Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Review, 4 of 4: Lang and Lankford-Moran's Why a Daughter Needs a Dad

Authors Gregory E. Lang, a family therapist, and Janet Lankford-Moran, photographer, published in 2002 the beautiful book Why a Daughter Needs a Dad: A Hundred Reasons (Cumberland House Publishing, March 18, 2002), as part of a series of equally good books that include Why a Son Needs a Mom: 100 Reasons, Why a Son Needs a Dad: 100 Reasons, and Why a Daughter Needs a Mom: 100 Reasons.

Following the format of picture books, each page has a black and white picture of a girl or a woman and her father interacting with one another, along an inspiring phrase about that picture. Among my favorites pages is the one that shows an adult woman holding the picture of her deceased soldier father, with the moving statement “A daughter needs a dad who will influence her life even when he isn’t with her”, and the one that has the picture of the hands of a father and his baby girl accompanied by the wonderful statement “A daughter needs a dad to be the safe spot she can always turn to”.

The book explores the rich and complex relationship between father and daughter. The experiences shared by both, the games, the laughter, the comfort of familiarity, all of it creates a common history for dad and daughter, providing strength and security for their daughters, as she grow into womanhood. A healthy bond between a father and his daughter can make the difference between a healthy and happy woman and one that's not, and it also shows her what to expect from her future adult relationships.

One of the best features of the book is that it make us fathers feel pride about being a fathers and about our role in our daughters’ lives, affirming a wide range of the ways that we influence positively the outcome of their development into adulthood. The book will inspire and encourage fathers to embrace their important role in educating, guiding and supporting their daughters.

“The first time I read what I had written,” writes Lang, “I saw a list of what a daughter might ask her father to do for her. The second time I read it I saw a list of all that I hope to do for my daughter.”

An excellent present to any father, this book is a great reading in particular for those of us who have been blessed with daughters.

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