A Tool to Connect Dads and Their Teen Daughters
Every year, our church hosts it's Father/Daughter Dance around Valentine's Day. Along with hundreds of other dads, I have loved taking my three girls to this annual event.
When they were preschool and elementary-aged, it was perhaps their most looked-forward to night of the year. From January through early February, it was all they talked about. Sadly, with each of my girls, something changed when they hit about 8th grade. Where they used to treasure it, they seemed to more tolerate this special night of hanging out with dad.
Talking with the fathers I know, my experience is not unique. Something happens as our daughters make the transition into adolescence. Where they were once "daddy's girl," they now seem distant. Where we once had no problem connecting, the relationship now feels awkward.
Every Dad Gets Thrown A "Curve"
It might be that when our girls get curves, dads freak out a bit. Or maybe the slow transition into womanhood causes girls to pull away. Ultimately, it's not anybody's fault; it's just new territory that is hard for both dad and daughter to navigate. Whatever the case, most dads and daughters lose the relational connection that seemed easy just a few years before.
Unfortunately, the very season when dads and daughters disconnect is a critical time when daughters desperately need their dads. They need his insight and his protection. Most important, they need his love and affection. Dads want to provide this, they just don't always know how. Again, it's uncomfortable and our daughters don't always make it easy on us.
After raising daughters who are now 25 and 21, I have personally felt the challenge of staying close to my girls. Now, I have a 10 year old with whom I'm about to go through it all again. I want to get it right this time. In spite of the difficulty, I want to be intentional to remain a key voice in her life on all the issues she is going to face in the coming years. That's why we have created a new tool that I can't wait to use.
"Meet Me in the Middle" is perhaps the most unique book you will ever own.
Designed to keep dads and their teenage daughters talking about important stuff during the challenging years of adolescence, it's literally two books in one.
Start on one side and it’s a book for girls aged 12-19. Start on the other side and it's a book for dads. (You have to flip it over and start from the back.) Both books cover the same 10 important (but sometimes awkward) critical conversations that fathers and daughters need to have.
As a dad and his daughter pass the book back and forth, they end up talking about identity, faith, friends, beauty, boys, sex, porn, and their desperate need to stay connected to one another during the teen years. Because it's one book they have to share, it forces them to keep the dialogue open about what they are reading and learning.
The book contains key biblical principles as well as great advice from some sharp women in their young 20’s. (We interviewed a bunch of young women and asked them what they wish they could tell their teenage selves. We also asked them what they wish their dads understood about what they were going through back then.)
Every chapter includes discussion questions and some great daddy/daughter date ideas. It's an easy read for dads and girls who aren't big readers. It quickly gets to the point about the things that dads and their teenage daughters desperately need to talk about.
Finally, true to the title, the two books (front and back) literally meet in the middle. There, dad and daughter will find a tear-out commitment that they can make to God and each other. It's a pledge to stay connected and to offer unconditional love and acceptance to one another. It will serve as a constant reminder of how important the father/daughter relationship is and will always be.
"Meet Me in the Middle" ships September 2018 but if you pre-order now, you get free shipping when it releases. (Because of the unique format, it will not initially be available on Amazon.)