About This Book


The day a girl is born, she starts a special relationship with her father. It doesn't matter her age — she will always be his little girl. This wide-ranging exploration of the relationship between fathers and daughters provides a new reading experience for Chicken Soup fans, with our 101 best stories written by fathers and daughters about each other, celebrating the special bond between fathers and daughters as they move through all of life's different phases.

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Five tips for keeping dads and daughters close

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dads & Daughters by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

Dads and daughters will always share a bond. From birth to first dates to softball leagues to weekly phone calls, the contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dads & Daughters share 101 stories about the cherished moments between dads and their daughters. Here are five tips for keeping dads and daughters close.

1. Celebrate conquering obstacles. Nita Sue Kent grew up with an alcoholic father. But then he began attending Alcoholics Anonymous and stayed sober. "He never did ‘fall off the wagon,’" Nita Sue writes. "Following the Alcoholics Anonymous slogan ‘one day at a time,’ he and mother truly lived one day at a time." She and her family started to celebrate the anniversary of his sobriety — "the most important birth date our family celebrated." While many things improved, Nita Sue’s father was never financially successful and sometimes apologized for not having an inheritance to leave his children. But decades later, when he passed away, Nita Sue said he was wrong. "He gave us over 37 years and nine months of sobriety — almost 14,000 days—one day at a time," Nita Sue writes. "His courage is his legacy, our inheritance."

2. Don’t be afraid to show you care. When Emily Chase’s father was hospitalized with pneumonia, she and her husband could only stay with him for the weekend; they had to return to work on Monday. While local relatives would help her father when he retuned home, Emily wanted to stay connected despite the distance. Then she remembered a tradition she started when her kids were young — hiding notes to their grandmother and grandfather after each visit to their grandparents. So Emily started writing notes to her dad and hiding them. Some were practical, and some expressed her care and concern. "Our notes were a tangible reminder of our love and concern for him during this recovery period," Emily writes. "Just like his medicines boosted him physically, these ‘emotional vitamins’ would boost his spiritual health." And they must’ve helped — her dad got better!

3. Be accountable. Ever since Kate Rowinski could remember, her father asked her the same question: "What do you have to say for yourself?" He asked her this when she came home from school as a child and as an adult when they talked on the phone once a week. This question challenged Kate to always have an answer worth giving. "I felt that, every day, my dad was asking me to account for myself. What was I doing? And why was I doing it?" Kate writes. "Knowing this question was coming made me think more about what I did, what I wanted, what I cared about." When Kate’s dad passed away, she missed him asking her that question. "I am faced with a greater test," she says. "I must go on, remembering that, though no one is asking, I must still account for myself and my actions." Now she asks her children that question, passing on what her father had taught her.

4. Embrace your family connections. Kimberly Ripley and her younger sister Karen were raised by their stepdad, Gordon. They also loved their biological father, but sometimes that relationship was strained. Gordon became a father figure to them, while also supporting their relationship with their biological father. Even when Gordon and their mom divorced, he remained in their lives. When Karen was planning her wedding, she told Kimberly that she wanted both men to walk her down the aisle. The sisters weren’t sure how their biological father would react. However, both men understood that they were fathers and agreed to participate in Karen’s wedding together. "The blessing to Karen and me was twofold," Kimberly writes. "In addition to ending years of confusion and estrangement, we learned to share the joy of being the proud daughters of two extraordinary fathers."

5. Fight dragons together. Timothy P. Bete’s daughter often had nightmares about the dragon from Sleeping Beauty. Timothy — playing the knight — would dash into his daughter’s room to chase away the dragon and save his princess. He did the same thing for his daughter that his parents had done for him when he was a child and had nightmares — he sat by her, rubbed her back and helped her think of happy things until she fell back to sleep. The half-asleep, pajama-clad knight once fought off six dragons in one practically sleepless night. Despite the frequent exhaustion, Timothy remembers why he made the sacrifice: "Your actions teach her to raise her own children — with unlimited patience and selfless love. You are raising the next generation of dragon-slayers."

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