Dr. Linda Nielsen

Discussion Guide

Chapter One
1. In what ways has your relationship been like the analogy of the babies floating down the stream?
2. Which of the four foolish beliefs are holding your relationship back?
3. If you believe it’s too late to improve your relationship, why do you feel this way?
4. What would have to happen for you to be more motivated to improve your relationship?
5. In the example of the people dying of thirst, which best describes your father-daughter relationship and why?
6.  Which of the reasons for not reading this book best reflect your attitudes?
7. What 3 pieces of advice from this chapter are more relevant for your relationship?
8. Where is your relationship on the author’s "father daughter life line"?
9. How do you feel when you think about the life line?
10. What ideas or suggestions most surprised you in this chapter? Why?

Chapter Two 
1. Which commercials that you’ve seen recently denigrate fathers?
2. What negative messages about fathers have you noticed in movies or magazines?
3. From the "Family Beliefs" quiz, which of your family beliefs worked for and which worked against your father-daughter relationship?
4.  Tell us about two incidents where your family’s negative beliefs about dads got acted out in a way that hurt your father-daughter bond?
5. What three things could you do differently in your family now to strengthen father-daughter relationships?
6. How much of an Equal Opportunity Daughter and Father are you two?
7. From the Equal Opportunity lists, which areas do you most need to improve?
8. What three memories have had a negative impact on your relationship? In what ways might these memories not be accurate?
 9. Describe a father-daughter situation where your initial interpretations of the other’s behavior turned out to be wrong.         
10. What are three of the most important ways in which your father-daughter relationship has shaped your life?   

Chapter Three
1. How emotionally intelligent are you and in which areas do you most need to improve?
2. How has society and family upbringing influenced the way you two communicate with each other?
3. Are men blockheads? Where were your beliefs most off base?
4. How do you communicate in crucial conversations and where do you most need to improve?
5. How do you react when it comes to advice giving as father and daughter?
6. What 3 steps could you take to improve in regard to giving and receiving advice?
7. Tell us about a time when you were at your worst and a time when you were at your best in communicating as father & daughter.
8. How do the two of you express anger and how did you learn this?
9. What are three changes you could make to improve your discussions over emotional or controversial topics?
10.  How do you two emotionally blackmail each other? How can you change this?

Chapter Four
1. How well do the two of your know one another?
2. How much time do you two spend together without others around and what do you each enjoy most about those times?
3. If you don’t spend much time alone with each other, why not?
4. What are some of the most pleasurable times you two have spent together?
5. How many of the "meaningful questions" in the lists can you answer?
6. What is your "it" – that one topic that is so difficult or impossible to discuss?
7. What do you fear will happen if you try to discuss "it"?
8. What do you feel that both of you need to apologize for?
9. How honest and truthful is your relationship?
10. What information surprised you the most in this chapter?

Chapter Five
1. How has money affected the father-daughter relationships in your family?
2. In what ways have you noticed women’s love and men’s money being connected in our society?
3. What surprised you most from the statistics on work and men’s roles in families?
4. What impact did your father’s job have on your relationship with him?  
5. How much "banking on dad" do you feel daughters should do after they graduate from high school?
6. What do you feel a father’s financial contributions should be in regard to his daughter’s college education, wedding,  house or car payments, her children (his grandchildren), and inheritance?
7. What are three steps you could take to lessen any financial tensions between fathers and daughters in your family?
8. What advice meant the most to you from this chapter?
9.  What are 3 mistakes  you’ve made in regard to money’s impact on the father-daughter relationships in your family?
10. Based on your experiences, what other advice would you offer regarding the impact of money and work on family relationships?

Chapter Six    
1. How have the mothers in your family affected the father-daughter relationships?
2. What changes could you make as a mother to strengthen your daughter’s bond with her dad?
3. And what changes could your mother make to strengthen your father-daughter bond? 
4. When you were growing up, how did your mom feel about your dad and how did this affect your relationship with him?
5. What have you noticed about the impact of unhappy marriages on father-daughter relationships in your family or in others?
6. How enmeshed are the children and mothers in your family?
 7. If you’re enmeshed with your mom, what are three things you could do to change that situation?
8. In movies and on TV what messages are being sent about how a father and a mother are supposed to interact with their daughter?
9. How would you rate yourself and the other mothers in your family in terms of being "father friendly’?
10. What were the 3 most helpful pieces of advice in this chapter?

Chapter Seven
 1. How has divorce affected the father-daughter relationships in your family?
2. In movies and on TV what messages do you get about divorced dads?
3. Which of your beliefs about divorced dads were challenged in this chapter?
4. Based on your conversations with divorced fathers, how do their experiences match the data in this chapter?
5. How can you help repair the damage done to father-daughter relationships by divorce in your family or your extended family?
6. How have the "M and M’s" had an impact on dads and daughters that you know?
7. If you’re the "second wife", what can you do to strengthen your husband’s bond with his daughter? 
8. What advice would you give to "second wives" or to daughters based on what you’ve read in this chapter?
9. In what ways have you been unfair or too harsh on divorced dads? 
10. How do you rank as an "evil stepdaughter" on the quiz?

Chapter Eight
1. What changes could be made in your family to lessen the tension surrounding sex and dating issues?
2. What surprised you in the statistics about teenagers’ sexual behavior?
3. How has your father-daughter relationship been affected by "lifestyle" conflicts?
4. How do the social values and lifestyle choices differ between the fathers and daughters in your family?
5. At what point in a daughter’s life should a father treat her like an independent grown up in regard to her personal lifestyle?
6. How does your family deal with these potential sources of conflict between dads & daughters: smoking, drinking, living with a boyfriend, getting married or ever having children, inter racial or inter faith dating, gay dads or lesbian daughters? 
7. What are some of the best and some of the worst ways your family has dealt with the touchy topics discussed in this chapter?
8. Based on your own father-daughter experiences, what advice would you give to dads and to teenage daughters?
9. How do you think dads and daughters should deal with her social and sexual life during her college years?
10. In what ways have you seen daughters mistreat their dads when it comes to his lifestyle choices?

Chapter Nine  
 1.  Have you known any dads or daughters who have reconciled after many years. If so, how did they reconcile?
2.  If you know any dads or daughters whose relationship seems to have ended, what steps could you take to help them?
3. If you have had little or no contact with your dad over the years, how has this affected you?
4. How did you feel after reading the comments in "dads who leave, daughters who grieve"?
5. Based on this chapter, what advice would you give to a dad who didn’t know how to reconcile with his daughter?
6. Except in cases of abusive behavior or addictions to drugs or alcohol, can you think of reasons why a daughter or dad should not try to create some kind of relationship?
7. What does forgiveness mean to you?
8. How has forgiveness changed relationships between parents and adult children in your immediate or extended family?
9. What advice would you give a dad or daughter who says the other person needs to take the first step towards reconciling?
10.  What have you learned about forgiveness or reconciliation from your own experiences?