Book Review: Be the Dad She Needs You to Be by Kevin Leman

Be the Dad She Needs You to Be: The Indelible Imprint a Father Leaves on His Daughter’s Life marks the fourth parenting-type book I’ve read and reviewed recently. The other three are Daughters in Danger (not truly a parenting book, but relevant for parents of daughters), Parenting by The Book, and Family Shepherds. Kevin Leman’s parenting philosophy is similar to that of John Rosemond, author of Parenting by the Book so I wasn’t surprised to find substantial agreement between the authors. Whereas Parenting by the Book is a foundational work in that it describes a fundamental parenting philosophy, Be the Dad She Needs you to Be simply builds on a parenting philosophy by offering advice to dads of daughters.

Leman’s basic thesis is this:

“What your daughter thinks of herself and the way the world works has everything to do with you, Dad. If you haven’t taught her by your words and actions what’s important in life and how valuable she is as a unique human being, she’ll become whoever she thinks she’s supposed to be to fit in with her peers” (189).

Leman regularly exhorts fathers to encourage their daughters, spend time with them, discipline in love, manage family conflict, and do everything possible to make she their daughters know they are loved, know they are safe, and know they are special to their dads.

Be the Dad She Needs You to Be is a solid book, though not particularly compelling or engaging. I found myself wanting to skim through material to get to the end, which usually isn’t a great sign. Nevertheless, I hope dads will follow the advice of this book. Father’s play a huge role in their children’s lives. Absent, abusive, or just emotionally distant fathers can wreak havoc and good dads can set their children up for success.

If you’re going to read one parenting book, read Parenting By the Book, but if you have time for another and you have some specific questions about parenting a daughter, Be the Dad, is worth the read. But, more important than that, dads, is to love and encourage your daughter.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255