Friday, April 28, 2017

The Little Book of Big Ideas for Dads and Daughters, by Jay Payleitner

Jay Payleitner, father of four boys, had to shift his mode of parenting when his daughter came along.  As any parent knows, daughters are different.  But the father-daughter bond is precious.  To help us dads cultivate that bond, Payleitner has written The Little Book of Big Ideas for Dads and Daughters.

Payleitner has lots of great ideas, some of which you probably can think of yourself.  Date your daughter, pray for her future husband, support her in her sports, art, and academic endeavors.  Participate in her tea parties.  Some of his advice might raise some dads' eyebrows.  Payleitner encourages dads to embrace all of their daughters' interests, taking them to terrible pop music concerts and financing their faddish toy or clothing desires.  I bristled at first to some of these ideas, but he provides convincing rationales.

Here are a couple of nuggets that I found to be especially worth remembering:

  • Go ahead and treat her like a princess, telling her she's the most precious and beautiful girl in the world, "but in relationship to every other person on the planet, raise her as a pioneer woman" who takes responsibility for herself.
  • Don't be afraid to spoil her a bit, but "in a way that has her best interest in mind."  Sure, some will say she's got you wrapped around her finger, but remember "another way to say, 'She has me wrapped around her little finger' is 'We're holding hands.'"
  • "Make your home a comfortable and inviting place for all kids."  If your house is the hang out place, you will get to know her friends and be able to look out for her safety.
  • As you pray for her future husband, and as you evaluate potential suitors, keep your expectations high, but "ask yourself if you are living up to those same high expectations right now in your marriage."

Obviously, much of The Little Book can apply to dads and sons and mothers and their children.  His focus, though, is on dads and daughters, and I was challenged, encouraged, and inspired to be a better parent and to take more time to spend with my daughter.  All parents, no matter who they are, can use these reminders and encouragement from time to time.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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