THE DAUGHTER WHISPERER: A Relationship-Changing Acrostic for Dads of Daughters

The Great Spike

Arena Men,

Last week Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield was our first solo female guest on the Men in the Arena Podcast! She is the founder of the Dad Whisperer Podcast and author of her latest book, Let’s Talk: Conversation Starters for Dads and Daughters. Our interview with “Dad Whisperer” had the highest one-day spike in podcast listens in our show’s history! Dads are starving for ways to connect with their daughters, and why shouldn’t they be? The stakes are high. According to Watson Canfield’s research, “Every area of girls’ lives are better when they feel connected to their fathers.”

Every area.           

Don’t Settle Until She is Settled

I have been married almost 30 years and am still trying to figure Shanna out, not to mention raising daughters!  I’m the father of three sons, but now have a granddaughter and two sons are in love with beautiful women who I’ve been praying for since before they were born. Learning how to love them, as future daughters, is incredibly important to me. Trust me when I confess that I was taking copious notes!

It is critical that our daughters are secure in our love for them. In us, they must find a safe harbor to share their feelings, thoughts and worries. Michelle writes, “You see, a settledness takes hold in the depths of a woman’s being when she knows she doesn’t have to shout above all the noise just to be heard. And a power takes root in her when she fully believes that she matters because what she thinks and feels matters.”

I know what you are thinking; “I am all-in! Just give me something to do!” You got it.

Here is a four-letter acrostic to memorize that will help you TALK to your daughter: T.A.L.K.

Watson Canfield continues, “I guarantee that by doing these four things, you’ll be positioned to stay close to your daughter throughout her entire life.”

Time: Carve It Out

Take the time to spend with your daughter. Date her. Teach her that she is worthy of honor. Show her that you cherish time spent with her. Dr, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family once said, “Love is spelled T.I.M.E.”

Carve out a regular date night where your goal is to treat her like a princess and listen to her heart. Michelle’s book, Let’s Talk: Conversation Starters for Dads and Daughters has 60 date-night conversation starters to get you on your Dad Whisperer journey. Put your phone away, focus your time and energy on her. If you have more than one daughter, then rotate regular dates nights by week or month.   

Affection: She Will Get It Somewhere

The ageless dilemma is true—a woman will give sex for affection and a man will give affection for sex. One of my favorite books about marriage is Bill Harley’s classic His Needs Her Needs in which he lists “affection” as the number one need of women. We had a wonderful interview with Bill Harley back on Episode 128. Daughterly affection is smiling when she talks to you, empathizing with her feelings, responding to her with active listening and saying, “I love you” with your eyes. Give her all your affection because IF YOU DO NOT, someone else will. I guarantee it.

Your daughter will be cared for either by you or some horny teenage boy who only cares about his fleshly desires. It is your choice. Will your daughter grow in her confidence as a godly woman because she has had an affectionate father, or will she feel compelled to seek affection in the arms of a young man because she has never experienced it from you?

Listen: Your Greatest Gift

One of the toughest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done, is to love one woman under the covenant of marriage, but one of the easiest is to get her to express her heart! Women love to talk. All I have to ask Shanna is, “Tell me about…” and she is rolling.

Watson Canfield writes, “The best way for a girl or woman to connect with herself and with others is through talking. When we as women open our mouths, our hearts automatically open. And when a daughter’s heart is open, her dad’s heart invariably opens…Never underestimate the positive and powerful impact you make by listening to your daughter. Listening to her is one of the best gifts you can ever give her.”

Did you catch that? Listening to her is one of the best gifts you can give her! Daughter/Wife Whisperers learn the art of giving this great gift daily.

Kindness: If It is Broken, DON’T Fix It

Men are fixers. Women are processors. When we hear our wives processing their problems, we try to show love and kindness by solving their problems.

He shoots. He misses! Again.

Watson Canfield writes, “Dad, the more you’re a sounding board without trying to fix your daughter’s problems while she vents and expresses herself, the more you’ll help her process her emotions and her experiences.”

Instead of telling her how to fix her problems, I have learned to simply say, “I’m so sorry you are going through X.” Early on it may be wise to honestly say, “Honey I am here for you. Is this something you want your old man to solve for you or listen to? Tell me what you need from me right now.”

Learn to Whisper

Becoming His Best Version,

Jim Ramos