to being a good dad and be a total failure because he had no trust in Jesus and was simply motivated selfishly.

However, good applications from a scientific and experiential perspective that only encouraged me more to cherish my daughters, be proactive, don't compromise my convictions, and not water down the impact God will have on them through my life.
Katharine Sadler
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meeker is definitely more conservative than me, but I have to respect her years of experience working with young girls and the insight that it has given her into the importance of their relationships with their fathers. I certainly don't agree with everything she says, but most of it rang true and will probably influence me to be a bit stricter with my own daughter than I had previously thought I might be.
May 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Parents
Dr Meeker is definitely coming from a very conservative angle. However, she has some great advice about creating boundaries, etc. Much of her advice applies to mothers as well as fathers, raising boys as well as girls. Just take her advice for what it's worth to you- I personally had to ignore a fair chunk of it and was quite angry at a few of her points.
Sluggo Fernandez
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I regret not reading this book sooner...but at least I did get to it while my high school daughter is still home. Packed with insights about young women every father needs to know about. Let's face it guys, females are a mystery...this book will help you navigate towards the port of a good, lasting, and open relationship with your girl.
Milan Homola
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Good practical book with lots of data to support her concepts. I really like that she shows with proof, not just emotions, the negative effects of sex without marriage commitment, the connection between engaged dads and eating disorders in their daughters, etc. the book is ten years old and it's scary to think what those same data points are saying today. Important read for dads with daughters
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Full name: Margaret J. Meeker.
More about Meg Meeker...
“But love isn't just about feeling good. It's about doing what you don't want to do, over and over again, if it needs to be done, for the sake of someone else. Love is really about self-sacrifice.” 19 likes
“Real love is gritty. It sweats and waits, it causes you to hold your tongue when you want to scream obscenities in anger, and it causes many men to accomplish extraordinary feats.” 10 likes
More quotes…