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Fathers and Daughters


With special guest:

  • Madonna King
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

The word “daughter” with its silent letters points to something going on beneath the surface. To find out exactly what is going on between daughters and their Dads calls for a type of explorer who is prepared to investigate widely and give a voice to their thoughts and feelings.

Our guest today is Madonna King one of Australia’s most accomplished journalists. In her new book, Fathers and Daughters: Helping girls and their dads build unbreakable bonds Madonna with her typical thoroughness has interviewed no fewer than 1300 girls and 400 Dads along with a host of school principals, psychologists, researchers and even neuroscientists to give us some answers.

Sometimes the natural instinct of Dads to “fix things” is not what is required. Being a good listener is what his daughter is looking for. Sometimes a practical approach rather than an emotional response is the way to go. Sometimes Dad does not need to do anything, his daughter can learn a lot by modelling and by watching how he relates to others. Dad may show his care by actions rather than words but if that is the case Dad needs to remember just how important he is in his daughter’s life.

One of Madonna’s experts told her that there is not a positive narrative about maleness at the moment which makes Fathers and Daughters such a topical and important work. The most important message is that Dads must never give up and withdraw from the relationship with their daughters no matter how hard it may get.

The bond between fathers and daughters has to change when daddy’s little girl becomes a young woman, then later when she is out in the big wide world, but the bond has to remain and it may even get stronger. Madonna draws from her extensive investigation to come up with 10 tips to help rekindle or never lose that bond between daughters and their Dads. Everyone will come away with something new to think about after listening to Madonna in this program.

Madonna King

Madonna King is one of Australia’s most accomplished journalists, having worked at senior levels of News Limited and the ABC, where she presented the Mornings program in Brisbane for six years. Madonna writes for Fairfax and has a regular radio spot on Brisbane’s 4BC. She has written eight books, including Being 14, Hockey, Ian Frazer, Bali 9 and Fathers and Daughters, all defined by her skilful reporting and her ability to get people to talk in depth. Madonna is also a parent of two teenage girls.

Song selection by our guest: Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran

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