Dads Are a Key Factor in the Life of Girls

This past week, I joined fourteen SGS dads at a breakfast sponsored by Holy Names Academy, one of our sister girls schools here in Seattle. We weren’t just there for the good company. We had the opportunity to hear from Dr. JoAnn Deak. She is an advocate for helping children develop into confident and competent adults. She also focuses on working with adults, parents and teachers in their roles as guides or ‘neurosculptors’ of those children. On her website is a quote that best describes her perspective on her work: “Every interaction a child has, during the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.”

Dr. Deak presented research that supports, among other things:

• SGS is a great environment for nurturing and educating our daughters.
• Dads have more influence on their daughter’s tween/teen development than moms.
• Dad’s need to help their daughters learn to take risks in order to establish positive self esteem.
• Positive self esteem is the #1 characteristic found in successful girls.
• Our daughters want to spend time with dads. They like dads best when they display a sense of humor.
• Dad’s need to talk quietly and listen more than they talk. Responding to their daughters, dads need to ask ‘Tell me more?’ and ‘What can I do to help?’ rather than act like Superman and try to fix it.

As the “honorary” daily dad of 117 girls, I would concur with these points. I also noted with great interest that Dr. Deak pointed out that the research on girls applies to about 80% of them while 20% actually present more boy-like. Likewise, 20% of boys present more girl-like. Knowing your child best, only you can determine what the research has to say about that particular special human being.

Visit Dr. Deak’s website at:

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