Dads taking the lead with their daughters

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Return to Table of Contents: 2013 Winter Edition Banana Moments: Family Business Quarterly

Joe Clark with his wife, Joanna and daughters, Felicity (center), and Callie

Joe Clark is a husband, father and teacher at Rio Linda High School, in Sacramento, California. His daughters, Felicity (7) and Callie (5) attend North Natomas Westlake Charter School in Natomas.

Concerned that there is a great need for opportunities for father-daughter experiences where Dads can take the lead and make their daughters feel very special, Clark organized a father-daughter evening called My Princess & Me Dance, which took place last month.

According to Clark, 330 dads and daughters attended, and many were turned away as the turn out was much better than expected. Next year he says the plan is for 500 guests. It was also a fundraiser for the charter school.

My Princess & Me Dance for fathers and daughters raised awareness of the importance of dads in the lives of girls and raised money for North Natomas Westlake Charter School – Photo: courtesy


Clark observes that the father figure is downplayed, and reinforced in the media. He points to caricatures  like Phil Dunphy in Modern Family, Homer in The Simpsons, and American Dad. And this concerns him because he wonders what kind of men girls will seek to marry without an active father figure in their lives.

“Dad’s don’t see what they are missing,” Clark said. “Our expectations of ourselves as dads are pretty low; we’re letting the moms do all the work. It is almost as if mom is a single parent.”

Clark does not believe there is such a thing as a perfect parent, you simply do your best. And he is adamant that discipline of his children is well received when it is expressed with a caring heart. “I have earned the right to discipline my daughters,” he said.” Because they know I care.”

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 ESV

My Princess & Me Dance for fathers and daughters
Photo: courtesy DaddysofDaughters(Flickr)

For Clark, the fundamentals of a fatherly figure in the life of a child include:

  • Financial provision
  • Emotional provision
  • Time
  • Spiritual


Things for dads with daughters to consider (from Clark)

  • When you are home, be home (don’t leave your mind at the office)
  • Know your children’s preferences and interests – get to know the things they enjoy
  • Become the “expert” about your daughter so that you can model for her what to expect from a man in her life who will treat her with love and respect

Return to Table of Contents: 2013 Winter Edition Banana Moments: Family Business Quarterly



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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.