With Father’s Day this weekend, dads across Iowa are being reminded of the vital role they play in the lives of their daughters. Joe Kelly is co-founder and president of the group “Dads and Daughters.” Kelly urges Iowa dads to change the “pervasive cultural messages” which he says devalue girls and women.
Kelly says “It’s important for her to have positive experiences with the first man in her life and have that man respect her and value her for who she is and what she thinks and what she’s passionate about and what she can bring to the world and what her talents are, because unfortunately in our sexist world, girls and women are still too often judged by how they look, rather than for who they are and what they can do.”
Kelly says being a father is one of the most rewarding experiences a man can have in his life, but it’s also one of his most important jobs. Kelly says “You gotta’ suit up and show up because you only get one crack at being the father or the step-father of this child while they are a child and the pay-off is huge, not just for the child, but for you too.” While the fathering process can be difficult for those dads who are divorced and don’t live with their kids, he says that doesn’t mean they can’t still do a tremendous job.
Kelly says “Because a successful live-away father has to father with a great deal of intention and attention, he has to really put effort into it. I always say if you want to know how to be a good father, find the most successful live-away father you can find and follow his example.” Kelly’s national non-profit “Dads and Daughters” group aims to inspire fathers to actively and deeply engage in the lives of their daughters. For more information, surf to “www.dadsanddaughters.org”.