raising a daughter

Raising a Daughter in Today’s World

My responsibility as a father is to prepare my daughters to be women of virtue and honor. My hope for them is that they each may find a successful career and become a wonderful wife to a worthy young man. Every day, I am motivated by this Scripture: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

From billboards along the highway to commercials on television to the content on the Internet and social media, our sons and daughters are bombarded by morally questionable media. Raising responsible and confident children, especially daughters, in this environment can be difficult. Every day, our girls face peer pressure and unrealistic standards of beauty and popularity, creating significant challenges for any parent looking to shape the next generation. This is how my wife and I are meeting the challenges of raising a daughter.

These challenges are not lost on my family. My wife, Tommi, and I have two daughters—one an adult and one a preteen. They are a generation apart and were raised in two different eras of technology, media, and social trends. However, the same societal pressures and standards have challenged them as they’ve grown up. As we work to instill in our daughters values that will make them productive members of society and leaders of their households, my wife, Tommi, and I keep in mind these Scriptures from Proverbs: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. Strength and honor are her clothing. She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

How I treat my daughters’ mother is the first step in shaping how they see themselves in a relationship.This training for responsible adulthood begins with me leading by example. How I treat my daughters’ mother is the first step in shaping how they see themselves in a relationship. They see how I love, respect, and care for their mother, and they will expect the same from their spouse. They see the passion and work ethic I have had during my career as a professional football player and now in the NFL front office. By a parent’s example, children learn to respect themselves and others.

I take every opportunity to encourage my daughters so they have the tools and confidence to be successful in their careers and relationships. This is my advice to young women: Never compromise or settle for second best. In spite of the pressures of the world, be yourself and uphold the standards of virtuous women. The support of your family, a positive network of friends, and God will carry you through life’s challenges.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you see me doing that you think I could do better?”