Knyga: Margaret Meeker — Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Posted: 2014-01-19 in Tėvystė
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Knyga: Margaret J. Meeker — Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know | Tėvystė | Darau, blėPerspėjimas: įrašas ilgas, ypač su citatomis. Jei neturite dabar laiko, užsižymėkite rimtam perskaitymui vėliau.

Nepamenu, kur aptikau nuorodą į šitą knygą. Greičiausiai žmona užrodė. Na, seniai tas buvo jau. Bet tuo metu užmačiau vien pavadinimą ir, kaip savo dukrikės tėtis, užsimaniau žvilgtelėti giliau. Amazonėj radau versiją Kindlui, paskaičiau pirmus puslapius „pabandymui“ ir užsikabinau. Apskritai, gėris tos elektrinės knygos. Tik DRM labai nervina, visiškas idiotizmas. Bet ne apie tai kalbėt susirinkom.

Trumpai: knyga apie tėčių įtaką dukroms. Apie tai, kokias savybes privalu perduoti dukrai, kokį pavyzdį rodyti, kaip ją valdyti ir nukreipti tinkama linkme, kaip rūpintis, kaip palaikyti ir taip toliau, ir panašiai. Prisipažinsiu, knyga tikrai įkvepianti ir verčianti susimąstyti. Nors mane viskas įkvepia ir verčia mąstyti, matyt, toks esu.

Tiesą sakant, kažkaip net negalvojau, iki kokių subtilybių tėčiai gali paveikti savo dukras. Iš vienos pusės lyg ir savaime aišku, kad tėvai apskritai yra įtakingiausi savo vaikams. Aišku, ne visi tą įtaką išnaudoja teisingai — štai apie tai ir yra ši knyga. Kaip padaryti teisingą įtaką, kaip apsaugoti dukras nuo toksiškos visuomenės ir nesveiko turinio įtakos.

Knygoje pakankamai gerai išanalizuota tikra šiuolaikinė situacija „sex sells“. Taip, pritariu. Aš į papus reklamose per daug dėmesio nekreipiu, arba pasižiūriu ir apsilaižau — tokia vyriška reakcija, žinote. O jei nežinote, mielosios moterys, tai žinokite — vyrai tokie yr. Dėl to „sex sells“. Aišku, kai pasižiūriu supermamų forumą ir paskaitau seilėtas ir drėgnas istorijas apie tai, kokios nerealios knygos yra visokie ten atspalviai ir bibliotekininkės, tai suprantu, kad viskas normaliai: moterys dar labiau patvirkę, nei vyrai 🙂

Tačiau visas šiuolaikinio turinio atvirumas ir prieinamumas daro milžinišką žalą vaikams, o mergaitėms — ypač. Nėra ką ir kalbėti apie anoreksiją dėl figūros, norą būti „sexy“ (ir apskritai viskas taip „sexy“, kad jau nebeaišku, ar tas žodis kažką reiškia, ar čia tikrai krušliava ant kiekvieno kampo), semtis gyvenimo išminties iš visokių kosmopolitanų… o va čia tėčiai gali imti kirvuką ir atkirsti savo dukrikes nuo tos įtakos. Visų pirma tuo, kad tėčiai yra vyrai ir formuoja mergaitės požiūrį į save ir supratimą, kaip į ją kiti vyrai turėtų žiūrėti. Taigi: ją reikia besąlygiškai mylėti, gerbti, laikyti gražia, jai reikia parodyti, kad ji ypatinga ir kad ji — vienintelė tokia. Net jeigu ji apkūni, negraži ar dar su kažkokiais trūkumais — nepasiduoti ir neleisti sau replikų ta tema, o susikoncentruoti į jos vidų ir unikalumą.

Patvirtintas ir mano paties pastebėjimas, kad dvidešimtmečiai — dar ganėtinai apykvailiai. Nepykite, jei jums -niolika ar pradžia dvidešimtų ir čia skaitote. Susitaikykite geriau, kad jūsų smegenys dar vystosi ir po penkerių metų būsite, deja, kiti žmonės. Galiu tik iš patirties pasakyti, kad taip tikrai yra. Pats paauglystėje ir ankstyvoje jaunystėje daug ko nesugebėjau blaiviai ir realistiškai vertinti, suvokti ir sugalvoti. Tiesiog smegenėlės dar per minkštos buvo. Na, bet tai yra natūralios raidos etapas, kurį visi pereina. Todėl, tėčiai, dėmesio, nepamirškite, kad dukrikes reikia nukreipinėti teisinga linkme jau ir iš namų mokytis iškeliavusias. Aišku, tai nereiškia kontrolės ir manipuliavimo — bet taisyklės turi būti aiškios ir apibrėžtos.

Labai pralinksmino vienas pavyzdukas iš knygos. Tėvas policininkas išleidžia septyniolikmetę (ar panašiai) į kiną su draugu. Draugas vežasi ją mašina. Na, tėvas klausinėja, kas bus jei bus taip, kas bus jei anaip, kas bus, jei draugas nusiveš ne į kiną, o į mišką ir dar turės bagažnyke dėžę alaus. Dukrikė atsakinėja „teisingai“, varto akis, negi tu, tėti, manim nepasitiki ar ką. Paskutinis klausimas: kaip manai, kiek tavo draugas gali išgerti, kad dar būtų saugu tave parvežti namo? Na, ką žinau, kokius turbūt šešis-septynis alaus…

Pagavote, apie ką čia? Ogi apie tą, kad jaunuoliai tiesiog nesugeba vertinti realybės. Aišku, amerikietiški šeši-septyni alaus prilygsta kokiems keturiems mūsiškiems, bet čia tik kad aiškiau būtų. Faktiškai ir po vieno butelio alaus vairuoti negalima, nors dar ir buvo leista vairuoti su promilių dalimis. O jaunuoliai apskritai nesugeba vertinti savo pajėgumų, galimybių ir saugumo. Dėl to ir išsiteškia į medį užsimanę patirti, kas čia per jausmas palėkti su mašina. Na, gerai, jei tik į medį, o jei netyčia į kitą mašiną ar pėsčiuosius? Tad, tėčiai, nežiopsokite. Nesitikėkite, kad jūsų „gera dukrelė“ mokės blaiviai vertinti situaciją — reikia nuolatinių patikrų. Tiesą sakant, avarijose daugiausiai žūsta būtent „gerų mergaičių“, nes jos dar ir „ne“ nemoka gerai pasakyti iš savo gerumo — šito irgi reikia išmokyti ir parodyti, kas yra būdo tvirtumas.

Labai patiko skyrius apie tikrąsias vertybes: kuklumą ir nuolankumą bei su jomis painiojamą priešpriešą nusižeminimą. Kuklumas parodo, kad mes esam, kas esam, ne vien savo, bet ir kitų dėka ir kad nesame pasaulio centras. Nuolankumas padeda išgyventi tokias situacijas, kuriose tiesiog neturime galimybių kažką pakeisti. Na, o nusižeminimas arba lindimas į subinę — tikrai ne vertybė. Nereikia auginti egocentriškų chamų (-ių).

Knygoje visas skyrius skirtas religijai ir Dievui. Jame aprašyta kuo tikriausia teisybė: su religija ir Dievu supažindinti paaugliai daugybę savo problemų išgyvena paprasčiau ir taikiau. Apskritai, tokiame amžiuje kažkokios metafizinės paramos jiems reikia kur kas labiau, nei dauguma gali įsivaizduoti. Beje, žinau tą iš asmeninės patirties, nes man pačiam religija ir įvairūs sudėtingi klausimai labai rūpėjo ir studijavau juos su maniakišku atsidavimu.

Tiesa, nepatiko tame skyriuje labai netiesiogiai ir labai užmaskuotai, bet visgi smerkiamas ateizmas. Jautėsi iš autorės sakinių konstrukcijų 🙂 Bet ji pabrėžė ir teisingą mintį: esi ateistas, turėsi savo poziciją išlaikyti ir aiškinti, kodėl tavo požiūris kitoks, nei daugumos. Tiesa, turime čia atsižvelgti į amerikietišką kontekstą, kur religija ir bažnyčia yra kur kas įprastesni, nei mums Lietuvoje. Lietuvoje šiuo požiūriu padėtis yra tragiška.

O jei rimtai, tai aš pats nežinau, ką savo vaikui galėčiau išsakyti religine tema. Religinių tradicijų neturiu, bet griežtai vadintis ateistu negalėčiau — turiu būti bent jau sąžiningas šiuo atžvilgiu. Sakykime, kad esu prietaringas. O prietaringumas yra tas pats, kaip tikėjimas, tik toks instinktyvus, iš stuburo smegenų kylantis. Va dėl to vaikams ir paaugliams tikėjimas yra gerai, nes jie to siekia instinktyviai — žmogaus protas yra linkęs ieškoti kažkokios aukštesnės jėgos ir apsaugos. Be to, iš religijos galima pasimokyti daugybės gerų dalykų ir teisingų vertybių. Mažiau blogų minčių, mažiau keiksmažodžių, seksas vėlesniame amžiuje ir taip toliau. Visa tai gauna su Dievu susipažinę paaugliai. Tik neturint savų tradicijų ir konkretaus požiūrio tą pažindinimą sukurti gali būti sunku. Todėl reikia galvoti ir domėtis jau dabar pat.

Truputuką erzino vienas šios knygos aspektas: rašymo stilius. Na, taip jau seilėmis srūvantys sakiniai, kad negaliu. Suprantu, be abejo, kad autorė norėjo parašyti knygą tokią, kad ji būtų drąsinanti, įkvepianti ir jaudinanti. Bet nujaučiu, kad kai kurie vyrai tiesiog to neatlaikytų, gali susidaryti atmetimo reakcija. Tiesa, galbūt aš čia šiek tiek perdedu ir tikrai nenoriu gąsdinti. Bet reikia pasiruošti iš šios knygos išsikapstyti reikiamą informaciją, o kapstyti tikrai yra ką. Informacija gera, kokybiška, paremta įvairiais tyrimais, kurių sąrašas užima apie 15% visos knygos „tūrio“. Padirbėta nuoširdžiai.

Na, o pabaigai keliolika citatų (o gal keliasdešimt). Prisirankiojau skaitydamas. Deja, ne visos yra visiškai aiškios be konteksto. Ai, dar čia tokia smagybė nutiko, iki šiol nebuvau matęs: radau knygoje kitų žmonių pasižymėtas citatas. Na, čia per Amazonės debesis toks dalykas ateina. „Šitą pasižymėjo 572 žmonės“. Atseit, nereali mintis, kad jau taip masiškai ją žymisi:

Bendrai pažymėtos citatos iš Amazon Cloud Kindle skaityklėje | Darau, blė

Tai va, kaip būna, pasirodo. O dabar jau citatos.

From your daughter’s perspective, it is never too late to strengthen her relationship with you. So be bold. Your daughter wants your guidance and support; she wants and needs a strong bond with you. And, as all successful fathers know, you need a strong bond with her.

Yes, the four Ms—MTV, music, movies, and magazines—are enormous influences that shape what girls think about themselves, what clothes they wear, and even the grades they get. But their influence doesn’t come close to the influence of a father.

  • Toddlers securely attached to fathers are better at solving problems.
  • Six-month-old babies score higher on tests of mental development if their dads are involved in their lives.
  • With dads present in the home, kids manage school stress better.
  • Girls whose fathers provide warmth and control achieve higher academic success.
  • Girls who are close to their fathers exhibit less anxiety and withdrawn behaviors.
  • A daughter’s self-esteem is best predicted by her father’s physical affection.

When you are with her, whether you eat dinner and do homework together or even when you are present but don’t say much, the quality and stability of her life—and, you’ll find, your own—improves immeasurably.

Unfortunately, we have a popular culture that’s not healthy for girls and young women, and there is only one thing that stands between it and your daughter. You. Fathers inevitably change the course of their daughters’ lives—and can even save them.

The only way you will alienate your daughter in the long term is by losing her respect, failing to lead, or failing to protect her. If you don’t provide for her needs, she will find someone else who will—and that’s when trouble starts. Don’t let that happen.

Authority is not a threat to your relationship with your daughter—it is what will bring you closer to your daughter, and what will make her respect you more.

In fact, girls who end up in counselors’ offices, detention centers, or halfway homes are not girls who had authoritative fathers. Quite the opposite.

Let me tell you a secret: many daughters challenge their fathers too. They’ll dive into a power struggle with you, not to see how tough you are, but to see how much you really care about them. So remember that when she pushes hard against your rules, flailing, crying that you are mean or unfair, she is really asking you a question: Am I worth the fight, Dad? Are you strong enough to handle me? Make sure she knows the answer is yes.

One of the best things fathers can do is raise their daughters’ expectations of life. That will directly affect how your daughter talks, how she dresses, how well she does in school, even what sports or musical instruments she chooses to play. You can help her set goals, help her define a higher purpose for her life, and as a result, her self-esteem will skyrocket. And it will bring you closer, because she’ll recognize you as a leader and an ally, helping her to chart a better course.

Fathers need to be strict, but they also need to be kind, accepting, and loving. It’s a matter of balance. The don’ts are easy. Don’t let your daughter think of you as the enemy. Don’t use your authority in ways that are cruel or that sting. Don’t try to live your life through hers. Don’t try to make her your robot. But do lead.

It hits hard, but it is truthful and someone has to tell fathers to uncage their masculinity. In too much of popular culture, masculinity is either disparaged (often by feminists) or displayed wrongly (as in rap music). True masculinity is the moral exercise of authority. And your little girl needs it.

In the best men, kindness, strength, and perseverance go together.

You daughter can’t tell you this, so I will: If there is any way you can stay married, do it. Even if your marriage seems doomed, stay in it, stay at home with your children for as long as possible, for their sake. Getting divorced when your daughter is twenty is better for her than when she’s fourteen.

Don’t bend under peer pressure. You will have friends (probably most of your friends) who will be much more lenient with their daughters. So what?

All it requires is that you be a man, a real man, which means a man of courage, perseverance, and integrity. You were made a man for a reason. You were made a man to be a strong, loving husband and father. So listen to your instincts, and do what’s right. Be a hero.

A daughter identifies easily with her mother, but you are a mystery to her. You are her first love, so the early years of your relationship with her are crucial. The love you give her is her starting point. You have other loves in your life, but she doesn’t.

If you have a good relationship, she will choose boyfriends who will treat her well. If she sees you as open and warm, she’ll be confident with other men. If you are cold and unaffectionate, she’ll find it hard to express love in a healthy way.

Instead of saying, “I love you because you’re so beautiful,” tell her that you love her because there is no one else in the world like her.

Fathers often overestimate their daughters’ maturity. We’re all taught that girls mature faster than boys, which is partly true. But researchers now know that some girls don’t develop adult cognitive skills until their early twenties.

If you need to distance yourself emotionally for a time, do it. If you need physical separation for a bit, okay. But always come back. Will, patience, calm, and persistence will pay off in your relationship with her. Nothing better expresses serious love than this combination of qualities. Let her know that nothing she can do, even running away, getting pregnant, tattooing her ankle, or piercing her tongue, can make you stop loving her. Say that if you need to.

Love, as Mr. Chambers said, must push us beyond ourselves. It will jab every sensitive part of you and turn you inside out. Having kids is terrifying because parenting is like walking around with your heart outside your chest. It goes to school and gets made fun of. It jumps into cars that go too fast. It breaks and bleeds.

Most parents pull away from their teenage daughters, assuming they need more space and freedom. Actually, your teenage daughter needs you more than ever. So stick with her. If you don’t, she’ll wonder why you left her.

You will always be your daughter’s first love. And what a great privilege—and opportunity to be a hero—that is.

If you stay with her, look at her, and listen to her, she’ll keep coming back for more. Her self-esteem will soar, her sense of loneliness will disappear, and she’ll become more comfortable expressing her feelings. Finally, because you, the most important man in her life, obviously like being with her, she will feel more attractive. She’ll think that boys who don’t want to be with her have a problem (because you’re smarter and more mature than they are). That’s a good attitude for her to have, and one that can protect her in the long run.

At the beginning of her life, she will feel your love. At the end of her life, you will be on her mind. And what happens in between is up to you. Love her extraordinarily. This is the heart of great fathering.

Genuine humility is the starting point for every other virtue. Humility means having a proper perspective on ourselves, of seeing ourselves as we really are. It also means knowing that every person has equal worth.

Keep her world larger than herself and her talents. Gently guide her to recognize her strengths and limitations. Let her fail. Let her know that you still love her when she fails. Let her know that she’s valuable not only for what she does, but for who she is. Here is your chance to teach her one of life’s greatest lessons: people are valuable because they’re human, not because of what they do.

If you teach your daughter to be good rather than simply happy, she will become both. Teaching your daughter humility is a wonderful gift. And it can be taught only by example.

Fathers often assume that their teenage daughters want to be left alone and don’t want to be hugged. This isn’t true—in fact, it couldn’t be more wrong. She needs your touch during these years even more than when she was five.

The fact is, popular culture is selling sex to our teens, resulting in skyrocketing rates of teenage sexually transmitted diseases and clinical depression. And don’t expect anyone to do anything about it. The only person who can protect your daughter from the pimp culture of modern marketing is you.

Let me put it this way. If you don’t want your daughter to be sexually active in high school, you need to tell her, you need to teach her. Otherwise, she will be. Popular culture trains our daughters for a life of promiscuity.

Every model for Playboy is someone’s daughter. Don’t let it be yours. Protect her beautiful body as only you can. She may hate it in the short term, but when she is an adult she will thank you.

As a dad, whenever your daughter is in a tough situation, all you have to do is ask her this simple question: “So what can you do about it?” And it’s worth asking that question in situations throughout her life.

Pornography crushes your masculinity, but seems as though it enhances it. It lies to you repeatedly, pulling you into deeper isolation, deeper weakness. It’s up to you to be strong, to realize that your family needs you back. Your daughter, your son, and your wife need you to live without the secrets—about pornography or anything else. Truth heals, and truth sits at the core of integrity.

She is a gift who has changed your life through her love, compassion, and strength. Teach her that she is enough. She needs to know this so that when she chooses a husband, she will look for another man who considers her a gift, who considers her “enough.” Living with “nothing to hide, nothing to gain, and nothing to lose,” as author Ken Davis puts it, is real freedom.

If you want her to marry a man with integrity, a man who will try to love her well, a man who will exercise courage with his family, protect her, and embody manly humility rather than arrogant narcissism, then show her integrity. Teach her to love life more than she fears it. Show her the integrity that means you have nothing to hide. Show her the love that puts family before material possessions. Show her strength of character and she will incorporate it into her own persona.

Religion is protective for kids. Studies on adolescents reproduce this fact with extraordinary consistency. Religion is defined here as a belief in God and an active participation in worshipping at church or temple, going to youth groups, and being involved in religious activities.

Research shows that religion (some studies refer to “religiosity” and I am inferring it to be equal to religion):

  • Helps kids stay away from drugs
  • Helps keep kids away from sexual activity
  • Helps keep kids away from smoking
  • Gives kids moral guidance
  • Gives them feelings of mental and psychological security
  • Contributes to their growing maturity as they pass from childhood through adolescence
  • Helps them set boundaries and stay out of trouble
  • Helps teens keep a good perspective on life
  • Helps teens feel good and be happy
  • Helps most teens get through their problems and troubles
  • Helps kids feel better about their bodies and physical appearance
  • Helps girls delay the onset of sexual activity
  • Helps girls be less rebellious
  • Makes girls less likely to exhibit bad tempers
  • Make girls less likely to cut class
  • Makes girls more likely to watch movies with a lower rating (G or PG)
  • Protects girls from watching X-rated pornographic movies and videos
  • Makes girls less likely to spend a lot of time playing video games
  • Makes girls more likely to get higher grades
  • Makes girls less likely to have depressive symptoms
  • Positively affects personal adjustment into adult population
  • Other studies, focused mainly on adults, but with implications for kids as well, found that religion: May cut the chance of committing suicide fourfold
  • Predicted suicide rates more effectively than any other factor, including unemployment
  • Leads to higher ego strength
  • Helps reduce paranoia
  • Helps reduce anxiety
  • Helps reduce insecurity

Girls tend to be somewhat more religious than boys, and both sexes want more religion than we are giving them.

Could you turn around and look at her and believe that the sum of her existence rests in a mass of cells? Certainly not. But this is exactly how a rank secularist is obliged to view his daughter. She is nothing more than a genetic product of his and her mother’s DNA. The puffing of air through her tiny chest keeps her alive. Your time with her is precious, meaningful, but purely a biological phenomenon. Her thoughts and feelings can be traced to neuronal firing in her brain. One day you will die and she will die and that will be that. Life began through the splitting and rejoining of DNA and when they stopped functioning, she did too. I can’t imagine a father feeling this way about his daughter. When you look at your sleeping daughter, you are confronted with a spiritual reality that you can’t deny. From the moment she was born, you sensed the awesomeness of her life, the fact that there is something mysterious and transcendent about it, that she goes beyond you and your spouse.

If you don’t give guidance to your daughter, she’ll come up with answers of her own—which means your authority will be replaced by someone else’s. This is how cults are formed. You wouldn’t ask your daughter to cook coq au vin for dinner without giving her a recipe. And God is more important than dinner.

Many girls who feel emotionally rejected, abandoned, or even simply misunderstood for a period in their lives need to find security somewhere. So they look for something strong, loving, and secure to latch on to. Many turn to God. But others turn to things that are not healthy (drugs, sex, drinking, cults) because they feel so desperate.

Research clearly shows that parents are the single most importance influences over daughters’ lives when it comes to spiritual and religious issues.41 And as much as you might shy away from these issues, wouldn’t you, as a father, rather have your daughter come to you—and admire your beliefs and how you mirror them—than go to a boyfriend, a neighbor, or some other authority figure?

From the moment your daughter starts thinking about what she wants to do, you need to challenge her thinking and question her behavior, so that by the time she’s a teenager she naturally comes to you to ask, “Dad, this is what I really want to do, but what do you think I should do?” You daughter can know her own feelings, but ultimately, when it comes to making a decision, you know best.

Many parents believe, wrongly, that teens have the cognitive skills to be able to “make good choices” on their own. But teenagers are much more driven by feelings than they are by reason. Not only do you need to decide, but you also need to train your daughter from an early age to look to you for decisions.

Am I advocating dressing daughters frumpily and turning them into meek wallflowers? Of course not. But trying to be attractive is one thing. Turning wonderful young women into upscale prostitutes is another. And that’s what plastic surgery prepares girls for when they go off to the college dorms.

Many young women have absorbed the feminist idea that women don’t need men. Yes, we do. We need fathers, husbands, lovers, protectors, and nurturers. To say that we don’t contradicts the most elemental truths of human nature. We need other people. And women need more than just other women.

Psychologists, physicians, and researchers spend untold time and money researching what keeps kids on the right track—away from drugs, gangs, drinking, and sex. And what do they find over and over again? What parents already know: you are the key to your daughter’s excellence and happiness. Parent connectedness: mothers and fathers staying together, and mothers and fathers spending time with their kids. And no one is more important to a daughter than her father.

Fathers like to do things outside the house, so here’s a tip: take your daughter with you. Teach her to build an engine. Take her fishing or hiking, or go to a museum, or take her out to dinner. You don’t want to turn her into a boy, but let her spend time with you when you’re doing what you like to do. It will help you open up and share with her. She’ll see you when you are comfortable and enthusiastic. The great thing about outdoor activities is that conversation flows naturally. And especially today, when so many kids live on the Internet and their BlackBerries, having a real flesh-and-blood connection is more important than ever.

Most mothers don’t hoist their fifty-pound fourth graders into the air. We talk to them. Most mothers don’t take daughters fishing or help them tinker with engines on the weekends. Fathers do. So do it. Both of you need to get away from chores and homework. You need to spend time together having fun.

The majority of American girls love instant messaging. Girls not only speak more words than boys, they type more. In IM, words can be dressed up with question marks, exclamation points, and smiley faces. IM language can be cute, entertaining, and fun for kids to use, but it’s also far removed from real human contact. You might find that after a while your daughter will have difficulty talking with you in a car, room, or restaurant, because being face-to-face is powerful and frightening, and she’s too used to the anonymity of electronics. When she sees your face, there is no escaping your feelings or your thoughts. Real life becomes over-stimulating to her senses. Voices are loud. Touch is foreign. Eyes pierce and crush her hopes. You are a distant and frightening figure.

Since you are competing with e-conversations, e-songs, and e-relationships, steal her away from the screen as often as you can. Remember, when all is said and experienced, you are a better communicator than cell phones, e-mail, or chat rooms. They can’t comfort her when she’s in the hospital. They can’t walk her down the aisle toward her future husband. You will.

Most girls hate bad language, but they embrace it on IM because bad language, half-truths, outright lies, pretending to be another person, and verbal pornography are all part of the IM world, which, to young girls, seems fun and harmless.

One day, when she is grown, something between the two of you will shift. If you have done your job well, she will choose another good man to love her, fight for her, and be intimately connected to her. But he will never replace you in her heart, because you were there first. And that’s the ultimate reward for being a good dad.

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