What a Difference a Dad Makes: How Engaged Fathers Empower Their Daughters

Happy father applying chocolate spread on croissant for daughter in domestic room

There’s a lot of attention paid to the negative impact of fatherlessness on daughters, and I am the first to tell you that it is a real issue with many of the girls I teach.

However, in honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to flip that around and focus on the positive impact of fathers who are actively engaged in their daughters’ lives.

Especially when it comes to their decisions regarding love, sex, and relationships.

The following are three ways daughters are empowered in their dating decisions by actively engaged dads.

  1. They lean in to positive parent pressure. In the same way that positive “peer” pressure influences girls like your daughter to make healthy choices (like abstaining), having an engaged father influences them to make healthy choices too.  In this case, her goal isn’t to fit in with peers she likes and wants to impress, but to keep from disappointing her dad, whom she loves and wants to make proud.

If I had sex, not only would I regret doing something I can’t take back, but my dad knowing I didn’t respect myself would hurt him emotionally too.

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How Not to Talk to Your Teens about Love, Sex & Relationships: Korey’s Advice to Parents

For the past seven weeks, I’ve had the privilege of sharing my Conversation with Korey series with all of you, and today it draws to a close.

If you’ve been with me from the beginning, you’ll recall that Korey Harris, is but one of an awesome group of ten young adults whom I’ve been blessed to mentor.  Each of them have their own amazing story to tell, and are often the highlight of my youth empowerment workshops. They are one of the many reasons #WhyIDoWhatIDo.

I have witnessed first-hand, how much Korey’s transparency and candor has resonated with the teens who have attended my events. He’s also been a hit with their parents who value his insight into their teen world.  

So today, in my final Conversation with Korey post, we sit down to discuss advice for parents. Check out Korey’s words of wisdom for moms and dads who may struggle with how to engage their teens in meaningful discussion about love, sex and relationships, in a way that won’t go in one ear and out the other.

A Tale of Two Extremes

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#DadsMatter: Korey Explains How Fatherlessness Leaves Boys Searching…

If you missed last week’s Conversation with Korey post and video on the impact of fatherlessness on girls, I strongly suggest that you read/see it! Korey’s insight was spot on. Not only about how these young ladies are often preyed upon by boys, but also how many of them seek validation outside of home. 

This week, Korey brings that same level of “been-there-done-that” insight to our discussion on the impact of fatherlessness on boys.

As I stated in my disclaimer last week, the purpose of this post is not to assign blame to anyone for the very complex subject of fatherlessness. I think we can agree there is plenty of blame to go around and too much at stake to waste time pointing fingers. Instead, I choose to focus attention on the people who fatherlessness impacts the most –the kids! And clearly, boys are just as affected as girls, although in different ways.

In Search of Self

Korey believes that boys without fathers start out in life from “behind the eight ball.” He’s quick to point out that this isn’t a knock against their mothers, nor does it mean that boys without dads are automatically doomed for failure. But thinking back over his experiences as well as that of his fatherless friends, Korey realized they all shared some similar characteristics.  They were always searching, not knowing what they were destined to do (or become). And they often struggled to finish whatever they started.

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#DadsMatter: Korey Explains How Fatherless Girls Become Easy Prey for Guys

Hopefully by now the Conversation with Korey blog series has sparked honest, open-ended discussions between you and your teen. The practical tips Korey shared last week are great for any guy or girl who’s made a commitment to abstain and needs additional inspiration on how to “sex-proof” their day-to-day decisions.

In today’s post, Korey and I delve into the highly sensitive topic of fatherlessness and its impact on girls. Before we begin, now feels like a great time to offer my disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to assign blame to anyone for the very complex subject of fatherlessness. Our goal is simply to highlight some of the issues that girls without fathers face as a result.

While this is never a fun topic to discuss, it’s one that am forced to address every time I speak to girls. So many of them are suffering the negative effects of not having dads in their lives, which almost always shows up in their relationships with boys. That’s why I wanted to get Korey’s take on it. 

The insight he offers as a young man who has encountered, been in relationships and/or had sex with young ladies without fathers, is worthy of taking notes.

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Korey Tells All: Who Says Teen Guys Aren’t Looking for Value and Acceptance?

Last week I introduced you to my mentee Korey Harris, a 26-year-old young man who discovered peace after giving up sex several years ago.

One thing about Korey that stands out, in real life as well as on video, is how authentic he is. He’s a young man with amazing drive and the determination to start his own basketball skill development business.  He trains both collegiate and professional players, even as a student-athlete himself. And Korey doesn’t shy away from the fact that he’s never played basketball on a professional level. He owns it. Much like he owns his decision to abstain from sex.

There’s an ease and comfort level about Korey that comes from knowing and accepting who he is and what he’s about. But he’ll be the first to tell you, he wasn’t always so sure of himself.

Acting Out for Acceptance

In this next clip from my Conversation with Korey series, we discuss how the promise of being the first person in Korey’s family to graduate from college, almost slipped through his fingers.

A misdirected need for acceptance by “friends” who didn’t have his best interests at heart, led to him engaging in behavior that contradicted the positive upbringing his mother worked hard to instill in him.

Thankfully, that’s not where Korey’s story ends!

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Why Single Moms Need to “Think like a Dad!”

woman thinking

An 8th grade girl approached me after class recently asking if she could speak with me about something I had spoken about in class—the dangers of dating older guys.

She told me she had a wonderful boyfriend who was older than she was, respected her and did not put any pressure on her to have sex. She added that she didn’t understand the big deal about dating an older guy as long as he wasn’t pressuring her to have sex. I asked her how old her boyfriend was and she answered “19,” immediately adding that she’s “almost 15” as if the “almost” made the age difference any less significant.

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How a Dad Turned his Daughter Against Marriage!

Broken MarriageTypically we think of women being the ones who bash guys/men or use stereotypical statements when describing them. I recently received a letter from a young lady whose father was the one who bashed guys and in turn convinced her that she never wanted to get married because there were no “good guys” out there.

Dear Ms. Jackie,

When you came to talk to my class, I had already made up my mind that I wouldn’t wait until I got married to have sex. The main reason I had made up my mind about not waiting till I got married was because I wasn’t planning on ever getting married.

I have always had a very close relationship with my dad, and he has hammered into my head since a young age that all guys are the same. They just want to have sex. For the longest time, I have believed he was right. But when you came in and read some of the letters from guys and told the stories about the decent guys, it gave me hope that one day I will find a good, faithful guy…I now fully intend to wait.

Thank you so much for coming in and talking to us, and please keep doing what you’re doing. There are so many futures you are saving.

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A Mother’s Warning about Social Media…

Instagram

 

Last week I received a very disturbing and heartbreaking email message from a mother who follows my blog. She asked me to share her email message with my readers so they will never experience what her family has experienced.

 

Her letter:

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Fatherless Sons: Exposing the Epidemic and Breaking the Cycle

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For the past two months, I have been hearing a great deal about Oprah’s Lifeclass series on "Fatherless Sons," and was finally able to watch a full episode last night.

It was not long into last night’s show before I realized it would be difficult to watch the entire show without being reminded of the painful stories and letters that I have heard and read over the past 11 years.

One of the stories I was reminded of while watching was a conversation I had with a 9th grade young man four or five years ago. This young man waited to speak with me after class and shared the following: 

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Lessons from a Great Father!

 

 

It is easier to build strong boys than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass

 

 

Last week I introduced you to Mr. Charles Johnson, who raised an adult son who made and has kept a commitment to wait until marriage for sex. In today’s post I will share Part 2 of my interview with Mr. Johnson. 

Before I share some of the actual questions and answers, there are a couple things that really stood out to me during the interview that warrant mentioning. 

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