A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Husband)

Father Daughter Dance

Photo Credit: patrick_bird via Compfight cc

Dear Cutie-Pie,

Recently, your mother and I were searching for an answer on Google. Halfway through entering the question, Google returned a list of the most popular searches in the world. Perched at the top of the list was “How to keep him interested.”

It startled me. I scanned several of the countless articles about how to be sexy and sexual, when to bring him a beer versus a sandwich, and the ways to make him feel smart and superior.

And I got angry.

Little One, it is not, has never been, and never will be your job to “keep him interested.”

Little One, your only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable place that isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)

If you can trust your worth in this way, you will be attractive in the most important sense of the word: you will attract a boy who is both capable of interest and who wants to spend his one life investing all of his interest in you.

Little One, I want to tell you about the boy who doesn’t need to be kept interested, because he knows you are interesting:

I don’t care if he puts his elbows on the dinner table—as long as he puts his eyes on the way your nose scrunches when you smile. And then can’t stop looking.

I don’t care if he can’t play a bit of golf with me—as long as he can play with the children you give him and revel in all the glorious and frustrating ways they are just like you.

I don’t care if he doesn’t follow his wallet—as long as he follows his heart and it always leads him back to you.

I don’t care if he is strong—as long as he gives you the space to exercise the strength that is in your heart.

I couldn’t care less how he votes—as long as he wakes up every morning and daily elects you to a place of honor in your home and a place of reverence in his heart.

I don’t care about the color of his skin—as long as he paints the canvas of your lives with brushstrokes of patience, and sacrifice, and vulnerability, and tenderness.

I don’t care if he was raised in this religion or that religion or no religion—as long as he was raised to value the sacred and to know every moment of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred.

In the end, Little One, if you stumble across a man like that and he and I have nothing else in common, we will have the most important thing in common:


Because in the end, Little One, the only thing you should have to do to “keep him interested” is to be you.

Your eternally interested guy,



This post is, of course, dedicated to my daughter, my Cutie-Pie. But I also want to dedicate it beyond her.

I wrote it for my wife, who has courageously held on to her sense of worth and has always held me accountable to being that kind of “boy.”

I wrote it for every grown woman I have met inside and outside of my therapy office—the women who have never known this voice of a Daddy.

And I wrote it for the generation of boys-becoming-men who need to be reminded of what is really important—my little girl finding a loving, lifelong companion is dependent upon at least one of you figuring this out. I’m praying for you.


Comments: You can share your thoughts or reactions at the bottom of this post.

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Preview: Next Wednesday’s post is tentatively entitled, “How to Achieve Balance in a Healthy Marriage.”

Disclaimer: This post is not professional advice. It should be read as you would read a “self-help” book. For professional and customized advice, you should seek the services of a counselor, who can become more intimately familiar with your specific situation. Counselors can be located through your insurance network or through your state psychological association.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ciiku

    This is a fantastic post!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Ciiku!

  • Kim

    I love when you post about your children…I love when you post honestly about your imperfections, and I love when you post how perfectly you love them.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Kim. As you know, it’s easy to write about it, it’s an entirely different thing to live it day in and day out. She IS interesting and worthy of interest, and I hope I can help her to know that, although some days I know I’m more successful than others.

  • Jennifer Newell

    I agree with so much of this because having a daughter myself, I want the same for her. However for me, I would change only one part of this. For me I would rewrite it like this.
    “I don’t care if he was raised in this religion or that religion -as long as he knows the Lord and together you can trust in Him to lead your marriage, knowing every moment of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred.
    For me and my daughter, being a Christian is important. You have to have the solid foundation to build upon. But the rest was beautiful.

    • Julie Bell

      Male headship doctrine is a disgrace to Christianity and a warping of scripture. A husband does not “lead” the marriage, GOD does. Husbands and wives are meant to submit mututally one to another, but American fundamentalist doctrine teaches male hierarchy and does not understand what kephale means. It’s a shame.

      • Jennifer Newell

        Perhaps I was not clear, the Him I am referring to is God. My Lord is the only one who leads my life and that is the only one I hope and pray daily that will lead my daughter. Sorry you misunderstood me.

        • drkellyflanagan

          There is a great on-going discussion about complementarianism vs. egalitarianism going on over at rachelheldevans.com. I’d recommend every interested party to it.

      • Malisa

        I do not think God leads the marriage. Together you are a unit and you lead the marriage. No one is in a higher position. Not even God.

        • drkellyflanagan

          Malisa, I’m so glad you shared your thoughts; I appreciate them. Jenn and I agree on an awful lot and occasionally disagree on a few things. It’s one of the things I’m coming to cherish about UnTangled, it’s a place where disagreement happens and people still stick around to keep challenging each other. So, Malisa, keep sharing and we’ll keep listening!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Jenn, I had a feeling you might have some concerns about that sentence. And I had a feeling you would let me know. I like both of those things about you! So glad you’re a part of this community!

    • Malisa

      I don’t think you should change anything Kelly. The way it is put is perfect. “I don’t care if he was raised in this religion or that religion or no religion”. One does not necessary need to know the lord to become the best husband, friend and companion.. Not everyone will believe in Jesus, not everyone will have a religion and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone can have a solid foundation to build that does not necessarily come from faith or Christianity, But it comes from the love you were surrender by threw your childhood. One should always be able to decided their faith. I think the letter was very touching. Thanks Kelly

    • Liya

      “For me and my daughter, being a Christian is important.”

      How very presumptuous of you to speak on behalf of your daughter, whose beliefs may change as the years pass.

      • Christina

        oh your right. how DARE she want her daughter to love a God whose love is more abounding than anything. a God who not only is there for you in the good times to make everything THAT much better, but is there when you feel alone, and like life is no longer worth it!! and how dare she want her to have a husband to base his relationship off of God as well so that they will put God first, and therefore put each other first, and put their own desires behind. what an awful thing.

        • Catherine Edmends

          i think you overreact

        • Veronica

          Oh ABSOLUTELY! I could not agree more. It is so important that we teach our children to take instructions from the bible with their own children, with their spouses.
          For instance, when visitors come, and you don’t have any cheese and crackers handy, offer them your daughters to rape!
          Oh, and let’s not forget. A good wife is obedient, a husband is lord over her and she should submit.
          MY GOD I almost can’t wait to have children of my own so I can pass on this wisdom.

          “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

          • :P

            Yes, because the bible totally says if you don’t have cheese and crackers give them your daughters. If you don’t like God or Christianity or religion. Then don’t comment on anything. Didn’t your parents ever teach you if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all? That’s not just something that Christians follow. The husband is not to lord over his wife, although a wife is to be submissive. In a marriage you are equal. The man is the head of the family and we the woman or wives are the shoulders. We are supporters and love givers, but that does not mean they can control us. Child birth has always been and always will be painful, but people live through it don’t they? It’s not like having a baby is like having some fatal disease. The pain is not going to last the rest of your life. You should be thankful you even have the ability to give life. Because not everyone does. Everyone has their opinion and here I have just simply stated mine as did the woman whose comment your commenting on. If you don’t like it, deal with it.

            • CPG

              “A wife is to be submissive. In a marriage you are equal.” makes perfect sense. Thanks for clarifying this image and not being contradictory

            • SJY

              i don’t get why you’re still trying to support that person who clearly is not intending any real passion toward the article other than to advertise christianity so that he’ll change his letter to tailor the Christian God into the mix. Why does that have to be important at all? Many great people in this world who have sinned the least r atheists and non-christians. In fact.s ome of the most violent and immoral ppl on the planet were christian or muslim. why r u mixing all of this stuff into a letter that the dr is trying to put for her daughter? Look at Jennifer and Christina’s comments. they r trying to make an argument and sound logical by putting God into the mix as the entity that will ultimately lead to their happiness.

              Like look at this fucking comment below:
              “oh your right. how DARE she want her daughter to love a God whose love is more abounding than anything. a God who not only is there for you in the good times to make everything THAT much better, but is there when you feel alone, and like life is no longer worth it!! and how dare she want her to have a husband to base his relationship off of God as well so that they will put God first, and therefore put each other first, and put their own desires behind. what an awful thing.” How obnoxious really. yes the previous comment was presumptuous and she was speaking w/o her daughter’s will or volition. sarcastically dimissing it as ‘how dare she do this and that to appreciate God?’ as if it was a crime to say that such thoughts were presumptuous. What they going to dedicate their entire relationship off God? is that you what you’re saying that Christina is right? How about how dare Christina even come up with such a weak argument to support something that has zero relevance to the topic at hand. What does God have to do w/ this letter in the first place? Get out of here you toolbags I can’t believe you call yourself Christians. I’m not as religious but my mom’s a real Christian and real Christians don’t do all it takes to hypnotize everyone into devoting their life to God. Real Christians accept differences and love regardless of opinionated differences. If the Tower of Babel has injected any info on us, it’s that ppl can still be good and find commonground despite the differences.

              How about shame on all you so-called Christians and deep thinkers who really have no moral worth in society because all you do is make petty statements on topics irrelevant to what you’re so anal about. There is no reason to post on this article about stupid shit you just said other than you have all the time in the world to troll around instead of looking for actual places to talk about the issues you are interested in. You want to be obnoxious zealots with no programming above what you’ve been given then fine w/ me. Don’t go bothering other ppl when they r trying to share something wonderful in their private lives. this is why no one takes extremists seriously. my mom is a hardcore catholic and part of a very conservative catholic church. Guess what? they support gay marriage, they don’t go around saying “i think you should change the lines a little bit so that God is mentioned and is appreciated above all in relation to the topic being written about.” it’s like that story w/ the catholic schools teaching false information about history and how dinosaurs were born after humans about 5,000 yrs ago, which is a ridiculous statement since mammals weren’t even evolved until after the extinction of dinosaurs many yrs before that.

              Christina can you actually back up your statement? the mother wants her daughter to believe in allt he things you just said but really the mom should be teaching the daughter morals and not just religion. Ppl forget that faith and religion were created for moral reasons of controlling the evil behavior of human beings. Those who aren’t so weak in faith and have strong beliefs of moral sensibilities r atheists and don’t need something to guide them. I myself have lost hope for humanity because you do such nonsensical things like trolling cleverly as if you are entitled to make such posts, we live in a society wher eno one wants to admit that black ppl r still mistreated and that the claiming of racism on every confrontation is becoming a parody since ppl abuse it, and we honestly forget what is important and in what context that it is important like the way these christian zombies keep trying to make everything into a direct appreciation of God and bible verses. There is little hope for the human race since so many more ppl like these exist and so little ppl like Dr. Kelly r around to keep things in balance.

      • NB_Liberallies

        How dare we speak for our children? WOW!! By law we speak for our children until they are 18 and some times even after 18! and if the law demands it…well Morality demands it even more.

        There are things that I will let my children choose according to the maturity level they show. Until then, I will speak for them.

        • Catherine Edmends

          ah but do you ask them what they like or love? children are more aware than you realise and they understand despotism

      • Catherine Edmends

        it is presumptuous and it will most likely change as the child becomes older – teach the value of your views without preaching and you will most likely find they follow your example without you browbeating them = teach the value of good choices and self respect – not all men professing to be christian (or any other) are good

        • Jennifer Newell

          I think this article sums it up well.

          It Matters Whom You Marry

          August 15, 2012 By RVD in Marriage, Women

          My husband and I were once with a youth group. There were three kids sitting across from us at a meal: two guys and a girl. The one guy was a computer geek with glasses. The other one was a college student with slightly cooler hair and no glasses. The girl was obviously with him. But while the computer geek was busy serving everyone at the meal, clearing plates and garbage, the college student got angry with the girl for a small accident and poured red juice over her leather jacket and white shirt. She picked the wrong guy, and the juice didn’t seem to change her mind. She is in for some grief if that relationship continues and especially if it leads to marriage.

          So to all the young, unmarried Christian girls out there, listen up: who you marry matters. You might think that the way he treats you isn’t so bad. It’s not going to get better
          after the wedding. You might think that he’ll change. It’s possible, but most don’t. You might think that you’ll be able to minister to him and help him. Possibly, but if you can’t now, you won’t then, and you will be at risk yourself. A husband should lead and cherish you, not need your counsel for basic personality or behavior issues.

          Unless someone married is very frank with you, you can’t understand how much a husband will impact your entire life.
          Next to salvation there is no other long term event that will change so many areas of your life so deeply. Here are just some of the ways that marriage will impact every aspect of living.

          1. It will impact you spiritually. If the guy is not a believer, you can stop right there. You have no business yoking a redeemed soul with an unregenerate one, even if he seems open to change. Christ has bought you with a price and it is not an option to give away that blood bought heart to someone who doesn’t know and love your Lord. It will cripple your spiritual development, open up a host of
          temptations, stifle your prayer life, make regular church going difficult, and cause massive parenting conflict if you have children.

          If the guy is a believer, is he a strong one? Will he lead you in prayer, Bible reading, family devotions, and public worship? Or will you be on your own? Is he going to make spiritual growth a priority or do other things come first? Is he going to ask you how it’s going with your soul so he can help you grow in holiness and love for Christ, or will he leave that to your pastor? Is he going to lead the children
          in this, or will you have to spearhead that? In church, is he going to help the kids sit well, pray, find the hymn, or will you be the one pointing out what is happening next and helping the family keep up? Many women have married
          spiritually immature men, thinking that it wasn’t a big issue, or that the man would change, and they were wrong. They bear the scars.

          The health of your eternity is at stake. Think carefully.

          2. It will impact you emotionally. Is the guy you’re thinking of going to encourage you, love you, be kind to you, and seek to understand you, or will he want to go out with the guys when you’re having a hard night? Will he listen when you are struggling with something or will he be preoccupied with a video game? Is he going to be annoyed when you cry or will he get you Kleenex and give you a hug? Is he going to going to understand that you are probably more tender than he is, more sensitive to issues and comments, or is he regularly going to run rough shod over your feelings? One woman was struggling to breastfeed her new baby, believing that that was the best thing for her, but it was very
          difficult. Instead of giving support and encouragement, the husband would make mooing sounds whenever he saw his wife working at it. We have to get rid of princess complexes, but we do have emotional needs. Any guy who is uncaring
          about your feelings and self esteem is selfish and should be left alone.

          Be careful – a husband can cripple or foster emotional health.

          3. It will impact you physically. Is the guy you’re with going to provide for your basic needs? Will he be able to shelter, clothe and feed you? At one point in our marriage, I was worried that there was no employment opportunity. My husband assured me that he would work at McDonalds, dig ditches, clean up roadkill – whatever it took to provide for the family, regardless of his gifts and training. That’s the kind of attitude you want. A man who doesn’t provide for his
          household is worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8). You might have to help ease the financial burden, but unless your husband is disabled or there is another unusual circumstance, you shouldn’t have to carry it yourself.

          Will the man you are with care for your body or abuse it? If he gives you little smacks, kicks, etc. when you’re dating, get away. It’s almost guaranteed that he will abuse you after marriage, and stats show that’s especially true when you are pregnant. Is he going to care for and protect your body or will he hurt it? There are women in churches
          across America who thought it was no big deal to have little (sort of friendly) punches or slaps from their boyfriends, but who are covering up the bruises from their husbands.

          Will the man you are with care for you sexually? Is he going to honour the marriage bed in physical and mental
          faithfulness to you or will he flirt, feed his porn addiction, or even leave you for another woman? You can’t always predict these issues, but if the seeds or practices are already there, watch out. I recently saw a newly married
          couple and the husband was flirting openly with another woman. Unless something drastic happens, that marriage is headed for disaster.

          Is he going to be tender and gentle to you in bed? An unbelieving co-worker once told my sister that after her
          first sexual encounter, she had trouble walking for a few days because her boyfriend was so rough. In other words, he wasn’t selfless enough to care for the body of the woman he said he loved.

          Watch out. Your body needs care and protection.

          4. It will impact you mentally. Is the man that you’re thinking of going to be a source of worry or will he help you deal with your worries? Is he going to encourage your intellectual development, or will he neglect it? Is he going to value your opinions and listen to what you are thinking, or will he disregard your thoughts? Is he going to help you manage stress so that your mind is not burdened that way, or is he going to let you struggle through issues alone? Is
          he going to care for you and be thoughtful of you if you are experiencing mental strain, or will he ignore it? I know of a woman who could handle pregnancy and child birth very well physically but postpartum depression took a huge toll on her mind. The husband overlooked it, continuing to have more children, until his wife ended up in a mental institution.

          You might think that the intellectual or mental side of a marriage is small. It’s bigger than you think. Consider it seriously.

          5. It will impact you relationally. How’s your relationship with your mother? Your dad? Do you love them? Does your boyfriend? Fast forward ten years: you tell your husband
          that your mother is coming for the weekend. Is he excited? Disappointed? Angry? Making snide jokes with his friends? Of course, a husband should come first in your priority of relationships, as you both leave father and mother and cleave to one another. But parents are still a big part of the picture. Whatever negative feelings he has about your parents now will probably be amplified after marriage. Your marriage will either strengthen or damage – even destroy –
          your relationship with your parents. The people who know you best and love you most right now could be cut out of the picture by a husband who hates them.

          It’s the same with sisters and friends. Will they be welcomed, at reasonable times, in your home? Will the guy
          who you’re with encourage healthy relationships with other women, or will he be jealous of normal, biblical friendships? Will he help you mentor younger women and be thankful when older women mentor you, or will he belittle that?

          Don’t sacrifice many good relationships for the sake of one guy who can’t value the people who love you.

          So how will your boyfriend do after the vows? Because this is just a sampling of the ways that a husband can bless
          or curse his wife. The effects are far reaching, long lasting, and either wonderful or difficult. True, there are no perfect men out there. But there are great ones. And it’s better to be single for life than to marry someone who will make your life a burden. Singleness can be great. Marriage to the wrong person is a nightmare. I’ve been in a church parking lot where the pastor had to call the police to protect a wife from a husband who was trying to stop her from worshiping and being with her family. It’s ugly. Don’t be so desperate to get married that your marriage is a grief. If you are in an unhappy marriage, there are ways to get help. But if you’re not married, don’t put yourself in that situation. Don’t marry someone whose leadership you can’t follow. Don’t marry someone who is not seeking to love you as Christ loved the church. Marry someone who knows and demonstrates the love of Christ.

    • KindHeartedAtheist

      Jennifer: If your daughter met a man who treated her with the utmost respect and loved her wholeheartedly. If you could see the happiness between them every time they were around. If your daughter was in a fair, mutually respectful, loving relationship BUT her man was not religious, did not believe in God or ‘know the Lord’ (as you say), you wouldn’t want her to be with him? This is the reason I dislike religion. It saddens me to think of all the wonderful people you are completely disregarding because they don’t believe the same thing you do.

      • NB_Liberallies

        Yes, and I know atheist parents who would never accept their children marrying a person who belongs to a religion. It goes both ways, it is not only some religious people who do this, but also some atheists.

        It is not an atheist or religious or atheist thing, it is a human condition. We like to stick to our own kind and are scared when someone we raised who we selfishly hope emulates us starts moving in a direction we have never accepted as True.

      • Jennifer Newell

        You see I would want my daughter to be happy. If this person you say loves my daughter then they would want to go with her to church and to share that experience with her. I think faith is personal between you and God so as you say the “perfect” Guy comes along and he is not a christian then I would caution my daughter of the hardships she could face and encourage her to seek his agreement that he would support going to church with the kids and he would attend as a family. Children learn more by what you do then what you say. So Daddy not going to church with the family has an impact. Ultimately it will as you would expect be my daughter choice whom she marries.

        • living4theday

          I suppose the question I have in response to this is how you would feel if she were in a relationship with all the good qualities outlined above by KindHeartedAtheist, but it just so happened that the person she was in a relationship with was an active follower of a different religion. How would you wish for your daughter to respond? Should she give up on the relationship, or ask of her partner to come to church with her rather than follow their own religious practices, or allow her children to be raised in a household where both religions have equal importance? Should she try to experience her partner’s religion in the same way you would expect her partner to try and experience hers?
          (I understand that this may come across as argumentative, but I am truly asking because I’m curious to know your thoughts on the matter given what you’ve said so far.)

      • Sil

        I’m a christian girl and when looking for a life partner, I made a conscious decision earlier on that I would not get involved with someone who did not share my same faith, regardless of how great or perfect that person might be. Faith is not just a belief, is a life style… it permeates every part of who I am and what I do. Not having someone share that, I KNEW it would only lead the conflict and heartache. How I handle Life, Finances, Education, etc… is all centered in my faith… I have seen many marriages suffer because one of the partners only did not believe in the same faith, but did not support the partner that did.

    • Tallulah Alice Mae

      I deeply dislike the idea that someone who loves your daughter may be everything this letter describes, but you wouldn’t approve because he doesn’t have the same religion. So much for unity and tolerance.

    • Cecilia

      I agree with you when you say that parents have to have solid fundations when raising their children. Althoughsometimes, “try and error” is another way to manage events that you didn’t expect 🙂

  • Cherrie Dudash

    Dr. Kelly, this is something I never heard as a child. I’m hearing it now through my boyfriend and best friend. Thank you for sharing this with everyone. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has never heard this as a kid. Thank you so much!

    • drkellyflanagan

      I hope your move went well, Cherrie. So glad to hear you’ve found a guy who is helping you to know this!

  • Hansraj Jain

    Hey Dr. Flanagan, how about a letter for the son – the handsome chap in your life?

    • drkellyflanagan

      Not a bad idea, Hansraj. I’m adding it to my list. : )

  • Dave

    Kelly, thanks for writing down what’s been on my heart for my Amanda.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re a good man, Dave. Amanda is lucky to have you as a dad. We miss you guys!

  • Django Zeaman

    Why is it a “he”? And why address your daughter as “cutie pie? I get the sentiment, but I think the writer still has one foot stuck in the past.

    • Jennifer Newell

      I would say it is Kelly’s letter to his daughter and if he uses he or calls her Cutie Pie then that is what it means for him, his family and his daughter. I can only speak for myself when I say I will love my children no matter whom they fall in love with. But I dont think a letter to your child has to cover all the “correctness for society”.

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  • anonymousdaughter

    Hi There, I am a complete stranger that happened across your page because someone posted this moving piece on Facebook. I think your message is SO beautiful and SO empowering and every young person should be so lucky to have parents as supportive and protective as you.

    I note below that someone else has already caught this, but be careful about assuming that your daughter is going to be with a MAN and that she wants to have children and even get married. A simple adjustment to “Her future partner” still makes all that you’ve written make sense. And maybe even adding to your list that “I don’t care if he is in fact a she, as long as the partner that you choose loves you as much as we do.”

    • Amanda

      I love how people come here and take a lovely message and dissect it to death. And I see someone else is complaining about his nickname for his daughter. Really? I believe there is a name for people like you: trolls.

      • anonymous

        How is this person a troll? She compliments the author for being supportive of his daughter. While I agree that the nickname is hardly offensive, I agree that a lot of assumptions are being made about marriage and partnership that parents should take note of. He mentions leniency and openness to race and religion (an amazingly progressive choice!!) and I think it’s a worthy note that he neglected to include openness to the gender of his daughter’s future partner. A powerful message nonetheless.

        • drkellyflanagan

          I guess I’m just drawn to the tensions, because this thread stands out to me as particularly important. I was aware that I was opening myself up to this critique when I chose to focus on a “husband.” And I appreciate the way it has been pointed out in quite gracious ways. A couple points of clarification: I intentionally chose to avoid the references to same-sex marriage because in the current climate, a reference to same-sex relationships immediately turns it into a political post, rather than a post about our humanity. Having said that, the message of the post applies regardless of how my daughter eventually identifies her sexual orientation. She will always be my Cutie-Pie.

          • Brian Pollard

            Well, this properly answers the comment I just made a minute ago! And I do understand, at least now, why you kept it at ‘husband.’ While I am all for marriage equality (kinda obvious with my profile pic!), I can understand why you might want to leave the issue alone in this post, considering how “loud” people can get on BOTH sides of the issue!

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  • Terri


  • Linda

    Kelly, Thanks for your courage in putting your thoughts out into the arena of cyberspace. I find something in them that resonates every time, this fabulously loving post included.

  • June Jacobs

    I was so lucky to have a Daddy such as you are. He loved me unconditionally and ALWAYS had my back. He was smart enough to keep silent when I first chose an inappropriate man, but he leapt to applaud when I realized in time he was not right for me.

    My Dad had my back until I was 60 years old. Not many “Cutie-Pie’s” are so fortunate.

  • MCogs

    Dr. Flanagan, I found your post through facebook and, as a woman in her 20’s living in New York, I want to thank you for saying this to your daughter. My sister and I never heard anything like this from our mostly-absent father and both of us have a hard time believing in ourselves and how we deserve to be loved this way. Thank you for being a great dad and for reminding us that there are good men out there.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you. You are worthy of love and interest and I’m so glad to hear this post reassured you of it. As for the “great dad” part, I should probably have you ask my family what they think of that on one of my grumpy mornings. : ) Writing this letter has actually been a huge challenge to myself to start more fully living it.

  • Zane Ball

    Is it not acceptable that she never meet a boy and get married? Or meet a girl instead? Or never have children? What if she herself feels more comfortable *as* a boy? You’ve pre-normalized your daughter’s life in advance. In your desire to cover all the bases of what you understand as prejudice, you’ve starkly revealed your own, Daddy.

    • Tom

      If you raise your child in a loving and stable home and stay attentive, you should be able to tell whether your child is interested in boys or girls. I think Kelly here loves his daughter enough to be able to notice any signs and accept her as whomever she may be. Besides, I think the point of this article is to state that he loves his daughter and believes her to be wonderful, and that he believes she should focus first on understanding and loving herself. Too many girls try to change themselves for the sake of others and he simply doesn’t want his girl to fall prey to that.

      • drkellyflanagan

        Tom, thank you. Reading your comment, I felt like I was the beneficiary of a fatherly voice, and I’m deeply grateful for that. Zane, I hope you hang around here at UnTangled as we all work together to figure out our blind spots and learn to push the boundaries of the ways we care for each other.

        • Zane Ball

          I have a female friend (she’s sitting next to me, playing a video game as I type this) who feels deep sorrow over not being desired as a potential mate. Should she be sad about this? Does she require a husband to be happy? It is the existence of careless articles such as this which reinforce potentially harmful cultural norms (such as heterosexuality being the “default”, unquestioned positive evaluation of marriage, assumption of daughter’s gender outlook and predisposition to both agree with and participate in the institution of marriage) and stifle the ability for our youth to understand the flimsy nature of these authorities. One does not need to conform to an ancient institutionalized response to human jealousy (marriage) in order to be happy, and your implication that one does is not only incorrect, it is actively harmful.

          • michelle

            Zane, I think you are reading to much into what was written. This is a letter from a Father to his daughter telling her that it is not her job to keep a man (or woman) interested in her. That the person she is should be enough for someone to love her, which I think for the most part, is what every parent wants for their child. Everyone needs to be loved, whether it is a passionate love, familial love or companionate love, everyone needs to be loved. So whether his cutie-pie makes the decision to marry, or be in a committed relationship, or to just be friends with someone, that person she designates as being important in her life needs to be someone who is worthy of her, just as any person in your life needs to be worthy of you and you of them. If a person cannot accept you for who you are and love you as you are, then they are not worthy of you.

          • Ani

            Zane, I’m amazed at how completely contradictory you are being. If your female friend “feels deep sorrow” over not being desired as a potential mate than she is EXACTLY the type of girl who will benefit from this post which is solely and specifically promoting the importance of a woman knowing and appreciating her own worth and NOT depending on “a potential mate” to be happy. This applies to both cases in which she chooses to marry or if she chooses not to “participate in the institution of marriage”. I would like to also point out the fact that he did not once mention anything about marriage throughout the entirety of his letter. Furthermore I find it highly unlikely that your friend feels such deep sorrow simply because of “the existence of careless articles which reinforce potentially harmful cultural norms.” Perhaps because of the mere fact that she is human, she actually desires, of her OWN free will, the company of someone who will love her and who she will love back. It is quite frankly BASIC human nature.

          • Amy Jones

            I would never tell someone that they needed to be married in order to be happy. Marriage itself brings a lot of struggle and a lot of pain. You will have happy and unhappy times, married or not. With that being said, who are you to tell her friend that she should NOT feel deep sorrow over not being married. If that is something that she wants for herself, why are you suggesting she should force herself to want something different? I have a friend who has no desire to be married. She is happy with her life how it is. Good for her. But for those who hurt because they want to experience a deep intimacy with another person that can only be had by a complete commitment… well, I would just say that hurting with your friend will probably be more compassionate and more helpful than telling her that she shouldn’t want what she wants.

    • Kate

      There is no reason for everything on the Internet to be picked apart with outrage all the time. The father is clearly accepting and I highly doubt this was meant to be a stance on homosexuality or not having children. Honestly, just relax. No one has time to check everything they say 3x to make sure they have covered every possible gender, race, religion, handicap, and sexual preference. You completely missed the point here.

      • Zane Ball

        Let’s remember the author in question has the privileged title “doctor”. Let’s remember that the author in question is a psychologist, someone who should be especially sensitive to these issues. Let’s remember that Dr. Flanagan does in fact place disclaimers and N.B.’s in-line and beneath his articles. Context is important, Kate.

        • Neisha Boddie

          So because this post offends you, it shouldn’t be made? So the people who have stated that it helped them would never get to read it?

        • Catherine Edmends

          lets also remember the post was prompted by a google search about how to keep HIM interested – the good Dr has addressed this perfectly with his daughter in mind and all you do with your negativity is show your bias and insecurities with someone you perceive as privileged. you don’t have to be politically correct on every little nuance – i think we’re all aware enough of this without havign to be schooled by you

        • c.thomas

          oh get a life or is your job just to make everyone as miserable as you seem to be?

          • Elise

            so you have to be miserable to be a critical thinker? lol I feel bad for you

        • Hyunsoo Moon

          I don’t think any reasonable argument will make you see it in a different way. You made a choice to see this in a negative light. There is no such thing as a perfect commentary, no such thing as a perfect father. The idea of perfection is an illusion. If you refuse to see the love of the father that is hidden in this letter, then that is a choice you are making. While I’m glad that there are people like you who strive for perfection, political correctness, and correct social commentary, I feel bad for you that you are somehow unable to even acknowledge the love that is embedded in this letter. Perhaps you need a little hug.

    • haterade

      Typical hyper sensitive dike.

    • Cody Michael Clark

      This is an absolutely ridiculous notion, while I stand fast in my belief that everyone should be equal and I fully support the gay community, IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT EVERYTHING EVERYONE SAYS HAS TO BE TAILORED FOR ALL SEXUALITIES. You preach tolerance and equality and yet you completely disregard the fact that not everything posted has to be for you too perhaps this post isn’t tailored for the homosexual community and you should just ignore it and not ruin an absolutely beautiful letter by trying to pick holes in it because you feel the need to point out that he wrote he instead of he/she or him/her. I’m all for educating people and correcting them when they are being a bigot, but this post is far from it. Thank you Dr. Flanagan for this letter and I hope your daughter whoever she chooses male OR female embodies this. Zane Ball take a look in the mirror and rethink your life and stop being such a miserable prick.

      • Cecilia


  • Carly

    This is just perfect.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Carly!

  • Donna Artist

    very sweet…………….

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thanks, Donna! Very sweet of you to let me know. : )

  • Trisha

    This absolutely beautiful! My father has never written something like this for me, but I know that these are the very thoughts he has espoused within every moment of raising me. It has helped me to understand my father’s guidance, strength, and love all the more. So thank you Kelly! And all the best to your little girl! She is in very good hands with a father like you.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Trisha. And I’m so glad this put into words your experience. It’s one thing to write it, it’s another thing to live it; your dad is a good man!

  • Lauren

    I’ve been wondering how to talk to my children about this topic without having them misinterpret what I’m actually trying to say—and I think you worded it perfectly. I especially liked the part where you say- “as long as he was raised to value the sacred and to know every moment of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred”. For every religion is built upon similar roots, they’re just different paths, but they all agree with love. It’s sad how the media affects the way people view other religions. Anyways, although I’m only 18, I still want to learn how to be the best parent for my children. I don’t plan on having children for a very very long time because raising a human being is incredibly difficult!! (requires way more than just being able to provide diapers,food,etc). Even babies are constantly learning and observing the world, which is why I believe one should be well versed in neuroscience/psychology and realize that we are one and the same process as the universe. One reason I say neuroscience is because dealing with child tantrums requires patience,and those who are familiar in neuroscience know that emotions are just chemical reactions occurring in the brain, so of course, a child who is confused of what is going on in their mind will get irritable.I want to at least provide a very stable and loving environment where they will never be forced to live up to a certain standard, because, like you said, we are all worthy. It’s important to keep children motivated and let them realize that they are infinite beings with infinite possibilities. Thank you for posting!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Lauren, I appreciate the gravity with which you think about parenting. Blessings to you as you prepare yourself for the endeavor!

  • Jacqueline Low

    Hi Dr Kelly,

    Being raised in a typical Asian state of materialism, I have heard many times from my friends and relatives that I should change and dress up more often in order to find a boyfriend. I should also change my personalities (strong & argumentative personalities) in order to suit the liking of the average Asian guy.

    I have stood strong to my position, living my life being me, and never changed for the past 23 years of my life. When friends and families tell me to change, I always refuted, “If my boyfriend cannot accept me for who I am, we’d better not be together in the first place.”

    I thank you very much for your letter, which keeps me on my stance even firmer, hoping that one day, I will find a guy who can love and accept me for who I am, and not for who he thinks he would love.

    I am not a Christian, but I believe in God, and I believe that he will bless your children for writing this letter to encourage all men and women to be who they are. You do not know how much lives you may save by dedicating this letter to everyone who is reading it.

    Once again, thank you very much, and your children are very much blessed to have such a loving father like you.

    Jacqueline Low

    • Linda

      I assume that you are from Singapore? Whatever you just wrote about your relatives applies to me as well.

      • Veronica H

        I’m just a country 1 hour away from you. Pretty much the same thing, but I think mine is worse coz religion takes soooooo much into consideration as well. -_____-“

    • starfire

      Sounds similar to my situation and I’m from Singapore. Asian too. Interestingly, the only man I have ever connected and clicked well with turned out to be an Irish caucasian man who lives in Ireland. It was interesting to me because I’d always thought that caucasian men won’t suit me. But after I met him for the first time and spent a week with him, I realised that I didn’t want to be without him.

      • drkellyflanagan

        It is so encouraging to see the three of you connect in this space. And I hope each of you will find a partner who appreciates your strength and tenacity!

      • Meg

        OMG! this is the exact same thing that’s happened to me. I have what they call a “strong” personality, very opinionated and seeks to always be “right”. I have had difficulty finding someone who will suit me because most Filipino men prefer a timid and reserved woman, something like the 1950’s mom. I’ve been told to “mellow down” and act “less smart” in order to catch a man. Never could do it…I just always knew there was someone out there who would be strong enough for me, and who would find my qualities endearing, albeit intimidating to some. And I found that man in a Scotsman…who not only respects me, protects me, and loves me…but also helps me grow into a stronger more independent woman. We have been together for two years now and will be tying the know soon.

        I believe that there is someone set aside for all of us, to be our lifetime companions, regardless of our age, race, religion, or gender.

        • sophii

          Are you perhaps Sandra Oh’s character Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy, who also marries a Scotsman, actor Kevin McKidd, who plays her TV husband Owen Hunt? Just teasing.

        • Brian Pollard

          I only wish that your (as in ALL of you Asian women in this thread!) countries had more of you; at least more of you willing to stand up for who you are, and not “mellow down” like your families tell you to. Women need to be proud of their strength of personality, ESPECIALLY when they’ve been raised in a culture that frowns on that very same strength! I’m sure that sounds strange, coming from an American male (not QUITE a ‘white-boy,’ at least not 100%!), but I don’t think it makes my point any less valid.

      • Brian Pollard

        Well, us Irish boys (even Irish-American/Cherokee Indian boys like me!) like women with strong personalities! They are the only kind that can hold their own with us, and we LOVE that in a potential relationship/partner/mate!

      • misti

        I have to jump in here. My grandmother is half Chinese half Hispanic. She is tiny and so so fiesty. Very opinionated and stubborn. Love her! She married Irish and they raised four amazing intelligent self sufficient loving children. They are in their 80’s now and still love each other. I asked her what her secret is to her long marriage. She says fight fair and never cross certain lines. She laughs and says they fuss every single day but it is all in good humor. Blessings to you and yours.

    • Benjamin Goh

      The assumption u made of changing for someone else is wrong. Change should be a part of life. Not for others, but for yourself. It is human nature to strive to be better. Believing that change itself is negative is to build a wall blocking yourself from reaching your potential. Dress up to look pretty not for others but for your self-esteem. Like it or not, how others see us will affect our self esteem. Find the root of the problem with your argumentative personality not for finding a bf but to be a better person. I wish u all the best.

      • Helix Luco

        she doesn’t WANT to dress up. so if she did dress up it wouldn’t make her happy. some of us don’t want to be pretty or feminine and being made to don the trappings of those qualities makes us feel crappy instead. a decisive personality isn’t a problem either and you wouldn’t be suggesting that is was if she were a man. she’s got it figured out, why are you trying to give her advice?

      • anna

        I keep commenting on this blog but my comments keep getting deleted. Presumably because I disagree with the author. Anyway, for the third time, when entering a Google search for “how to keep…” the top result is actually “how to keep HER interested”. It’s not BAD to work on a relationship and I don’t understand why this guy keeps deleting my comments.

        • drkellyflanagan

          Anna, I think a diversity of opinions and respectful disagreement is a good thing. I can assure you I haven’t deleted any of your comments, they are just getting automatically placed lower in the comment feed because they haven’t been up-voted. As a gesture of goodwill, I will copy your original comment here, although I have not deleted the original and it can also be read below in the feed:

          “This is crowd-pleasing silliness. Relationships will always take work. You may think that your daughter is the center of the universe but teaching her that will rarely lead to happiness. You SHOULD work to keep EACH other interested. If you search advice to men, you will see the same adages. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive to your husband. There is nothing wrong or abnormal with injecting some effort into a marriage. This is ridiculous. Life isn’t a romantic comedy.
          Nose twitching? Jesus. Try earth-shattering sex.
          You have no idea what girls really want.”

          One point of clarification before I wish you well. To encourage a person to embrace their worth is not to rule out hard work and mutuality in a relationship. In fact, knowing our worth enables to fully invest in mutuality, service, and sacrifice. I’d invite you to read some of my other posts about relationships. You may enjoy them.

          Blessings to you as you continue on your journey.

          • christine.

            soo… stumbled upon this post in a share-feed on facebook, thought it was really heart-felt and what a real dad should write to his daughter, but then i scrolled down for kicks and read the comments. seriously? im a super hypocrite for writing here. but wtf. why so negative. thought i was bitter.. but anna.. you take the cake. lol hope your happy now…..

            • Joshua

              I totally agree with you Christine. Anna and the trolls should not be fed. This post was heartfelt and insightful. Not that I need one, but it reminds me of why I fell in love with (and still am) head over heels for my wife.

          • Richard Ward

            I’ll be frank – I’ve never heard of you before, and I just happened to find this page by a share on Facebook… but sir, reading your post AND your comments, I just have to say that you are one of the most well spoken, positive, and cool people I’ve ever encountered on the internet. Keep on bringing joy, man!

            • drkellyflanagan

              Richard, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to affirm me in that way! I’ll keep bringing it; you do so, as well!

            • Gertrude

              I agree. I’m not sure how I came across this, but I am impressed and grateful, Dr. Flanagan. Thank you.

              • drkellyflanagan

                Gertrude, I’m glad it found its way to you somehow. And, you’re welcome!

            • Jacki Ortmann

              I have to agree…I cried through most of what you wrote…I tried hard to bring up my children to respect themselves and for them to know that not everyone is deserving of the wonderful person that they are…their lives have not always been easy, but they have always learned something along the way and stepped away from those who are not deserving of them…I have tried to teach them to be strong and realize when they have made a mistake and that they can go on and be better and they are teaching their children the same…I have an awesome husband and between us, we have a blended family of 4 children who always knew they were loved by both of us, always knew they could come to us when something went wrong, always knew even though sometimes they were wrong, that life does go on and they were able to make a negative into a positive…they are all well liked by friends, coworkers etc….they are great kids and somewhere along the way, we did something right….I was not given a sense of self worth by either parent as I was growing up and consequently a lot of my decisions were based on how I was raised…but one day I met my 3rd husband (we are now 31 yrs later), he told me not long after we started going out that he admired me….that small simple phrase changed my life…he is the love of my life and he helped to make me the strong person I am today and helped to make the kids the strong people they are today…small things mean a lot…but he is no small man and after all these years, I am still “In Love” with him…thanks again for the awesome letter…I really loved it…

              • drkellyflanagan

                “He admired me.” Words make a difference, don’t they, Jacki? I’m glad to hear your husband’s words made a difference for you, and thanks for taking the time to share your story and such affirming words with me! Best, Kelly

          • SJY

            you honestly sound like a typical young adult these days…if girls want earth-shattering sex. u can’t have it w/ the same guy over and over again cause you’ll get bored just as much as that guy will get bored w/ you. This type of thinking that you bring is very modern but it hasn’t done well for American society. a society where parents are worried about the people their children are hanging out w/.. we live in an age where we are afraid of our neighbors when back then we actually openly accepted neighboring and community. I’m 25 also so i’ve lived right in th emiddle of it. As far as I can tell, most kids just think about sex very loosely and believe that there is no person who will fully stay interested in another. That cheating is inevitable unless someone tries. Please get rid of all that immature nonsense and realize that sometimes some ppl aren’t looking for that kind of shit in life and simply want to find the right loving, loyal person.

            • SJY

              i meant to reply to anna not you dr kelly haha

              • persephone

                i don’t know what your talking about Buddie… I’m 23 years old ,and myself, as well as all my friends male and female, are looking for someone who they can cherish and love for their whole lives. my sister and her fiancee just celebrated 10 years. I know that the media portrays a different view of society, and yes some men and women are rather loose…. but they were when our parents were young, and our grandparents. My friends father always says, the skirts may have been longer back in the day but they still came up. Just as there were sexual people in the early years of the New World, during the French Revolution, the Renaissance, all though the church, the Vatican, Ancient Greece and Rome… There were vestal virgins found to be impure and burred alive…. no matter where you look in history this has always happened, and it always will happen, some men, and some women, allow their lust and sexual impulses to get the better of them. However most people always have and still do want love. Most people want a person they can spend their lives with, who will respect them, and who will love them for who they are, i know that is what i desire, and i know that is what all my friends desire. We search for love not lust, and i believe many others do as well.

            • KKat

              @sjy I disagree completely. Having one partner means you get to know what each other likes and doesn’t like, after four years i’m not “bored” of him and he’s not “bored” of me in any sense. We’ve grown up a lot together and our relationship has grown a lot as well. Before I met him I did play into those ideas that I could never find someone who would like me for me and who wouldn’t get bored. Now it seems so silly. We met when I was 15 and he was 16, i’m going on 20, and he turns 21 in a few months. That being said, there is nothing wrong with people who want to sleep around, as long as they seek out other people who don’t want commitment as well. It’s when one partner wants a relationship and the other wants a fling that feelings get hurt. From the get go we were crazy about each other, and neither of us is willing to give up. That’s unusual for people our age, yeah, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with people who don’t want that yet in their lives.

            • ItGoesBothWays

              If you haven’t been able to have ‘earth shattering sex’ over and over again, witht he same person – then the fault is with you. When you are in a truly caring, and loving, committed relationship, the sex only gets better – and yes I do know this from experience, as well as others. Usually, there is a reason people get bored, and/or have a mindset like yours, and I bet it perfectly describes you – selfish lover.

          • Juliane Rybicki

            Well handled, Sir. I, personally, would like to say that, as a woman, what you wrote to your daughter is not only wonderful and moving, but WHAT A WOMAN WANTS. If I don’t love myself, no-one else will. If I don’t hold myself accountable in knowing my self worth, no-one will. In the end, sex may be what rocks one’s world, but sex, and wanting it, fades and becomes an after thought to true companionship and friendship. With age, one learns. Thank you for being you.

          • worried about my world

            I don’t find it “silly” at all. And I think that what Anna took out of the post must be a FAR CRY from what I got from it. The message that I took to heart had NOTHING to do with what girls vs guys want. What I understood the message to be is that, his daughter, my daughter, my sons, and everyone else, is WORTH interest. They, in and of themselves, are interesting to someone, even without trying to be interesting. Now, let’s just assume that you spend time trying to “keep your man interested” who is he interested in? YOU? or the image you are giving to him? Relationships are absolutely work. But, the real question is, when you are following those tips in articles provided by google search, is it YOU he is interested in, or the THINGS google told you to do. The work that should be involved to keep each other interested should be things like, turning off the television and talking to each other, going for a walk, or maybe seduction. But Not by “faking” things that you found on a list. THAT IS SILLINESS! Teaching our children that THEY are WORTH someone’s interest is 1) positive reinforcement parenting 2) building their confidence. No one ever said anything about making them believe the world revolved around them.

          • Crystal

            this is in response to anna’s reposted comment. I agree 100% with you that relationships take work from both sides, but your comment “You may think that your daughter is the center of the universe but teaching her that will rarely lead to happiness.”, I gotta shake my head at. I’m sure Dr. Kelly’s whole fam is the center of his universe, and this little girls future partner damn well better make her the center of his/her universe. Every woman and man deserves that from the person they spend the rest of their lives with.

          • Some student.

            In terms of what this article is basically saying, it appear that all the letter is asking for is that whoever Dr. Flanagan’s daughter decides is worthy of consideration for marriage makes her and their family to be a priority in his life. This is generalized so that any religion and worldview can apply it, but the essential point is the same: Whichever person you decide to court/marry better have this relationship as a priority and be willing to treat you as worthy of attention, and not make you earn it. This violates the very nature and definition of love if it must be earned. Love and priority are essential in any healthy relationship. While other things not mentioned in this article are equally important in considering a potential spouse, that is again not the focus of this letter. Very well done, Doctor Flanagan.

          • Katie

            Anna, I don’t think it’s quite natural for a Father to think of his daughter having “earth shattering sex”… I know I certainly don’t appreciate that image of my parents so why would they think along those lines in my marriage? And in all honesty the best love life comes from the deepest love. Marriage is hard work, and we all need to invest in our relationships. I don’t believe he was discounting that fact. I don’t disagree with your post either. But if you’re truly loved by your spouse you will always be interesting to him. His eyes shouldn’t wonder beyond you, nor your eyes past him. And as long as you both value each other, everything else falls into place. I believe the kind of man he’s warning his daughter about is the man who ONLY wants earth shattering sex and doesn’t care much for who You are.

          • Taylor S

            “…knowing our worth…” is such a powerful statement. Beautifully written, I hope my husband shares this with our daughters, in hopes they can appreciate the meaning behind it. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        • Sue

          Actually (though this has nothing to do with the argument) I would like to point out that Google learns your searches and customizes results. Different people could type in the exact same phrase and come up with vastly different top results. A person who likes travelling and often searches for travel places could type in “Malaysia” and the top results would be tourist destinations, the must visit islands and must local delicacies, whereas a politically inclined person who keeps up with international news would search “Malaysia” and get results of their recent General Elections and the accusations of how it was all dirty politics.

        • adam garrett

          This man just wants the best for his daughter. He wants what every father wants, someone who is good enough for his daughter, and to be honest, as a father of a little girl myself, I don’t believe any man is good enough. I believe every father feels this way towards his daughter, unless his mother was never around because she was selfish and always out looking for this, “earth-shattering sex” you speak of. I believe this whole world has gone selfish because of a need for self-gratfcation. We all just hope to feel something, and if it isn’t instant, we don’t want it because it must be broken or something. I hear stories nearly every day about how some woman just upped and left her kids behind. My sister-in law has left her two children, a 10 year old boy, and a 14 year old girl behind. She left them nearly five times in their lives because she went on some adventure with some random new guy who promised to buy her things, but these last two years that she’d been gone are permanent. She calls these children maybe once per year and explains to them that she is coming to pick them up, and guess what? never shows up. These children whose parents need instant gradification are the ones who suffer, and they will probably continue the suffering on their children because it was how they were raised. So, you can say that men will never know what women want, but this article was never about what a woman wanted, it was about what a man wanted for his daughter. Also, the problem with wanting to be attractive to your husband, is that some women try too hard and get upset for the man not noticing and so she goes elsewhere to find someone who notices. I believe you are true in the sense that relations do take dedication or you just sit around bored and become co-dependant, but I think that you misinterperate, this man’s message.

        • katkit

          calm down. you’re not getting Dr. Flanagan’s point.

          • Lauren Pasculli

            actually Anna- although im late to this conversation, a google search of “how to keep…” pops up how to keep a man. thats all and its an amazing letter. period.

        • Guest

          Anna, it is bad to work on the relationship, when it is only the woman doing the working!! There are mostly articles that tell women to do all the change and kissing up, and gullible women fall for the crap!! Men keep promoting this bull, because it is the woman that has to work on the relationship. The author of this article is correct. The author needs to write a thousand more of these articles and send them out over the internet to everyone condones this gender biased bull!! Women need to stop changing themselves for a man, unless men do some work just like we do. 6-15-13

        • persephone

          id rather a man respect, quart and flatter me before fucking me any day…. and there is no way people can be interested in each other in bed, and truly have earth shattering sex, without first being in true love. there is no greater feeling than making love. It sounds corny but its true. And what he is saying is not that you shouldn’t have to work to keep each other interested, rather the work should be mutual, and the interest should be easy. A girl should not have to change for a man, nor should a man have to change for a girl. If she/he wants her/him to change their style, or the books or movies they like, or their argumentative personality, or anything about them they are not right for each other, this is what Dr. Flanagan is saying. Try and read between the lines, and truly understand something before posting comments that actually make no sense… And I’ve seen some of those articles, for men and women, and they are generally disgraceful. it is not a woman’s job to make a man a sandwich or bring him a beer. If she happens to be getting a beer, or making a sandwich for herself, then by all means, grab him a beer/sandwich…. but a man should not expect that just because he has a penis a woman is obligated to be his slave. Times have changed, and we should not be expected to wait hand and foot on a man.

          • cj

            So many comments like this focus on the woman bringing the guy a beer/sandwich etc and make out like that is somehow the woman being the man’s slave. My gf does things like that for me all the time whether she is making one for herself or now. The often missed point is that I do the exact same for her. all the time! We’re essentially both each other’s slaves and it’s pretty cool tbh.

        • ABanti Dutta

          “How to keep he…” gives “how to keep heart healthy/healthy/healthy liver”

          “How to keep hi…” gives “how to keep him interested/happy/happy in bed”

          As far as “work on a relationship” is concerned, equal effort should come from both ends and the “actual” fact of the search results is stated above and it clearly shows that women are more worried and desperate to “keep their men” and this is the issue the author is dealing with.

          Basically what he means is ‘love’ and ‘respect’ are more important than the frivolous parts of ‘interest’ and he wishes his daughter, others’ daughters, and I would like to add, every single person too, must realize that.
          The issue is of self-esteem and self-respect and likewise, respecting others for who they are.

          As far as “deleting” of your comments is concerned, get your facts right and by the way,

          “How to keep…” gives “how to keep cool” 😛

        • Amanda Reyes

          Really? cause I get “how to keep gnats away”. Grow up.

        • Christina

          Anna, I do agree with the comment you made stating that relationships take work and that both people in the relationship ought to attempt to keep each other happy. That being said, I do wish that you wouldn’t be quite so harsh as to state that the author has “no idea what girls really want.”

          I believe that the purpose of this article is not to simply say that one person in the relationship must be adored while doing no work whatsoever. I believe that this article was written to address the fact that society (still) teaches women that they are worth nothing more than whatever they are worth to a man. Women are told that they ought to be working hard to “catch a man” and “keep him” by jumping through hoops–i.e. changing their personalities to be subservient and demure (because women are to be seen and not heard and we must make the men know how smart and important they are), constantly working on their appearance (because no man would possibly want a woman that doesn’t spend an hour or more every morning getting ready and women are not worthy of leaving the house unless they are looking good enough to attract a man) and by waiting on men’s needs (because women should be a chef in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom, regardless of who she actually is or what she actually wants). I believe that the point of the article was to explain to the world that we are all worth adoration from someone who loves us and finds us “interesting” just as we are. Women are people. We have our own passions and personalities and likes and dislikes and we deserve to be treated as individuals that deserve to be with someone that finds us interesting, without us having to learn how to “keep him interested”. This is not to say that we “need” any one to prove our worth or that every woman needs or wants a man. This article was written because of the undeniable fact that women are taught to seek the acceptance and love of a man and that just isn’t how things should be.

          Also, maybe you need to delete your browsing history, cookies, search history, etc. because I was quite intrigued by your comment stating that “how to keep HER interested” was the first google hit, only to find that was simply not true. I deleted ALL of my internet history before typing into google “how to keep” and found that “how to keep a man” was the top hit (just before “pipes from freezing”, which I found quite amusing to think that more people worry about keeping their man than keeping their plumbing).

      • worried about my world

        Or maybe she just has strong opinions and isn’t afraid to speak them and stand up for them. I think that DOES make her a better person. I much prefer to be around people who will stand up for what they believe in and be strong, even if that makes them argumentative. As for dressing up- I know plenty of guys who prefer a girl who is natural, not someone who pastes on a ton of make-up and puts on pretty dresses, even if that isn’t who they are. Making her happy would be for her to be whomever she feels in her skin. The attitude, the clothes, those are all just accessories. What really counts, what really makes a woman, or person shine, is when they are exactly who they are. When they can sit on a sofa and eat popcorn with that special someone and talk about books or watch a movie, all while wearing their sweats and t-shirts. Or whatever else may make that person feel wonderful about being who they are.

      • Alexis

        How others see you should not affect your self esteem at all. I care not what anyone in the world thinks of me and I have great self esteem. I do not need others to provide me affirmation. I do that myself, and I am teaching my children the same.

        • Alexis

          Happily married for 20 years.

        • Eileen

          I completely agree with you. The notion that we absolutely need the affirmation of others to develop self-affirmation is erroneous. Having others appreciate or compliment your appearance could certainly feel nice, but does that really have substance? True strength in self worth — a true sense of self esteem — lies within, in an inviolable place over which you have the most control.

    • Veronica H

      Hey there! I am with you on this! Although I know that I am so stubborn at once, but I can def. differentiate where, when, and how to act at different places without changing who I am. If I ever want to change, I change for me, not to satisfy someone else’s appetite. We live in a country where truly speaking, “doesn’t really matter who you are, in the end, what matters is what they hear about you out there.” Which sucks like no other!

      I am also a person who would stand on the first line for things that I think it’s worth fighting or the right thing to do, but on the other hand, at many times, I apologize for what I did wrong and I realized it. However, nobody in this part of the country really take those things and just stamped me with “STUBBORN.” Again, I don’t resist to change, I call it ‘adaptation’. But I refuse to do it in order to get a bf, or a husband, or satisfy my bf’s parents or whatsoever.

    • Gina

      Would you want to Marry an argumentative person? Benjamin goh’s comment – I completely agree.

      • Brian Pollard

        I AM married to a (fellow) argumentative person… and I couldn’t be happier! Yeah, it can be a roller coaster, but I like living my life that way.

      • Amy Jones

        It depends on what you mean by argumentative. There are people who argue simply to argue. They use their ability to to see multiple sides of an argument to contradict people, regardless of what the topic is. They argue as a way to tear people down, not to explore new ideas. I would not want to be married to a person like that. However, there are others who simply know what they believe and are willing to discuss it. They use their discernment to bring new ideas to light and to encourage their partner to think in new ways. That type of person can be a wonderful spouse.

    • Ben

      I fucking love arguing.

    • Yujia Z

      Jacqueline, thank you very much for voicing your views. I feel like you have spoken for me and perhaps many other young women in a similar situation. I have not been as strong as you, having succumbed to deep depression with low self-esteem and no self worth, and despaired over no understanding from my family on this issue over the years to the point of considering suicide, I hope you stay true to your position.

    • Lee

      That’s so ironic that people tell you you need to be less strong, because people always tell me that I need to act more confident in order for a guy to like me. I do think that no one should ever settle, and I think it’s very important to be open to change, but I agree that it should be for self-improvement and not in order to get a man.

    • Fedoro

      Hi Jacqueline,

      I think it is great that you are confident in who you are and have a strong personality. My wife and I also have strong personalities which I think was the original basis of our mutual attraction. She is the 3rd not-son from a very traditional Asian family, and did not receive sufficient affirmations when she was growing up. My ability to give her positive affirmations made it easy to win her heart, but she never developed any ability to reciprocate. After 25 years of neglect I desperately need the affirmations she cannot give, even after a year of counseling. She goes through the motions, but cannot hide her contempt for what she perceives as weakness. She is not willing to grow or change. After 25 years together, we are now divorcing.

      Your strong and argumentative personality may make it more difficult to find the right person for you, but it will also attract the strongest men. As long as you develop the ability to respect and affirm your partner, you will have no problems maintaining a healthy and happy relationship.

    • Milica

      Dear Jacqueline,

      First of all, very nice name :). Secondly, I would strongly advise you to continue being you, since nothing else is or should be possible. Try to look upon the ‘advice’ your friends and family give you as their own concern for your well-being, which, judging from your post, is obviously not needed, nevertheless it is a part of being in a family/group of friends and they ultimately do it out of love, so just nod and smile. 🙂

      When I saw your post I immediately wanted to reply because your words described my past situation to the letter.

      When I was 25 (I am now 29) I had been without a boyfriend for a few years and had shown no interest in getting one if it meant changing who I was. My friends and family started ‘butting in’ and asking me on a daily basis when I was thinking of getting a boyfriend and trying to set me up with basically anyone. It got so frequent that it really started to insult me as if it wasn’t enough for them just being myself, I had to be paired up or I would be doomed :). Anyways, a few years passed, my loved ones continued annoying me and then I realized something, all their pushing and insisting had made me not want to be with anyone because I thought it implied changing who I was and that was not an option even if it meant spending my life alone. Fortunately, that was not the case. The moment I realized that I had become afraid of relationships I saw the fear for what it was (fear not reality) and it fell apart leaving me to fell free again.

      Two months later I met my boyfriend and we fell in love at first sight. For the past two years, we have made compromises but we DO NOT change each other and we love each other because of who we are not in spite of it.

      I am proud to say that I haven’t changed a bit, but have become a better version of myself which is what love brings out in people and what it will definitely bring out in you. Look forward to your bright future because you know what you are looking for and you will find it.

      Hope this helped 🙂

      Much love

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  • starfire

    I am a single asian adult female and am in a sort of a long distance relationship with an Irish man who lives at the other end of the world, 8 hours apart. He has always been a typical Irish man when it comes to conversing online – he hardly ever talks about his feelings about almost everything important, unless I push him, which I detest doing because I want him to want to do it instead of being pushed. After chatting online for a year and finally meeting up, I have realised something about him. He is entirely different in person and online. Online, he is often cool and aloof. In person, he is sometimes shy, sometimes aloof and cool, but often humorous, playful, caring and sweet, and cares if my friend and I are indeed enjoying our holiday with him (I brought a friend along for safety reasons since it was the very first time we were meeting). And he was a complete gentleman. But now that I’m back home, he’s back to being Mr Cool online and I’m finding out that Irish men are typically emotionally inarticulate when it comes to talking about their feelings and anything serious, which is so frustrating since I’m still confused about how he feels about me, despite the fact that he asked me to return to Ireland next summer! And in the meantime, I’m facing pressure from my friends to get him to fly over to meet me instead since I flew over the last time. The fact is, I suspect that he isn’t sure about his feelings for me, and even though I genuinely love certain aspects about him, such as his gentlemanly sweet caring nature and the fact that we get along far better than all the other men I’ve met, I too have doubts about him.

    Despite of my many doubts, I want to spend more time with him. But his “I don’t want to talk about serious stuff” attitude has often left me doubting about myself and if he feels anything about me at all. I have only had the little sweet acts that he did quietly and discreetly (I would’ve missed them if I hadn’t been paying attention!) to gauge if he has any interest in me at all. After all this, I’m left doubting myself a great deal – does he even want me at all?

    But this article reaffirmed and encouraged me – to see my own worth, to love and appreciate myself and to be brave – that if my Irish friend doesn’t think that I’m worth the effort, I can hold my head high that I have tried my best and move on, no matter how much I have grown to love him.

    • Brian Pollard

      My advice about your Irish boy (being part-Irish myself) is not to judge him by what he says (or doesn’t say). Judge him by what he DOES. Irish men are trained, practically from birth, to suppress outward expressions of how they feel, good or bad. As a result, it is often easier to judge an Irishman (and Irish women, often enough!) by his actions, as opposed to his words. I’d suggest that you give him another chance, but after you going out to see him again, if things continue, then it’s HIS turn to come to YOU!

  • starfire

    Thank you, I wish my parents could’ve reinforced this in me and said the same things to me growing up.

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  • Amy Charlotte

    My Dad just emailed me this link telling me he wished he had written this for me himself, but that it’s message comes from his heart. My Dad has just watched me go through a very painful divorce to a man who unfortunatly had very few of these qualities spoken of in this tear-inducing note. Thanks, for what you say, how you say it, and the gift of my own Dad loving me just as much as you love your cutie-pie x bless x

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re so very welcome, Amy. And blessings to you in this next part of your journey.

  • Johnnie Walker

    I read this with disgust. It is inculcating a sense of entitlement to the little girl that she is owed a living. The emphasis on mutual respect is shallowly scraped but the highlights are clearly about ‘your problems are not mine and you must accept me for who I am. ‘ face it, a father’s love is not the same as the love between a couple.

    • Taral

      What’s wrong with accepting a partner for who they are? Of course the caveat is when harmful behaviour is involved, but acceptance is a foundation of a lasting marriage. It is not that the little girl is owed a ‘living’, but that she is owed the same kind of worthiness as her partner. 🙂 This is important to say because of the traditional way men ( achievement focused) and women ( relationship focused) are socialised in our society. It is not that the author is pinning all the responsibility on the man, he is trying to say that it is not only the responsibility of the woman.

      • NB_Liberallies

        It is the responsibility of both. Both giving 100%, it may or may not include both having to changing for the other.

        Sacrifice=True Love
        True Love=Sacrifice

        Both have to be willing to sacrifice for the other.

        • Catherine Edmends

          it should never be about sacrificing who you are – its a partnership not a melding and loss of identity

    • Leslie

      Read it again dip shit..

      “Little One, your
      only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable place that
      isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)”

      And of course a father’s love is different as opposed to a partner, boyfriend, husband, etc. If it weren’t, it would be called child abuse, moron.

      • NB_Liberallies

        Wow…is this the type of hate and hostility that comes from those who preach, “…you must accept others with their flaws….”?

        You prove that what people want is to be accepted with their deep flaws, but they will rarely accept others with whom they disagree.

        The Entitlement mentality of today, very sad.

      • CPG

        why did you insult him, it was unnesecary

    • mightbewrong

      Wow, that’s a pretty bizarre interpretation. I’m sorry you have 50 upvotes for missing the point completely.

    • Catherine Edmends

      well then it should be – who are you to impose your insecurities or limitations on another human being – why should someone bow to your needs or views over their own – we are all ENTITLED to be the fulest expression of who we are withouth some numty pressurising us to conform to their arbitrary standards

  • Johnnie Walker

    Can’t stand criticism? Lol… I expected it anyway.

  • Broken Dove

    Hi Dr. Kelly,
    I cried while I was reading this, because I think I am married to a wrong person.
    My husband is rude, doesn’t really care about my feelings, seems not interested in me and everything about me, and he’s cheated on me just now.

    I regret why I thought he would change after we got married. We dated for 4 years and he actually got better in the 3rd and 4th year so I decided to marry him. We’re married for 2,5 years now and he got worse. When I caught him cheating, he said he actually never loves me and he’s only with me only because of pity.

    However, I am a Christian and I know I can’t get a divorce for I believe it is forbidden. I pray that God will change my husband, but I’m still so sad now. I just want to be happy, feel loved wholly 🙁

    Can you give me suggestion?

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’m very sorry to hear about your marriage. I cannot provide direct counseling via the blog, because this medium does not lend itself to the kind of familiarity that would be necessary to provide the best advice and guidance. I highly recommend you seek counseling, both marital and individual. My best to you and your husband.

  • Jun Vinh Teoh

    Dr. Kelly,

    I’m a young 19-year-old Malaysian guy and quiet romantic, and I strongly resonate with everything you’ve wrote. The most beautiful feature a woman could possess is her integrity and confidence in being herself. True love is not about being perfect; it’s seeing their flaws as perfection.

    This is a beautifully heart-warming message. Thanks for sharing this.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Jun, for sharing your affirming words.

    • I love your thoughts

      I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the beautiful comments here and your affirmation ‘true love is not about being perfect; it’s seeing their flaws as perfection’ is just gorgeous and it truly stood out to me. thank you Jun for putting this out into the universe. Much love to you

  • Michelle

    Hello! New subscriber after reading this beautiful post. First off thank you so much. I am one of the women that will never know this kind of love from a father, but was lucky enough to know this love and more from a mother. My husband and I cannot have children naturally but know our little one is out here somewhere. I come from a family of all women… women who I have watched feel unworthy of a man, women who have given too much to keep a man interested. From a very young age I realized I never wanted to be that woman. This society has not made it easy but I found a man who crossed oceans for me and I for him and who even in my darkest places has seen my worth and allowed me to reach into the light knowing his presence is beside me. He challenges me and we strive to be better together. We are far from perfect. The fights are epic, distance for 6 years of our youth took its toll. We broke time and again but somehow found our way back. I am grateful. I only hope that we can raise a daughter just so. As a woman that is strong and knows her own power. I wish this for all women and thank you for being a man who nurtures and supports a woman’s

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Michelle, Welcome to UnTangled! I’m glad you found us. And it is really good to hear of your resilience and your story of finding the kind of person I hope my daughter will meet. Blessings to you in your adoption journey!

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  • Alaric

    Hi Dr. Kelly,

    I write this in appreciation of what you’ve conveyed above, but similarly I fear that your well-intended letter may be misinterpreted if not read in the right context of mind or heart.

    I understand that you mean for this to remind all women of self-love; why they should not feel pressured to conform to the expectations of the society and the opposite gender in order to be accepted. However, this has a potential to reinforce any form of selfishness that exist in those women who already feels the world revolves around them, that they have this natural entitlement to be the center of the lives of people (not just the guy) around them.

    Hence I feel a small tinge of irony when I read this “If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day”, because that is such a crucial complement to this piece: that self-respect should be built upon, and reinforces one’s respect for others. It shouldn’t be a letter for another day. That too, is an as important, or if not more important lesson for children.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Alaric, I couldn’t agree with you more. That sentence felt absolutely necessary, but insufficient to its import. Perhaps I’ll have to make that day for another letter come sooner rather than later. : )

  • Anonymous

    I just would like to share,

    I’m a really plain person, I don’t wear dresses, no makeup (only on super special occasions) and I definitely don’t have that hour glass figure. Being born in Asia, your relatives will tell you the do’s and don’ts. Hey, wear more makeup, men like woman who keeps a good image. Hey, dress better, T-shirt and jeans won’t attract anyone. Hey, men doesn’t like woman who are tomboyish (cause I kill zombies during my free time).

    But hey! I found the love of my life. He isn’t rich, he isn’t handsome. As Devon Ashley says, “I’m not looking for the perfect man. I’m looking for the man whose imperfections I can put up with.”

    What I’m trying to say is, Dr Kelly’s post does not only apply to females. It applies to the opposite sex as well. I seen many man and woman, telling their partners what to become. But no, that shouldn’t be the case. Woman should also accept how their partners are and vice versa. That is how I found my happiness, by accepting how my boyfriend is. To me, his imperfections are unique, they are beautiful.

    “We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.”
    ― Emilio Estevez

    • Anonymous

      Add on:

      As he accepts me for who I am, I too accept him for who he is 🙂

    • drkellyflanagan

      Right on. Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for saying this!

    • Cecilia

      Beautifully said… that’s what I wanted to read… thank you!

  • RD

    There is a nice sentiment to this article, but it is ripe with heterosexism, or the presumption that other people are heterosexual, or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm. And I say this as a heterosexual. Expectations like this make it that much more difficult for LGB individuals.

    It is actually quite disappointing to read something like this in 2013

    • Jennifer

      Thank you for writing this! I had written a response very similar to this but thought I should read the comments first to see if someone else had spoken up first. Amazing sentiments the author has put down, but it would be nice if he waited til his daughter was old enough to express what kind of person she desires. The points would still be valid.

    • Guest2

      The author has stated in the comments that none of this will change if his daughter chooses to be with another woman. The difference is primarily in the pronouns of the article. The meaning, the heart of it, has nothing to do with his daughter choosing a male. The ideas of mutual respect, compatibility and love translate equally across all types of relationships.

  • Rebecca ‘Flora’ D’Angelo

    What a fantastic article! I think it’s important for all people to read this, but especially parents who are teaching their children what to value in other people, and especially the parents of little boys who will teach their children what to value in potential partners (male or female). On a related note, I recommend this TED Talk to all who are interested in the interest of childhood socializing, especially as it pertains to perceptions of women in society: http://www.ted.com/talks/colin_stokes_how_movies_teach_manhood.html

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thanks for this, Rebecca!

  • Nita Arviyara Ritzkika

    hi dr kelly,
    i was born and raised in asian way, where yes my coleage were busy to spend their days with make up, dressing and their interest is to attract man as much as they want.

    i feel so shiver after read this, because thankfully i have a same dad like you. who always taught me to be myself, and to grow like whatever i want to do as long its positive, my mom always says that i dont have to worry about a man thingy, because someday someone will be there for me and loving for who i am.

    this write is beautiful yet touching. thanks for giving me another lessons in life, say hi to your cutie pie . wish me luck 😀

  • J.

    *crying so, so hard right now*

  • Christina Himmons

    what if your daughter wants a wife, not a husband

    • Mark

      He answered this question in one of the first comments:

      “I guess I’m just drawn to the tensions, because this thread stands out to me as particularly important. I was aware that I was opening myself up to this critique when I chose to focus on a “husband.” And I appreciate the way it has been pointed out in quite gracious ways. A couple points of clarification: I intentionally chose to avoid the references to same-sex marriage because in the current climate, a reference to same-sex relationships immediately turns it into a political post, rather than a post about our humanity. Having said that, the message of the post applies regardless of how my daughter eventually identifies her sexual orientation. She will always be my Cutie-Pie.”

    • Brawny

      I don’t get why everyone assumes he’s narrowing his daughter’s options just because he doesn’t want her cowtowing to a man. Not everyone from Wheaton is a fundamentalist.

  • Alicia Montalvan

    Thank you so much for this. I was raised by a single mother and even though she has told me to find a man that respects me and be all those things that you mentioned, it’s nice to hear a dad’s perspective.

  • josh

    I honestly can’t believe that people were still able to find something negative to say about an amazingly positive post…people will always find something wrong… though they have valid “points” it seems like people are simply just trying to find a way to have a different opinion…this was an amazing post and will one day have this mindset for my future daughter…

  • Raj Mohan

    yes lil girl

  • phoebe

    I was very sure of the type of person I wanted to be with. It may have taken me 37 years to find the right partner, but I’m glad I did not compromise — he is well worth the wait! Thank you for this, and I hope this inspires others.

  • Rosie

    You should also tell her that it’s okay if she wants a wife and not a husband, OR doesn’t want a husband or kids at all. Just saying. 🙂

  • Topaz Horizon

    My father always told me that I have to make good coffee, be beautiful, be charming, know how to cook, keep house, etc ad infinitum to keep men interested. He always warned, “If your coffee isn’t good, your husband will leave you,” “If you’re too smart, you’ll make your husband feel stupid and he’ll leave you,” “If you wear glasses, your husband will leave you.” Stuff like that. Seriously.

    Thank God I never believed him =D I’m with a wonderful man, we have loved each other for the last 14 years—it was just our wedding anniversary last week!—and he has always completely adored me just as I am!

    P.S. And he doesn’t like coffee! LOL

    • drkellyflanagan

      “And he doesn’t like coffee!” Love it!

    • Claudia P.

      I loved your comment Topaz, thank God you never believed him. I never had a dad so i guess it was just a little different. Congrats on your 14th anniversary. 🙂 I am going on 4 this july.:)
      Claudia P.

    • RosemaryWessel

      I had a boss at a restaurant – a gourmet caterer by trade. When in her first cooking classes at the age of 13, her teacher told all the girls in the class that the secret to finding and keeping a good husband was making sure to spread the butter, jam, mayo or whatever completely from one side of the bread to the other. Now that she’s grown, she sure makes a mean sandwich, but her wife doesn’t care if the bread’s not entirely covered.

    • Guest

      what a cock sucker ur stupid shithead dad is/was

  • Jimmy Rustler

    And when the man doesn’t put forth the effort to keep her interested, all of her friends will tell her that he’s not worth it. Relationships are two-way streets. You’re supposed to keep each other interested and improve each other. This letter is sexist and it encourages a sense of self-entitlement.

  • Jay-ar

    🙂 so touching….

  • anonymous

    Dr. Flanagan,

    Just wanted you to know that, with this letter, you are impacting more people than you know or could even imagine. I’m about to fwd this to many people in my life, whom I know will send it right along. THANK YOU.

  • Anu

    Dear Dr. Flanagan,

    Stumbled across this through a friend’s post on Facebook and I am glad for it. Thank you for writing this for more women than just your daughter; I am getting married in a month and needed to hear this. I have been a self-assured person all my life but somehow at the doorstep of marriage, everybody gives you so much advice about how to keep others happy and content that you forget that you yourself are also an important part of the dynamic and it’s about you as much as about the other and families. Your post is probably what my father would have told me if he were with me today. So thank you again 🙂


  • Nicole Peterson

    I loved this. Thank you! <3

  • Kathryn L

    I found this post via Facebook, where a FB friend dedicated it to her daughter. I also dedicated it to my daughter telling her this is the WRONG road to venture, that focusing only herself will lead to misery. He needs to mind his manners and his spiritual convictions, wherever they may go, and SHE must do the same. Nothing good ever comes from harboring a princess, which is what you are expecting here from your wife and your child.. Teach each one to be worthy of what any man (or woman) may bring them, or stand alone, but to teach them to be dependent upon the adoration of another even in absence of their own sensibilities is irresponsible and selfish. That you are a psychiatrist is both disturbing and intriguing – you certainly believe yourself and your offspring to be of great esteem beyond what you have earned as a father, and a human being.

    • Brian Pollard

      Wow. You just don’t get it. This letter is all about instilling his daughter with a personal sense of self-worth, which ALL OF US deserve to have. Not a ‘Princess,’ but a strong individual in her own right. What’s wrong with that?

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  • saviora

    .,.Suppose she discovers that she’s more interested in validating her pre-existing worthiness through various personal/career accomplishments, rather than relationships or children? Suppose she discovers that she prefers women. I hope you still find her worthwhile as a person.

    • Christina

      well considering that he just wrote a WHOLE LETTER telling her that she is worthy,… im pretty sure he will still absolutely adore his sweety pie no matter what:)

  • Carin Rockind

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I am a coach and speaker who works with professional women that despite their titles feel insecure about men. We all need this message from our fathers and our society. You’ve made a HUGE fan in me!

  • derping

    Can you imagine what the response would be if somebody wrote an article to their infant son about how they shouldn’t need to do anything to interest a woman because, as their entitlement, an eternally devoted wife is their birthright from the time they exit their mother’s womb?

    • Guest2

      I’m sure it would be horrible, as the response to this article would have been if it said anything remotely like that.

  • Lissa

    This article is great, and I love the discussions happening below as well. As a young woman, the first time I was told that I “deserved better” I broke down crying out of surprise and happiness. The idea that someone other than myself felt like I was “worth it” was a miracle despite knowing I was smart, clever, strong and good, and I couldn’t give a damn if I was pretty. Why my parents never saw it I will never understand.

    My close male friends have told me “raising a girl is the most frightening thing”. None of them are married or have children, but they see the social inclination away from girls like who are strong and independant. Pop culture fawns over the beautiful and dismisses the rest. Even I have felt the need to be pretty, not for myself but to compete with all the other girls.

    For my boyfriend though, I want to become a better person for him and myself. I want him to be happy and always secure in how I feel about him. He calls me “crazy lady” and I call him “beautiful” and I love that he takes all my sillyness affectionately. If all those “how to keep him interested” posts replaced being sexual with “making him feel secure” and making him a sandwich with “showing him you’re happy” I think the world would be a place where raising a daughter wouldn’t be so scary and being a woman wouldn’t be so confusing.

  • Emily

    What a wonderful message. Thank you so much for this reassuring message that many women should hear and remember every day of their lives.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Emily!

  • Abe

    That letter is so egotistical it disgusts me. “it’s all about you.” No it’s not. Ultimate worship of the self, yea great advise dad i’m sure that’ll lead to successful marriage.

    • Brian Pollard

      So, you don’t think that a person, male or female, should be instilled with a sense of self-worth? It has NOTHING to do with “it’s all about you” narcissism. I’m sorry that you’re so wrapped up in whatever lessons were handed to you as a child that telling a child that she should had a solid sense of self-esteem is “egotistical.”

      • drkellyflanagan

        Brian, from one feisty Irishman to another, thanks for your input today. Hope you stick around here at UnTangled!

  • Canuck84

    Great perspective, but one point: this whole article is premised on the assumption that your daughter will grow up to be exclusively heterosexual. You don’t want to be replacing one set of expectations with another, I think. At least, I hope not. Cheers.

  • thisshitsgay


    • SJY

      lol little brat. that’s what you r. for every kid i meet who thinks like that about others, you’re usually the bully, the jock, the troublemaker, the one on TV who is always causing unnecessary hardship for the protagonist. you know what you r? a pest, a leech, a useless creature who needs to contribute to society if he wants to get his due. you’re the guy who shines for the first couple decades of your life but end up in the mud forgotten by the time your life ends. you must also think you'[re a tough guy right? I met mad kids like you who tried to bully some of my friends or myself cause we were portrayed as “nerds.” Guess what? they got a reality check and got their asses kicked or jumped and mugged cause that’s what happens to pests like you. i remember the crying face on the sad little shit i whooped for trying to bully me cause I was asian and he thought i must be a passive nerd while i was pissing on his face. just cause the kid might be nerd doesn’t mean he won’t beat you down as easily as taking candy from a baby. furthermore, doesn;t mean he ain’t gonna get that pussy since he’s obviously living a good life w/ good benefits as a doctor, a good family, and a nice normal life of the middle class citizens. the only ppl who get that life that is emulated in many tv shows and movies only goes to such nerds. they live a normal balanced family life w/ a decent home and security. ppl like you r the old farts who have issues with their family or look like bums w/ dysfunctional famiilies

  • mike8677


  • Thane

    What twaddle. Being interesting isn’t something granted as a right of birth – it’s something that has to be constantly worked on, refined, thought about.

    Just being alive doesn’t make you interesting; that you breathe air doesn’t make you worthy of interest.

    Far better than telling his daughter that she’s magical and interesting, he should be encouraging her to actually BE interesting. Tell her to take up hobbies that interest her, to travel, to think.

    Just stilling in front of the TV and sleeping does not worthy of interest make.

    • Michelle

      Every person is interesting for the simple fact of their being. You are correct, no one is granted the right to have another be interested in them and I do not feel that is what he is saying to his daughter. He is telling her that the person she picks as a mate (should she do so) needs to be interested in her for her, not because she dresses up for him, or makes perfect dinners or keeps the spotless house, but because the person she is is the person he loves. What is wrong with that. Why should a person be judged and/or loved by what they give to another and not for themself. I have often been asked what is it I love about my mate and I cannot truly answer it-most people will answer with what their mate does for them-if that is the case then it is my belief you truly do not love the person-what if they stopped doing those things? I love my mate for him, when he laughs or when he yells, when he is being giving and when he is being selfish-no matter what, he is the person I love and I do not expect him to be anyone other than who he is-that is the love every person deserves-and that is what I understood this letter to say.

      • NB_Liberallies

        No one deserves to be loved. What is it with the entitlement mentality? You earn the respect and love of other people. The only human beings who will love you unconditionally are your parents and maybe your siblings, other than that, sorry, it won’t happen. You earn people’s respect and love.

        Because I am a human being, I must be respected as a human being. But as an individual, with all the interests, flaws, character strengths, etc. I must earn the respect and love of others. I may not care who respects me or not, but that doesn’t mean that I am entitled to anyone’s respect or love.

        • Crystal

          Gotta disagree (somewhat) with you.. If you find the right person, your mate also loves you unconditionally, but in the beginning, yes you have to earn that trust and love

          • NB_Liberallies

            but doesn’t that unconditional love come with time? It is not right away. Love of your boyfriend or girlfriend comes with time, unlike the movies, it does not happen at first sight.

            How can you love someone you just met? who you do not know at a deeper level than simply what sports team they like? In my opinion, unconditional love comes from deeply and truly knowing your spouse.

            • Crystal

              Did you thoroughly read my comment? You said the only human beings to love you unconditionally are your parents and maybe your siblings. I disagreed and said that if you find the right mate they will love you unconditionally. Then I said that you do have to earn that love and trust (agreeing with you). No where in my comment did I elude to “love at first sight”… not sure how your response came from what I wrote.. Maybe I said it confusing? Sorry if I did. Hopefully this response clears that up?

  • drkellyflanagan

    I’m surprised yet grateful for the energy and engagement this post has generated. Thank you for the kind words from so many. I’ll be replying individually to some of those comments below.

    There are three important threads in this conversation that I think need to be addressed and developed. First, there is a subset of people who are taking potshots. If that happens, I’d ask that we all kindly let them do so and either not respond, or respond gently. They desire conflict. Let’s not give them what they desire.

    Second, there is a thread expressing concern that unconditionally affirming the worth of children/girls and their inherent interesting-ness creates entitled, selfish princesses who will not be capable of mutuality in relationship. I know it may seem like a paradox, but the reality is that entitlement is actually created by a latent
    sense of worthlessness. Individuals who have a deep and unwavering sense of
    their worthiness are free from all of the ego needs that produce entitlement,
    selfishness, and narcissism. Children who have been mirrored well and affirmed
    of their worthiness are far more likely to spend their lives caring for others
    than obsessively caring for themselves, because they have already been cared for

    Third, there is a thread that I have addressed in part but is worth another mention. It has to do with concerns regarding the heterosexism of assuming my daughter will marry a man. The reality is, the inspiration for the post/letter was a Google search, which revealed countless articles about how women try to keep men interested. That
    naturally led to a post concerning men and women. But it’s worth saying again:
    my daughter’s worth is unconditional, regardless of whether or not she
    identifies as a lesbian, becomes a nun, runs a corporation and chooses a career
    over family, etc. etc. She need do nothing or become anything to be interesting
    to anyone. She already is. And so are you, Dear Reader.

    I hope my comments here will move these threads forward, rather than inviting the same comments. If you want people to read this first and help the conversation progress, please feel free to up vote it. 

    Thanks again to all.

    p.s. If you get database errors while trying to access the website, it’s due to high traffic. Just refresh your browser a couple of times and you’ll get through.

    • FanOfCalm

      Thanks for addressing these points. I admit that my (perhaps too finely tuned) heterosexism radar had gone off after following a link to your post from a friend’s site. You shouldn’t have to add caveats to cover yourself from all possible criticisms in your posts, so I appreciate that you took the time to thoughtfully and calmly respond to criticisms. The internet needs more of both of these: 1) responsible and calm discourse, and 2) parenting that gives me hope for the future. Keep rocking.

      • drkellyflanagan

        I really appreciate this. Thank you.

    • encouraging

      I’m at a point in my life, almost 30, that I wish I had heard words like this from my own father. I appreciate the letter you wrote and especially that you dedicated it not only to your child, but to me as a reader as well. My mother has done what you have for your daughter. She encouraged me, made me feel worthwhile and placed value on my feelings. There is something so important though about having it come from your father. I’m sure a lot of choices I’ve made in my life up to this point would have been much different if I had had words like this spoken to me by my own dad.
      Thanks for sharing this and I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

      • anyasana

        It’s never too late! Find your own father’s voice

        • Theresa Beegle Anhut

          I completely agree and can relate to “encouraging’s” post. My father gave me nothing but criticism and emotional and physical abuse, and it took me many years of professional and self help books (written by professionals) to undue the trauma inflicted by that very troubled man. It has been a long journey, but I can now give myself what my father never could-unconditional love. My greatest joy is to see my husband spend normal, quality, loving moments with my daughters, and to know that he values them as people. Unfortunately, boys (and girls) who are abused as children can grow into fathers who abuse their own children, and the cycle continues until someone is brave enough to get off the nightmarish merry-go-round and seek professional help.

    • Delaware Mom

      Beautiful column/letter and as a mother of a girl and boy, a point I have stressed to both. Having grown up in a home where my worth was not shared,only my flaws, I have spent my marriage begging for my husband to care. Now I am in the process of divorce because I realized too late that my own lack of self-worth was only mimicked in my husband. If we don’t feel worthy how can we expect someone else to feel we are worth an effort? I pray I have instilled self-worth in my children as well as the importance of helping others feel worthy. Every relationship requires effort but begins with each person valuing the other!

      • Jaber Yesu

        Thank you for posting your comment which I can relate to. I am not married but I know how it feels when your worth is not shared but your flaws. your statement:
        “Every relationship requires effort but begins with each person valuing the other!”
        now that is how i keep building my confidence and worth because if i dont no one will do it for me. I pray that all goes well with you and always expect good and positive response in your children because they too need to hear their worth and not flaws…. take care

    • Kristen

      Thank you so much for this. I have a boy and girl, and can apply these lessons to both of them. This is all affirming to what I believe is true to raising children; my goal is to help them develop their self worth (and know how to find it if they stray from it). If I can accomplish this (along with loving, caring, keeping them safe) then I feel I will have done my duty as a parent. Thank you for sharing.

    • Dawn Hanna

      It would all be applicable to whomever she chooses to be with. I don’t care that the article said a boy, I read it and thought exactly that whomever she’s with is what it really boiled down to.

    • Leslie Hobson

      Absolutely correct regarding the second thread. I am one of these women who was respected and assured of my worth by my father consistently. I talk more about it here: http://lesliehobson.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/7-things-my-father-taught-me/

      • Jaber Yesu

        so checking it out…the more the merrier

    • Thad Joshua Schrader

      No little girl, not married. Have found the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with and as far as I can tell have treated her as you have stated you would want your little girl to be treated.

      However, certain events have happened and that may not happen. Her own anxieties have allowed a situation that may keep her from me. The words you have expressed in this statement are wonderful and I believe that every little girl and woman needs to hear them.

      Thank you for this. I’m going to share it with as many people as I can and hope that some of them will actually listen.

      • worried about my world

        Thad, I have to say, that as a mother of a daughter AND TWO sons, it’s not JUST the daughters who deserve to be valued for who they are. What it really boils down to is that, when she is right for you and you are right for her, there will be complete and total interest on both sides. Interest in what each other has to say, interest in the things that make each other happy, maybe they don’t make you happy, but they make the other happy. Maybe your match with this girl was not meant to be and THAT is why her anxieties get in the way. Just be you.

    • Guest

      Today is July 3, 2013.
      Anyway, I enjoyed your article very much, except that I need to say that it is not the father’s job to help build the daughter’s self esteem and instill a sense of self worth.This role is mother’s role and probably more so, the mother’s job. She is the first parent, as she is the one who made the first physical and spiritual contact with the daughter and the son too. The mother is the like parent for the daughter. Do not forget mom’s importance. She can bring this to the daughter on a whole new level of importance.
      So we must say that it is the mother AND the father’s role together. Dad just knows how males feel. But mom knows how females feel.

      • Guest2

        The mother is definitely important with regards to building a daughter’s self-esteem. But I wouldn’t say that it’s “mother’s role” entirely either. It is usually true that mom will understand the struggles and feelings of a daughter, BUT dads have an equally important if different part to play. Dads are a daughter’s baseline for what is acceptable and desired behavior in a male, and it often takes several broken hearts and bad relationships for a negative baseline to be overcome, if it happens at all.

        • jeanne

          It is definitely both parent’s role, but I had a wonderful and nurturing mother but it wasn’t enough. My father was/is not emotionally there for me. Thank God my husband was ALWAYS there…encouraging and uplifting. Directing me into an independent loving relationship with him as he did our 6 daughters. Sometimes when God shuts a door, a window flies open!!

      • Osiris’s Mom

        Actually, countless studies show the importance of a dad in a girl’s life. Her healthy relationship with him is a good predictor of when she will first have sex, and how healthy her relationship is both with herself and with partners.

      • shikha

        Dear Mom,
        Thiis is not so much about whose job it is to instil confidence and self belief in her daughter. A mother is indeed a child’s first learning ground but a father has a great influence on a daughter which should not be discounted. My congratulations to Dr. Kelly for this courageous message to his girl and other boys and girls out there. I am sure he’s shown her the way and she will know Mr. Interested when he finds her!

      • Devon

        My god there is always one who takes something beautiful and caring and makes it about themselves while criticizing. The Title is “A Daddy’s Letter to his little girl” not a letter from both parents so everyone feels special and not left out. I do look forward though to reading all the great things you have published in honour of your children and other children around the world, I am sure it is well rounded work that includes both parents.

      • Mayanka

        WHAT THE FUCK? Stop with these patriarchal claims about ‘mother’s job’. On such a beautiful letter which is meant to precisely break sexist stereotypes about gender roles, why the fuck would you comment something so ridiculous, telling the mother her role. BOTH PARENTS ARE PARENTS, no one is more important than the mother. And this very thinking about mother’s role, is what has kept women domesticated for centuries, telling them where their place is, and preventing a healthy relationship between father and daughter.

        • Mayanka

          than the *other. Not mother. Typing error.

      • SupermomProduct

        Do you really want to discount the role a father plays in easy self-esteem. It’s not black and white but you realise the importance of a role when it is not filled and as someone with an absent father (and a sentiment shared by may of the commentors), I can tell you that my wonderful superwoman of a mother could only do so much.

    • Catharine Craig

      I loved this article and your response to all the comments about it. Thank you for articulating your love for your daughter and sharing so beautifully.

      • drkellyflanagan

        You’re welcome, Catharine. Thanks for taking the time to say such encouraging words!

    • Elym

      Wow. Pretty amazing that we live in a world where you would have to defend the expectation that your daughter will someday marry a man. How pathetic. Pretty sure with a daddy like you, she will grow up looking for and seeking after a MAN of honor.

      • Hopeful

        I don’t think he’s defending any expectation. Sounds like he’s just defending his daughter.

      • Max

        This would usually bug me too. But if you read everything in context, the use of the words ‘man’ or ‘he’ are completely irrelevant and I’m sure the same sentiments would apply equally to a man or woman. This letter is beautiful and as a gay woman I will be passing it, or something very similar, onto my children if and when they arrive on this planet!

      • bobbieluvsya

        Wait, how does having a good father mean a woman won’t be interested in dating women again? Being bi, lesbian, or whatever doesn’t mean I had a bad father any more than me being straight would mean I had a bad mother.

      • Shelley

        I think you forgot to read the first part where he said that he saw a google search on “how to keep him interested” This is what he was responding to. This man is not saying his daughter couldn’t be happy with a woman. its not about that at all.

      • June_Clever

        Because lesbians only come from bad fathers? If a man is a good father, and attentive, and encouraging, and supportive, his daughter won’t be a lesbian? Please tell me you don’t really believe that.
        As a mother of three (with at least one of each sex), it is my expectation that they will marry the opposite sex. However, that is because we live in a hetero-normative world where cis-gendered people are what is expected. If one, or more, of them grows up to be gay, or bi, or gender-fluid, what is really important to me is that they are comfortable in their own skin and they enter into relationships with good people of whatever gender they choose. The same goes for the race, religion and/or ethnicity of the person they choose to be with.
        Just because I am a decent parent doesn’t mean my son will automatically “choose” to be with a woman (because I don’t believe it’s a choice) and just because my husband is an involved, supportive father doesn’t mean my daughters will “choose” to be with a man. Hopefully they will choose to be with a person they love, who loves them and treats them like the best thing since sliced bread.

      • DJM2142

        You got some issues, lady.

    • Jaber Yesu

      I thank God I came to this site am thoroughly blessed Dr. Kelly keep up in inspiring us. Thank you

    • Krissy Krull

      holy shit this is the thought provoking, intelligent, and compassion post I’ve ever read. I’d totally recommend you to a friend.

  • Dani El

    I love the affection and heart put into this letter. Although a dad’s wish is to love their daughters for whoever they are and for their husband to love them the same but it isn’t always so. My personal belief is that a father will love their daughters no matter what. This doesn’t mean the rest of the world does. I’m not saying that a perfect woman is someone that always provides for their husband and caters to him but a perfect woman is someone that wants to do small things like this for him because they love him, not because they are told to. Don’t get me wrong, guys shouldn’t demand things of their girls but it’s a two way street. Most women want a man who will protect them and care for them. Likewise, most men want a woman that is loyal and caters to them. The point is, anyone that wants a good person in their life has to question if they themselves are a good person that that someone else would want in their life. Don’t change for someone else but change for you. Everyone wants to be wanted, just give them a reason to. Patience is a virtue. Become the person that YOU want to be and people will notice.

  • Liz

    Thank-you so much for this! It was very beautiful and touching. I thought it would have been even more powerful if it had not been heteronormative. Acknowledge that some of our Little Ones are gay 😉

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  • Anna

    Thank You

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  • Kat

    I love this letter. My father is -unfortunately- not very supportive of any decision that was not his idea, but I have been very fortunate to find father figures that have done an incredible job shaping me into the person I am. This letter reminds me of them.

    I also want to say, for everyone who has been told that they need to change or that ‘good guys’ don’t exist, an incredible person is out there looking just as you are. Suffering from 13 years of depression and diagnosed with PTSD almost 10 years ago, I truly believed myself unworthy and incapable of a good and happy and healthy relationship. But after taking a year to myself, working to become a person I am proud to be, and really becoming happy.. I found someone… someone who calls me beautiful when I’ve barely rolled out of bed, who laughs at me and calls me cute, who hugs and supports me and believes in me. Oftentimes, I can barely believe I am so lucky and able to call him mine. He, in turn, shakes his head and always claims he is the lucky one.

    Be happy with who you are and find someone who knows that you are enough.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Kat, Thanks for this. One of the things we talk a lot about as psychologists is the “chosen family,” or that set of people we seek out when our biological families are not able to meet some of our basic needs. So glad to hear you had the courage and resilience to seek out your father figures, and now a true companion! Blessings to you both!

  • swateep

    Thank you for this article, this sounds like what my mom has been trying to say to us all her life only in better words 🙂

    I come from a south asian background. Growing up i heard my extended family talk about how my mom was a working woman, how her kids are not getting any attention and time, how her kids are going to grow up rotten. I didnt realize what my mom must be going through at that time, but now when i turn back and evaluate, i think i am glad my mom did what she did.

    She gave deaf ear to all of them.

    She refused to give in, she knew her priorities was to raise her children right, educate them. Being a stay at home mom is not going to bring food on the table nor is it going to pay for her kids to go to college. She till date encourages us to do what we want, she strongly believes cooking and cleaning is not the only job a woman is born to do, even though that’s what indian husbands believe in. She wants us to spread our wings, learn more by the day and remain what we are and be a good provider at the same time.

    I am thankful just like my dad, my husband has been a great support all through to let me do what i cherish doing and is always encouraged me to fulfill my dreams as opposed to only try to make him happy.

  • Amytp

    Thank you for the great reminder. Sometimes that “unshakeable” place gets covered up. We live in a society where it is difficult to remember core values and knowledge sometimes.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Amytp!

  • Viatcheslav, not John

    I think dearly thinks this so called amercan professor or whoever he is – jasnt invented the bycicle, just all these same things apply…. Guess to whom ? … to the boys. But, in this semi-colonial country of America – it’s become a trend to raise Woman and put down Man…. and for the sake of what is this done ? For the sake of blowing the same pipe. Ugly, primeval…. american. ok, if they want it this way – go ahead, BUT !! …. within the perimeter of your crumbling empire. !

  • Fembec

    Besides the fact that this father is implying that a woman needs to have a partner or even a male partner in her life and “give him children” this is sweet. It’s a start.

  • You Know What He Meant

    To all the people trying to turn this around by denouncing its emphasis on heterosexual relationships, read the beginning. He was prompted to do this by an abundance of articles/blogs about “pleasing your MAN,” and keeping HIM interested. You don’t see those kinds of things written referring to lesbian relationships because there is no male to fill that stereotyped role of “bring me a beer and a sandwhich,” or requiring her to remain “sexy” or risk the threat of losing him to a younger or prettier woman. Although this phenomenon may exist in a lesbian relationship, it is primarily culturally recognized as something resulting from a man’s expectations.
    The father was obviously troubled by those social pressures placed on women, and the men who contribute to this with their unfair or unrealistic expectations. He wanted her to avoid such pitfalls if she finds herself pursuing a “traditional” male/female relationship (I now that’s not the best word, but you know what I mean). It’s pretty obvious by everything he wrote that he’s an open-minded and caring parent, and is not being “hetero-centric” if you will. It was obvious to me before even reading his comments, that he simply wants his daughter to BE HAPPY regardless of what kind of relationship she finds herself in. Those of you nitpicking the perceived lack of political correctedness are frankly being self-righteous pricks. Get over yourselves.
    To the dad: great letter, and I hope to be able to instill the same values in my daughter should I ever have one.

    • Cecilia

      Although I don’t approve the word “prick”, I agree with evething you said 😀

  • A

    adopt me…

  • Not married to that kind of ma

    Sadly, I have two words in response: too late. 🙁

  • Sally

    I am really depressed about the state of young men today. I have an 18 yr old daughter who has yet to meet even one boy who remotely fits this description of a real man. Every single boy she has liked is selfish, disrespectful, immature, rude, unfaithful, and mostly dishonest. A boy may show interest in her, and she will be interested in him for a while until his true self comes out. They have all lied to her, cheated on her, and put material things above her. Even the ones who start out promising always end up being just as bad as the one’s before. I believe it’s all the social media and movies and just how they think they are supposed to act.
    They only want sex (my daughter is a virgin) and if you wont’ give it to them you spend your weekends alone. You can’t even get a boyfriend because you are expected to “put out”. This is the norm, and it is so sad. I fear for her future. I fear she will be alone because there are no guys out there who will treat her decently. By senior in high school most boys have had several sex partners, and when they come across my daughter they are put off because she is not having sex until she is at least in a long term committed relationship. Most guys will lose interest after a month or two if they aren’t “getting some”
    What is a poor girl to do these days?

    • drkellyflanagan

      Sally, I hope your daughter will find my next post helpful. It’s called “The Most Important Thing to Look for in a Life Partner,” and I hope it is an encouragement to young people of both sexes to be patient as they wait for a loving companion.

  • Sally

    Let me add, she is stunningly beautiful, and I’m not just saying that because I am her mother. She attracts boys, but she just can’t keep one. They all betray her trust and all end up just being a bunch of liars and players

  • BK

    Very true indeed … what is inside us is worthy of interest and the best way to keep someone interested …. is simply to be us and the one that comes along will love us for who we truly are than for who they want us to be.

  • Rishika Sitlani

    That was just beautiful! I wish every Dad would teach his daughter what you did and teach his son to be that kind of ‘boy’. The world would be happier!

  • Rebecca Keliher

    This is the best thing I’ve ever read.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Rebecca, that is one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard. Thank you. : )

  • Angel

    Good Day Dr. Flanagan! Greetings from the Philippines! I stumbled upon your letter through facebook and I would like to say thank you for sharing your kind and motivating words. I also believe there will come a time that a guy would love me for who I am and not for who he wants me to be. If ever a woman wants to change herself, it should be for her own and not for the benefit of others. No one can ever look down on you not until you let them to. =)

    • drkellyflanagan

      Angel, Lovely to hear from you from the Philippines! I hope next week’s post, “The Most Important Thing to Look for in a Life Partner” will be further encouragement!

  • Billycomments

    What if she’s just not interesting though?

  • Johanna

    Oh, so beautiful. This made me cry. I have 4 “cutie pies” and am always searching for the right words to tell them what I didn’t know as a young girl and woman. If I can save them from the pain I experienced while trying desperately to prove myself, I will feel that I have achieved success as a mother.

  • Jake

    And if she marries a woman? Hopefully this wonderful narrative still applies…

  • Elizabeth Ann Crowne Goldswort

    I raised three sons who LIVE this with their ladies, and I know their ladies live it back. My grandpricesses will learn this through the love and strength of family that surrounds them. I wept on reading this, out of both joy (that my boys believe and live this to their very core) and sorrow (that I, at 52, have yet to learn this…).
    Thank you for this… Your Cutie-Pie is truly blessed!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Elizabeth. And you’re not alone. I think all of us, both men and women, are in some way or another always learning this for most of our lives. Blessings to you on your journey!

  • Jim in Canada

    I feel honoured and blessed by the fact that one of my sons-in-law found this article worthy of passing to my three daughters. He is a good man and will make a good father and husband.

    I am also honoured and blessed that one of my daughters chose to forward it to my wife and myself. We must have done something right to be surrounded by family that feels such a sense of self-worth and mutual love.

    I am also grateful that I have been encouraged by my wife to be a “man” in this way. Over the past 37 years she has stood by me, and always encouraged me to be this model of man, not just to my daughters, but to pass this to my son as well. I see it developing in him in his relationship with his girlfriend.

    We have always said in our family that love is not a 50/50 kind of relationship, but 100/100. If you are there fully for your spouse, then in a healthy relationship, you can trust that they will be there for you. May God be with you in your journey.

  • April Copeland

    I read this with my 2 year old twin daughters in my lap. Every child deserves a parent such as you. Thank you for your insight, I will be saving this letter to share with my daughters when they are older. I’ll be sharing it on Facebook so all my friends can do the same. Thank you!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, April! Blessings to you and the twins!

  • CharlesDeelicious

    Now she’ll grow up fat and lazy with an air of entitlement. “My pappy said you dunn better be inter’sted in me no matter whut or you a piece a trash!” Poor guy that ends up with this future spoiled brat.

    • TracyLF

      I am sad for you, Bat Boy…For you have never known the love of a parent… Or a woman… Or A bat. You are Batboy! Forever alone in a word repulsed… But perhaps there is a lesson in this… Perhaps, you too, Batboy, might be deserving of love…Open your heart Batboy! Stop being jealous of Cutie Pie just because she has a loving dad who knows how to read and write… Celebrate in cards you were dealt. and someday, You too will have a friend who doesn’t mind when you eat his cats.

  • Christina

    I think some people are missing the point here. Of course my first thought was way to think she would be with a man, but through reading his comments he’s not anti-LGBT (YAY!). If we had to edit every single thought we had before sharing it on the internet because we want to please the world and not come off as being bias in any way, this heartfelt and genuine letter would be like a page from mad libs. I believe he wrote this with obvious good intent for his daughter to grow up with self love and value. There are way too many females out there who don’t have self worth and it’s a shame. Too many are being abused, put down, and being told they’re not good enough (not all, but many). He’s just simply teaching his child to be a strong, independent, individual who values life. I’m sure if he had a little boy, the message he would write in the letter would be to treat women right and to treat others as you would like them to treat you.

  • runninggrandma

    I am going to share this with my high school students. How I wish that my girls could understand this message! Some of them try so hard to wear revealing clothing and change their personalities to suit the boys they like – boys who often treat them with disdain.

  • Najia

    Very beautifully written!

  • Claudia P.

    What a beautiful post to your daughter and wife. 🙂 I also have a little girl she is 21 months old. She our lttle sunshine.
    Claudia P.

  • Laura

    Good read, but I wish there was a way to turn off the audio reading of it. I find it annoying, and would rather read it for myself.

  • Katy

    This would be thoroughly cute and inspiring if it weren’t so heteronormative, whether it intended to be or not.

  • mother of 2 amazing boys!!!!

    I am a mother of two amazing boys and I am tired of people thinking boys are trouble!!! What about the girls out there? The ones who talk like snobs at the age of 9? The ones who will talk behind their best friends back, the ones who will be a princess and boss their husband around and treat them like they are helpless men!! Please, lets treat boys and girls like people!! You respect each other no matter what your sex is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • aims2kids

    What a beautiful and touching letter from such a caring father! I sure wish my dad had been like that! He was sadly an alcoholic and into drugs as well as very dysfunctional! Then he died on his motorcycle 3mnths before i turned the great big 16. It took me all my adult years and 1 failed abusive marriage to learn these valuable and precious lessons! I will most likely be singe for the rest of my earthly days, but i have come to terms with it and i am okay with it! Because i believe that if i am working on myself to be the best person i can and being happy with who i am, then if the Lord see fit he will make sure that the person im meant to be with, we will be together. And if there is not a man ready for me than i am strong enough, loving, caring, independent enough and secure enough to be on my own! I have learned to love myself that much! I also know what i want and who i am because of not needeing to be dependent on a man. Dont get me wrong i want nothing more than a loving doting husband! But i want one who will be just as equal to me as i to him! I will be his queen and he will be my king! It goes both ways for me! But i believe my fate rests in the Lords hands at this point. If it is meant to be it will find a way! I am going to continue to live my life the best i can and be the best i can be! I refuse to waste my life anymore than i have chasing after men that i was just settling for or they just were not honorable enough and treated me like i was scum. I am not! I am worth something and i deserve to be treated with love and respect! Ladies so do you! For me i dont care how long it takes because i know my self worth! I pray that you too will find yours!

  • barbara

    Reminding me fondly of my dad, who years ago (when I was “between marriages”) told me he wished i could find the guy who really appreciated who I was. That’s about as close as you can come to all you said above. I did find that guy, but sometimes – well, I’m not really sure I’ve really kept his interest. Thanks for reminding me of my dad today.

  • HasIq

    I got here through a link a friend shared. And I have to say that I agree with every point you make, and I have been brought up with values such that I am not a ‘player’ and never have been. I have always tried to be a gentleman and treat my girl with the respect and love she deserves. However, it has blown up in my face every time, so much so that it is too depressing/difficult to even get to know a new girl and try again.

    I can’t help feeling that there is something inherently very wrong with me. The fact that some of my friends remain in relationships despite being so demeaning to their girls, is like salt to the wound. One of them does not believe in a monogamous relationship at all and another just uses his girl for carnal desires and throws her out as soon as they are done. So it seems that a guy with the qualities mentioned above is most likely to not get the girl.

    Usually I do not post such comments but after reading the article, I just couldn’t hold back. I am almost at the point of resigning to the fact that I am going to remain single and am trying to content myself with that fact.

    • drkellyflanagan

      I remember the feeling. : ) Be patient and be encouraged that you are living with integrity. I hope my next post is an encouragement to you, as well.

  • elizabeth Maness

    Thank you for this! I will be sharing it! My daughters were raised by this kind of dad! love it!

  • Kristen Dianne Rouse

    Dr. Kelly, this is beautiful! I’m 38, single, andI lost my father 6 months ago. I felt him in heaven, nodding as I read your eloquent words. It has taken years for me to see my own worth. How blessed your daughter is to grow with these messages. Thank you for reminding me of the how strong and beautiful the love that is be
    tween a father and daughter and as people die, as they tend to do….it never will!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Kristen, I’m sorry for your loss–you are young to lose a father. I am so glad to hear this letter was of some encouragement. Blessings to you, as I’m sure you continue to grieve.

  • Silvia

    This is beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. I found someone incredible a few months ago, and after years of thinking I knew what love was, thinking that having someone who payed attention to you now and then was it… he blew me out of the water and showed me what it really means to love someone, to be dedicated to someone, body, mind and soul.

    I think so many of us are taught at an early age that we have to change to fit other people’s perceptions of who we should be. My parents wanted to mold me, change me into their barbie doll, instead of treat me like the individual that I always was. So we learn to change, to hide behind the masks of what we think people want to see, all so that, that tiny part of ourselves, the shred of dignity that we have left, can live on in our hearts while we tell ourselves “yes, this is love” all the while the people around try to tear down the barriers you’ve erected around your soul, to remake you in their own image.

    Seeing a parent that doesn’t do that to their child, seeing a parent who knows what love is, and who is not only knowledgeable of it, but can explain it, is simply incredible. Philip taught me what love was, even after I’d never known it as a child…and somehow I knew with every smile, every cup of hot tea when I was sick, that without a doubt he loved me. Even when we don’t agree with each other on a topic, its not a point of contention, because we love each other for the essence of who we are as a person, and even though we’re different in many ways, its sort of like opening a book, and discovering something new on each page. Its a part of a whole, and even if we have our secrets, each secret told, no matter how embarrassing, no matter how dark our pasts, teaches us something new about each other and draws us closer in love, and trust.

    love is, and how to

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  • Kailyn Allen

    An excellent Message, very affirming and beautiful, and I wonder only: If your daughter’s choice of partner is not male would you tell her the same things? Does this have to be limited to only women seeking men? Couldn’t it apply as well to non-straight relationships and to men seeking women as well? Or did you intentionally limit this scope?

  • BJ

    What a beautiful sentiment! I hope your wife and daughter know how lucky they are to have you in their lives. I lost my beloved father when he was only 45, and I was just 17. He’s been on my mind a lot today, as tomorrow would have been his 70th birthday. I could feel echoes of things he’d said to me in your words. This is a beautifully presented life lesson that every woman should read, and take to heart. They say that many women marry men who have a similar spirit to their fathers. If so, you’re daughter is already blessed many times over.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, BJ. Blessings to you today, as you both celebrate your dad and, I’m sure, continue to grieve him.

  • Tony Lee Erickson

    Right on. Good man and father.

  • Kolman

    This article is flawed in every way. If every parent tell his child that her priority in a relationship is—the other person is interested in her, then everything else is negotiable. How about caring more for your spouse first before asking for something in return.

  • Sheryll Anne Belsky

    I cried reading this. My parents, unfortunately, don’t love me like this. Me just being me was not good enough for them. But I AM fortunate to have found that “boy” and we are now engaged. He likes that I am strong, sometimes he can’t stand when I argue, when we disagree, but he has also told me that he wouldn’t have it any other way (I tried backing down during an argument once, I thought it would “keep him interested [happy]” to have his way, I guess, and he asked what happened. He said the fact that I am outspoken is one of the things that made him fall in love with me, he didn’t like me just shutting up and shutting down, that’s not me.) He doesn’t care if I wear makeup or fancy clothes, we both have respect for each other, he is always 100% supportive of me in so many ways and, well, he’s amazing. So if I, a girl who didn’t have that parental support and unconditional love, was able to find this, I have no doubt that your little girl can, and will, too. 🙂

    • drkellyflanagan

      I am happy for both of you, Sheryll!

  • SAS

    I am 20 years old. I lost my dad at the age of nine. I always wonder what my dad would like say to my significant other. Reading your letter, I felt like my Dad was speaking to me about my significant other. Your letter is beautiful and has touched my heart. Every father less girl has felt the presence of a father through your letter. Thank you so much!

  • realitytest

    PS I most certainly didn’t find any such topic among “most popular searches”.

    And let me call my letter, “A Mommy’s Letter to Her Little Boy (About His Future Wife)

    Both spouses are required to act like grown-ups. This means, they
    each have to do their fair share to make the relationship work (as
    numerous counselors say, , this means at least 51%). And NEITHER one
    gets to be the recipient of unconditional love, such as a child gets
    (“cutie pie” – blekh – or not).

  • Dan Kooistra

    As a Father of 2 Sons I must say that it does take 2 to tango!! There are going to be times it needs to be about her and there will be times that will need to be about him. There will be times that will need to be about them as a couple. It is not all about her nor is it all about him.
    As a Father of 2 boys I do try to teach my Sons right and wrong. But once they have thier own home hopfully they act in a mamor that is the right way

  • Echo Mayernik

    I found this on reddit. And I must say, reading it out loud to my husband had me a little choked up. I found the “boy” you are talking about, and I want to raise a boy, like the one you are talking about. I will be writing a letter similar to this for my son. Thanks again.

  • KellyC

    Thanks, my father has long passed away, but I feel this is similar to how he would advise me and I really needed to hear it.

  • Kathy

    I have this type of husband and he amazes me every day. I feel I can be myself with him and through 18 years of marriage and one child (now a beautiful 11 year old girl!) I know I don’t have to try to change him or change FOR him. We love each other unconditionally and our daughter is the greatest thing that we have done together. Yes, we annoy each other. Yes, there are times when I want him to go away for a little while. But I always want him to come back and make me laugh and tell me he loves me. I don’t have to do anything to keep him coming home to me. He WANTS to. And it makes me love him more.

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  • Hana Hamdi

    Dear Dr. Flanagan,

    This is so touching, and I absolutely love it. This letter is a manifestation of something I have been trying to vocalize to myself and others, throughout my short life. As a young Arab American woman, I have felt my experience was very different than most in that my father wanted me to enjoy housework and house keeping so that I could fulfill my role in a family, ultimately for the benefit of my future husband.

    I mean, I would never compromise myself, my individuality, my intellect, my out-outspokenness to please anyone. Alas, I have yet to find anyone that values that about me. But I am willing to wait.

    Thanks so much for this, it is truly inspiring.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hana, you are very welcome, and I hope this Wednesday’s post is of further encouragement to you.

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  • realitytest

    I note with dismay that you reprinted my PS without the primary message to
    which it pertained.

    Your replies are overwhelmingly positive. Quite possibly, this is representative, but I wonder if you could give us feedback on just what selection/censorship process is going on.

    Here, I don’t feel my critique* was unjust or rude, so why did you handle it as
    you did? Summary of the meaning of my critique = implicit, that your comments were one-sided and could do harm, in

    1) encouraging little girls to grow up feeling unduly entitled in the marital

    2) neglecting the needs of boys (to be men) in the search for a partner.

    Neither sex has a corner on the insecurity market! Furthermore, I’m sick of the negative stereotyping of Mother in Law:, while giving a pass to Father of the Bride (to Be) which can embody at least as much of the same unbalanced support for meeting the needs of one’s “own child.” (The persistent “Daddy’s Little Girl” identity – which has no place in a relationship of two mature adults).

    Both sexes need unconditional love growing up, especially so (if possible) from
    the opposite sex parent. In my clinical experience, if this is forthcoming in childhood, the burning need for such support from one’s spouse, is absent – despite societal pressures. In fact, it islargely when one misses it in childhood, that one tends to seek out undue care-taking and support from one’s spouse. Men OR women!

    The marital relationship is rightly very different from one’s relationship with
    one’s parents. I think there is every reason to fear at least as much for boys’
    selfhood today as for little girls’. Just take a close look at academic achievement in today’s high schools – overwhelmingly dominated by female students. Likewise,
    medical school classes.

    The sexualization of even little girls is a phenomenon unique to girls and immensely damaging, but it does not equate to lack of support or “interest”.

    Another PS

    How are your replies organized? I had a heckova time locating my earlier response. Is there some chronology I failed to discern?

    complete pass on Father

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’d be happy to provide feedback regarding my comment policy. I reserve the right to delete any comment posted on the blog. Having said that, I have only deleted two comments on this post, both because they contained bigoted slurs. I did not see any comment from you before your PS post and was confused myself about why it began with PS. I don’t mind disagreement and I don’t have any problem with what you have said here. While I don’t personally agree with all of it, I also have two boys and would not hesitate to affirm their worth and the kind of loving people they should be seeking out in relationships. It just so happened that this was a letter to my daughter, because of the Google search. If you type in, “How to keep h,” you will see the number one search is “How to keep him interested.” Incidentally, we were wondering how to keep our coffee hot. 🙂

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  • Ana Araia


  • Marguerite Ransom

    I absolutely loved this….just brilliant! My 18 year old daughter read it and shared it with me out loud..and her eyes were teary as she finished. You hit this out of the park. Thank you!

  • Rayne

    too beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. I believe in spreading hope rather than fear and this is what this letter has done. I I’ve long disliked the idea of a woman belonging to a man. We do not need to be broken in first before you can use us.
    Live with us, stand with us, laugh with us, cry with us, win over the heart in it’s full glory and you have us for life.

  • NB_Liberallies

    Marriage is a two way street in which both sides give 100% of themselves to each other. It is a two way street in which both sides make sacrifices for the other. It is not all about the daddy’s “Little One” or about the man she married.

    Sacrifice=True Love
    True Love=Sacrifice

    And no, I don’t desire conflict with anyone. But there this culture of “me first, everyone else last”. This culture of “I am the most important thing, I don’t have to change for anyone.” Is what is destroying our nation, our culture. I run into this type of personalities in my line of work all the time, especially among the younger generation, recent college grads to early 30s. Sadly, I end up firing most of these type of personalities from their job because they are so clueless and so full of themselves and so incredibly self-fish.

    Sorry, if you want to be loved, desired, admired, sometimes you do have to change. I have been married for 10 years and plan to die married to the same amazing woman I married 10 years ago. We have both discovered that we must change in order to make a great marriage work. I have changed for my wife and my wife has changed for me. We have grown together. Her interests, some which I really did not care for in the past, are now my interests. My interests, which some she never really cared for in the past, are now her interests.

    It is this attitude that we most not change for those who we claim to love that leads to 60%+ divorce rate. It is the attitude that people claim they love their spouse, but are never willing to make a sacrifice for him or her, that leads to today’s alarming divorce rates.

    Be who you want to be, but know that there are consequences, good and bad, that you must learn to live with. This is what I will teach my little ones. If you don’t want to change for anyone, fine, but know there are consequences to that. If you want to change for someone, fine, but know there are consequences to this attitude too.

  • JamesDean Berven

    Yep, we are all special. Heard that before. Not true.

  • Weareallindividualsevenyourkid

    No one blames the audience for an uninteresting movie…Don’t be so quick to blame the boy. If you raise an uninteresting daughter, “the boy” won’t be interested in the first place to get to know her. No, she shouldn’t have to look up ways to please him or even go outside of herself to keep him happy (I 100% agree with you there), but if she does nothing other than look pretty, then we have that other scenario where “the boy” is accused of treating “girls” as objects. If your daughter is selfish and demands attention and expects for the man to “interest” her, then she isn’t going to be interesting either.. period. It goes both ways…
    Your little note to your daughter is cute, and I understand what you are trying to say, but I see something awry with your point of view. Either you assume that your daughter by default thinks a boy should have to do things to please you, or you are under the belief that it is generally accepted (might be) and appropriate (is NOT) that a boy must do things to please a girls father, and that “graciously” you are granting an exception to this rule…but isn’t that exactly what you are telling your daughter not to do? Even worse, without this reprieve from you to your daughter, the boy wouldn’t be trying to interest her, he would be trying to interest her father. So you are telling her its OK if he doesn’t. Congrats to you for being what a father should be – out of the way and “allowing” her to be her own woman. Yes, your note is “granting” her permission…

  • Fergus Gibson

    Wow. I am speechless. Those who know me will now be speechless since they have never seen me be speechless. I do not know everything about you, Dr. Flanagan, but perhaps I now know all I really need to. I am grateful to you.

  • Lynn

    Thank you for this letter. I lost my “Daddy” a week ago, before he could walk me down the aisle or tell me if he liked my current boyfriend (who exemplifies all of these qualities). Even if its not from him, I feel like I keep seeing little poems and letters from him everywhere I go. So thank you for helping me to hear my Dad

    • drkellyflanagan

      Oh goodness, Lynn, I am so sorry for your loss. I think sometimes when we are hearing the voice of a loved one in everything around us, it’s because the voice is actually within us. It sounds like you will forever carry your father around in your heart. I pray this time of grief will eventually lead you to a place of peace.

  • Q

    What if she is a lesbian and you don’t know it yet?

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  • girl

    Hi Dr Kelly,

    I red this post in Serbian today and I cried, because I realised that my father never said anything similar to me. …and I am aware that I know why I don’t love myself, why I don’t consider myself as beautiful and worth of interest, but I don’t know how to start to love myself now when I am not learned how to do it.
    Is there any other post of yours which you would recommend?

    Greetings from Banja Luka.

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’m so glad this post found its way to you. I wish I could point you to a post that would accomplish what you are hoping for. I think more than anything, a relationship in which grace is given and received will be most healing, and oftentimes that begins with a therapist. I hope you can find one who cares for you in the way you deserve. In the meantime, I’d recommend you to the Archives page and the posts on Grace. Blessings.

  • Kyle

    Have you ever considered that your daughter might grow up to be gay? Or choose not to marry a man?

  • Rebecca

    Dr Kelly. Thank you for this Post. About 2 years ago I found out that my husband of 9 years had cheated on me. We had 2 very young Daughters. In trying to cope with the situation and determine how to move forward, I did a lot of Internet searches for how to forgive and move forward together. In those searches, as you found, I would see lots of articles about how to prevent him from cheating. Some written by mistresses as advice to us wives on how to avoid this happening to our marriage. Like you I got very angry. While I certainly understand that it takes 2 people to make or break a marriage, the message these articles send and that many (not all) cheating men reinforce is that we, the wives are somehow to blame for their cheating. That their bad decision was a result of how we did or did not treat them. I find this article inspiring in that it takes the blame off of the wronged party and places it onto the person who committed the wrong. Which is exactly where it should be. Thank you for this article. I made him leave after he would not stop seeing her. Believing that I deserved a man like the one you talk about in this post and that my daughters do also.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Blessings to the three of you as you heal together, Rebecca.

  • Marci

    This was beautiful. So very beautiful! Thank you for sharing all of those thoughts with us 😉

  • LOL

    I feel like Zane is hiding something.
    So, Zane, when are you coming out of the closet?

  • Marielle

    You just made me cry. That was beautiful, sometimes we find the words of wisdom of a father in other people. And you can interpretive this, not only in the being enough for a man, but in being enough in anything. Like I’m worth it and I can do-be anything I dream and I fight for.

  • GHideg

    Dr. Kelly,
    You are the “voice” of my late father-in-law:) Seldom have I ever heard another man express so beautifully what you did in your letter to your Cutie-Pie. They are “laws” I have tried to live by for my wife for 25 years and now am hopeful for my 5-year old daughter. All I can say is “Preach it, Brother!”.
    Truly thankful,

    • drkellyflanagan

      And I’m truly thankful for your feedback. And encouraged to hear from another guy out there living it!

  • Tarek Sayed

    so true and simple…because…The Best Things in Life Are NOT Things……

  • Beaumont

    Dr Kelly, your article brought me to tears this morning. The first time a piece of writing has ever done so. Thank you.

  • Rachel Martin

    Just wanted to let you know, I shared this text in my Expository Writing class, and everyone absolutely loved it. Thanks so much for posting such a great article.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Rachel, thanks for sharing it with your class and for sharing such kind words of affirmation with me.

  • Ashley

    This was beautifully written! I was one of those without such positive messages of self-love and worth when I was younger and it’s so much harder to decipher those feelings now that I am older. I would have loved to read this when I was younger, although the most helpful letter would have had a line that went something like this:

    I don’t care if you fall in love with a woman or if he ends up becoming a she, or any other person…just as long as they are true to themselves and YOU!

    …Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely be reading more. 🙂

  • Swetha

    That’s so sweet!

  • Brian Pollard

    I would add a PS, of course: And, Little One, if he happens to be a SHE instead, that will still be perfectly all right with me, as long as she carries all the qualities that I listed.

  • Adriane

    When I was a teenager, all of the teen girl magazines had articles about “How to get him to ask you out,” and “How to get him to notice you.” My mother told me exactly the same thing you have written here. I didn’t believe her. I thought she was outdated. It’s the 90s! Equality! It’s cool to be forward! But, she was absolutely right, and I’m so glad that I learned that lesson from her.

  • puzzled

    This letter flips the responsibility to the boy keeping the girl interested. This is how high maintenance women are created. I also think it is an attempt for the author to validate himself as what he sees as “good boy.” Why can’t it be equal? Why can’t we walk the path of life, ahead of those that harm us, behind those that protect us, and beside those who choose to share the balance by walking next to us?

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’m puzzled, too. I’m not sure why affirming the worth of a woman is perceived as degrading to men or creating inequality between men and women. Unless we tend to perceive all relationships as a competition for limited resources? Love is a limitless resource. I believe there’s enough to go around.

      • bhwebb

        I believe some perceive the affirmation of the worth of women in this sense (your letter) as degrading to men because you only affirm the worth of men to the extent of what you believe they should do for your daughter. Unfortunately, the depiction of men as objects of female utility has become all too common and in my opinion, does create inequality between men and women in terms of relationships.

        As a father myself, I certainly understand the sentiment behind the letter. I want the best for my children as you do for your daughter. However, many respondents rightly noted that relationships are two-way-streets. Successful relationships are built upon mutual responsibility, effort, communication, compromise, trust, and so on regardless of gender. Yet, this message is absent in your letter.

        This post leaves me puzzled as well. I am not sure why we should affirm the worth of persons involved in a relationship in unequal terms and not only deem it as acceptable but also as a template for a successful relationship; because it isn’t.

        As a parent, I absolutely hope for my children to find partners that will treat them right. I also believe it is my responsibility as a parent to underscore the importance of my children treating their partners right as well.

        • drkellyflanagan

          Good point. I can’t imagine why we would want to affirm the worth of persons involved in a relationship in unequal terms. I hope my daughter will return the same kind of interest to her partner, not because she is being “kept interested,” but simply because she sees the deep worth in her partner. You might enjoy my post, “Marriage is for Losers,” because it emphasizes this kind of mutuality in marriage. Blessings to you and your family!

  • Jessica Kelliher

    This was honestly the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I am sure my dad wants exactly this for his “not-so-little” daughters. I thank God every day for putting the man you described in this letter in my life to be my future husband. Amazing words Dr. Flanagan!

  • Alyssa

    AMAZING article 🙂

  • Hannah

    Your message to your little girl is uplifting. Im also Asian and I’m with someone who accepts me. Whenever we’re arguing about certain things he’ll always say i love you in the middle of my arguments. He said that he’s happy im able to take a stand and not afraid to say it. Thanks

  • beeper

    Good advice. No one needs to a slave to their spouse.

  • Stewart Simpson

    Not to be the absolute cynic, but criticism brings with it enlightenment. Does this letter not further propagate the misconception that love requires work? Does it not feed the female ego that “he” has to earn me? I am sorry, but relationships take work of both parties. This letter assumes (not to be offensive, just the truth) that your daughter will be an angle. I am sorry, but women are just as guilty for the failure of marriage as men. The Hollywood misconception that prince charming will come and “make YOU” happy is wrong. Only you can make you happy. You should find someone who doesn’t complete you, but enjoying living with you. Honestly, I think this letter is a gross re-entrenchment of the female entitlement mentality that has come to dominate relationships in America. I propose an alternative. Switch the language to a more mutual, neutral one. Quite assuming women are angels and men and the ones who ruin everything. Statistically speaking, women seek divorce and cheat much more than men these days. IN MY OPINION, it is because of the very re-entrenchment of he must make ME feel a certain way. There is no we anymore in any of these dialogues.

  • Stewart Simpson

    Not to be the absolute cynic, but criticism brings with it enlightenment. Does this letter not further propagate the misconception that love is devoid of pain or work? Does it not feed the female ego that “he” has to earn me? I am sorry, but relationships take work of both parties. This letter assumes (not to be offensive, just the truth) that your daughter will be an angle. I am sorry, but women are just as guilty for the failure of marriage as men. The Hollywood misconception that prince charming will come and “make YOU happy” is wrong. Only you can make you happy. You should find someone who doesn’t complete you, but who enjoys living with you. Honestly, I think this letter is a gross re-entrenchment of the female entitlement mentality that has come to dominate relationships in America. I propose an alternative. Switch the language to a more mutual, neutral one. Quit assuming women are angels and men and the ones who ruin everything. Statistically speaking, women seek divorce and cheat much more than men these days. IN MY OPINION, it is because of the very re-entrenchment of “he must make ME feel” a certain way. There is no we anymore in any of these dialogues.

  • AreUbetteroff

    What world are YOU living in? I have a 29 yr old daughter. I’ve told her from a young age she has to be happy in her own skin and not bend over backwards for a guy. Wouldn’t you agree that when you get an iPhone 4 that when the iPhone 5 comes out, you will be in line at 3 am at the Apple store? Both guys and girls should put themselves and their happiness first. Follow me on Twitter @areubetteroff

  • AreUbetteroff

    Secondly, a girl doesn’t “stay interesting” by gaining tons of weight, buying expensive pocket books and millions of shoes, and talks/texts on the phone 24/7. It is the responsibility of both men and women (in my opinion) to be respectful, open, honest and understanding. It’s 2013, and we have to realize that their are so many young girls without their biological fathers in the home, that we have a train wreck on our hands. For the record, I’ve been married 30 yrs to the same woman and have a 29 yr old daughter and a 25 yr old son. I told them both, Lead, follow, or get out of the way. They both lead.

  • Chuck Doucette

    This is ridiculous and not at all helpful for his daughter or anyone that is going to be marrying her (probably at least 2 or 3 men if current marriage/divorce statistics are any indication). This dad is basically telling his daughter she doesn’t have to work at her marriage and just needs to be her little princess self to make a marriage work. Rubbish! As a person who has been married for 11 years I can say that marriage is WORK! His daughter is not going to be successful if she doesn’t try and do things that maybe aren’t “fun” or “fair.” Marriage is a two way street and if his daughter is not willing to give she will not have a happy marriage. People are taught in the country to be selfish and petty (just watch any reality wedding show on tv) both of which do no good when you are trying to spend decades of your life with someone that has also been taught to be selfish and petty. My advice to my daughter is this: When you get married, make sure the person you marry is someone that you will be willing to bend and reshape your ideas for and that is also willing to do the same for you. Do not be afraid of hard work, nothing worth anything is easy. Get your hands dirty and make sure you and your spouse play as hard has you work. Don’t be afraid to try new things and both you and your spouse will need to do things to “keep each other interested.

  • SunCatcher
  • Kasey Minnis

    This is simply the best thing I’ve read all day.

  • Manu Radhakrishnan

    How are you so certain your daughter is heterosexual? It is precisely this kind of unreflective heterosexism in which children are automatically assumed to be hetero that creates the closet. It is the duty of good parents who do not have religious commitments that demand seeing homosexuality as sinful and heterosexuality as unsinful to bring up their children with an awareness that they might turn out gay and that they will love and support them anyway.

    • AZ

      Although you make a good point, the article did specifically say that the google search was “how to keep HIM interested”. And I’m sure that if his daughter showed any signs of interest for the same sex, he would undoubtedly give her his unconditional support. That unconditional support and love and encouraging her to embrace her the way she is is what makes this article/letter so emotionally strong. One more thing, you said that it is the duty of good parents who do not have religion commitments to bring awareness to homosexuality and heterosexuality; however good parents in general should be able to accept their sexual orientation of their children regardless of religion.

    • guest2

      Parents can see homosexuality however they want. They can say that their religion “makes” them see it as a sin if they want, but they are deciding to believe that homosexuality is wrong, if that’s what they are deciding. I live in the US and each person certainly has the right to believe whatever they want and say so freely, but that comes with the responsibility of owning up. If you believe it is wrong, it’s not because Jesus or Allah or Yahweh or whomever twisted your arm into doing so.

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  • Michelle

    Fabulous! Just fabulous! Thank you for sharing it with all! Men, women, boys and girls alike…..we all need to hear it…..especially those of us who grew up in a time when parents (at least mine) couldn’t fathom the importance of sharing that kind of “self worth” message with their children. Wish I’d known of you when I lived in Lombard….although that was 20+ years ago and perhaps you were still just a kid. But I’m sure I could have learned from you even then as well. Keep up the good work helping others accept, internalize and really “own” their self worth. It helps make a better world for all!

  • Swati

    Hi. I really have only a suggestion. While girl children, young ladies, women across the world have been marginalised, down-trodden, physically and mentally abused … We need to also appreciate that the day has come, sadly, when women cry “rape” and often innocent men are bearing the brunt. A significant part of the new generation is probably going to grow up believing that women are right because they have been wronged for eons. We need to be very vigilant about this.

    In this scenario, the advice from father to daughter would be applicable from father to son too. Lots remind our girls that they too have the same responsibilities when they seek their man.

  • Claudia D.

    Dr. Flanagan,

    I can’t thank you enough for your impeccable guidance to young men and women. I am deliriously delighted to say that I found this on my 24 yr old niece’s facebook page. She has announced that she is no longer dating “someone” for the sake of “having someone.” She told the family, “the next time I bring someone home, it will be him, so don’t ask, and don’t worry about me. It may be a while, cause I’m not wasting my time with anyone else.” I am so proud of her and this is continued testament to the amazing, inexplicable wisdom that our family’s youngest generation seem to have. From my other niece who has decided with her husband to stay home and raise their own son, to my nephew who did his senior internship 3000 miles from home, found out he was a stem cell match for a woman with leukemia, and did the donation out there, all by himself, and this beautiful talented niece who found your article. She is stunningly beautiful, has a fabulous job with a great company. Travels all over the country, but has gone back to get her Masters in elementary education so she can be accepted by “Teach America.”

    I am so happy for all of them, and only wish kids everywhere had their joy, wisdom, and sense of worth. Again, many thanks. KELLY FLANAGAN FOR PRESIDENT!

  • RosemaryWessel

    Very nice. Just hope you also keep in mind that this works if her future husband turns out to be a future wife, too. 😉

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  • paulmclements

    Unfortunately, there are some in this society who seek to destroy the family, and they have deeply affected the family courts. In 90 – 97% of divorces, sole custody is awarded to the mother. Parental alienation by those mothers is typically ignored. So, many fathers lose contact with their children through no fault of their own. The following is from my own experience.


    Dear Danielle,

    I write this letter to the celestial ethers, as I haven’t seen you or talked to you in nineteen years. I have no idea where you might be living, now that you’re grown and on your own. I know you graduated from college, but I wasn’t invited to witness that momentous occasion. Neither was I invited to attend your high school graduation. I found out the date by accident, and attended anyway. Did you see me looking down at you from the balcony of the town hall? I managed to get a few grainy photos of you, resplendent in your cap and gown, and I sent one to you, to let you know I cared enough about you to be there.

    You didn’t acknowledge receipt of that photo, as you did not acknowledge any of the gifts and cards I sent over the years we’ve been apart. Every birthday, every Christmas, sometimes in between, I sent something, always hoping for a “thank you” card in return. Occasionally, I’d send a book that I thought might give you a clue as to what makes me tick. I guess that was selfish of me, expecting something in return for a gift. Maybe what I was really hoping for was too much to ask of you. I was secretly hoping that the act of writing a thank you card would be the beginning
    of reconciliation. Now, after all these years, I have come to suspect that perhaps you didn’t actually receive any of those gifts. At one point in the process of divorce between your mother and me, she told me she’d make certain I never saw you again. It’s called “Parental Alienation”, although you’ve probably never heard the phrase. In any event, it would seem that she made good on her threat.

    I never thought that would be possible, we were so close for so many years. It was me who got up to feed or change you in the first months of your life. It was me
    you came to if a toy needed repairs. It was me you called out to when you had a bad dream. I’d also like to think I was responsible for your love of music. I don’t think I ever told you how proud of you I was, to see you marching with the high school band, or performing in a recital in the high school cafeteria. Of course, by
    that time, your mother had a live-in boyfriend, and I was ignored in favor of
    your newly styled family. Do you remember how I taught you not to be afraid of mathematics? I had you adding and subtracting apples, bananas, and carrots, soon to be shortened to A + B + C = ?. I wish I had had the chance to tell you how
    proud I was of your excellent score on the math test for Johns Hopkins Univ. Who would have thought that apples, bananas, and carrots would lead to a score of 95th percentile on a national exam. I may have been looking on from a distance, but no dad was ever more proud of his child.

    Over the years, I’ve done a few things that might have made you proud of ME. I got involved in politics, because I saw a need for reform in the family courts. The bias and injustice toward fathers I saw there, which caused my separation from you, was so intolerable that I knew I had to do all I could to change it. Once, I had breakfast with a prominent candidate for the presidency. In another election year, I came to be known personally to still another candidate. When we moved to New Hampshire, I got involved with gubernatorial campaigns. I was asked to write a commentary for one candidate, and am still on a first name basis with yet another. When Craig Benson was elected governor of NH, it was me who convinced him to begin regular meetings with the family law reform group. I also spoke out on family law reform on every major television station in Boston. In fact, I regularly did editorial responses on Channel 5. I started a group for other divorced fathers,
    and have continued to be an outspoken fathers’ rights advocate to the present
    day. I also came to be a pretty good writer, and have been published in various media nationally and internationally. Many of the stories and commentaries I wrote were about you, and our relationship as father and daughter. They include three
    commentaries for New Hampshire Public Radio.

    Even my three years as a volunteer in the state prison were prompted by my anguish at being separated from you. It was just another letter to the editor, but it caught someone’s eye, and I was invited to apply for the volunteer leadership of the prison fathers group. I don’t tell you all this to brag. I just want you to know that you inspired me to greater effort, and higher standards than I would have achieved otherwise. So great was my love for you, that my anger at losing you to the divorce courts provides my motivation to this day. I truly don’t want any other
    father to suffer the same loss.

    So why am I writing a letter you may never read? In hopes that the Universal Consciousness will convey my thoughts to you, wherever you may be. In point of fact, I did make an effort to find your current address, and sent a letter. As for all the past nineteen years, there was no response. Maybe you moved, maybe you
    don’t care to have contact with me. It makes me wonder, did your mother’s
    alienation work that well? Maybe you married, and changed your name. That would be another event in your life I was not invited to attend. If you did marry, and if you have a son, I hope and pray that he will not lose a child the way I lost you. I may never know. I’m seventy years old now, and I see Morpheus waiting in the wings. I’ve just about given up hope of seeing you again in this life, so I write this as a last letter. End of chapter, end of book. Goodbye, my daughter, wherever you may be.

    (Author’s note: She did marry, in 2010)

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  • Awesome

    I showed this to my dad, and he was like…”wow! A father with similar thinking”
    Thanks! I loved reading this 😀

  • Danielle

    Tears. Thank you.

  • Michelle

    Thank you for writing this. I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading your marriage manifesto as well as your weekly posts.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Michelle, So glad you found the blog; welcome aboard! And I hope you enjoy the book!

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  • Bobby Qualman

    Lately I’ve considered doing something similar to this where I have a wedding of sorts with myself, and have my vows posted on a large canvas in my apartment, such as “I vow not to accept someone who doesn’t accept me as I am. I vow to always respect myself so that I will know I deserve the respect of others” and other promises to myself, and then sign it and have my friends sign it as “witnesses” and then I’ll always have something to remind me of those promises, and my friends will have something to point to whenever I break my promises to myself or others.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Bobby, This is incredibly creative, and I love ideas that seek tangible ways to internalize a sense of our worth. And I really like the idea of doing it in community, with friends who can hold you accountable. Good stuff!

  • Sarah-Jane

    i hope it’s ok if cutie-pie grows up and falls in love with a woman, too.

  • Chantel Mccune

    I wish I had a father like that every little girl deserves that Im crying thank you for your words

  • Shirley Meier

    It could also be a letter to your daughter’s partner! Plumbing isn’t as important as ‘good regard’!

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  • kendermom

    As a mother of daughters, I appreciate this. I will be posting it on my FB as well.

  • Anna

    This is crowd-pleasing silliness. Relationships will always take work. You may think that your daughter is the center of the universe but teaching her that will rarely lead to happiness. You SHOULD work to keep EACH other interested. If you search advice to men, you will see the same adages. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive to your husband. There is nothing wrong or abnormal with injecting some effort into a marriage.
    This is ridiculous. Life isn’t a romantic comedy.
    Nose twitching? Jesus. Try earth-shattering sex.
    You have no idea what girls really want.

  • kaywheel

    Well, the name “cutie-pie” in itself is pretty bimbo sounding and I think demeaning to women generally. The almost crude reference is heard on street corners all the time from men referring to passin
    g women. I know you of course mean no harm; however, I think it is indeed fair to say that the title carries with it a certain connotation that is not the best choice and most of all not in keeping with your article. Also, along with finding the “perfect man”, I suggest that each of us is complete in ourselves and whole and we should seek out our own goals and contributions that we might make instead of just finding the perfect “love fest.”.

  • Anna

    I wrote a comment disagreeing with the fundamentals of your essay and you deleted it. Censorship, nice. Are you teaching your daughter that, too?

  • Anna

    By the way, at the top of the list, above “how to keep him interested” is “how to keep her interested”.

  • Kay

    This was a pleasure to read, and a strong ending, too. I would perhaps add “and if that boy happened to be another girl, that is also alright.”

  • Eck

    Love it X

  • finally_happy_in_arelationship

    This has just hit the Australian media so I imagine you will get a lot more posts. For me I say thank you as more women should know this is the way to true happiness I am one of the lucky ones who (after many failed and bad relationships) has a partner the way you describe and I love him back the same way. I lost my job a few weeks ago and I don’t feel sexy, I have no real drive for intimacy right now, I find it hard to smile, I don’t want to cook or any of the other standard “domestic chores to keep him happy”, I’ve put on weight and have no energy to do anything about it right now….. Right when I feel like my world is falling down my husband is right by my side, loving me, supporting me, propping me up and remains interested in me every day. Together we will get through this bump in the road and he assures me that “this too shall pass”

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’m sorry to hear about your job situation but glad you have such a steadfast and loving companion! Blessings to both of you as you journey through this together.

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  • Julie Grimeland

    Cute article/letter, but it’s written like it’s a sure thing that the daughter will want to marry a man and have children. I would have liked it better if there was room for the daughter to chose a partner of any sex as well.

    • deago8

      “Dear Cuite Pie, I want to tell you about the living organism that doesnt need to be kept interested…”

      God! Really Dude?? This PC stuff needs to go away…

  • Ali

    I just want to say thank you for this. There are girls like me out there who feel like no one’s been interest in them and that no guy has or ever will look at us in such a way. We question what are we doing wrong to either be ignored or rejected. And it can get lonely feeling so unloved. I’ll be honest, I’ve done questionable things to get someone interested and I regret quite a few of them but always felt I needed to do so. Moments of weakness but I’ve learned from them and thankful in many ways. Just wanted to say we need more fathers like you. We already have the whole world against us, we need people close to us to teach us, guide us and build us up strong. Really, just thank you. I’ll stop rambling now

    • drkellyflanagan

      Ali, I don’t think you’re rambling at all. : ) Thanks for sharing and I hope you’ve found some encouragement to be patient and wait for someone who sees your worth. Blessings to you, Ali.

  • Samm

    I found this post somewhere on my Facebook news feed and clicked on it not really knowing what I was getting myself into. About 30 seconds in to the audio, I was brought to tears. My father died when I was six and he never had the opportunity to tell me any of these things. All I can say to you is Thank You. Honestly, thank you.

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’m sorry for your loss, Samm, and you are very, very welcome.

  • Angela

    Hi Dr Kelly,

    Thanks for your lovely letter – there are many little ones inside us who need to hear these words sometimes, and it’s nice to have someone else say this to our own little soul for a change.

    However, I think it’s worth noticing the assumption you have made both on creating a family and that these children will be for him. Having children, or not, is one of the earliest lessons young girls are taught as our role in this world. Perhaps it’s time we cease making this an inherent life goal from such a young age so our little ones can decide if that’s what we want from our lives.

    Thanks again

  • Zenster

    There has been much discussion on the dichotomy between “who i am” and “what I ought to do”. Personally I think it’s basically two sides of the same coin. Who you are is the “soil” from which your actions “the fruit” is grown from. Its not uncommon to hear the saying “the world/him/her/employer just doesnt see/appreciate/accept who I am.” To which I would say “How have your actions reflected your personal qualities?” Because in this world, it’s not enough just to be who you are, you actually have to demonstrate it in a constructive way that benefits other people. Because that is really the only way others can perceive those qualities. You are smart? When was the last time you came up with an innovative solution to a complex problem? Funny? Did you make your date laugh last night? Strong/righteous/argumentative? Did you resolve an issue or defended someone against injustice?
    Depending on the content, personally, I am not oppose to articles such as “How to keep him/her interested” Because amazing as each one of us are, some people do have problem translating their qualites into constructive actions. Bringing me a beer/sandwich? I (and I presume most people) love people who bring me food. Not just because i like the food, but because it shows they care. Make me feel smart? Thats awesome, it shows you appreciate my perspective.

  • Kate

    I love this. Thank you for sending this message out into the world. More boys need to hear it and become men.

  • Ian Masson

    I agree with everything that you have said. Having a strong sense of personal worth is very important. It is a great beginning. I also believe that we all need to have checks and balances in our lives. Since I can only change my self, I am continually knocking off the rough edges and polishing the diamond that is me. When the people around you see the positive changes you are making, it can inspires them to make positive changes of their own. In the long run you will attract people that are making the same changes as you or are already there. It is difficult to attract a clean great smelling person when you never take a shower. You need to be the type of person that you want to attract. I feel that this type of attitude makes me responsible for the change in my life. I am not relying on or blaming anyone else. I am free.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Ian, This strikes me as one of the best articulations of the subtext of my letter. And a beautiful illustration of the fact that, if we trust we have a diamond within us, we call forth the diamond in others. Thank you, and best to you!

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  • John

    I love the letter to Cutie Pie! Wonderful advice to a daughter that is clearly loved and appreciated for who she is. As a father, it gladdens my heart to see fathers taking the time to give such solid advice to their children at a your age.
    Another example of a father’s love for his daughter is the group of letters from a father to his daughter in the book “How Is My Champion?” a father’s advice for creating value in life by H Perry Curtis. A great read and I think you will find the same love and devotion in the letters in the book as you see in this letter to Cutie Pie.
    Well done and Thank You for sharing!

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, John! And thank you for such affirming words and for a great book recommendation!

  • Elise

    I’ve never rolled my eyes harder at any article. Congrats on understanding that women are worth more than how men objectify them I guess?

  • Everytom

    This is bullshit! This guy (supposedly Dr in psy) just shaping your child to feel entitled thereby missing on building a strong relationship by showing interest in his/her partner instead of me, me, me first. This is why the divorce rate is sky high.

  • KP

    My dad left when I was 2. He’s let me down my entire life. I’m 25 now, in graduate school, and I cried reading this. It’s a hard lesson to learn when you grow up without a father. Thank you.

  • Lydia

    AlI I have to say is thank you, thank you for being that boy and the man who said so.

  • Beautiful words

    To me that was beautiful and I hope to raise my boys to be like the boy you describe and to find the type of girl that is just as good back to them. 🙂 I think I have a good shot since they’re father is like that.


    Hi Dr Kelly,
    Thank you for sharing! The only thing I would like to do over again (from my past) is for my father to have had this knowledge on how to raise his kids. I know for a fact it would have made a “big” difference in all our lives. I’ve been told so many times to “let go of the past” or “learn from the past” but that had the biggest impact on who I am today. I am a 55 yr young woman who has dealt with “alot” of low self esteem all my life. I have struggled to be a strong person in spite of things so I may help my kids and grandkids in a positive way.
    My son has incredible knowledge to help others but doesn’t know how. He deals with bi-polar and a severe anxiety/fear disorder which has enabled him from accomplishing alot, but he has taught himself ALOT, from reading ALOT, and trusting in his higher power to guide him.
    My daughter is a beautiful, intelligent woman with two daughters of her own. My daughter has done a miraculous job raising her daughters to believe in themselves, to be strong and to share with others what they have learned in life. So that it will be passed down to generations to come. I couldn’t be prouder of my kids! We all have our barriers that makes life difficult.
    “Believe, it is never to late to help yourself”. So today is the first day of the rest of my life and with that I will keep trying to find the person I have struggled to find inside of myself.
    Thank you for helping me to express myself!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Susie, Your kids are lucky to have such a proud mom! Blessings to you as you move along on that journey we are all traveling, to become more who we really are.

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  • Kristen Adamson

    Dear Dr. Kelly,

    Someone shared this blog posting on Facebook and I absolutely loved it. I think this letter is simply put yet powerfully written – it’s such a great example for
    women and men around the world. If I had only one constructive comment to make
    it would be with regards to the comment stating, “as long as he can play with the children you give him”. Let me first say that I entirely agree with the intention of
    the sentence (and I’m sure you never thought beyond the intention), but I’m a blogger myself who’s dedicated to motivating and inspiring people who’ve faced adversity; and infertility is one of those things.

    As a young woman who always assumed she’d be able to have kids, I learned 4
    years ago, at the age of 20, that I have Premature Ovarian Failure – symptomatically like menopause. After being diagnosed, I’ve now changed my outlook on children entirely. I may not be able to “give” a child to the love of my life,but I will inevitably raise and love a child with him, somehow.

    After beating myself up for not being able to give the one thing that I felt I was supposed to, I now see that I had it very wrong. Women do not give children to men, but rather, couples create children together. Maybe not always biologically and maybe not even in a lab, but should they choose to parent, they will always create the notion of a child together and then make that dream come true no matter what.

    I write this to you, not to be difficult, but to instead challenge a societal trend of thought I’ve noticed that often indirectly puts pressure on women. While I wish with all my heart that your daughter will never have to face the deep sorrow that often comes from being labeled infertile, I have no way of knowing for sure.

    And so, with nothing but good intentions, I decided to bring this to your attention. Again, I know there was absolutely nothing but a beautiful heart behind writing this piece, but because of my personal story, I’ve made it my goal to challenge the way we view our lives; I feel it is my duty.

    Thank you very much for sharing this note.

    Kristen Adamson

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Kristen, Thank you for sharing such painful parts of your story. I know you and your husband will make wonderful parents, because you understand the value of it. I wrote that line, probably from the perspective of a husband who has watched his wife birth three children. Believe me, it feels like a gift. There is no way I would have the strength to do what she did. I am eternally grateful to her. But if she hadn’t been able to do it, her worth and my love for her would not have been diminished one iota. And, as you’ve learned, neither is yours. Blessings to you both as you begin the next part of your journey.

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  • mario

    I needed help I was going to lost my job and be homeless so I found dudu_magic_temple@yahoo.com online. i ask he cast a Success spell and Improve My Job Spell.it worked liked a charm I was able to keep my job and to also have another job offer that will start next week.thanks to the great caster dudu_magic_temple@yahoo.com
    http://www.dudumagictemple.webs.com .

  • michelle

    Thank you

    Also to the little ones without a dad, this was a nice read

  • Marina

    I got to read this sweet letter through a friend who posted it on facebook, and I just can’t explain how these words came to me just at the right time and reminded me of what’s important: self-worth. I’m a single Mom of a baby, the father left us soon after the baby was born, and it’s been quite a struggle to realize, just what you’re saying here to your Cutie Pie: he just wasn’t interested in me. didn’t love me. period.

    In my past relationships I’ve always been the one who tries to uplift, please, worry, and take care of the other, sometimes not even feeling like it or to avoid conflict, and I kept forgetting about someone: me.

    Now that I’m a mother I know I will be extremely careful who I let into our lives, and I’ve finally learned (through rough experiences) that the person who loves you will love you just for you who you are, and will want to be with you no matter distance or circumstances. Time will only adapt your relationship so that you grow together on parallel paths.

    I hope someday I meet that man you tell your Cutie Pie she’d stumble across once she’s recognized her self-worth.

    Thank you for your posts and your kind advice.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Marina, Thank you for sharing your story, and you are very welcome!

  • Angel

    I am crying. This was beautiful.

  • Danni Francis

    I love this! That is all 🙂

  • Gigi

    Great post! My 12-year-old daughter is beautiful, bright and confident, and she’s always been herself. It sometimes means she’s not in with the ‘popular’ crowd but she knows who she is and she doesn’t change herself for anyone. A boy who has a crush on her recently gave her a CD of a band she didn’t like. He wanted her to listen to it because he liked it and he wanted her to like it too. I was proud when she told me that she wasn’t going to like it just because he did. 🙂 That’s my girl.

  • Ruben

    May I echo the many other positive responses you have received regarding this most-encouraging letter. In my heart of hearts I believe it is the desire of most conscientious fathers that their daughters see themselves in this light. And that is what makes the practice of abstinence of greater importance. When an individual can resist the temptation of “being” like everybody else or “doing” what “they” are doing the can assure themselves of truly being who that they meant to be.

  • Wouldnt normally post….

    Is it just me or does this post seem a little bit ridiculous. I’m not sure if it was the repeated dedication to “Little One” or the actual fact that as i read this message, which appears, outwardly, to project the kind of message that i would like to portray to my child, that i get a sense that this guy is taking this in the wrong way? And that his message to his daughter is just a slightly twisted (and more emphatic way) of saying ‘keep him interested’. As how else are you meant to keep him interested if you, yourself, do not think you are worthy of that interest… It seems to me that this article is a falsified (and potentially invalid) portrayal of a good message that otherwise could be shown in a way that would better connect to people.

    For the message that this portrays i give my full support.
    However.. a 16 year old would have a better grasp of the formation of an unbiased argument and the use of their language…

    Dr. flangan do better or get of ze’ tinternet

  • Dorothy Johnson

    I love the advice you’ve given you’re little one. And, someday when she’s older (probably in college) she might see the truth in what you write. I spent quite a bit of my youth fitting in by changing how I looked, what I said, who I hung around….it was exhausting. This continued into my professional life (fit in the box to get ahead). I never really knew the real me. I decided about 16 years ago that I was done with that nonsense and almost immediately met the perfect match to me. He loved who I decided to be. There is change, but it was done together…thru shared experiences but never for the other, but rather the whole. Well said Dr…..I will pass this along to my daughter and grand daughter. Thank you.

  • Chris

    Beautiful note, Dr. Kelly.
    As in all things in life, you cannot please everybody, which is why someone would have something negative to say in response this.
    I do want to say one thing as a college-aged young man who has been in a few relationships, one of which has been serious and rather fulfilling:
    I find that the amount of young men (and young women if you had been writing to your son as it does indeed work both ways) that fit that profile of loving their significant other for who they are is dwindling nowadays, at least here in the US, don’t you think? It would be much less of an uphill battle for your daughter as she grows into this life if we begin to remedy the epidemic which has caused the deterioration of good loving commitment and the increase in materialism. This is not a recent issue, as it has been seen throughout history, but since it is not a recent issue, it has gotten to be pretty bad. This epidemic I speak of is an epidemic of the heart and soul. It is an amazingly wide-spread epidemic that affects the individual.
    Quickly to close, as I do not like to point out a problem without proposing a solution. The remedy here is love, and this love has to begin at the family level. I’m talking real, unconditional, constant, and self-giving love of parents for their children and for each other in contrast to the false love that appears to be had and desired. Once we, on an individual level, begin to act on this precept in our families, we can then incorporate that love experienced at home with each other as communities. That for sure will broaden the spectrum of young men fitting for your daughter as long as she grows up just as fitting for them (as I am sure she will 🙂 )
    Thank you and God Bless!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Chris, I don’t say this often, but…ditto! Blessings to you, as well!

  • a blessed Dad

    My Dad told me that for every jar there is a cover. My wife and I were 19 when we were married and before we got married, I asked my Dad if I really new what I was doing. He gave me some advise: He was 30 when he got married and did not know what he was doing. age does not have a lot to do with it. I better know what I am doing, I have to live with her not him. Fall in love with your wife every morning and treat her with that love and respect all day. It has been over 46 years now and I still fall in love with her every morning. She has blessed us with 2 wonderful loving boys and my ‘Daddy’s girl’. My children have found good spouses because they are good spouses. I am truly blessed.

  • Paul Muller


  • Karen McDiarmid

    some good advice, but please don’t make the assumption that your daughter has a “future husband” out there waiting for her. maybe she won’t get married, maybe she will prefer a relationship with a woman, etc., etc. i know your intentions are good, but your assumption is ill-informed.

  • Ali

    Thank you, I needed this so very much. Thank you for the right timing. I will give it a try and hopefully let you know how good it’s going!

    • Ali

      …let you know how good it’s going.


    Hello Every body
    Thank you thank you DR Saga mudo for the good work you just did in my life ,
    My name is JANICE WARLOCKS i was married to my husband for two years and we were living together happily and we both love each other for this two year not until one bad evening when i came back from work late due to scares of transportation and he started queering and he said he does not trust me anymore and he can continue with this marriage anymore and he drove me away from his house unknowingly to him that i was carrying his two month old baby inside me i tried informing he but he won,t listen to me anymore i thought i will never get him back again and i loved him so much and i promise not to rest until am able to get him back to my life so i began to look for a solution and help to get him back this was because i do not want to give birth to a fatherless child so one afternoon as i was browsing on my computer i came across a testimony shared by miss Rachael from UK how she got his ex husband back with the help of Dr Saga mudo of (obeduneedospelltemple@gmail.com) so i decided to give him a try and to my best surprise the spell this man cast on my husband work just within two days i contacted him . and today am happily living with my husband and a bouncing baby boy , with all this help rendered to me through this Saga mudo OF (obeduneedospelltemple@gmail.com )i will always thank him forever and testify his goodness in my life for other,s to hear an see , once again thank you DR for bringing back my family ,

  • Ruth Moore

    My name is Ruth Moore,Am from UK,i never believe there will ever be a solution to my relationship problem with my lover. my lover called smith moore threw me out of his house and brought in another lady who he now feels the only best for him. until one day i receive a phone call from a friend in the city that my man is going out on a date with another woman in town, i told her i am also surprise too, because since smith moore has left me he hardly think nor call me. so after some few days my friend called Martha called me and told me that she has found a man that is very powerful, and he is a great herbalist from Africa, truly we all knows that Africans are blessed with so much herbal voodoo powers which they use to help much people, so he told me that the man name is Dr. Iyaryi , that she will forward his email address for me so that i can contact him for help, so truly she sent me Dr. Iyaryi email address and i contacted him that faihful day. he mailed me after a great while that my man will be back to me if only i believe on his work,so after 25hrs i receive a phone call from smith Moore, and he started begging that i should please forgive him against all he had done to me.. he begged me of breaking my heart and letting the other lady a new heart. he promise me never to let go. now i and Smith Moore are now planning to get married as soon as possible. we are brought back with the great powerful love spell and blinded with Dr. Iyaryi spell, we are happy and glad. so i thank you sir for the great help you offer to me, because i think today this might be the only ways and means i can ever thank you of your work.. i am glad. you can contact him for a love spell today at: odulduspelltemple@yahoo.com thank you sir. Email him on: odulduspelltemple@yahoo.com

  • superwoman

    Hello Dr. and all,
    Thank you very much for this article. I thank God..I stumbled upon this and realized that I had this kind of relationship with my partner for 5 years. I’m tired keeping him interested all the time and by all means, we were in long distance relationship. After reading this, I realized how stupid I am to be in this position where all the power is in a hand of heartless man.
    So dear friends, if you felt that the relationship is not about us, is only about him/her. Exit and stop being a fool.
    And ya, we just broke up..and he dumped me real bad.
    Haha..looking forward for more great articles for you dr.
    God Bless. 😀

  • communicator

    The person who adores my daughter and puts the sparkle in her eye is a lovely young lady who embodies everything Dr. Kelly says. When you see true love between your child and another, your heart sings. They will be married soon, and I feel incredibly blessed.

  • someonenoteworthy

    Wow. What a joke. Not everybody is worth interest. Not everybody is special. Why dont you teach her to utilize her life effectively rather than let someone else decide how interesting her pussy is? You are harming her. Teach her to set her own goals. Teach her that if she wants a good guy to be interested and stick around, she has to act the part. Otherwise you will have another self destructive, unproductive slut running around. She will have guys “interested”, and since she has no ability to evaluate herself, she will never know whetheror not that interest is for the right reasons. Good job. Nobody is noteworthy unless they do something to become noteworthy.

  • Ana María Aguirre Cañas

    You letter has traveled all around the world. Thank you for sharing your thought with all of us. I will try to find that kind of guy, the one who loves me for who I am. Regards from Colombia 🙂

  • bartskid1

    This is exactly what all women should be taught. They’d be better partners and have healthier relationships if their father’s loved them, valued them, and their Mother’s this way.

  • Sharon

    What wonderful words which I feel will help so many people out there. In today’s Society we all feel the need to please others etc etc and sometimes seldom be our true selves. You have captured it from a Fathers point of view so I will share this on my FB to try and help others out there – Thank you 🙂

  • Alyn

    Oh my goodness. This is so very sweet.

  • Isabel

    Thank you so much for writing this! Every girl needs to read this!! You are amazing.

  • bartskid1

    I cried my heart out when I read that. My Dad and I only found each other when I was in my 40’s because of ‘secret’s other people kept”, and so I never had one growing up to mirror “me”. The secrets of other people kept us apart. Although he is gone now, I treasured every one of the years we had with gratitude because of the healing his love gave me daily, once we did find each other….He did convey to me these thoughts in hundreds of letters I still have, and that letter ” Dad to his little girl” could have been from him ( “little girl” was his nick name for me even at my age). Great reminder. This is why all “little girls” need a dad, a real dad to mirror them. Thanks so much for posting that, it was like getting an email from him, (from where ever we return to when we die), and thanks for your web site. How can anyone ever hope to have a healthy relationship as a woman unless they first had a father’s unconditional love first. Perhaps you could do a page on ‘How Secrets hurt people”..I’m new to your site, still reading through it all in wonder, just found it late last night, it was sent to me from a friend. Thanks so much.

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’m so glad you found us through the letter! Your story of reconnecting with your dad is incredibly touching. I’m grateful to hear my words felt like another kind of reconnection with him. I always appreciate blog post ideas, and that is a great one. It’s now officially percolating!

  • KM

    I feel at peace. I can’t even tell you the countless videos I’ve watched that have told me in a non-direct way that “I” alone was not enough for him. I never had a father who could pass down that wisdom and while reading this I imagined it to be the father I never had.

    Thank you, Dad.

  • Crystal Mott

    Dr. Flanagan,

    My mother shared this on my fb feed and said that my father would say that this describes my husband. Reading what you wrote made me realize that my husband does exactly everyone of those things. I never realized it till I read what you wrote. this brought me to tears because I know my father would say these exact things to me and I know he is watching over me from heaven and smiling cause I found the perfect guy for me. Thank you very much and hopefully one day our paths will cross and my family can thank you properly.

    Mrs. Crystal Mott

  • Sugar_Spice

    Dr.Flanagan I came across this letter at a time when I need it most in my life. I am a married women who just had a baby a few weeks ago & don’t feel the best about my relationship lately. Your letter made me remember that I am important & worth it. Thank you

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  • mother of four daughters

    I love the sentiments expressed in this letter, especially the “I don’t cares”. The reader comments about entitlement are, I suppose, understandable since the “me-first” culture is raging all around us. But entitlement is the result of excessive self-absorbtion, not inflated self-worth. The antidote to raising entitled children is to model/teach the value of serving others so that children grow up experiencing the true joy of connecting with one’s fellow man. There is nothing wrong with a girl bringing a guy a sandwich (or vice versa!), not “to keep him interested” but rather because she cares, which is an entirely different scenario!

  • Michael Wolf

    I appreciate that you’ve spent a long life studying human behavior but you should get a refund for your textbooks if they told you that telling your girl that she’s special and inherently worthy of attention would save her from relationship problems. I’m your age but instead of a family I have herds of broken daddy’s girls. They were told they were special because they were a girl, they were never told that they had to make sacrifices in a relationship or that they needed to earn someone’s respect. They had the confidence and self-esteem to have boys grovel and plead to be with them but they never learned how to make someone else happy so their relationships and marriages ended in disaster. They never learned what it takes to actually be interesting so now that they’re not the cutest girl in the room they can’t figure out how to attract a partner. Saddest of all they never learned that respect has to be earned and that the hardest respect to earn is your own so they eagerly degrade themselves for anyone that reminds them of daddy and they fall lower each time their relationships fail.
    I would never tell my little girl that she is special for being my girl or being beautiful or smart. I would in fact remind her that the world is packed with girls just like her and that there is nothing special about her that she doesn’t make special. I would tell my girl that this world owes her nothing, that she must earn every kindness and grace that she is shown. And I would teach my little girl that if she cares about someone she should make them a sandwich and bring them a beer because that’s what you do for people you care about.

  • Sue Delle Ellis

    Dr. Flanagan, Thank you so much for putting these ideas out in the world. It has taken me many failed relationships, years of counseling & suicidal depressions to
    partly heal because I grew up with an emotionally distant father who always seemed angry & a controlling mother who saw everything I did as wrong. I was suicidally depressed at the age of 16. This was decades ago when counselors still had a separate door for you to leave by so that patients wouldn’t see each other coming or going. It was all very hush, hush & nobody admitted to needing counseling. It was a “Leave It To Beaver” world where the idea of a suicidal
    teenager, which seems so common today, was never heard of. I understand that my parents did the best they knew how to do. Thankfully they even provided me with a college education which enabled me to have a well-paying career that paid for all the counseling.

    Otherwise I doubt that I would still be alive today. Please keep spreading the idea that every one is different, that they should be loved for who they are and have their own individual differences respected and that each individual deserves that love and respect. There’s a reason that our beautiful

    world has been populated with every person as a unique individual.

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  • Swata

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  • Rue

    that was very beautiful. Hopefully we can all find men who resemble what you would want your little girl to have.

  • Sandra

    this made me cry in the office! Thank you so much! this is so true and now I am sure have found the one 🙂

  • JustinV

    It sounds really nice. But…? Wouldn’t it be nice if you just taught her how to be half of a loving relationship, rather than an egocentric girl with dreams of being unduly idolized by her husband. Teach her what guys like and how to treat people well. How nice would it be if she was in a relationship where she felt compelled to make her husband a sandwich (the example you used) just to give him a happy surprise. And, wouldn’t it be nice if he was the kind of guy who was sincerely appreciative and reciprocative with kind gestures, in turn. And, who is this hypothetical guy that you’re describing? He appears to have no interesting qualities. Or at least, no particular characteristic appears to be important except that he is eternally adoring of his girl, regardless of how she behaves. You suggested she just behave like herself. But, what is that anyway? Don’t we all have the potential to put our best foot forward at any given moment? Is “yourself” really as concrete as all that? Or, should everybody strive to be a better, more interesting, more helpful, more considerate version of themselves, as much as they can? Likely, your daughter will meet many men who love her more than she deserves, more than she has earned through her reciprocated behaviours. And, she will like these men less for their excessive interest. Further, these men will be excessively interested because she is “out of their league,” based on a discrepancy in the random genetic lottery of procreation. In fact, she will probably like the men who try the least. She will like these men because they are more or less out of her league. The act of idolizing someone only accentuates the discrepancy in a way that turns the somewhat intangible into a formidably palpable barrier to relationship success. That is human nature. Teach your daughter the “laws of attraction.” Don’t contribute to her failures in dating by enticing her into believing in an egocentric, unrealistic utopian dream.

  • WenD

    When i saw the date of your letter , it made me cry .. April 17th is actually my birthday..this year I turn a year older but I have not been able to find the right guy.. It’s exasperating as I can’t look young forever..Even my pretty girl friend who is also searching doesn’t understand why I should still be single.For the first time I googled “handsome church boys” to see what results it churns..Yours was the first post I click on.. There are so many days in year..and it has to be April 17th. I seriously believed God used your Letter to remind me the core values of being a woman of interest to decent guys left out there.. Handsome guys I have seen and dated 1 too many.. I refused to use my body to keep them interested..Your Letter also remind me that God is eternally interested in me.. Though I feel the uphill task of meeting the One that will really do whatever it takes to win my heart..

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  • Nancy

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post! My own dad instilled these values in me (albeit during visitations), my own incredible husband lived this, and I hope my 3 beautiful daughters will hear it. Having lost my husband at a relatively young age, I am in need of hearing this again, so thank you!

  • Yours truly

    Well you say your a Christian but in the bible it says if you are a Christian then you are not supposed to marry anyone outside of your religion look it up (2 Corinthians 6:14)

  • Aubyanne Meletio Poulter

    So glad I found this. I’m one of the few blessed to know this voice; it reminds me very much of the messages my own father has strived to impart to me. They are precious, and at times, what’s stuck in my mind above all – along with the same points being independently stressed by my mother, of course – a strong, courageous woman much like your wife. Thank you for sharing this.

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  • marsha

    this is beautiful!

  • Ax’sMom

    I love this. Thank you. 😉

  • Hanger

    I used to think Spell was bogus but after Kim left me I felt open-minded to
    try it. Maybe I was desperate too. But this is real! In just 48 hours
    hours, Dr yaro restored the love we had for each other back. I didn’t
    expect the spell would work so fast. it has only just 48 hours since you
    cast the spell and Kim is already after me!! Since last week-end she phoned
    at least 5 times. I believe she seems to realize her mistakes. It’s
    absolutely happening as you said!! Thank you! Your work is helping me so
    much… Without you I would feel so lonely and miserable… Thank you!

    I want to express my warmest gratitude to priest oluba. I’ll never ever
    forget all the happiness you gave me. Each time I’ll go to the Church, I’ll
    pray for him. I highly recommend priest oluba to you for whatever problem
    you are experiencing whether is love, money or psychic powers. He is
    powerful. You can contact him on FLOURISHHEALINGTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM
    Country: UK

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  • Philip Santiago

    in spite of it all, have the courage and guts to go your own way,and take responsibility for ALL your OWN choices. It’s YOUR life, nobody else’s!

  • David

    I see a lot of women identifying with this article and I want to run with it. But I can’t, because I’m tired of hearing it. I’ve read a thousand articles like this in the last ten years, and each person writes it like he’s the first. But he’s not. He’s… the thousandth. And this is not to say women don’t suffer from poor self-image, or don’t benefit from reading these things, or shouldn’t have fathers who treat them well. Of course they should. It’s just that it really is ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE all about women. With men committing suicide something like 5x as frequently as women, committing violence more frequently, going to jail more frequently, abusing drugs and alcohol more often, isolating more often, ditching family more often, etc., you’d think someone out there would throw us a shout-out once in a while, a word of encouragement. “Throw me a freaking bone here, Scott.” Here I am this evening planning my suicide after having been suicidal/depressed for close to 20 years, and in the process of searching the Internet for ways to put this plan together I come across this article, a virtual clone of so many others I’ve read in the past, about the inherent worth of… girls. Nothing against those girls but — Hey guys, I just want to mention I’m still here – thanks. Oh, I guess I just have to wait my turn. Waiting. Waiting… Still waiting. OK, I get it: If you’re a woman, your worth is inherent, but for us men what counts is the level and quality of our performance, and if that’s lacking we may as well drop dead. Right, I already knew that. I’m on my way to being another trivial male statistic, not that that bothers anybody. Peace.

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  • Nichole Hanson

    This is all assuming that she wants a man. What if she turns out to love women?? Do you still wish that she finds the woman of her dreams with these same qualities????

    • Nichole Hanson

      NM! I just read your response below. 🙂

      • drkellyflanagan

        No worries, Nichole! It’s an important question to ask. Better to ask it twice than to leave it unasked! : )

  • Alvin

    There are so many comments here, so no doubt someone has already said some version of the following, but here it is anyways. This is a great and beautiful post, and I appreciate the timing of this coming out so close to father’s day.

    As a man who is very much looking forward to being a father one day, I worry sometimes that today’s world de-emphasizes the role of dads and pre-supposes that they will be at best silly goof balls, and at worst dead-beats.

    I think more men who are fathers (or hope to be fathers) should aspire to be the very best and strong people they can be for the sake of their children (or children to be).

    Hopefully your post can be one way to encourage this.

  • LuckyGirl77

    Love this post! As I read it I realized you perfectly describe my boyfriend, affirming, once again, just how blessed I am! I haven’t always been in a relationship like this one. In fact I was in one quite the opposite for over 10 years. I used to think it wasn’t reality, that it doesn’t exist. I’d day dream about a different life, one where I was appreciated and loved and I was able to do the same in return. Well, these relationships DO exist! People shouldn’t settle for less, we’re worth more than that. 🙂

  • Eliza

    If she turns out to be straight, wants to get married, wants to have children. You know… if.

  • nillyn

    Thank you for sharing this. This has been truly insightful. Keep it up.

  • adadadadadad

    there’s a peepee in every poop!

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  • Jenny

    This is an absolutely wonderful, uplifting post. I’ve share it with everyone I can think of. I wish more dads were like you. Thank you for this. I am putting it on my refrigerator for my boys to read so they ‘get it’. I already sent it to my girls.

  • LJSomers

    Dear Dr.:
    Thank you so much for this post. My own father was unable to communicate these things to me, yet I believe he would have if he had been able. Your words and wisdom are something that I will teach in my classroom to all my girls when we have our monthly “girls lunch”. I will spread this letter to my at risk teens whom I work with weekly through my life coaching and who need to understand themselves. I will deliver this message into our juvenile hall when I go for my bi-weekly visits to the girls. But, most of all I will read this letter to myself when my self worth is slipping, and I am a bit lost.

    Again, all I can say is, “thank you”… your “cutie pie” is a very lucky child.

  • Kristen


  • Mag

    Coming from a conservative country (an Asian one, obviously), women have patterned their lives to the preferences of men. I have always been stubborn and have never really liked the idea of that.

    My friends and my family have been worried about that fact but I am who I am and now, I am happily with someone who accepts me and respects me for that. It’s true that change is a part of how relationships work and my boyfriend and I have been deciding together on the right changes to make, and when I say right, I mean the changes that will help us maximize our potential as individuals. Of course it hasn’t been easy but that’s a part of it too. It takes two people to make a relationship work, not just the man, or the woman.

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  • rational_to_a_fault

    A boy asked his mom: “How will I be able to find the right woman for me?”

    The mom answered: “Don’t worry about finding the right woman, concentrate on becoming the right man.”

  • LiveLoveMusic

    That is a wonderful thing to say to those out there. You are a wonderful father.

  • Corynn Hanson

    I fixed the letter for you:

    A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Partner)

    Dear Cutie-Pie,

    your mother and I were searching for an answer on Google. Halfway
    through entering the question, Google returned a list of the most
    popular searches in the world. Perched at the top of the list was “How
    to keep him interested.”

    It startled me. I scanned
    several of the countless articles about how to be sexy and sexual, when
    to bring him a beer versus a sandwich, and the ways to make him feel
    smart and superior.

    And I got angry.

    Little One, it is not, has never been, and never will be your job to “keep him interested.”

    One, your only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable
    place that isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)

    you can trust your worth in this way, you will be attractive in the
    most important sense of the word: you will attract a person who is both capable of interest and who wants to spend their one life investing all of their interest in you.

    Little One, I want to tell you about the person who doesn’t need to be kept interested, because they know you are interesting:

    don’t care if they put their elbows on the dinner table—as long as they
    put their eyes on the way your nose scrunches when you smile. And then
    can’t stop looking.

    I don’t care if they can’t play a
    bit of golf with me—as long as they can play with the children you give
    them and revel in all the glorious and frustrating ways they are just
    like you.

    I don’t care if they don’t follow their wallet—as long as they follow their heart and it always leads them back to you.

    I don’t care if they are strong—as long as they give you the space to exercise the strength that is in your heart.

    couldn’t care less how they vote—as long as they wake up every morning
    and daily elects you to a place of honor in your home and a place of
    reverence in their heart.

    I don’t care about
    the color of their skin—as long as they paint the canvas of your lives
    with brushstrokes of patience, and sacrifice, and vulnerability, and

    I don’t care if they were raised in this religion or that religion or no religion—as
    long as they were raised to value the sacred and to know every moment
    of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred.

    In the end, Little One, if you stumble across a person like that and they and I have nothing else in common, we will have the most important thing in common:


    Because in the end, Little One, the only thing you should have to do to “keep them interested” is to be you.

    Your eternally interested guy,


    **Just because the letter was written in response to articles about women pleasing men, that does not change the fact that the letter is heteronormative. And it’s an easy thing to fix. It’s a lovely letter, it really is, but the original is still telling daughters that the expectation is that they will find a boy. And creating expectations like that for your children is just as bad as out right saying that being gay is not an option for them.

  • Katie

    Thank you for writing a letter I wish my dad had written to me. Funny thing is: I found just this guy and he married me 21 years ago this coming Thursday. With him as a daddy to our two girl cutie pies and two boy cutie pies (Can you be a cutie pie at 19?) he has been a shining example to our children of the kind of partner we want ALL of them to have. Someones who think they are each important enough to invest in for the rest of their lives.

  • Heatherj

    This made me cry, but in a good ache-y kind of way. When my sons get older and start expressing an interest in dating I’m going to have them read this letter in hopes of provoking them to think about why they want to date that girl/boy exactly. And to let them know I feel the same away about them, and have the same hopes about their future partner.

  • louis

    My boyfriend broke up with me 6months ago..saying things like, I want I be on my own, go out with mates, we weren’t getting on anymore. Which I thought was bizarre because we would always joke around, we were together for 4&half years. Took him only 2 months to find a new girlfriend he seems to of forgotten all about me,i cry all day blc of the love i have for him, one day i was online i and came across Mrs jenni sharing dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com i also contact him and explain every thing that happened to dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com he told me not to cry that he will help me cast a love spell that will last forever and Dr Eromuse did after the love spell my man came home telling me that he have forgot about the other girl that he still love and cherish.

  • thunderkitty

    This was just beautiful and rang of truth and inspiration….just wow

  • Roscoe


    Just wanted to add this to your letter. In the LDS faith, we teach our young men and young women about self worth, our divine lineage from our father in heaven and what worth really matters.

  • Dave

    Just out of curiosity, do the same rules apply to men? Like if I get married, does the wife have an eternal obligation to be with me even if I become uninteresting? Am I always interesting just as the mystery girl in the story is? Like, what If I become an overweight slob that lets himself go, loses his job, and becomes severely lazy? Am I entitled to have my wife stay with me simply because we’re married, we took vows and everyone including me is always interesting?

    I’m kind of skeptical of this everyone is special attitude. If the wife I love ends up going on a killing spree or cheats on me, I promise you, I will lose interest and I will file for divorce. People change and sometimes they grow apart. It’s the reality we live in. Anna (who provided a comment below) is actually right. Life isn’t a crappy rom-com. Life is difficult and beautiful and much like our beautiful relationships, they typically end at some point. If your relationship ends, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It just didn’t work.

    I agree with not trying to change the other person part though. Typically when I see a girl trying to change me, I lose interest and continue the search to find someone who loves me for who I am. I’d expect any girl to do the same thing in a similar position and not only am I okay with that, I actually encourage it. Break ups can actually be healthy for someone’s life.

    • Dave

      Also, if anyone including the author disagrees with me, don’t just down vote me, engage in a conversation and let me know what you think. If I came of as hostile or sarcastic in the beginning, I didn’t mean to. I was simply providing another view point. It’s interesting reading these comments and different points of view on love. If only Oscar Wilde were alive to see this. 🙂

      • drkellyflanagan

        Hey Dave, The author here, and no down-voting from me! There is a LOT in your comment, and I actually appreciate your thoughtfulness. I will just leave a couple of brief reactions and then invite others to weigh in, assuming they can be as thoughtful in response as you were in commenting. First, yes, it absolutely applies to men, as well. It has been interesting to me to watch this fallacy play out in comments that affirming the worth of a woman must mean that we don’t affirm the worth of men. Worthiness is not in short supply and there is plenty to go around–the sexes need not be in competition over it. Second, yes, as a therapist, I am in a position to take the time to get to know everyone, and I’ve discovered that underneath all of our attempts to look uninteresting and undesirable (usually to keep people away because were are scared and ashamed of ourselves) is an incredibly interesting and unique person. I always consider therapy a success when a person has met at least one other person outside of the office who sees them at that depth as well. I simply wanted to encourage my daughter to see herself at that depth, so she wouldn’t sell herself short trying to earn a sense of worth from anyone else. Again, I would love to hear what others have to say…

        • Dave

          I go into relationships knowing that statistically it’s not going to work out. That seems depressing but it’s actually beautiful. A relationship that I know might have an expiration date just means that I cherish each moment that much more because it might not last. A metaphorical way to make my argument is “If we were immortal, would we ever do anything? Would we have ever built the pyramids?” Relationships are never immortal and usually end in sorrow. That doesn’t mean it was pointless…

          Some of the commentators are simply just reaffirming some idealistic view point that married couples should stay together no matter what. You’re letter technically doesn’t say that but they are interpreting it that way. I was providing an outside view point that although the statistics are against you, you should embrace the possibility of breakup and use that as a reason to build something beautiful (or metaphorically speaking, pyramids).

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  • Kensington Mums

    Great honest post on rasing gurls and teaching them true values of life and love.

  • Becky

    I am so very grateful that my daughter found this and posted it today on Facebook. Her father died when she was 6 and she has struggled with his absence ever since. She just broke up with her boyfriend of 2 years and I believe God intended her to find this in order to confirm that she has done the right thing. Thank you so much for reaching out to so so many young people. I am very grateful!!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Becky, I’m sorry for you and your daughter’s loss. She must have great courage to end such a long-term relationship, because after the loss of a father, initiating another loss can be very painful. Thank you for sharing her story. And you are quite welcome, it’s truly my pleasure to be reaching out in this way!

  • Kiite

    I married a man just like that and we are raising 3 more.

  • SGillhoolley

    Wonderfully said, and I agree with every sentiment expressed. Our daughters will respect themselves and others, and the result will be a good life.

  • Jessica

    this was simply beautiful. i hope to one day look back and know i’ve raised my son (and any future children) to mirror these traits. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to relationship and commitment between two people. Thank you.

  • Wishful

    Unfortunately, there are too many mothers out there who place zero value on themselves and never teach their sons the correct way to treat a woman or set the right example. Low standards and examples breeds the same. Boys are taught that its ok to objectify women, that its ok to oggle even in the company of the person they “love,” etc. etc., and if you protest, youre labled as an insecure woman. Setting standards for yourself is now thought of as insecurity to most and its discouragig and unfortunate.

    • Wishful

      Therefore, the “boy” grows up to treat women like objects for his pleasure and they need to turn a blind eye, do what they can to try and keep him from straying, and accept being disrespected on a daily basis.

  • Asha

    What an incredibly lucky young lady your daughter is to have such insightful parents! A father’s worth and presence in a girl’s life is priceless.
    Thank you for this…

  • Jeannie

    Thank you for this. The power and love and wisdom of your words have moved me deeply. It is the guidance that I have been seeking, without even knowing it, all my life. As a child of divorce and a survivor of childhood sex abuse who has never been in a secure, successful relationship with any man, this letter means more to me than I can express.

  • Frank Sciano

    Nice letter!

  • Patty Giraldi

    Letter is TOO one-sided. Men should be encouraged the same way this letter is instructing the girl. Females CAN keep men “interested” easily, in many ways AND men can keep a woman interested. I wouldn’t dream to suggest that “being you is good enough” because if it were, why do so many relationships & marriages fail? Lack of interest is a common thread. I suggest BOTH men and woman do something to engage their mate. Human become bored with regularity and both sexes should strive to be interesting at different orders of magnitude and irregular intervals. As a Male friend once told me when be BOTH check out a pretty girl at the mall “Patty, just think, SOMEONE is tired to sleeping with her.” Fair point. It is humanity’s best interest to desire to procreate with the opposite sex. Social engineering and socially accepted taboos corral us into outwardly admitting “you’re good enough” while quietly thinking “I need someone new”, which, in this case, new=interesting. How many times can you listen to the same song over and over in a row until you want something else. Someone, somewhere many years ago who failed at finding many mates started a rumor that it is best to just ‘be yourself’ and someone will find you interesting. Really? Go with luck-of-the-draw?? I say to men and women: influence your mate selection and get someone you really, really want by taking charge of your looks, clothes, hair, and be a genuine person (not fake) and know that this letter should be for men and women. But, know that to find a mate you really, really, really want takes more than just what this letter suggests. Otherwise we’d all win all the time by doing what this letter suggest. “The things that come to those who wait are the things left over by those who got there first!!!”. So work and BE interesting. Don’t just be. That would be the lest you can do and you’ll get what you attract and deserve.

  • Robert Lallier

    Why anger? Can you entertain the idea that what you might find objectionable in those articles is nothing more than semantical failure and possibly misunderstanding? What if, instead of being titled: “How to keep him interested,” those articles had instead been titled “How to be interested in your partner,” yet had precisely the same content? What if the articles in question were directed at men, and gave them ideas about how to express their interest in their partners? Surely your essay here says the same thing: you want the man whom your daughter chooses for a companion to be interested in her. Had the articles in question been directed at men, and were titled “How to be interested…” instead of “How to keep her interest…” would they not be expressing the exact same goal your essay espouses here, with one difference: instead of just pointing out the necessity of mutual interest, the article is offering suggestions for how to keep conscious of the things you find interesting in your partner, and more importantly: how to demonstrate that interest? When women, or men, for that matter, act to “keep their partner’s interest,” are they not themselves acting out of a sense of interest in their partner? How does one show one’s parter that one is interested? Perhaps it is in demonstrating that my partner’s interest is important to me. You say your Cutie Pie does not have to do anything to keep her partner’s interest other than “be herself”. Really? Are you claiming that love is only a verb of being and not action? Does she not need to be as interested in her partner as you hope that he is in her for any sort of relationship to work? Is it possible that you are presuming that, being your daughter, she will never experience problems in that area, that you will innoculate her against that shortcoming and that your lessons and examples will take with 100 percent success, such that she will never need some article to tell her: “How to be interested in, or express your interest to, your partner”? Is it possible that your sensibilities have been tweaked by the idea that your offspring might find value in such an article? What about those women (and men) who have not the benefit of your tutelage? Might they not find something helpful in an article which gives them ideas about how to be interested in their partner and how to express that interest, even if the article is titled in a way that suggests it is instead about “keeping one’s partner’s interest”? Is it possible that in at least some of the cases, your objection is more about the semantics of the title or in the way the advice of the article is pitched than it is about the actual actions such articles promote?

  • freedom

    i am 32 years old turning 33 this July, i have a partner for almost 3 years now, we have 1 year old and 3 months baby girl. we are planning to get married next year, my partner is a seaman, he just arrived 2 weeks ago. I noticed his changes, he used to be sweet before. The other night I asked him what happened to him because he was very cold. I forced him to speak, then he did. He told me that he is having an affair for almost 1 year now with his co-worker. I was shocked! He told me that he love the girl and he only stay because of our daughter but if given a chance he want to be that girl. because of my pride, I packed his things and advised him to leave because we don’t need him. i told him that Ican take care of our daughter. i spoke to my in-laws this morning and they told me that my husband was hurt of my actions.i think it was his ego who i’ve hurt most. because i don’t want his presence nd help on our child. according to him i can live without him.one day i was on internet and i found dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com online helping people build there marriage and casting a love spell that last forever, i email and told him all that happened to us, dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com help me out just three days i was very surprise my husband came home telling me other sweet story, my marriage is as save as any other thing on earth, thank you once again dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com my husband is in love more than before.

  • Grace Chen

    I wish more dads would teach their daughters this. Plus, just cuz we’re all “grown up” doesn’t mean we don’t still need our dads. It just looks different.

  • Kris

    This is beautiful! I’m another Facebook stumbler of this article and then made the mistake of reading some of the comments… And re-read the article to remember how it touched my heart. As a mom to a 1 year old and watching my amazing husband play with her, I’m quite certain his thoughts are the same. Your daughter will love and cherish this letter!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Kris, You made me laugh out loud at the idea of having to go back and re-read the post after having read comments. Some of them are pretty critical. Blessings to you and your family!

  • nicholl

    I have a son and i can apply this to his life lessons on how to treat a woman and take care of his family once he is at that point in his life. We have recently lost my grandfather his great grandfather and I am trying to make him see that his grandpa is still with him in spirits. He wont sleep in his room so the fear is over taking him. thank you for this and i will follow this as he gets older.

  • Justwhatiwasmissing

    This is just beautiful! Things that my father definitely stressed to me as a young girl. He died when I was a very young adult and somewhere along the lines I forgot it with out him to remind me. This was very thereputic to me and just what I needed to hear! Thank you.

  • Chip

    I’ve never married and never had the “voice of a Daddy” in my life – neither has my daughter.

    My “Cutie Pie” is nearly grown up. Your letter has been printed and placed on the refrigerator for the hordes of teenagers who routinely ravage my kitchen to read (right next to Gandhi’s Eight Blunders.)

    They are young women and young men, gay and straight, and some are still trying to figure it all out.

    Thank you for sharing your “Daddy voice.”

  • single and happy

    dear cutie-pie,
    it really doesn’t matter if some guy (or girl), man (or woman) is interested in your scrunched up smiley nose. You’re fine on your own. You don’t need anyone else except you.

  • Ellie

    I just want to take a moment to tell you how awesome you are. I absolutely loved this letter. It’s men like you, my father, my brother, and my wonderful soulmate that need more appreciation. I know it sounds silly, but it made me feel hopeful that you seemed as angry as I feel when I see articles detailing how not just women, but everyone, needs to desperately hold onto their partner. I took the hugest leap of my life and was completely and utterly myself on my first date with my boyfriend. Turns out no one has ever cherished and loved me more. Keeping someone “interested” is just the long, hard way of getting your heart broken.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Ellie, Readers have shared a lot of wisdom in response to this letter, but I’m not sure anyone has cut to the core of the matter as well as you have, with this: “Keeping someone ‘interested’ is just the long, hard way of getting your heart broken.” Well said.

  • Erin

    I really appreciate you writing this letter as well. My father was always critical of my ability to do things (play sports, etc.) as well order me to help out in the kitchen, even when my brothers were already there. The worst part is when I was sexually assaulted, I told him about it and he said “oh big deal” and that was that. Luckily I had enough sense about myself that I never did anything I regretted to “earn” anything from a guy. But I knew when I told one of my guy friend’s about the assault, and he said “that wasn’t your fault and I would have kicked that guy’s @$$ if I were your father”, I started to cry and I realized what I had wanted to hear all along. So thanks for being there for the girls who didn’t have a father to stick up for them.

  • Julie C.

    This was very well written, but I do believe (and I’ve seen other comments posted about this as well) that it is a give and take situation. Of course women should not have to break their backs trying to keep a man interested. That’s antiquated and offensive. But it isn’t a man’s job to keep running into a brick wall when the woman he is married to won’t make any kind of effort at all.
    My wonderful husband loves everything about me – even when I’m not my most lovable. But I don’t make everything about me, because it isn’t. He had to deal with “I didn’t want THAT, I want this” kind of selfishness prior to marrying me.
    I want to make him happy, as he wants to make me happy. I appreciate all that he does for me, as he appreciates all I do for him. We never take each other for granted. My 2 young sons will be taught to appreciate their wives, to love them, to be supportive. But I will also teach them that they are incredibly special, and that they need to find women that are worthy of them.

  • ericjg623@aol.com

    Well, if you ever want to turn a child into a little narcissist, this is how.

  • worried about my world

    I have to say that these words brought tears to my eyes. They were never words that were said to me. I never felt like I was worthy. I always felt like I had to try harder, to be better. Not for me, but for someone else. Because my brothers wrestled so I should to track or some other nonsense. I always felt like I would get lost in a crowd if I wasn’t yelling. What ultimately happened is I got lost in a relationship. I was planning a life with a man I had been with for 2 years when I got pregnant. I learned quickly he didn’t want that life so soon and didn’t want the baby. I left with what I could carry and a baby in my belly. With some help from friends/ family as well as a little state assistance, I was able to get a job, apartment, and start fresh. Then I met a man who said all the right things. He wanted to take care of me. He wanted a life with me and my baby. He accepted my son as his own. We argued but who doesn’t? However, he was loving, attentive, and overall- very devoted to myself and my son. Within a year of our marriage I wanted out. He began going out drinking, calling me names, staying out all night, and just being a jerk. He would control everything. He said he wanted me to be able to stay home and take care of our children so they weren’t being raised by strangers. So I quit my job and stayed home. In the nearly 9 years since I have dealt with things I would NEVER wish on anyone.
    Things like being called lazy because I didn’t want to get up and make breakfast 8hours after watching my grandfather die. Or things like coming home and doing the dishes the day I was released from the hospital after 2 weeks and MAJOR abdominal surgery due to an ectopic pregnancy/tumor. Things like crying myself to sleep at night.
    I feel trapped. I kicked him out and he worms and cons his way back in. I am trapped in a relationship with a man whom I now realize is abusive. I took me until a year ago to realize that just because he doesn’t hit me, doesn’t mean he isn’t abusing me.
    I NEVER want my daughter to experience this. I don’t want her to think it is okay for a man to treat her like this. And I don’t want my sons to think it is okay for them to treat women this way. I am very stern and try to teach them respect and that women and people in general are to be cared for and valued for WHO they are. Nothing else matters, not how much money they have, the color of their skin, what part of town they grew up in, none of it. I ONLY want them to find the value in a person, the TRUE value, not just the surface crap. I also want them to realize that people should be looking for those things in them, not looking at what school they go to or where what sports they play. But looking at what kind of person they are. Are they good to others? Do they always put for their best effort? Do they help the less fortunate? Do they show those they care about how they feel? Do they feel good about who they are? These are the things that I want my children to grow up learning. But I don’t know how to teach it to them. People tell me to leave my husband and go live with my parents. The problem is that, while he isn’t AS BAD, my father has very little respect for women, has little work ethic, and makes no effort to be the kind of person I WANT my children to learn from. He is selfish, manipulative, and I don’t know how to get my children out of this life that I have always known and show them that a different kind of life exists.

  • suzanne

    This blog is the most beautiful thing I have ever read.
    Marriage is a funny thing. It has to change, but the people in it are changing too. We can let lots of things get in the way of a good relationship, most of those are trivial and some things are man made problems. Such as religion and politics. The “rules” of religion, to me, are there to cause strife and disconnection, but the religion of a person’s heart is what is most important.

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  • Gale

    When I dialoged with my children on matters of the heart, I encouraged them to first know, who they were and what they wanted. I suggested for them to write out a list of things they wanted in their relationships and what were the deal breakers and to keep the list close by for periodic personal review. Though their list was personal, I attempted to encourage them to have first a healthy respect (not pride or selfishness) for themselves. This would naturally make them attractive to those with having similar qualities. The universe doesn’t know what you want, until you inform it. That won’t occur, until after listing and visualizing them for yourself.

  • Chippy

    Alot of the comments seem to address the concept that *gasp* allowing
    our girls (and boys!) to grow up to believe they are a PERSON and are
    entitled to be loved for who they are creates a generation of selfish
    children who will not be happy in a marriage or in life.

    I disagree. But, hey. I’m not married. I don’t have kids. I’m not even in a
    relationship any more. What could I possibly have to contribute to this
    debate? I have nieces and cousins and countless munchkins that I know
    and love and every single one of them deserves to grow up loving
    themselves and knowing they deserve somebody who will treat them well
    because they simply deserve it.

    Being human doesn’t mean you’re being graded. Think of it this way; as a student I had two types of teachers. The first started you off at a C and you had to work your way up to an A. It was hard and sometimes not even possible. Then you have
    the second type; who start you off with an A and simply let you
    work to keep it. It takes considerably less effort and results in
    better students with better grades. Some would argue it’s the ‘easy’
    way, that life is designed to rule off the ones who can’t make it.

    I’m calling bullshit.

    Self-worth is exactly the same thing as education. You start your kid
    off at a C and tell them they don’t DESERVE to be loved or appreciated,
    you are starting a life-long battle that will only end in your child’s
    therapy bills. You start your kid off with an A and the odds are you’re
    going to end up with a kid who stays out of trouble because they are
    BETTER than that. You end up with a kid who makes smart choices. You end
    up with a kid who is a good person and an individual who believes that
    every person on this earth needs to be treated with decency and grace.
    You end up with a kid who doesn’t have to fight themselves for love,
    both from themselves or from their partners.

    By starting from birth and telling your child that they deserve to be loved who they are and that they shouldn’t have to change, you’re starting your kid off
    with an A.

  • Anne Elisa

    I am the mother of two small boys whose father has left us. I wish someone had taught me this lesson 30 years ago. I will do my best to teach my sons to be the kind of men who value the worth of others, especially the partners they choose.

  • hadiza

    I wish my Dad can see this and accept it, maybe he’ll accept the one Man I have come to love but can’t bring home coz of our different religious backgrounds.

  • orange hear

    My husband and I just read this and he makes a good point that this was worth the read for our daughter but also for our son.
    Every boy/man should pay attention to these words as well.
    Thanks for the post.

  • Candice

    Good Morning and God Bless you. I just want to let you know that even though there has been conflict and some people who didn’t understand your heart when you wrote this, I believe you were led to share this with me. I am a 32 year old single mother who lost my wonderful, loving, Father 14 years ago to pancreatic cancer at the age of 48. He was my best friend. A father is so important to a girl (not leaving the guys out, this is a personal point of view post – I am sad that my sons never knew this great man) he teaches her how to survive the hunt. Lol well, I lost my coach before He could teach me some specific things… I miss him. I feel at a loss and a disadvantage because he isn’t here to guide me. This is something I know he would have said word for word. I was searching for something completely different…. thank you. I needed this.

  • Satchi

    This is one of the best pieces I have ever read.

    I am a psychotherapist in NYC and also work as a consultant to the United Nations preventing Violence Against Women internationally.

    Your letter is refreshing and wonderful. It shows the integrity and beauty of simply loving and cherishing a woman.

    It reminds us as women not to try to seem less powerful to make a man feel better, as in my work this power struggle is often what causes these acts of violence against women. This notion that men must feel superior and control a woman with rape or domestic violence to assert his authority.

    The letter also reminds us that more than his wealth, skin color or anything else-we must focus on his love and devotion. Society often points us to focus on the superficial, and you have reminded us that if we are happy then we have a home.

    Too many relationship books today tell us how to “trap” or “trick” a man into loving us. It leaves us feeling confused and empty. I cannot tell you how many girlfriends of mine suffer from the advice in these books, and spend many nights at home crying after one failed relationship to the next.

    Thank you so much for this beautiful work. I would like to encourage you to elaborate on this and perhaps write a book of your own. I would be happy to co-write with you from a female perspective also, combining our knowledge banks. I write often myself, and have never wanted to co-author with anyone before, but you have inspired me so much that it would be an honor. This message must get passed along.

    Warm Wishes

  • Mandilini

    Wow I just sobbed so much at this! It is wonderful and perfectly expressed! I married someone I love deeply but I always feel that I have to keep him interested. It is tearing me to pieces inside. I am not huge but overweight (fibroid, fibromyalgia etc don’t help this) and he says that fat disgusts him. We have 4 children and he wants them to be enthusiastic cleaners, offering without being asked, to do the garden or housework. No hobbies are encouraged because they make a mess that he can’t handle. They still do some but they make a mess that he can’t handle!! Then things get put away and stored because we don’t want to lose our hobbies entirely. He wanted to leave(again) yesterday, we were “living in squalor” and he wanted “order”. When he tried that he was the one who lived in squalor while we just lived. But he came back, had some NLP which was very good and was lovely for quite a while. Now he is forgetting and starting to hate us all again. I am tired. I don’t want to fight anymore. The sad thing is that when he is “normal” he loves us, says he would die without me, and I know he means it when he says it. But he means the bad stuff when he says that too. I am not just confused, I am bursting with sadness and hope, optimism and despair. I have had some small heart attacks this year. I am scared. If anything happens to me what about my children? I desperately want to just go to sleep sometimes – I am just so tired of the fight – and let go but my children need me far too much and I love them so much that I wouldn’t just die for them I would live for them when life is more painful than death. I hope people think seriously about your brilliant advice. I wish someone had helped me to have that kind of confidence in myself. xxx

    • GinaRD

      Praying for you and your family, Mandilini.

  • Achai Kuol

    🙂 I can’t wipe this smile off my face………..thank you for this amazing and beautiful post!

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  • Gracelia

    you sound like our heavenly Father. Shine on!

  • John Goatbirth

    I just had the worst shit you can imagine – really foul stinking and I dropped a huge fart just as one of my colleagues entered the bathroom. Awekward.

  • skeeziix

    Very good post if only there were more fathers+MEN out there like you to teach this very important life skill to all the insecure+BEAUTIFUL women.The greatest gift you can give to any child is self-worth. All too often women place other people’s opinions in front of themselves like a mirror which reflects their worth, which is wrong. Beauty is not based on movie stars or magazines or starving models. It is about loving <3 yourself+KNOWING you are WORTH loving and you will not accept anything less because you would not GIVE anything less. Being perfect all by yourself CONTENT in life's simple pleasures and gifts. Appreciating yourself by growing and loving yourself daily. 😉

  • Hannah

    I think what some of the commentators are missing is the fact that we live in a male-dominated, patriarchal society where the male gaze means more than a woman. This article isn’t suggesting that you make your daughter a selfish, arrogant, self-fulfilling ‘princess’ its that they realize they’re worth so much more what society will tell them as they grow up. So many women are raised under the idea that they have to change themselves or be ‘sexy’ (They can be sexy as long as its a sexy because they want to and makes them feel great about themselves) in order to catch and keep a man. We find this in different ways every day whether its outright, or reinforced subconsciously we can’t hide from the fact that the system supports a patriarchy that values women as an sexual object rather than as a human being. So we have to make sure our girls grow up knowing they are worth so much more than that and they need to value and love themselves with whatever personality they have and know that there is someone out there who will love them for who they are and how they are. And even then just telling your child male or female that they are worth more than what society will tell them they are. This is important for both male and female children. Our children are at such a disadvantage society and culture put so much pressure on our children to be raised into categories and if we don’t have the skills to teach our children self worth and having respect for others than we can never grow as a society and our children will forever be at a disadvantage.

  • childless chick

    This is lovely, (and I don’t mean this as criticism) but what if she chooses not to have children? The social pressure remains that women are only fully female if they give birth…

  • ratonline

    This is such a beautiful post…so full of unconditional love, joy and acceptance and it is so beautiful to hear a father say these things to his child. These words provide fertile ground, in which a young soul can grow and thrive and become self-confident and unafraid. It made me cry… but it also made me smile. I am a single mother of a young son. I wish there were more fathers like you out there. Thanks for inspiring us.

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  • Alison

    This post is beautiful. It took me a long time to understand the incredibly powerful, whole beautiful nature of men, what they have to offer through their love of women, through their deep nature, their fierce loyalty. I often feel the deep and enduring nature of men is undermined and undervalued, quite similarly to the way we women complain we are undervalue. To the point where many think fathers like this don’t exist. You are proof they do and so are many other men. It is not an impossible ideal and does exist. Earnest, loving fatherhood is a launchpad in life to loving relationships and happiness of the heart. There was a time in my life before my father became overwhelmed with suffering when his interest in me was the only star that shone. Long after the star stopped shining in my sky, I still remembered this light. Self-worth is my greatest struggle in life, but whatever bit I did glean was enough to protect me from so much harm. There is definitely an amazingly hopeful evolution taking place in parenting, in our consciousness, in attitudes to the amazing resource of marriage, of our relating. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Alison, This is a really important comment and one that has not been reflected upon enough in the wake of this letter. There are a LOT of good men out there living fatherhood as a beautiful calling. In fact, an interviewer recently asked me what my male friends thought of the letter and my answer was, “They thought it was unremarkable, because to them, it was just a description of how life is already being lived.” Here’s to the men out there who so often aren’t recognized for the good things they are giving their families. Thanks again, Alison.

  • XincontriAdulti.It

    Touching this message.Thank you

  • Audrey_Bennett

    Beautifully stated. I doubt this type of encouragement spoils a child. It teaches her she’s loved and valued, so that she will expect that kind of encouragement from a life partner. You’re a good dad.

  • shelly

    Absolutely beautiful. I will copy it and read it to my “cutie pie”. It made me cry and reminded me that I still have a little girl in me to nurture.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Shelly, That is incredibly touching. I think we all still have a kid in us to nurture; I’m glad this post pointed you toward it. Blessings!

  • pandiafwan


  • sindhuri

    Such an amazing post! 🙂

  • Ariana

    Hello. I am going through a break up of a relationship that lasted six years. I prayed to god to give me a sign and I found this sweet letter. So often women, like myself, get lost in a relationship. We consume our precious moments In life with the other person and we end up losing ourselves. After I read this, I have vowed to not ever lose myself again and to find my self worth and put it on the highest shelf to not be disturbed. My father was not around much, and I do think that is a core issue, but it also should not dictate my life. This letter is something that all women want to hear, and I hope I hear it from someone one day. Thank you for posting this for the world to see and appreciate.

  • Luke

    Sorry to be so straightforward, but I found it terribly pathetic

  • Armin

    I find myself wishing I could know for sure that I could be that boy. God knows I’ve tried. Beaten, battered, bruised and broken, time after time and in every possible sense, life is an endless punishment and whatever sins I’ve committed, atonement never seems to come. There was a girl, a wonderful, beautiful girl who never ran out of love to give. I have never known happiness quite like that which I shared with her. And yet, to be with me was to live in constant turmoil and crushing poverty, never knowing where the next meal came from, or whether there would be a roof over our heads the next evening. All the while, I had broken the law and we both suffered the consequences.

    Anxiety and stress wracked us both, and it drove my thoughts inward, trying to protect her from seeing me weak, feeling like I had to carry us both forward. In my folly, I neglected her. My love and devotion, my praise and admiration seemed to fade into the background, buried under all of these problems. I was holding her back, and she decided to leave me. I wish that I could do everything for her, and even now if she would never have me again, I still would. I saw a future in her eyes when I met her, children and laughter and love everlasting. But the last time I saw her, that future was gone. I saw her future, without me.

    If I couldn’t be that boy for her, I fear I will never be. I would die painfully a thousand times if it could make it up to her, but even the one time I will won’t atone. Now I must stay at least one step ahead of my own troubles, leaving the greatest love of my life and my heart behind.

    Forward, into bleakness and blackness. Forward, into horrors unknown and madness yet unseen. Forward, alone.

  • Miranda

    This post made me cry… Thank you for reaching out your kindness to girls everywhere. Your daughter is very lucky to have you.

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  • Cindi

    Thank you.

  • bodhisatwa dasgupta

    A friend of mine asked me to read this, and I did. I’m glad I did, because it reminded me of the countless conversations I have with my daughter (who is all of one year and seven months). I try and teach her about life, in the limited way I know how. If you have the time, and the inclination, give it a read.
    Her name is Mimi.


    • drkellyflanagan

      It’s a great read. Keep loving her, and blessings to both you and Mimi!

  • Milica Jankovic

    i love my father very much and i love my husband soooo much. these words are exactly what my father keep saying to me all my childhood,couse i was the only child in family and i tought that he just want to make me special. Now i realised why. i also have three daughters and im tryaing to make them special. This is parents job:)) love you daddy:))

  • Jovan

    In my country in sudamerica, today translated his articule in a magazine online, is amazing, only someone what have a love of father and love for life, can writing so simple and so powerfull, thanks for your words.

    From Chile,


    • drkellyflanagan

      Jovan, thank you for taking the time and crossing the language barrier to share your kind words. Blessings to you!

      • Brad Hodson

        I found this through a Chilean news site (Bio Bio Chile), as well.

        Glad this message is spreading, especially to Chile where I spent 2 years of my life trying to help strengthen families and talked with so many women who, in tears, would bleed their feelings to us about many of these same things.

        This message is needed here, there, and everywhere else. Thank you for writing and sharing.

  • Favor Frank

    Hello,everyone my name is Favor Frank from Canada i never ever believed in spell until i meet a man called prophet viky who help me cast a spell that bring back my ex-lover who left me for two years before our marriage,His spells works beyond my imaginations and today i am happily married with two kids and me and my [ex-lover] now husband are very happy more than ever before,what more can i say rather than to say thank you prophet viky for been there for me,contact him today and your life will never ever remain the same his email is victorylifelovespelltemple@gmail.com

  • Mercy Brown

    I’m Mercy brown by name I have a few testimony to share with you all about myself, I was in a relationship with this guy and for 3years and we were about getting married when we both have misunderstanding with each other and he ask me for a divorce and we both agreed and after 4months I head that he was having an affair with one of my closest friend and I was very upset and worried so a friend of my advice me and told me if I still love my ex and if I really want to have him back so I told her yes, and she ask me to contact Dr. Madurai the spell caster and I did although I never believe on spell so he gave me something when he was casting the spell and ask me to say my wishes on it and after the casting of the spell a receive a phone call from my ex and was ask me at which I did and now we are back together again I’m so happy and I wish not to ever have this mistake again in my life. I will also advice anyone with this kind of issue to contact him for help he is really nice on phone and always there to answer you question giving you the good advice that you need. his email is maduraitemple@yahoo.com

  • Mary Irving

    Beautiful, on every level. Thank you!

  • Julia

    I could not thank you enough for sharing this letter, recently my dad told my mom to encourage me to look after my husband since he is so patient with me and helpful at home. He thinks I may lose him because the way I am.

    Of course it broke my heart, again I guess. He’s always had a very poor appreciation of my person.

    I’m gonna repeat these words to my children everyday.

    regards from Chile.

  • Daniela

    I am chilean and I have a pretty, wise and delicate 38 friend, who was “in a relationship” with an Iris guy. After a year she found he was married, as a result of the shocking experience she attempted suicide, now she is in coma. I really wish she had had a good father to remind her how worthy she is of good man…

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  • MP

    Hi, Dr. Kelly. First time I read your blog and I come across this letter. I think of myself not as a christian but as a person that follows God. That being said I cannot believe that finding this letter is a coincidence, it was something I needed to find peace within me.

    I have been struggling for the past 4 years with a person that I fell in love with and turns out that I had to help her with overcoming a seriously damaging relationship and to tell you the truth it didnt turn out well. In the end she went back to that relationship and left ME feeling with little self worth. I am now in the process of building it back up, but its hard. Specially since everything you said its true. I cannot believe how difficult it is for women to understand this, to see how important it is to be “your own” before finding someone else, how little it matters to most of them “who you are” and what matters the most is “what you have”.

    Thank you for making me feel like I am on the right side of the track and I hope that this letter becomes a beacon for all the little girls in a journey that can be dangerous to them.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you do meet someone who is deeply aware of her worth, and therefore free to deeply affirm your worth, as well.

  • Ferenc

    To be frank, I’m speechless; but I have such an urge to say something in response to reading this. Your post was tremendously insightful and loving. Thank you for posting it and dedicating it to the world we live in. It’s these sort of loving words of compassion that I wish the whole world would invest their lives into. So thank you for sharing your insight and your love with us. I know I appreciate it.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re very welcome. The response to the letter has been so encouraging, because I think we are seeing the world is full of people who want to invest themselves in words of love and compassion. It gives me hope. Blessings to you!

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  • Danae

    I am in tears.

  • Dorian Doriansky

    Nice post. I really agree with all those stuff but one should take in mind that there are so many important things which should characterize a girl which “pretend” to be the one in the recent post. Namely, she also should be active in such an relationship, not only to wait and consume “a sweet fruits” given to her by her boyfriend. She should be smart to support and courage him in his devoting himself to her, not to be cold and rigid to him. She should keep him active by using her mental, soul and physical attributes, which are very important to stimulate her boyfriend to be a real male. All of these is obviously not too hard for her but it is so important to him, and ofcourse, bring benefits to their relationship.

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  • Emily

    I have tears in my eyes. For the past week I have done nothing but wonder why my ex boyfriend lost interest and what I possibly could have done wrong. Thank you for reminding me of what I so needed to hear.

  • Kate

    I was crying while reading this post and i am still crying… Wish i read it sooner to avoid the emotional trauma life is giving me.. I wish i had elders who taught me what u taught me today.. Be yourself and we are not supposed to keep them interested or to change ourselves FOR them..
    I pray that god one day gives me enough courage to walk out..

  • Sandra Stefanović

    My father died when I was 13 …. I cried when I read this …. I have a wonderful marriage and three beautiful, healthy children. I would love to have more, but the financial situation in our country do not allow me …

  • Beatriz

    I’ve just read about your letter in a chilean newspaper El Mercurio (emol.com), and all the positive comment the article generates. Thank you!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Beatriz! I’m glad you found your way back here to the blog, and thanks for passing along the web address of the Chilean translation. I was aware of it but not sure how to find it. It was fun to see the letter translated!

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  • niggity

    Of course, every young man grows up knowing that the opposite is true for himself. Men must work every day to keep women interested in them. Nobody shares cute little platitudes about self-worth with men. It is understood that if a man is not strong, muscular, thin, handsome, intelligent, charming, and rich, then he is deficient and must make up for any lack in other ways. Nobody takes time to remind men that they are inherently worth something, because in this society, men are inherently worth nothing, and must prove themselves.

    This is the patriarchy rearing its head again – women are inherently valuable, and must be treated like princesses, even if they don’t want to be, coddled and protected from the dangerous world, but men are inherently nothing but cannon fodder, sent to the most dangerous jobs and wars to prove themselves worthy in the eyes of a judgmental society. Even daring to speak out about it, for a man, is social suicide, which is why I’m sure most of you will mock me, and why I post anonymously.

    • drkellyflanagan

      I also wrote this several weeks ago. I hope it is the complement to this article you are looking for, and I hope the words are an affirmation to you as a man in a world that doesn’t do enough to affirm your worth.


      • niggity

        That was beautiful! And I thank you for your response and apologize for maybe seeming confrontational! You’re the best!

        • drkellyflanagan

          No worries! LIfe would be boring without a little confrontation. : ) Just glad I had a chance to point you in the direction of the other letter. Blessings!

  • Guest

    Thank you for writing this.

  • Milica

    Dear Dr Kelly, I just wanted to thank you for posting your very personal letter to your daughter and giving people a chance to stop and reflect on what they are doing and how it is affecting everyone. You show honest concern and provide guidance to people which is what a doctor should do. Nice work and thanks again.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Your welcome, Milica!

  • Pete Marcus

    Thank you Kelly this article was pure magic for me. And my daughter. It made me stop and reflect on the relationship I have with my wife, and what my daughter is witnessing for her future reference on what makes a great relationship. I also thought about the values I hold true, and how my “Little One”will expect the same (or better) in her future relationships with boys (and girls). What more could a Daddy wish for his daughter.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Pete. It’s good to connect with another dad striving to make this letter a reality in the lives of the ones he loves. I always say, it’s one think to write it, another thing entirely to live it. Blessings to you and your family as you work to do so!

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  • ALEJANDR1971

    I read a Spanish version circulating on Facebook.

    I agree with you,

    how women bothers me that social pressure from women’s magazines about everything you need to do for man interested in a follow.

    I always thought it was like “acting”.

    You play certain role because otherwise the man will leave you …

    And not true.

    I am female, I have nearly 42 years.

    Unfortunately I have no children, but if I have nephews and nieces

    I see how they are educated differently, men to control women to do what they want.

    And the nieces to do “whatever is necessary” so that men do not leave.


    • drkellyflanagan

      I’m so glad the Spanish version is circulating and you said it so well in your comments here in English. Thank you!

  • Miss Anabel

    After I broke up with my ex I spent a lot of time wishing that I could just turn the clock backwards. He helped me do just that. In fact our relationship feels like the break up never even happened. We have never been this happy or passionate, all thanks to Him. The most happiest part of it all is that we now live together.Thanks! Dr. Lee of Ancientfathersandmothers@gmail.com

  • Deb

    I always read this when I’m feeling down because of the guys I have chosen in my life. This is amazing and it makes me try to reassure myself that I AM worth more than I lead myself on to be. I always try to change for guys because I, too, want to “keep them interested,” so I always go back to the ones that continually mistreat me. I need to start realizing that I just need to continue being myself and the right guy will come along. Once again, thank you for writing this. This piece helps me in more ways than one.

  • Eve Evelyn Guo

    Τнαиќṡ for this letter..
    It touches the deepest of my heart within..
    A dad is the only one who loves his daughter(s) unconditionally and never expects any other guys turn his little to someone else..
    I believe my dad is trying to let me know how much he loves me and afraid I’m taking the wrong one for my lifelong later on though he is no longer here..

    Τнαиќṡ a heap Dr Kelly..

    ~ Йɑмɑsŧє‎​​​‎ ~

    » €vє̲̣̣ «

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  • Marcus

    Before I went to Las Vegas last winter, I came across your website and Dr. Imongire Money spell. I thought, what the heck! Maybe I’d get lucky. I won more money this time around than I’d ever won before. It was like a miracle. I’ll never go back to Vegas without getting one of Dr. Imongire money spells. Sincerely, Try and you can also get lucky my friends out there, contact him via: Ominighospelltempletemple@gmail.com

  • Alinda

    First off, I would like to say that I think you are a wonderful man. You are a truly an inspiration by the way you help people. The spell you cast to make Julius realize his feelings for me worked faster than I could have hoped for. He came to me 2days after you have casted the spell and told me everything I had been hoping to hear. I can not thank you more…. Now I can finally stop crying tears of pain and cry tears of joy! He is wonderful to me. Thanks Dr. Lametu of Ancientspiritualtemple@gmail.com

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  • mvale

    Thank you sincerely for sharing this post. Many a times I find that my self has packed up and left me stranded… this is encouraging. I have taken the time to copy this and read it aloud every day. Beautifully oechestrated.

  • Filipina

    Hi Dr. Flanagan! 🙂 This letter summarized how I believe Chastity is all about. Thank you!

  • cannedam

    What if he’s a she? That was the only thing I found lacking in this letter.

  • Alex H

    Hi Kelly,
    This really hit home. Eight weeks ago, my wife gave birth to our amazing daughter. I’m not doing what I do, changing diapers, dealing with colic, losing sleep, all of the crying, and all of the other things I’ll do in the coming decades just so my little gal can be there for some guy who won’t appreciate her for her. She was born an individual, with her own will and personality. As difficult as that might make things sometimes, I’ll do all I can to nurture that, to make her be the kind of person that realizes it’s alright to be herself. Because honestly, “herself” is pretty awesome. And she’s just gonna keep getting better.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Very well said, Alex! And congratulations to you and your growing family!

  • Melissa Graham

    My Name is Mrs. Lilian pepeco, I was married to my husband for 10 years and we were both blessed with three children, living together as one family, until 2011 when things was no longer the way the was [when he lost his job]. But when he later gets a new job 6 months after, he stated sleeping outside our matrimonial home. Only for me to find out that he was having an affair with the lady that gave he the job. since that day, when i called him, he don’t longer pick up my calls and he nothing since to come out good. Yet my husbands just still keep on seeing the lady. Until I met a very good friend of my who was also having a similar problem, who introduced me to a very good love spell caster. But i told her that if it has to do with things that i am not interested, but she said that it has nothing to do with pay first. but the only thing he was ask to do was just to go and buy the items to cast the spell, and that was what she did. And she gave me the spell caster e-mail add highpriestess_solutiontemple@yahoo.com

  • Keyser Soze

    It’s a great letter, it says probably all the things I wanted to tell a kid when it comes the time. Great work… I passed it to a mom friends and she cried on the beauty of the text.

  • liliya

    :-)))) this is too beautiful to be true… still I believe a true dad would always say those beautiful words to his daughter(s)…the point is that the relationship dad-daughter is unique and those feelings will not easily imply to that of man-woman in a partnership… that, of course, would not make me extremely sad – I will always remain sure that there was at least one man in my life who loved and appreciated me the way I am – and that would be my dad 🙂
    your letter made me cry and I admire your feelings for your Little One!!!! 🙂
    Thank you and take care!

  • Glow

    Hi, is out there that kind of man that u are discribing ¿¿¿ I mean, most kind of man that i know or knew only care about them and of course, if u want they to stay u have to keep them interested!!!
    Or maybe im living in a sad part of the world… or this is just the story that i have… i dont know— what u´re saying sounds great! but far from real.

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  • Miika47

    My goodness, this is such a beautiful message. I thank you for writing this, not just as a parent myself, but also as a daughter who has been wanting to hear/read those words all her life.

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  • Audrey

    I read this. I cried. I considered reposting. Then I didn’t, because of the hetero-centric lean of the language. Then I thought I’d see if you’d mentioned this issue in the comments, and I’m so glad that it’s been discussed and that you’ve given a thoughtful response. However, I have something I’d like to ask.

    Though I am straight for all intents and purposes, I was raised in the queer community, and you can’t possibly imagine how often fathers think their daughters are worthy in every way– from their scrunched noses to their fiery spirits to their generous nature to their clever minds– until they come out as queer. Then they are shamed, shunned, despised, and even ejected from their homes and families. So it stands to reason that any person with that kind of painful history, or anyone who has seen a loved one experience that kind of rejection, will immediately feel suspicious or defensive when reading your heartfelt words. I’m certain this isn’t your intended response.

    Can blog posts not be edited? Could you not, after the paragraphs detailing the initial catalyst, change the “he’s” and “husbands” to “your sweetheart” or something more gender-ambiguous? As you know, your post is slowly reaching meme-level popularity on the social media sites. You wrote this for all the little girls in the world, right? Your words will stretch farther and mean more to more people if you modify this one simple thing, and as far as I can tell, it’s a change that you aren’t philosophically opposed to.

    Anyway, thanks for reading my words, and thanks for being a great dad to a lucky girl.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Audrey, This is an incredibly heartfelt and thoughtful comment, and I’m grateful for it. To be honest, I actually have considered editing the post because you’re right, the idea of it hurting a world full of beautiful people who have been shamed for their sexual identity is the last thing I desire. Yet, I’ve decided not to do so for two reasons. First, I don’t think the changes you are suggesting would go FAR ENOUGH. The letter falls short with regard to gender identity, but it also falls short with regard to so many other life choices, including the possibility that my daughter may not be able to have children, may not want to have children, may not want to get married for reasons unrelated to her gender identity and so on. Every time I’ve considered changing it, I’ve concluded it would no longer be the same letter. And it seems, given the reaction, there is something important about the letter the way it is, and I don’t want to lose that. I have to hope the sentiment of the letter will be appreciated and generalized on its own. What I have considered doing is writing another post, kind of like a post-script, but I have not been able to figure out the most loving way to do so yet. Second, I decided many months ago I would not edit posts (except for typos), after they go live. There are many reasons for that decision, but part of it is accepting that whatever I put out there, regardless of how much people like it, is going to be hopelessly flawed and short-sighted and so on, so I would spend most of my time revising posts as wise people wrote in and pointed out the problems. Part of writing publicly, I’m discovering, is being at peace with the product you put out there, even when it reveals your own brokenness. I don’t usually write this detailed of a response, but I thought I would honor the thoughtfulness of your comment with a longer response. Thank you again.

  • Mary B.

    Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Stacie Schmidt

    What a beautiful post. Your love for your daughter is palpable.

  • Thi Thuy

    Thank you Doctor. Soothing, comforting… I will share this with my daughter… Kind regards…

  • Anumita Roy

    This post of yours was sent to me by a very close friend of mine. Reading through it could not stop the trickle of tears, as each word was so pure. Read it to my young adult child, and watched his face intensely as each word sunk into him. Thank you for echoing my baba’s (dad’s) words.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Anumita, and so glad you had a chance to read it to your son!

  • ABanti Dutta

    Now as an individual I wish this man was my father but on second thoughts, I’m happy I have the father I have because if my father was so perfect I wouldn’t even learn to deal with harsh degrading stuffs from the beginning of my life. 😛

    But seriously, somebody addressing his kind and well thought out message to every person is really sweet and Sir, you’re actually more helpful in few minutes than my own father in years… I wish I could ask you to help me with a lot of issues that have creeped so deep in my mind that I can’t handle them.

    As far as the sexist angle is concerned, to those who think this man doesn’t care enough about the guys,

    Well, I’m sure he believes everybody must value themselves and others for their originality and he doesn’t rule out the scope of personal growth and improvement by saying that. What he concentrated more was on the fact that girls are more often than boys valued less and made to believe they are resources rather than people. Everybody needs to believe in themselves and girls are worse at it than guys for various external factors that affect the internal spirit.

    P.S. – The worst thing that can happen to this message is spoilt brats (girls and guys) taking advantage of this stance 😛

  • KW

    This post is wonderful, I can hear my dad’s voice as I read it. I am lucky to have a dad who throughout my life has taught me all of these things and still continues to do so. I am close to getting engaged and a few weeks before I read this, I asked my dad if he liked and approved of my boyfriend because I couldn’t imagine marrying anyone my parents didn’t also love. My dad’s response was, “I love the way that he looks at you, treats you and loves you and the way you two are together” I, at first, was taken back by this response not sure what to think of it – but reading this letter made it click – they have me in common, they both love me and care for me and want me to be happy. I am one lucky girl.

    • drkellyflanagan

      KW, I will count it as a tremendous blessing if I can say the same thing to my daughter when she is your age. Thank you for sharing this, and congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

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  • RB

    Thank you for sharing this. Recently I was asked by a professor of one of my college age children what I wanted my daughter to “be” when she graduated. I didn’t hesitate in my answer, “happy”. The professor was surprised by answer. I thought about it later because of his initial surprise but it was and is the answer in my heart. Life isn’t perfect and I think that makes it awesome because we learn and grow from all the moments in it. I want each of my daughters find a person to share their lives with, who respects them, loves them, laughs with them, holds them, lets themselves be held and makes them happy. Your Cutie-Pie is a lucky little gal.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Yes. Who do you want her to be? Who she already is, and at peace in her own skin. Thanks for sharing this story!

  • ahmad kelany

    I am 29 with two daughters,
    not a very emotional person
    i can’t remember the last time tears filled my eyes
    but they did now
    i hope the best for your daughter and mine

    • drkellyflanagan

      Ahmad, thank you for taking the time to share this. The best, indeed, for our daughters.

  • DT

    Well, thank you for that. I, a 26 year old woman dealing with the pain of rejection from a long term relationship, am sitting on my couch crying as I read this. Thank you for the gentle reminder that I am worthy.

    • drkellyflanagan

      DT, you are indeed worthy. I’m glad this letter found you when it did so you could be reminded.

  • Girl For Never

    lmao give me something bad to talk about.. oh wait its this!!!! lololol cheesebager eat da jew boy!!

  • Girl For Never

    Same guy here! fuck you!

  • Simone Schwoch

    Greetings from Ecuador. I’m 23 and I didn’t grow up with my father, brothers or any man for that matter. Coincidentally, today I was thinking how much I needed my father’s advice when I grew up, specially when it had to do with men and relationships. He never even told me how men behave or think… I had to figure it out by myself. Reading this wonderful letter kind of broke my heart, but at the same time I’m grateful. Your Cutie-Pie is a lucky girl. Don’t ever stop teaching her about life, even if she doesn’t want to hear about it.
    Thank You.


    • drkellyflanagan

      Simone, Thanks for taking the time to reach out and share your story. I hope you will have some good mentors come across your path. You’re clearly thoughtful and seeking to make wise decisions!

  • Jeanne Daigle

    Oh my ! So incredible. So effective. So touching. I see in your words what I see in the heart of my life partner. He has 2 girls from his ex-wife…. I have a girl & a boy from my ex. Our children were raised on these basic principles. “It is not my job to make you happy. It is my pleasure to help you find the path for yourself.” Excellent letter. I emailed to our girls immediately.

  • Dana

    I think the only two things I would change in all of this are (1) the assumption that one’s daughter will want a husband rather than a wife and (2) the phrase “the children you give him.”

    On point one, this is probably my het privilege talking, but I’m not absolutely wedded to it–no pun intended. I acknowledge that most of us are heterosexual, or choose to live as heterosexual (assuming bisexuality), and that most essay writers appeal to the majority. So I’m not going to make a big deal out of this, especially as I see some folks already have.

    On point two, I think it would be more accurate, and fair, to say “the children you have with him.” There is this bedrock cultural assumption which most of us don’t consciously notice that says women only have children for other people–their husbands, the state, random infertile strangers–and it is incredibly poisonous, and a big part of the reason mothers are not respected in this culture in a healthy way. (I don’t mean the putting-up-on-a-pedestal that all too many people do to mothers. Those same people turn around and condemn us to hell the first time we do something they wouldn’t do.) And kids aren’t gifts to be given to someone else. Ladies, if you have children with a man, yes, they’re his children, but they are YOUR children too–and maybe a little bit more so, since you gave those children their first body cell (that’s what the egg is) and their mitochondria and nine months in your uterus and everything. They are not anyone’s property–they are your *family*. Of you and related to you. No matter what.

    OK… off soapbox now.

  • Michelle Jameson Allen

    My dad instilled in me that I can be whomever I wished to be and that I can achieve even my loftiest of goals. I see this same sentiment in this beautifully written letter.

    I hope you give this to your daughter some day, be it on her wedding day (to a man or woman), the day she accepts the position as leader of a company or the day she becomes a nun. I believe this letter speaks to all those possible individuals and all women alike.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece with us!

  • Krislyn A Turner

    As a young lady at the point in her life where she is hoping she found the one, this really touched my heart. i know my own dad would agree to this if he could read it or would be telling me the same thing. This touched me so very much, and in my daddy’s absence (because he has passed) my mom showed this to me.
    Thank you for this.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Krislyn, I’m sorry for your loss but glad the letter found its way to you. Give your mom a big hug!

  • Meesh50

    This is just simply a father’s view of what he wants for his daughter’s life..no more, no less. Those of you who want to turn it into a political or sexist statement need to get a life. It is beautiful in its simplicity and hope.

  • Madonna Patrick

    As a mother of 3 beautiful daughters and 2 sons, this message is one I would like them all to understand, it is beautifully written, and every girl needs her daddy to tel her what to look for as well as show her, because it is usually those characteristics she looks for in her mate, so yay for you for being the kind of daddy that teaches her daughter her self worth 🙂

  • Miss Joyce

    Life can be very miserable especially when we lose the ones we love and cherish so much. In this kind of situation where one loses his/her soul mate there are several dangers engage in it. One may no longer be able to do the things he was doing before then success will be very scarce and happiness will be rare. That person was created to be with you for without him things may fall apart.That was my experience late last year, but thank God today i am happy with him again. all thanks to Dr Ekpiku, i was nearly loosing hope until i saw an article on how Dr Ekpiku casted a love spell to make lovers come back. There is no harm in trying, i said to myself. I contacted him via email: Ekpikuspelltemple@live.com. Words will not be enough to appreciate what he has done for me. i have promised to share the good news as long as i live

  • Marissa Higgins

    Why assume the little girl is straight? She may grow up to marry a woman — wouldn’t you want all of those attributes in whomever she decides to marry? I noticed the author would be okay with quite a few things, but homosexuality doesn’t appear to be one of them…

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  • Helen Actually Mummy

    That’s a gorgeous post and exactly what I would say to my own children.

  • Guest

    My little sister is 13 now and going through a rough time with my mom right now, she is chosing other people over my little sister and it breaks my heart. Reading this really hit home though. Thank you

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re very welcome. You clearly care about your sister; she’s lucky to have you. I hope she can maintain her sense of worth, even while your mom is distracted.

  • Courtney McGinn

    this is beautifully written and I applaud you greatly. Your daughter, if she hasn’t already read this, will be EXTREMELY proud and grateful to have a father like you. Your wife, I’m sure, is too. There needs to be more people like you in the world to remind others that THEY ARE ENOUGH. Society has this evil way of making you doubt your self worth but this, I must say, restores it. Thank you for sharing.
    Simply breathtaking.

  • Brandon H. from Phila.


  • kal-el

    You can’t imagine how much I wish that everybody was just like you.

    Few years ago I met a great girl, with time we became best friends. She knew all about me and vice-versa. Until it happened, we fell in love.

    We dated in secret for 2 years and 5 months, she meant the whole world to me and I went completely out of my ways sometimes to be with her, to see her, to make her smile.

    I would wok the whole night and many days sleep for two hours and after drive her to college that was one and a half hour away. Then I would wait in the car for her until 6pm to drive her back home. I would really do anything to spend time with her.

    So many little things, so many details and memories…

    Until her family found out about us. We were in secret because they wouldn’t accept the fact that I’m from Brazil and she’s american with greek parents. They didn’t accept my race, the fact that I’m not rich, the fact that I’m not what they want for her.

    After finding out they basically used threats to drive us apart. Saying that they would disown her, that she should leave home and never come back, never talk to anybody. They would tell her that her parents would die prematurely and it would be all her fault, that her siblings would grow up without them cuz of her.

    We kept seeing each other in secret, just for few minutes because they rarely would let her go anywhere alone. It all went to the point of hacking her PC, installing a spy software to take all her passwords, check all websites she would look at, track her phone records and in the end installing a GPS in her car. With that it all came to an end definitely.

    You have no idea how much it hurts to see the girl you truly love come to you and say “I love you so much. I know you could make me happy. But I can’t put my happiness before my parents happiness. I rather sacrifice my own to see them happy.”

    Even if her father told me to go way, to never get even close to her or anybody of his family I went there and spoke to him. I wanted to show him that I’m a man just like him and, as I did, tell him that “My father raised a man and not a brat”. I made clear that I never talked to him before only cuz of her fear. I told him that if there were two men in this world who would take a bullet for her, they were standing right in that room. That he may not like to hear it, but I love his daughter. He looked at my face and sad that I don’t know what love is. Perhaps, I’m not the one who don’t know what true love is.

    They taught her fear instead of respect.

    And just like that I saw the most beautiful thing I’ve ever had in my life go away.

    Here is one of the little things i did for my sunshine.. I’d always love to make her smile.

    So, how sad is that most of the people prefer a big wallet over a big love.

  • Wrthg

    As long as it’s a boy, right? :S

  • julie

    Thanks to this great man of spirit called Dr Samura which I don’t know how to thank him for the good work he has Don for me and family which I want to share my testimony with to you all so I was married to Hassan Moel and my name is Julie deshields for six years now he left me with two kids with know reason which I don’t know what to do.so one day i was in my friends place when I exposed my pain to her about my depression which I have be looking for who to help me out of it then my friend called me closer to her self telling me on how she got this great man of spirit who helped her found her way to get her husband back then I ask of his contact she quickly go and get her computer and gave me his Email ID and his number so,that is how I contacted him for a help. And now am so happy with my family and with a happy home if you are in such pain kindly Via Email SAMURATELLERSPEL100@YAHOO.COM or call +2347030410643 have faith in him and he will help you
    Julie Deshields.

  • Vanessa Rose Demoy

    This is so great! I’m blessed and inspired!
    Continue to be a blessing to others through your words.

  • Esther Neema

    Amazing 😀 “I don’t care if he doesn’t follow his wallet—as long as he follows his heart and it always leads him back to you.” Such a beautiful post, heavily inspired

  • dasheve

    An amazing post. As the mother of a boy and girl myself, I plan to share this with them as well as my ex-husband. This message should be reinforced by both of us. I love the fact that you recognized how trite other articles on the topic were and took matters into your own hands. I’m sure your children will turn out to be fantastic individuals!

  • Matsi

    you made me miss my dad! Once i was batling with rejection and low self esteem and wondering what is wrong with me. My dad called me up…. he didnt say it the way you did, ‘wow’ but i have remembered his words and I am greatly moved. I thought about him all the way, your words have moved from the internet to hearts. Thank you

    • drkellyflanagan

      Matsi, I’m glad this letter triggered such fond memories for you!

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  • meme

    it was always so easy daddy? so awesome!

  • Ruthie Dean

    What a beautiful post!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Ruthie!

  • Bobby Shirley

    Great post. I can’t put effectively into words my thoughts on this, but as a father of a little girl I’ll say, “Thank you and amen.”

  • lyn

    beautiful..leaves me speechless and smiling..thank you

  • Jaber Yesu

    I am perplexed at the weight of pressure we as the female gender go
    through. Constantly expectations are defined for us by the media to be
    followed and most especially in the area of love, marriage,
    relationships and friendships to the extent that we have forgotten to
    live for ourselves.

    Many a time, we as women have our beliefs,
    outlooks, expectancy, prediction and intentions already etched out for
    us and we feel the need to compete with someone who has been marinated
    in make up, thawed in lights, camera and some action and finally
    thoroughly garnished in Photoshop.

    It is utterly unnerving how we
    have forgotten to live, we have forgotten to become, we have forgotten
    to be ourselves and we have forgotten to smile and relax. This letter is
    indeed timely because in every woman, young or old there is still a
    princess within who itches to become…Little do we let her out but
    suffocate her in trying desperately but failing to be thin like that
    model, to be flawless like that actress and to be perfect like that
    character in the novels we read.

    Ladies we have forgotten to
    live for us. Dr. Kelly wrote quiet clearly in his letter to his Cutie
    Pie (I shall repeat in Verbatim) that:

    1. Little One, it is not, has never been, and never will be your job to “keep him interested.”

    2. Little One, I want to tell you about the boy who doesn’t need to be kept interested, because he knows you are interesting:

    3. Because in the end, Little One, the only thing you should have to do to “keep him interested” is to be you.

    are we doing things contrary to who we are? We are the female gender
    and in the eyes of God we are beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made
    and he made us to be OURSELVES. When you do not know the purpose of a
    thing you will misuse it…similarly when you do not know your purpose
    as a woman you will be misused by philosophies and men who do not know
    your worth.

    We as women should learn to sift information. Not
    everything that is said is truth most will beguile you into thinking is
    as truth but they are not. Like Dr. Kelly, I believe IT IS NOT, HAS

    Life is too short not be be yourself…find her she lives within you..

    Thank you Dr. Kelly for the post.

    Jaber Yesu

  • Lenora Johnson

    Dr. Flanagan, I am the founder and executive director of Steel Magnolias Breast Cancer Support Group, Inc. that is based in Anniston, AL. I write a monthly newsletter that goes online October 21 on our website http://www.steelmagnoliasinc.org and on our Facebook page. Your beautiful letter to your daughter would be perfect for the October letter, entitled “Maturity.” The letter is relative to people and our organization which turns 13 this year. I would love to include your beautiful letter “Dear Little One” in this letter. Please take a look at our website and perhaps take a look at last month’s letter to get an idea of the respect your article would receive. blessings, Lenora Johnson

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Lenora, I’m honored that you would want to include my letter in a newsletter for such a worthy cause. And thank you for asking permission. I’m currently contractually bound by Reader’s Digest (who printed it in their October issue) to not authorize any reprints of the letter until November. It sounds like the letter would be a good fit for your October issue, which is bad luck! If you can work it into your November newsletter, please feel free to use it! And please let me know if there is anything else I can do. Best, Kelly

      • Lenora Johnson

        Thank you so very much! I will give our readers something special to look forward to in November. My husband, who died on March 5, 2013, and I reared three sons who gave us three granddaughters. I am thankful that my sons share your sentiment concerning their daughters.

        • drkellyflanagan

          Lenora, I’m sorry for your loss, and I hope your kids and grandchildren have been a comfort to you this year. I’m glad you can still run the article in your next newsletter. I “liked” your Facebook page, so hopefully I will catch it when it releases!

          • Lenora Johnson

            I cannot be thankful enough for my three sons, the daughters they gave me and my priceless beauties, Olivia, Kaylee and Emily. They have been supportive and loving in every way. Thanks for doing work that makes the world a better place.
            Blessings, Lenora

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  • Joy

    This is beautiful! I appreciate your sincerity and toleration towards all people. It’s encouraging to stumble upon publications like this. I wish the best for you and your family.

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  • Anonym267

    I bet a woman wrote it. some feminist bullshit where a woman is put on a pedestal and the guy has to be grateful that she’s even his. crap

  • Anu Mary Philip


  • kinopravda

    I’m only torn because I’ve found a man who is exactly how you describe but my parents won’t accept him because he’s a high school teacher with a low salary and therefore “no future.” But I know in my heart what is really important, which is contained in this beautiful letter.

  • km

    All I can say is thank you. I have married a man that has under valued me among other issues and I blamed myself for so long for his non interest. I have to realize our is not my fault.

  • Sey

    I think I am one of those girls who have fought a battle no one knows before I figured my self worth. Up until this day, there are still moments I think if I’m worthy to be happy. But those moments are getting lesser. I’ve realized that I deserve to be happy even without a man by my side. I focus on my two little boys instead. Your post have touched my heart and I’m sure it touched a lot of other girl’s heart. Thank you.

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  • James Pined

    This story is simply perfect!

    I mean, it was supposed to be from a father do his daughter, but it is a kind of thing I would love to tell my sister. It really means the world for worthiness and love, and what you really mean to be yourself. This story is captivating and gripping. It is like what every single person feels to say but cannot find any word. You were great writing this because so many people will read this and find the world was made for you to feel special, doesn’t matter whatever is going on around the person.

    I am wordless to say how perfect and fascinating this letter is.
    From Brazil,
    James Pined

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hello James from Brazil! Thank you for your kind words. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with your sister. I’m sure she would love to hear it!

  • Savannah

    Thank you. Upon reading the first line to Little one, I started crying. I wish I had a father like you. Your little girl is blessed in so many ways to have a daddy like you! Thank you.

  • zxczxcxzc


  • Gaa

    Even if I know that my father thinks that way too, i regret that he is not able to tell me this. That he accepts me and simply love. Thank you for this. I will remeber and think of this words as my fathers.

  • kakaji

    One “who wants to spend his one life investing all of his interest in you” may not be the right guy !

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  • A college student

    Dear Dr. Flanagan,

    I would like to thank you for this post. Growing up, I was raised with a strong and caring family who put honesty, compassion, and intellect before appearance. I’ve used these characteristics to build my identity and my happiness. As a child, I never really thought about how I looked or what I could do to make my appearance more likable. After all, what could you be with a pretty face?

    When I entered college, it was a huge wake up call when being pretty actually mattered.

    I may not be the prettiest girl alive, but I have an interesting take on life and I am an easy person to talk to. Yet, I’ve never really been asked on a date. It’s not the interesting girls guys go after, but the hot ones or the giggly ones or the flirty ones. How else could you explain the fact that my beautiful/flirty friends get asked out more or had many more relationships that I ever will?

    But will I ever give up my individuality just so I can get men’s attention? Never. In the end, what is the worth of a relationship if he is valuing me for my body rather than my mind? Yes, I may continue to be disappointed and I may face many more rejections. But when I find him, he’s going to wonderful.

    Thanks for your post!
    A college student

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you for sharing your peace and your quiet strength with us. The young guy who discovers you is going to be a very lucky man. In the meantime, be patient and strong.

  • Lindsay

    As an almost 40 yrs old mother of 2 that has never been married I only wish I had heard these things sooner. I lowered my self worth to fit into a narrow minded view of who I should be and I now see how wrong I was. Thank you! My dad pasted away when I was 18 and I never go to know him as an adult. I only hope that other fatherless women out there read this and know they are worth it no matter what.

  • Mrs Palama

    Hello my name is Pamela from USA, My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted you and after I explained you my problem. In just 3 days, my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before you are the best spell caster Dr Ekpiku i really appreciate the love spell you castes for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work Thank you once again at (Ekpikuspelltemple@live.com).incase you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is (Ekpikuspelltemple@live.com)

  • nodaddyslilgirl

    From someone who never did have that voice of a loving Daddy thank you

  • Mapicepla

    I really love the letter you wrote for your daughter. I thank you even more for sharing it with us, since there are girls that never got to hear words of worthiness from their own fathers. Sadly this are the men that never could figure out the real worthiness of a woman, in dealing with their own demons they trashed the opportunity of a holy experience of being a father or chosen to be a spouse. Again thank you and may the Lord Bless you and your family.

  • Inspired and Reminded

    Fantastic! Great to hear a father’s point of view like this. Very valuable for me to hear as an 18 year old daughter. Daddy’s care.

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  • Lenora Johnson

    Dr. Flanagan, The November newsletter if posted on the Steel Magnolias Facebook page. I think your beautiful letter is actually a better fit this month than last. Thanks again for allowing Steel Magnolias to share this beautiful letter with our readers. Lenora

    • drkellyflanagan

      Lenora, it is truly my pleasure. It looks great in your newsletter, and you introduced it with one of my favorite poems, the “Irish Blessing.” May the road rise up to meet you. I love that opening line! Blessings, Lenora, from an Irishman. : )

      • Lenora Johnson

        Thank you, Kelly,
        You do exceptional work and I was so honored to include your beautiful letter and you to Steel Magnolias.

  • Dadio

    My beautiful and amazing 18yr old daughter sent this to me!!! She understands in her heart exactly what you have written here because she has observed it in her family, where all of this really begins. I am touched that she thought of me when she read it.

    • drkellyflanagan

      I hope my daughter can say at 18yo that I’ve lived up to the words I wrote when she was 3. Your daughter is lucky to have you; job well done, Dad!

  • Mike Anita

    Hello Everyone, who still care about his/her ex-lover/husband or wife. I am from London I never though my husband will come back to me again, I am very happy at last that my husband came back to me after i was acquise of been barren of not been able to bring front children,Then i came across Dr Ogala who help me in bring back my husband to his sense with a spell and now i have a baby girl to show to the world that i am fruitful. i am grateful and happier than never before, Thank You Doctor for helping me, email Ogalalovespell@gmail.com, if you still love or want your ex-lover and happy marriage with children. his website http://ogalalovespell.webs.com

  • You got me thinking

    Awesome post. Thanks for sharing. I am one of those people who wishes that my dad had wanted the same for me, but I was taught that my worth was determined by how well I served and took care of my family. I was never taught that I too should be cared for by my spouse, only that I should be happy that someone wanted to marry me,..hence I settled for a man who I thought would be a good father, but just ended up playing mother to him too. Now divorced, and hopefully wiser, I am still having a hard time convincing myself that even if I see my own self-worth, that someone significant will also see it in me. It’s so important to teach children to value themselves…so much harder as an adult to try and retrain your brain for self-worth.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re right, it is hard to get a late start in this life lesson, but remember, you’re on the journey with the rest of us. We’re all still learning it in some way or another. You’re worthy of the journey!

  • His child

    I found this letter on a friends Facebook page. I am in my early 50’s but reading this made me feel like I was a little girl again when my Daddy would call me his princess. My mother was a terrible parent and I will leave it at that. My Dad made up for her negativity by leaps and bounds. He never said what you have Dr. Flanagan but he made me feel it, that I am worthy of a man’s love. He showed it by example and by his faith as a Christian. Although I did not cross paths with my husband until I was 33, the moment I saw him, I knew he was the one and he says he knew also. It was physical (not that kind) it was the butterflies in the stomach and blood pressure going up feelings. We dated for three years and his heart and his focus was so much on me, a guy friend once told him, you two are attached at the hip. He said no, we are attached at the heart. When he asked me to marry him he also called my Dad that lived out of state to ask for my hand in marriage (in 1997). He is Jewish, I am not yet with that difference between us he knows what sacred means. We never had children yet we are not sad about that anymore we are able to love others children that much more. My Dads birthday is in a few weeks. With your permission I would like to post the letter on my Facebook wall along with his picture. I miss him dearly. He is always in my heart and I am grateful to say my husband is a lot like my Dad. I am like my Dad also in some ways, but I am most certainly “me”. My motto is dare to be different. Thank you Daddy for all you gave me from your heart.
    Thank you Sir for the insightful and heartfelt words you wrote in this letter to your Cutie-Pie, your Little One.

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  • Kaeldra Wintersbane

    I was raised in an abusive home. But I was lucky enough to have ONE wonderful parent. Throughout the entire fiasco of my youth, my father did his best to shelter me from my mother’s rage and to imply and impart that it was because of HER hang-ups and flaws that she behaved this way. Should he have done more? Perhaps. But he did the best he could without splitting the family. And I relate to him entirely even to this day. My hobbies, interests, even my sense of humor. And while I’m not *entirely* heterosexual, I’m guiltily grateful that my soul mate ended up being male. Because, while I’m still figuring out what it is to be a WOMAN, I have never wavered in what ideals I desired in a MAN. My daddy was my blueprint. And I found my near-perfect, knight-in-scuffed-tinfoil-armor who is more than willing to hold my hand while I spread my wings a little late in adulthood as I learn what kind of woman I want to be. The relationship between my husband and daughter are just a bit different than mine with my dad (they are always pushing each other’s buttons and butting heads), but I still see her reach to him in times of need, and already she is comparing the males in that she knows to him. Good daddies can save the world. Thank you!!!

  • daddyslittlegirl

    I cannot express enough how much this touched my heart up and down. I am only twenty years old right now which leaves me young, naïve and inexperienced with love. I have had one point in my life I believed he was the one, but unfortunately he wasn’t. I remember my father standing at the front door waving at my boyfriend as he beeped outside of my house instead of coming in like a real man, except he was waving goodbye to him. My dad then told me that who I am with becomes apart of me, makes me who I am. He told me he didn’t care if I was 80 and engaged as long as the man I was with brought out nothing but the best in me and put a smile on my face everyday and wasn’t the reason for my tears.
    That story may seem irrelevant to most of you, but growing up in todays day and age, things are much different. Although I am the definition of a “daddys girl”, my father has showed me what a true man is. Everyday for the past 25 years he made my mom smile, even when he was in the ICU fighting for his life because of cancer, he gave all of his strength to his wife and three wonderful daughters. That’s a real man, giving all of his strength to the women he loves, instead of using it for himself at his weakest times. The type of qualities and respect my father gives us is what I will forever look for in a man. No man who can’t handle the woman he loves at her worst certainly doesn’t deserve her at her best.
    So all of you who saw right through this letter, whether you never had a father figure growing up or didn’t have one like Dr.Flanagan, take a second to hear someone else’s prospective. Whether you are a mother or father or straight or gay, the model and type of person described in this letter is who you should tell your kids about, whether its a son or daughter.
    A man once said, “he who has a heart like your father, has your heart forever.”

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  • threeLegDog

    Is there a place to throw up here? Seriously, this guy is setting up his daughter to be an “entitled special snowflake”.

  • anonymous

    My name is Ruiz from UK I have to give this miraculous testimony, which is so unbelievable until now. I had a problem with my Ex husband 2years ago, which lead to our break up. when he broke up with me, I was not my self again, i felt so empty inside me, my love and financial situation became worst, until a close friend of mine Lucy told me about a spell caster who helped her in the same problem too his name is Dr olori. I email Dr olori the spell caster and i told him my problem and i did what he asked of me, to cut the long story short. Before i knew what was happening my husband gave me a call and told me that he was coming back to me in just 2days and was so happy to have him back to me. We have two kids together and we are happy with ourselves. Thanks to Dr olori for saving my relationship and for also saving others own too. continue your good work, If you are interested to contact him and testify this blessings like me, the great spell caster email address is (drolorispiritualtemple@gmail.com) you are the best among all the spell caster online I hope you see my testimonies and also pray for my family too

  • KPS

    Was liking the message until “the children you give him”. Really? That is all kinds of insulting to both mum snd dad. It is a shared experience not some kind of present.

  • Sandra from Texas

    Amazing! Thank You Dr Flanagan for such powerful message that speaks life and truth to my soul.

  • Danusia Bradley

    Thank you. I have no idea what it’s like to have a loving and present father, but you just gave me a little piece of that. I want to feel a bit of jealously for all the love your daughter has, but I’ve become numb to my have and have nots. I hope that I can give my kids a loving father, a kind and open father that respects them and gives them encouragement, guidance, and love. Thank you.

  • Brim Nichol

    i want to thank God for using dr. Zaco as my source of savior after 2year of joblessness and my lover left me alone for 2 years,Have just been heart broken until i go in contact with dr. Zaco after i saw a ladies testimony on how she was helped by this same dr. So i decided to get in contact with him and when i told him all my problems he laughed and said this is not a problem that everything will be ok in 3 days time.Exactly the 3rd day my ex lover called me i was shocked and what surprise me the most was that a company i applied for over 4 month called me and said i should resume work as soon as possible.Am so grateful to dr Zaco if you wish in contacting him Zacospelltemple@yahoo.com

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  • learn to google

    you googled the wrong shit

  • Janis D’monte

    Wish there were lots and lots of Dads like him… Real good advice…

  • john macathy

    i want to share my wonderful testimony on how a spell caster name DR KATE was able to bring back my ex boy-friend. will started dated when will were in high school for more than 11 and half years, and will promise to marry each other, before will were living a happy life take me out to different places love and cherish me, but one day he cheated on me not only that he was dating the girl and he was very serious about it, he know longer take me out as before he always shout at me and called me a fool and left me for the past 7 months without see him, so i told a friend of my name TRACY and she introduce me to this spell cast DR KATE LOVE SPELL who help me cast a love and return spell that bring back my ex boy-friend name SAM in just 48 hours and i was so surprise when he called me asking for my forgiveness telling me he still love and cherish me that he is come back to me again. thank you TRACY once again thank you DR KATE LOVE SPELL you can reach him at: katelovespell@hotmail.com

  • lucyhollywood

    I am Miss Lucy Hollywood., From united states of America.I
    will start by saying to all that have experience heart break and also cant do
    with out there lover should please stop here and read up my story, So as you
    will know how to go solving or getting your ex back from this spell caster..AND
    year December, My lover was cheating on me and was not also give me the
    attention that a man should give to a woman,And really that was troubling my
    mind and tearing my heart apart to the extent that i was not concentrating in
    the office the way i use to before the break up by my lover.And before that
    incident,I always see how my boss use to love his wife so much. I was binging
    to think that i was not doing the right thing to him that will make him love me
    forever,So i really gathered my courage and went to my boss wife office to ask
    her the secret that made her husband love her so dearly,In the first place she
    refused in telling me,She asked me why i am asking her such a question,That if
    is it not normal for every man to love his wife.I told her the reason that made
    me ask her about this question,That my lover started cheating on me lately,When
    i knelt down before her for her to see my seriousness in this issue that i went
    to ask her,She opened up to me by telling me that i should not tell anybody
    about what she want to tell me,The wife to my boss started to say to me that
    she used a very powerful spell on his husband to love her,And the spell that
    she used is harmless, But the spell is just to make him love her and never to
    look for any other woman except her. I QUICKLY ASK HER HOW DID SHE GET TO KNOW
    of hers also introduce her to him. Then i also ask her how i can meet with this
    Dr. DAHIRU TEMPLE. My next question to her was how can i get this wonderful
    spell caster,She said she is going to give me the email of the spell caster for
    me to contact him for my problem,Really she gave to me this spell caster email
    and i contacted him and explained all to him,And after every thing that needed
    to be done by the spell caster, In the next two days, My lover that hated me so
    much came to house begging for forgiveness and i was so glad that i have
    finally gotten my heart desire..I was so grateful to this spell caster for what
    he has done for my life.. So i made a promise to him that i will always
    continue telling the world about his wonderful work towards me and also to
    other that came to you before and also the people that will also get to you
    from my story that i narrated online now.. I will want to say to the entire
    world that you should not cry over noting again, That there is a great man that
    has been helping individuals to restore there Joy and smile in there faces !!
    The direct email to get this man is : arewaspecialisttemple@yahoo.com This is what i waaant to tell you
    all out there,That is thinking that all hope is lost ok..Thanks

  • SZT

    Well dr.Flanagan this lether is realy one-sided.
    You should ad the following:
    “…and my dear daughter,if you find a men like that,be gratfull and dont take for granted!”

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  • Grace

    This is amazing, nontheless. I’m 20 and have never had a good relationship with my father; my “preparation” for relationships has always been based on magazine articles with no real guidance, but the ones from my equally unprepared friends. Reading this is really relieving… Finding out that I should hold on to my self of worth and that good men are attracted to this.
    Just a month before coming across this letter, I found myself giving my virtue to my former “best friend”, whom I trusted wholeheartedly, in order to convince him I was “girlfriend material”. We no longer talk, because he made it very clear that he didn’t want anything else than the friends and physical aspect of our relationship, and he decided to get away from me.
    Is there anything I can do to stop feeling so miserable? I know I shouldn’t, but I still wait for him to change his mind.

  • EexinU

    I love this.

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  • Emybears

    It took a long time, and lots of heartache, but I found this man – my husband Alex. This post exudes love and positivity. I only hope my two daughters can follow this advice without making my mistakes first! Thank you.

  • Emily

    I love this, but I wish we wouldn’t refer to a specific gender when talking about who our kids will marry in the future. Just because you have a daughter doesn’t mean that she will date guys. The whole reason there is a closet people have to come out of is because we accept straight as the norm/expectation, and other orientations, while many people have no problem with them, are considered to be “atypical” or deviating from the standard. Just as you wouldn’t assume your kids will grow up to be gay, don’t assume they’ll grow up to be straight.

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  • Quadira Sophia

    I love this letter, and the new flash about Love divorcing Power! Write on!

  • Dibbels81

    Being single is awesome

  • Misty Ann Rhinerson

    It seems someone has taken what you wrote and switched it around a bit while adding a few of his own words and claimed it as his own. This was just written Dec 26,2013. Does this pretty much look like your letter to your daughter or is it just me?

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Misty, Thank you for keeping an eye on things. Several other readers have pointed it out to me in the last two days, as well. I went back and forth on whether or not to address it, but I have sent a message to Scott and hope I will hear back. Thanks again for helping to protect the copyrighted work of this blog, Misty.

      • Misty Ann Rhinerson

        No problem. I just hate to see anybody rip off somebody else’s work and then try to take credit for it. Hope it gets worked out!

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  • recheal

    Hello I want to give a testimony about the great doctor that brought my ex boyfriend back to me, when I saw many testimonies about him on net I did not believe it until I make up my mind to try him which I contacted him and he told me that his gods Has found my work so easy for him to handle. So he told me that I should provide some items which I did, when I brought the items to him, he cast the love spell on me, to my own surprise between 35 hours my ex turn back to me, as I am writing now we are now happily married. Thanks to Dr. ukpoyan for his great work he has done. Email him now at Dr.ukpoyanspellhome@hotmail.com

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  • Steve Watton

    Dear Dr. Flanagan. Thank you for this story – it’s been touching people all over Facebook lately, BUT. I have to tell you I first read it as a plagiarized version posted by a LIFETIME THIEF – Scott Sonnen. Here’s a link to his copy on his blog. I thought you should know.

  • Steve Watton

    Mr. Sonnen has also posted this as his own work here, where it has been shared over 72,000 times https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152094358942988&set=a.418668372987.192972.60086777987&type=1
    There is a little link there that says “report” where you can claim it as your property and hopefully have it removed by face book.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Steve, Thank you for your vigilance and advocacy. I have been in communication with Scott, and he did agree to link to my original letter in the introduction to his letter. I think we are mutually satisfied with this solution. Admittedly, it would have been nice to have had that link there originally, but I’m glad Scott was willing to rectify the situation. And I want to support him as a father and an advocate for young women.

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  • Erin

    I can’t start explaining to you how much I needed to read something like this in the last few days. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

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  • Jacqueline Driggers

    Your daughter is a very lucky little girl.

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  • Anabel

    Dr. Lee just wanted to update you, that Luis came to my work today, he was amazing towards me, just wanted to hold me and kiss me, I don’t know what you’ve done, but that was absolutely amazing, he was all over me, I want to thank you so much for that, you are my angel send from God. I don’t know what to say, that was amazing, I have never seen him like that. He just wanted to hold me and kiss me. I thank God everyday for knowing you and having you in my life. I love you, you are my angel…. If you need his assistance in life contact him: Ancientfathersandmothers@gmail.com

  • Diana

    Dear doctor Flanagan, Thank you so much for this letter! Hats of to you as father, as a man, as a doctor!

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  • Mariana Reyes

    Hello, I’m Mariana, I’m 26 and I’m from Argentina… a friend of mine shared this (in spanish, but I chose to read it in english) and I cried all the way trough the letter. Thank you for this words. It is how I’ve been trying to live my life the past few years. And it works.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Good for you, Mariana! I’m glad the letter found its way to you and that it validated how you’ve been trying to live. Keep going!

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  • Monica

    It is a lovely lovely lovely piece and it gives me courage to write one to my little boy….I am Mónica.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Monica. And, yes, our little boys need this message, too. Your little guy is lucky to have you for a mother!

  • geog

    I don’t know how Therapist Oniha did it,but he did it. My woman came back within 4 days after Therapist Oniha did the Win Ex Back Love Spell for me. She finnally dumped the other man. She said she couldn’t stop thinking about me. She said she was thinking about me everyday NON-STOP! I still can’t believe it. I wish I found Therapist Oniha earlier before I paid so much money to other sites and spell-casters. We are making plans on how to spend the valentine together,I think it’s a surprise but still i am still happy, because she’s been talking about marriage lately. thanks to Therapist Oniha you can contact him on his email winexbackspell@gmail.com

  • Beth

    Sometimes I am amazed that I held on to a sense of self-worth because it was not nurtured in me by my parents – good, caring people who just didn’t know that expressing their anxieties about my future out loud would scar me not help me, that pressuring me to lose weight from the age of ten would just make me feel unloved and unloveable and constantly judged in the place where I should feel most safe. But I did hold on to my sense of self-worth, at least in the sense that I didn’t throw myself at any unsuitable men in the hope of finding love; I believed their criticism, and therefore kept myself locked away for a very very long time and tried to heal myself, and it was a long, arduous journey, and it still isn’t over because those voices are still in my head, BUT at the age of 34 I met the man who found me interesting for myself AND who I found interesting for himself, who is not only intelligent and articulate and witty but also caring and dependable and loyal. Who enriches my life in so many ways, who has given me a feeling of home, and belonging, and acceptance, like no one else ever did. Who loved me when I was thin, when we met, and loves me now that I am no longer thin, after two pregnancies and two beautiful sons. Who makes me laugh every single day. Who makes me proud because he is so very very good at what he does – which is teach and inspire young people. Who is quite simply the best father to our two boys. He is actually the perfect son-in-law, but I almost hated how perfect he was for my parents when I met him, because they had given me such a hard time for staying single for so long I almost wished I could have met someone less wonderful for them (but still wonderful for me, of course). My husband is still a miracle to me. And yes, we argue and fight sometimes, he’s not a saint and neither am I! But the road I travelled to find him, and the fact that I did find him, constantly amazes me. I am endlessly grateful for how blessed I am. I think that with a father like you, your daughter’s road to find love will be less arduous. I hope one day she will be as blessed as I am.

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  • sharon

    Am Sharon from USA but base here in UK am so grateful to Dr ogudugu for what he has done for me,At first i was thing he was a scam and also thinking if i was doing the right,But when i decided to contact him i told him my problem he laughed and told me that everything will be okay within 48hours,So i decided to give it a try in which i contacted him he told me that i should remove all taught from my mind and be happy,Really on the second day i just got a cal from someone.The person was weeping then i decided to ask who was i speaking to then he called his name Jack i was shocked i asked him what happened he said he is really sorry for what he has done to me for the past 3years for leaving me alone.That i should please forgive him that he will make it up with me.So then i said let him come over which he did as he was coming he got me a new car and also said i should have access to his account top prove to me that he will never leave me for anything now we are both together and we are going to celebrate this valentine in any country of my choice,Which we are preparing for.Now we are together and he cant do without me friends am so happy to Dr ogudugu for bringing back happiness to my life.i swear with my life Dr ogudugu his a man to trust you can contact him on his private mail oguduguspelltemple@gmail.com and your problem we be solved

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  • Alyssa

    This post really spoke to my heart. I am 21 years old and about 2 years ago my dad and I had a falling out, coincidentally over my boyfriend of the last 3 years. After hardly putting any effort into getting to know the love of my life, my dad decided he hated him and that as long as we were together, I was somehow disrespecting him. This really upset me because if he had tried just a little bit harder to actually know him as a person, he would see that he does appreciate me for me. As different as he may be from my father, he does love me and he treats me right. I just wish all daddies were willing to look past differences to see that the new man makes his little girl happy. Awesome post.

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  • Guest

    Hi Dr. Flanagan,
    I was crying when I read this letter. I grew up in an old-fashioned Asian family, where the words “I love you” never uttered from my parents to their children, where hugs and kisses are exchanged only a few times a year, on special occasions, where I never heard the words “I’m proud of you” coming from them, and where I am constantly critized for not being good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. I grew up believing that I

  • Kathleen

    Hi Dr. Flanagan,
    I was SOBBING when I read this letter. I grew up in an old-fashioned Asian family, where the words “I love you” never uttered from my parents to their children, where hugs and kisses are exchanged only a few times a year, on special occasions; where I never heard the words “I’m proud of you” coming from them; where I am constantly critized for not being good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough; where I always fall short compared to my brothers.
    Every argument I had with my mother ended in her screaming “what did I ever do wrong?! Why does God punishing me by giving me a daughter like you?!”

    And so I grew up believing that I am worthless, good-for-nothing daughter. No matter how hard I tried, I will never be good enough. I spent my college years believing with all my heart that if I ever died, nobody would even miss me. I went from one boyfriend to another boyfriend, sacrificed more than I should have, just to gain their love, and constantly asking them “how could you love someone like me?” during entire relationship.
    How I wish that I had heard these words coming from my father.

    Thank you so much. I don’t know what else to say.

  • katgalena

    Thank you for your loving, thoughtful “letter.” Two comments:
    1. Your daughter will not “give” him children; they will have children together.
    2. As a person of faith, it would be important to me that he would also be a person of faith.

    I am blessed to be married to the kind of man you hope for for your daughter and my daughters have men in their lives like that.

  • Haley the Canadian

    Your daughter is the luckiest girl! I’m sitting here sobbing over your letters to her, anyone that would take the time to write something as beautiful as your letters deserves complete and utter respect! You go Dr. Flanagan!! 🙂

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Haley, that’s very kind of you!

  • momoffivemixed

    thankyou for writing the letters you write for your daughters. i wonder do you have boys? could you write somthing for boys (i like to use your letters as referance) on how to appriciate themselves for who they are and to appriciate others? your words to girls are very much needed, and i wonder how a letter to boys/men would sound from you. so meny boys loose out these days and dont know how to come into the world of men and this often causes the problems. they point at the weeknesses and flaws of women, because we are seen as vaunerable, in an attempt to avoid us seeing theirs. what would you say to your sons? or to the boy who will someday grow up to marry your daughter, if you could say somthing to him at ten that could impact him as a husband later, what would you say?

  • Kylie

    You letters are an encouragement to the fatherless. Thank you for making a difference.

  • Kylie


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  • Isabella

    This brought tears to my eyes. I don’t have a father in my life, and I have recently been ceaselessly questioning why I haven’t had a boyfriend yet – especially with the approach of Valentine’s Day. I really needed this. Thank you so much.

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  • Cookiepress

    Love it

  • misscm

    This is a wonderful column. I wonder if you could enlighten me as to what I should say when I constantly get told by my partner that I’m selfish for knowing what I want and that I should cone down off my high horse? In my head I just dint back down to demands that would make me unhappy. Even if they seem unreasonable. How can I tell if I really an selfish or just hold worthiness in myself? That I dont have to settle for being unhappy? Great letter…. My parents said the same to me 🙂

  • Julie

    I wish my Father had lived long enough to give me that advise, Thank you

  • Emily

    This is one of the sweetest things I have ever read. You’re little one is so lucky to have a dad like you!

  • hollie d

    This is beautiful.

  • Aaron Rodriguez

    Sir, I just want to say thank you. for writing this. For being a voice of reason and empathy in a world ravaged by cruelty and destruction. Your words are beautiful and kind, and also command attention and respect. Though, as a reader I must also point out, any relationship is a two way street, for a relationship is doomed to fail if one side does not put forth effort. Thus, as much as it is The mans duty to give his heart and soul to a woman, it is as much the womans duty to do the same. And unfortunately, many women today have forgotten such truths as well as men. But I digress. I do believe that your daughter, as well as every woman who reads this, will find her man. Because she has a prime example in you to begin with.
    I wish you and your family the best.

  • Nana

    Your letter to Sweetie Pie brought me to tears. Your words are so very relevant to our family right now. We’re struggling to encourage our 10 year old granddaughter to believe in herself amidst some serious bullying from class mates, and some horrible rumors circulating that are hurtful and untrue. This letter will be shared with her and some of her friends that are struggling for confidence as they enter their pre-teen years. Thank you for those wonderful words of wisdom.

  • K

    May I be nitpicky? This is a great post. My one small complaint is the line “the children you give him.” Since when do women give men children? How about “the children you raise together”? How about “the children you have”? This expression comes from a world in which women existed literally to give men children..I’d rather do away with that terminology.

  • Aliana

    Absolutely loved reading this! Definitely very well worth the read… I am 25 and had a long road of dating some not so wonderful guys, but as of 2011, I found one I call my soul-mate and will soon be marrying him. Anyway, thank you, Dr. Flanagan for writing this! 🙂

  • MJ

    As a student of Marriage and Family therapy, I read your article and it inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing. You wrote this letter beautifully to your daughter and I hope one day she reads it and understands how true it really is. I wish every father would write a letter like this to their daughter. This what young women should be hearing from the start. I’ve seen so many young girls who believe that their self worth is based off if they can conform to what a boy wants, especially after being rejected. I hope the future father of my children loves, cherishes and can give advice like this to my future children as you do yours. Thank you for the inspiration and sharing this beautiful letter!


    OMG! Tearing up right now! Thanks for saying this.

  • Barbara

    I feel your children will value a person for the important things in life and I think you had to rub off on your kids maybe more then you will ever see. I want my kids to find mates who will go the distance. When one falls the other holds it up.Weathering any storms they meet together praying and dancing through their lives as each for the other and one in the Lord. Thank you for putting your thoughts and words out their and hope every girl and boy who read it takes it to heart. thank you for reading this a mom.

  • Barbara

    Wow I shared this on face book and came in to check your site. I can’t believe the spin people are adding to this. It is a daddy for his girl. I’m sure you have strong advice for your sons as well. Maybe you could shut all the ones taking it out of context. It’s sad gay and lesbians even took their pound of flesh…I read it for what it is. A letter for your daughter that’s all why can’t people read it and not add their sick thoughts to something you made beautiful. I think they see their flaws and feel bad about their experiences and projected it here when nothing should be their thought added to your beautiful letter.It certainly hit nerves in people. Keep it going. Maybe you could write on for sons as well I’d like to see it 🙂 thanks a mom

  • Guest

    Hopefully, if the kid ends up being gay, the dad will be okay with changing all the pronouns to “she” and “her” 😛

  • Nisha

    This is so insanely adorable!!

  • Mondomanda

    So I apologize if I am adding something that has already been addressed thoroughly below – I don’t have time to read the responses – but what if your little girl winds up wanting a wife?

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  • guest

    It took my mother and stepfather witnessing my husband violently attacking me, again, in front of my three young daughters with the only person doing anything to help being my 9 year old daughter – who called the police for help, to make me realise that I had never been valued in my life. My children valued me but if I continued I would be responsible for them continuing to learn the worst lessons in life. We must teach our children male and female – each and every one of them that they are valued people in their own rights in order to stop these pointless negative cycles perpetuating. They all need to learn to respect and value every other person they meet but not loose any of their own self-respect in the process. We also need to fight the societal expectations of female subservience – whether conscious or unconscious.

  • Louis Burke


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  • Kelly in London, Ontario

    Just beautiful. From a 39-year old woman who had the husband who was interested and became uninterested; but is lucky enough to have the father who has always been quietly interested.

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  • Nic33

    This is such a wonderful article 🙂 I was really moved as it reflected all the past relationships of mine (which did not quite work out) and the current relationship I have now as I believe I have found that boy who thinks I’m interesting no matter what lol.

    In all my past relationships, I’ve been the one who was always trying to think of ways to keep the guy interested in me…..I would lose myself, trying to impress them, and trying to become someone they want me to be, not who I really was. Eventually they still lose interest in me as well as the relationship and I could never get myself out of this cycle. I started to forget who I really was..

    This cycle stopped until I met this boy, who is now my fiance 🙂

    He loved me for who I am, he loved me for the part of me that I thought wasn’t worth loving…I never needed to worry how to keep him interested in me, because he some how finds every part of me interesting, and he finds all the little things that happens between us interesting.
    I never felt so comfortable to say what I want to say, to dress what I want to dress, to be who I want to be, and still be so appreciated, adored and cherished by someone. Thinking back to my past relationships, I realized I was acting unconsciously all that time, pretending to be someone who I wasn’t.

    Although we are not married yet, but I’ve never had such confidence to walk into marriage with anyone because I was always trying too hard to impress the other person, that I’d lose all my self-confidence and self-worth.
    I’ve never had this daddy voice to tell me that I was worth loving, but I’m lucky to have met my fiance in the end. All the past relationships has taught me a few lessons, and one of them being that I should be with someone who loves me for who I REALLY am, who see my flaws and still thinks I’m beautiful, and someone who would come home everyday and the first thing he says to me is how much he missed me, who I can share all the joy, all the tears, and all the laughter together…..someone who I don’t have to change myself to impress.

    Thank you for this post, I will definitely tell my future children the message you gave from this post and just hope for the best lol.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you for sharing with us, and I’m so glad you are marrying a guy like the one described in this letter. Congratulations to both of you!

  • Guest91

    Wait, so what sandwich do I get him?

    • Guest

      Well it clearly can’t be an egg salad sandwich.

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  • Dr. Casby John

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, I came across a post online talking about how she got her ex back to her with the help of the great spell caster who happens to be high Dr Odudu that he helped her though i never believe this because i was just wondering how could this be, but i gave my self hope and i contact the spell caster. this is the unbelievable that has happened to me this December I was happily married and we had three kids, we lived together as one because we both loved each other but before i knew it, my husband started acting funny and cheating on me later on, he told me that he cannot continue with me so that was how he left me and my three kids without nothing but there was nothing i could do to stop him or bring him back to me I work so had to pay the children’s schools fee and other responsibility i did this for good five years. I cry all day and night because i don’t know what else to do to have my husband back to me until this faithful day i saw the post from one Miss Mary Jane Walker testifying how the high priest helped her to get her ex back I just wanted to try my luck because i never believe it will work but to my greatest surprise, am singing a new song i contacted the great priest on 2nd of December and he told me not to worry because once he finish caster the spell, that i will get my husband back the unbelievable happened on Friday when i got a call and I was surprise to hear my husbands voice apologizing to me that he is so sorry for keeping alone and came back home and we are happy together again wow, i really appreciate your good work great Dr Odudu God bless you and your good work for there is nothing else i can say than to tell the world about you. So if any one is out here seeing this post and you have similar issue like this, worry no more and contact the only man that can help you this email:odudutemple.spiritualist@yahoo.com, odudutemple.spiritualist@gmail.com or call +234-706721-7903.

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  • john mouphy

    DISCLAIMER IS OK, but you views and values and admonition is beyond proffessional help, it is from the heart.

  • Catherine Clevinger

    Love your articles. I am surrounded by some very powerful women at the university that I work at, and now as I have learned over the years I realize how little I thought of myself when I was younger. Keep writing and sharing please!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Catherine. I’ll keep writing and I hope you keep reading! And my best to you and all the women at your university!

  • Mark Pietrzyk

    yes, genuine reflection, to a world of possibilities, I found a girl like this, she’d become ill an within the oast years lost parts of family due illness or form of abuse, she loved an hated it all, she forms an reflects ofter, I share in a lot of them others I leave for her to keep near, unapproachable, she finds in me what not many do, I find in her reflections, of needs wants an mostly the unsure, I have her out of needs, we share out of giving, she cries for all the above, at times its tough to bare, but with all she’s been thru, she still pushes me on in some sort of way,,,,,,, Thanks Baby Girl 🙂

  • Dirinda Westfall Lacen

    Heaven and hell is a serious thing. I DO care about my children’s spouses’ faith, and, actually, I DO care about how they vote; since a person’s vote shows whether their views line up with the Bible or not. Other than that, it was a pretty good article.

  • Lindy Spencer

    Well thought out, and thoroughly true. Thank you for sharing.

  • Tam

    Thank you for writing this.

  • Kim

    Your words mean so much, thank you for being so open and wise. As a daughter with a distant father, I know he would have wanted me to hear these words, and they bring me comfort and confidence.

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  • UK

    Dear Kelly,

    I stumbled up on your post by one of my mates Facebook share, and I couldn’t agree more with you ,as am a farther of two girls and I wish and feel exactly the same for my little cutie pies. One thing this made me realise is that I have to look seriously in to how at times I treat my wife!
    Thank you very much for generating this post as I am sure that this has changed many lives! I wish you all the best and happiness in this little world of ours.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you! I’m glad the post found you. Your women are lucky to have a father and husband who is thinking hard about these things!

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  • Redhawk

    Just read some of the comments…my goodness, what has happened to us as a society that we have to put a simply stated wish for a daughters happiness wished by a Daddy who loves her to become so overly dissected? Maybe we should toss out the microscope and just listen with our hearts?!

  • Guest

    This is absolutely beautiful. I needed to hear this so much earlier in my life. But I am so glad to be hearing it now

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  • Pepper, In Birminham, AL

    Soooooo beautiful & perfectly expressed my own thoughts!

  • toni Valenti

    Beautiful letter. I wish someone told me those things. I also think that someone needs to tell BOYS those things, so they stop measuring their worth by how many girls that look like starved Sports Illustrated models they can get. Reciprocity is the key here — both sides of the equation need to evolve beyond Madison Ave and Hollywood, where the standards are not only unrealistic and unattainable, they promote unhealthy, self-absorbed lifestyles. Bravo Dr, Flanagan. Your little one is one lucky girl.

  • Blessedmommy

    This is beautiful. Everyone should read this and know that they are worthy and matter. I am a mother of two and expecting my third, a girl I hope! But either way I will be sharing this will all my children when they are old enough to understand, as well as your other letter from the makeup aisle! I didn’t have a letter like this when I was growing up but I am very blessed to say I found a man who loves and respects me and I am very lucky to have him. Thank you for such a touching and inspiring letter! Your children and readers are very lucky to have you as well! Have a blessed day!

  • K in RSA

    What a stunning post – not knowing you or your previous works, I stumbled upon this randomly!
    I am a mother of a baby boy and truly hope my husband and I are able to raise him into the kind of man you describe and with so many other virtues. Being a parent is one of the most challenging things I think there is in life and, regardless, your sentiments here are truly beautiful, to be interpreted by the reader in many ways, yes, but with such a beautifully handled tone (not to mention your fantastic responses to criticism from so many different angles!).
    thank you, and I will be sure to follow more of what you post.

    • drkellyflanagan

      K, thank you for your encouragement of my tone and responses. I do hope to strike the right balance of being honest about what I think, while also being gracious and open to being challenged. I appreciate your feedback!

  • Maria

    Since I was a young girl I prayed for a man much like the one in your letter. I didn’t have a father to look to along the way. After many hurdles, broken hearts and scars I was fortunate to meet my wonderful husband:). I’m 37 now and know it’s never too late to love yourself. I hope every girl/guy with out propper guidance from parents reads your letter and it helps others in their journey.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Maria, thanks for the reminder it’s never too late. I’m happy for you!

  • Angela

    Keep them coming! Keep nourishing the next generation of men with this. Because the type of men you described has to still be born, well that sounds drastic. Let me put it this way: they are almost extinct…

  • trica

    My husband has abandon me and the kids for the the past 8months now, and refuse to come back because he was hold on by a woman whom he just met, for that, my self and the kids has been suffering and it has been heel of a struggle, but I decide to do all means to make sure that my family come together as it use to, then I went online there I saw so many good talk about this spell caster whose email is LAVENDERLOVESPELL@YAHOO.com so I had to contact him and in just 4days as he has promised, my husband came home and his behavior was back to the man I got married to.I cant thank the spell caster enough what what he did for me, I am so grateful. I even spoke to the spell caster over the phone, to confirm his existence. His email again is: LAVENDERLOVESPELL@YAHOO.com

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  • Rose Smith

    My name is Rose Smith from united states of america. I never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to Africa in February this year on a business summit. I meant a man who’s name is DR.MADURAI he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one’s gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 3 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided, skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is maduraitemple@yahoo.com

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  • Nica Hawthorne

    This is beautiful. Thank you.

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  • swin

    A testimony that i will tell to everyone in this BLOG. i have been on my matrimonial home for four good years and on the fifth years of my marriage, a neighboring woman had a spell to take my lover away from me. My husband left me and the kids,we suffered for 2years until i met Therapist Oniha of the WIN EX BACK SPELL where so many people have been helped,i decided to give him a try to help me bring my lover back home even not for me but just for the kids,the therapist to me what to do within the next 3 days after doing what therapist Oniha ask of me, i saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband,he have come to me and the kids and that is why i am happy to make anybody is same issue to visit this Therapist Oniha via Email winexbackspell@gmail.com and have your lover back to your self. Swin lam

  • kattie

    Hi everyone I have just read all of the posts and I am in tears! My life for the past 10 yrs has been , I dont know how to put it, I guess loney and loveless. Im 26 I ve been with my fiance for 10 yrs and we have 2 sons. Our oldest 7 has AS too and my youngest 3 has autism. I feel so lonely in my family, none of them understand me at all and dont try. I feel like ive lost myself. I is much harder to deal with my Fiance then my kids of course, because I shouldnt have to parent him. I dont want to parent 3 people, I want love. He doesnt even feel love I dont think! Im very sad thinking that I am putting my self in this postion, to never put myself 1st or get anything I need or want it life. My family nor his gets it and they say that because he works and takes care of his family with money I should be happy enough. I wish there were groups where iI live but I havent found and yet. Im very happy to find other people out there dealing with this, because living life like this is very lonely. I would love to start talking with some of you,all things happen because great zalilu was very great to me,after he help me getting back my man every thing have be working fine.Please you can contact he for help so you can be happy in your relationship.Email him at;greatzalilu@gmail.com

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  • Suveeksha Santhoshi

    Dear Mr Flanagan,

    I recently came across a blogpost you had written about ‘True Sense of Beauty’ and how cosmetics comes at the very last, when it comes to how beautiful a person can look. I have read other posts too. One thing about each blogpost is how beautifully you have written. It instantly connects with your heart. In the days, where you have to search for people, to guide you, make you realize the importance of being human, you have achieved your goal by creating and writing posts (As a reader I can tell you that).

    All posts you written to your children are wonderful and I felt as if my Father was voicing out his thoughts. I have a great father, who has guided me through the Best and the worst situations. When I read your post, I could hear him and you. My respect to you. Wishing you always the very best.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Suveeksha, I’m so glad my words recalled the words of your father. Wishing you the best as well!

  • Christopher LaHaise

    I love this. This is a wonderful, wonderful letter. I’m going to have to save this for when I have my own child.

  • Claudia Gibson

    I read this letter to my daughter, it’s a beautiful message, THANK YOU 🙂

  • Fiona

    Since my last boyfriend I have felt so lonely. You know that as I explained that thoroughly in my first email to you. I wished for my heart to be filled with love and happiness and you did that! I have met the perfect guy and I am to be promoted tomorrow at work! It seems that the gods are smiling at me and you are the reason why. I will be your faithful follower for ever. Ancientfathersandmothers@gmail.com

  • Sammy

    It’s unsettling when parents assume their kids are going to be straight. My parents did that to me and it made me feel so alienated and uncomfortable.

  • lisa jerry

    ..,Hello I am Lisa Jerry ,I am out here to spread
    this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex husband back.I
    was going crazy when my husband left me and my two kids for another
    woman last month, But when i met a friend that introduced me to Priest
    Ohio the great messenger to the oracle of priest Ohio solution home,I
    narrated my problem to Priest Ohio about how my ex Husband left me and
    my two kids and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He
    only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be
    getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need
    to do,After it was been done,24 hours later,My Ex Husband called me on
    the phone and was saying sorry for living me and the kids before now and
    one week after my Husband called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I
    was called for interview in a very big company here in USA were i
    needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed
    that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Priest Ohio on
    his personal email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is
    too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on:
    priestohiosolutionhome@gmail.com or contact him through his website at
    http://priestohiosolutionhome.webs.com and get your problems solved like
    priestohiosolutionhome@gmail.com or contact him through his website at

  • Vivian Wyane

    *great thanks to the great Dr. UDO who helped me in times of sorrow and
    in getting my ex boyfriend back for me.
    my name is Vivian, and i am from u.k, i am 22 years old getting my ex
    back was a very difficult task for me for two years in the sense of that i
    have tried many solution and all seems to be in Vail but one day i heard a
    group of people of discussing about this great spell caster named Dr UDO
    and i also go to him but surprising he was the one that told me my problem
    and i was really surprised about this.
    then he decided to help me by performing a spell service and after he
    has castes the spell he told me to wait for 3 days and on the 4 days on a
    glorious morning i heard a knocked on my door post and to my greatest
    surprised when i opened the door i met my ex kneeling in front of me
    begging for my return and i was happy and surprised about this and also to
    say a great thanks to the great doctor UDO for helping me.
    viewers should kindly contact him on this email address
    (udosolutioncenter@outlook.com ) contact him and forget your sorrow no
    a man to be trusted………. thanks
    signed: Vivian*.

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  • Bev

    Your article brought tears to my eyes, but I really appreciated your later comment regarding “worthiness” — it is so true that calm, confident, contented people who have been appreciated in their lives don’t seem to be the demanding princes and princesses that those always seeking some kind of validation often end up being. Very nicely said.

  • Xyra Zai Phatmy

    I just love the way you write “Little one” when you address her in between the sentences, the words that make your fingers tremble and your heart shake and its as if I can see the tears pool around your eyes when you call her that, straight from the heart, every time I read the part where you call her “Little one” its like a knock on my heart, its just so beautiful, I wish someday God gives me the blessing of becoming a mother, of a “Little one” of my own, I would definitely read this to her, as many times as I can…I want to thank you in advance for this, also since there still is a “Little one” inside me, I want to thank you on her behalf as well…this is really something every girl should read!!!

  • A Mother Unconditional Love

    Dear Kelly,
    Thank so very much for sharing such a personal part of yours and your daughters life. I too have a daughter who is the one that sent me this letter. As a mother who has tried so hard to tell her daughter she is my little angel all grown up and she deserves what ever mother wants to be happy. I wanted her not to think it was her job to keep him interested, but she couldn’t hear my words, but you have said the same thing that I have been telling her and finally she has heard it….because she told me your letter made her cry. I believe that your letter has hit home for her and it is coming from a fathers point of view (the male) and not from me the mother, so I just want to say thank you for reaching my little angles heart and soul.
    from a mother, who loves her daughter just the way she is and always will!

    • drkellyflanagan

      I can’t imagine receiving a more encouraging comment. I’m so glad your daughter has heard what you’ve been trying to communicate all along. Good job being patient, Mom!

  • Averagewoman

    This can also be reworded for a mother to her son.

  • Michael Pratti


  • Lynda Yilmaz

    I would also have liked to seen another point saying, ‘I don’t care if ‘he’ is a ‘she’! I’m not gay btw, but if we truly care about all people, then the possibility that Cutie Pie might be should be in his mind.

  • Alison Amanda

    Do you truly not care what religion your future son in-law might be? Would you not be concerned that your grandkids might be persuaded to that religion over the one your daughter holds?


    i just want to start this way by giving a huge thanks to this man DR ABULU for what he has just done today in my life . at first i thought it won,t work because many has failed me before but on a second thought i said let me just try and to my best surprises Micheal my husband that said and insist he has nothing to do with me and my family called me immediately this great man DR ABULU of abuluspiritualtemple@yahoo.com ) cast a love spell on him and started begging for forgiveness well i love him so much and at once i accepted him back and today we are both living in pace and harmony, all the same the glory is to this man DR ABULU of abuluspiritualtemple@yahoo.com DOC I THANK YOU once again for you are worthy of all the thanks in my mouth today and forever am grateful and shall ever be to you . i also want to say if you are out there passing through a similar stuff or issues you can contact him today and i bi live him will also help you out ,,,,

  • droboitespelltemple

    Name is sherly, joy friend, From United Kingdom. I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about what this man called dr oboite has just done for me , this man has just brought back my lost Ex husband to me with his great spell, I was married to this man called Steven we were together for a long time and we loved our self’s but when I was unable to give him a child for 2 years he left me and told me he can’t continue anymore then I was now looking for ways to get him back until a friend of mine told me about this man and gave his contact email,doctorogul@gmail.com then you won’t believe this when I contacted this man on my problems he prepared this spell cast and bring my lost husband back, and he still help me after a month I miss my month and go for a test and the result stated am pregnant am happy today am a mother of a baby girl, thank you once again the great ogul for what you have done for me, if you are out there passing through any of this problems listed below:
    1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you need child
    (3) if you need promotion in your office
    (4) if you always have bad dreams:
    (5} have your money be scam you want it back.
    visit his email doctorogul@gmail.com or just free after
    the spell your share my testimony in how are help you thanks email him

  • Cameron Aria

    I’m a teenage girl who’s questioning her own self worth and wondering if I’m actually interesting enough for a a guy, thank you for making my day 🙂

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you for making mine, Cameron!

  • lostatthemoment

    this letter to your daughter is so lovely. and it also serves as a reminded to me and all women out there. So thank you.

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  • Colin A.

    You say this is an open forum for discussion, so I had a few observations.

    I think you missed the point of the question. The question, in my mind, was not intended to place the onus of “interest” on the woman. Or the man. As I’m sure you’re aware, relationships are living, breathing things. The minute you take one for granted is the minute it falls apart. “How to keep HIM interested” is just the other side of, “How to keep HER interested.” The responsibility is on both people in the relationship, you know that. You just only saw one side because maybe more girls search for that than guys do (which is a whole other discussion, but the bias is worth considering).

    And I cannot stand your assertion that your daughter is interesting. Really? Your daughter is not interesting by default – I hate this sorta shit parents push on their kids. I’m not interesting. You’re not interesting. Not everyone is “interesting by default.” “Interesting” is wholly objective. Spend an hour sitting in a coffee shop and you will find all sorts of people who are “not interesting.” By convincing your daughter that she doesn’t need to do or be anything to be interesting, ie, that her ‘interesting level’ is intrinsic because she is herself, you are effectively crippling her ability to be a person. She will assume that she is interesting right off the bat, never put any effort into developing herself, and anyone who doesn’t find her so she will dismiss as ignorant or worse. And forever after, she will wonder why no one spends any time with her – because her parents weren’t honest with her and showered her with affection and laurels she did not earn.

    Now you can sit there and say, “Oh well, it’s actually the lack of self-worth that leads to entitlement.” I’m generally familiar with how personality paradoxes work, but you really don’t think, not even for a minute, that by assuming your daughter is super-special that you’re not going to damage her or stunt her growth?

    You really don’t think that someone who is full of their own worthiness ISN’T the exact definition of the word ‘asshole?’

    Look, I’m not trying to tear you down – I think keeping your child’s chin up is the most important thing a parent can do – it will do them so much good later in life. But there is a fine line between rewarding them for true accomplishments, and just willy-nilly heaping praise on them for no reason. Look up “tiger-moms” and read carefully how they treat their children, and read what those children, when they grow up, have to say about how they were raised. You might be surprised

    I’d be interested to hear what you have to say – maybe I’m full of it, maybe I’m not. Won’t know until I ask.

  • dad

    This is great ammunition for all those guy’s who don’t work,
    don’t provide for the family, and have women who hold down the job for the
    family and listen to all his bs ideas buying into it. It goes on for
    years sometimes. And then they find out what’s really important, like how instead of a
    daisy in a cup of water while he slept on the couch all day while she worked
    somehow doesn’t provide much funds for their daughter who needs money for something
    she dreams of or simply needs. The bus stop is full of single mothers who wonder what the heck
    happened to all those words of bs they were listening to from the guy they
    hooked up with. I hope you have dreams
    for your daughter that include how to learn how to do hard work as part of the
    I hope guys don’t take your letter
    to show girls what their level of expectation should be.

  • dad

    is there a reason why my comment got deleted?

    • dad

      i see it… sorry 🙂

  • Stacey

    Dr K – a well written and beautifully put post!! I will pass it along to my own little “cutie pies” who aren’t so little any more! My son is 28, married and has a son of his own. I have done my very best to instill these very traits in him ALONG WITH his 23 and 21 year old sisters. I lost my father this past year. Dad was a quiet man but always supported us and always made us feel special and important. My husband is almost 13 years my senior and I was very young when we met. Everyone I knew – family and friends – discouraged my relationship because he was more than twice my age at the time. What I saw in my future husband is EXACTLY what you describe here – a man who cherished me, supported me in every way, understood what I needed before I did and we became the center of each other’s world! Here we are 30 year later DESPITE the “haters” (well, maybe not “haters” but they sure didn’t think we would last!) and we are the proud parents of three incredible adults and now have a beautiful grandson! We are more in love every day. As I am typing this post, Kenny Rogers is singing “Through The Years” in the background – how appropriate!! Thanks again!

  • Mellisa Hannah

    Before i when to my summer holiday i was having a miss understanding with my husband,a day after my marriage my husband was having an affair with another woman i known all their moves i just fit that it as just a joke i never knew that my husband was having an affair,one day i called husband on a phone another woman pick the call and she was insulting me on the phone that i should leave her husband for her that i am disturbing their relationship,this is the same man that i got married to i am so confuse i do not known what to do i need some one to device me on how i can get my husband back because i do not want to lose my husband for any reason he is the right man for me and that why i get married to he..I told a very good friend of mine about what i am passing through she promise to help to and that was how i meant great ukpoyan a spell caster that help me win back my husband i never believe in love spell but great ukpoyan prove it to me and that was how i won back my husband and now i am leaving well with my family,save that your relationship today by emailing this great man at: dr.ukpoyanspellhome@gmail.com

  • 3rdEcho

    I don’t want this to come off as a sympathy plea, but I just wanted to say thank you for this letter for your daughter. Men have always made me feel like I’m just a pretty face in a relationship and I’ve sort of just accepted it because I never, ever, saw love growing up, only disrespect and selfishness from a male. Now that I’ve chosen to remove that person from my life, I am left only with a few glimpses of what a good father is thanks to a new step-dad, even though I’m in my twenties.
    To get to my point, to know that someone could want this for someone else makes me re-evaluate whether or not I should always be bounds away from a lover’s first, second or third consideration. This has helped me realize a few things and reflect on some things that I need to both demand and not allow in my life, due to its personal nature/direction.

    From a daughter without a father to wish this for her,
    Thank you.
    (p.s.I can’t explain myself any better than this… this was very meaningful.)

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  • Bradley Speck

    Hey Guys,am so so happy..
    I had a problem with my boyfriend six months ago,which lead to us apart.
    When he broke up with me,I was no longer myself,I felt so empty inside
    .Until a friend of mine told me about one of her spells that helped in
    same problem too that she found on a television program. i emailed the
    spell caster and I told him my problem and I did what he asked me to
    briefly make. to cut the long story short,Before I knew what was
    happening,not up to 48 hours,my boyfriend gave me a call and he come back
    to me and told me he was sorry about what has happened, I’m so grateful to
    this spell caster and will not stop publishing his name on the internet
    just for the good work he has been doing.If you need his help,he can cast
    spells like,spells for money,spells for wining lottery,medicines to make a
    barren woman pregnant,spells to be brilliant,and so so so many more spell
    of any problems you can think of,you can email him at
    (UNIQUELOVESPELLCENTER@YAHOO.COM)and he will also help you to Dr Akim is
    his name
    (UNIQUELOVESPELLCENTER@YAHOO.COM) I will be forever grateful to you.or you can also call him on his mobile for easy contact on +2348159645271

  • Vira Kuznetsova

    My endless thanks to you, Mr. Kelly.

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  • nancy Alfred

    I am Mrs Nancy Alfred from Philippines . i was married to my husband, i love him so much we have been married for 9years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation he meant a lady called Jane , he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don’t know what to do until I met my friend miss Mangmang and introduce me to a man called Esango Priest who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3days. Miss Mangmang ask me to contact Esango Priest . I contacted him to help me bring back my husband . After three day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Esango Priest on any problem in this world, he is very nice, here is his contact Email esangopriest@gmail.com He is the best spell caster

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  • Garrison Berry

    ”I read your special report.I just wanted to thank you for putting that on the internet.I feel better and I know I have a roller coaster ride though hell. I know I will be stronger once I pass hell and turn into a stronger person. Thank you again.You are a good man to help people after what you went through.Maybe one day I can help people like you have helped me…Thanking great zalilu for helping reunite with my family again,i can just forget all that you have done for me.Contact greatzalilu@gmail.com

  • Garrison Berry

    My ex and I had been together 5 years and he left me with my 2 year old daughter all alone and moved to a different state permanently partially, because he does off shore drilling. But it hurt a lot. I found out that he got a girlfriend FFAASTTTer than i could say goodbye…and another…and another and that hurt me I was jealous that he could because i was the primary caretaker and more because i claim that my daughter needed her dad so bad, but in reality i wanted him to be there for me also……It hurts but you have to con fort the hurt loinesss sorrow and whatever you are dealing with and put all that energy into raisin your child. I didn’t have the best support group idk how yours was but i knew that i could just sit in the house all day so i gathered myself and I would put my all into my daughter now a little over a year later I have found the man of my dreams…through the help of great Zalilu, who help me in getting all i ever want in a relationship. i can now say goodbye to tear,you can get in touch with he at… greatzalilu@gmail.com

  • shimi

    You that is reading my testimony i want you to have the faith that it will also work for you the reason why am saying this. my husband left me for 6moths i never thought that he will come back to me because i tried all i can. he refuse to come back home. i was so confuse about my life. i was living in a sad life because there is no husband to cope with. a friend told me about dr. anu how he help her. that he is real grate caster the reason why i believe in her because she don’t lie to me she is good friend of mine. that how i email dr anu for help after 3 days he bring back my husband to me. my heart is full of joy because dr anu did a grate work in my life. his email; anuspiritualhome@gmail.com

  • Ja’Njah


    I read some views about DR LOVE SOLUTION and I was very impressed about what DR LOVE SOLUTION has done to many peoples and touch so many life all over the world . I reach DR LOVE SOLUTION drlovespellcastersolution@gmail.com Tel: +2348038096203 for help because my wife and I separated for three months (she asked for it) apparently she’s fallen out of love with me and we’ve grown apart and has given up on our marriage of nearly 14 years we’ve been together for nearly 22 years I feel that we can’t give up on this marriage and am trying everything to resolve the matter by all means, I’went for counseling but my wife doesn’t want to !! Not sure what else to do then i seek Help from DR LOVE SPELL CASTER SOLUTION drlovespellcastersolution@gmail.com to help me Restored my marriage problems and bring back my wife that separated from me 3 months because i love her so much and i still want to spend rest of my life with her, DR LOVE SPELL CASTER SOLUTION told me to relax and remain calm that my wife will come back to me between 48 hours after he cast a spell on her, thought it was a joke because i don’t believe it will come to past that my 14 years of marriage will be Resolved by Dr Love because i have try every things to make my wife love me again . Saturday Morning Before 48 hours that Dr love said , someone was knocking at my Door when i went to the door i saw my Wife ,telling me she was very sorry for all her mistake and that i should forgive her for all her bad attitude towards me , i was very happy to hear that ,i forgive her and we are living together happily now, Thanks So much DR LOVE SPELL CASTER SOLUTION without you i wont have get my wife back to me .


  • jolly menx

    Hi, I am JOLLY MENX from Germany,I just want to say thanks to Dr.kizzekpe for taking time to help me cast the spell that brings back my ex lover{now husband},who suddenly lost interest in me after eight months of engagement,but today we are married with kids and we are more happier than never before,Thanks to Dr.kizzekpe for his help,he deeply enjoy helping people achieve their desires, find true love,getting their ex lovers back,stop abusive relationships,find success,attract happiness,find soul mates and more,contact him today. and let him show you the wonders and amazement of his Love Spell System work,He deliver results at his best in real spell casting,email kizzekpespells@outlook.com for relationship matters.

  • Renae

    I now know why Google is rated the best search engine in the world, My name Rosica from Bulgaria. Just few days ago i was heart broken and i needed a solution on how to get my lover back, So i checked Google for solution and they gave me the details of this powerful spell caster called Dr.kizzekpe. So i went further by contacting Dr.kizzekpe on his address which are kizzekpespells@outlook.com I must confess since that very moment that i contacted Dr.kizzekpe my lover came back to me within 48 hours and till now we are having good times together.

  • Valeria

    I feel like crying, because all my conscious life I have been trying to deserve love and interest. and now i’m thinking what to do with this new information.

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  • Annas-boyfriend

    So your daughter only needs to be herself and just wait around for mr perfect… If you swapped boy for girl in this article — it would sound horrible : A mom telling her son that the right girl will love you and completely devote herself to you just because you are so great and confident! Imagine that son met your daughter — both expecting everything of the other and thinking they only need to be themselves – what chance does that relationship have? Anna is right! Relationships take work 🙂

    • Joseph Dooley

      Wish the author had spent more time on this throwaway line:

      If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won.

      That balance would have been refreshing.

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  • Miss Mei

    That was a beautiful message Dr Flanagan! Thank you so much.
    I’m a 20-year-old married lady, who has found the love of my life. It’s nice to be reminded of why I fell in love with my guy.

  • A Mummy

    What a beautiful letter, thank you so much for sharing it.

    I have a wonderful daughter who is now married to just such a man as you describe. They are definitely out there and they deserve all they recognition they can get.

    I raised my daughter to value her own worth, above all things, in relationships of all kinds and it did not result in a ‘selfish princess’ but in a delightful young woman who has excelled in everything she has put her hand too. She is a hard working, well balanced, contributing member of society and always ready to help others if they need it.

    It is sad that there are nay-sayers out there who will attack such a well develop and beautiful letter from a Daddy to his baby girl. I hope she takes your words to heart and lives her life by them.

  • CHMc

    I enjoyed this article so much. It was sent to me by my college daughter who is in her first serious relationship. Her father and I have not met the young man yet as they are both out of state. This article reminded me that when we meet him, she wants us to evaluate him of the basis of how he treats her sees her worth as a woman and not judge him according to what we believe he should be. As I read it though, I saw myself…and soon realized that the importance of a relationship isn’t money status or looks, it is how we treat each other, that keeps the flames going! Thank you.

  • Cecilia

    Hi! I really enjoyed
    this letter, it really touched my heart… I was wondering… is any of your children a boy? (I wanted to find the answer in the comments but there are too many so I decided to ask by myself, I hope you don’t mind);

    I ask because I am interested in knowing how do you think boys should be educated in that sense (what is important in a relationship)… thankful for you possible answer…Cecilia

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  • Rebecca Miller

    My name is Rebecca Miller I’m from united state, i have been married for 4 years and i have a break up with my husband 3 months ago and i was worried and so confuse because i love him so much. i was really going too depressed and a friend directed me to this spell caster Dr. Laco and i made all my problems known to him and he told me not to worry that he was going to make my husband to come back to me and in just 48hours i receive a call from my husband and he was appealing that i should come back to the house. i have never in my life believe in spell and but now it have just helped me and i am now so happy. All Thanks to him and if you also want to have your Husband back to yourself here !! his emailAddress(lacopowerfulspellcaster@yahoo.com) i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness.

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