'You only get one dad': Chch daughters behind book to educate fathers

Maddi McIvor with her dad Chris. Photo: Supplied
Maddi McIvor with her dad Chris. Photo: Supplied
Maddi McIvor and Montana Woods both have a great relationship with their dads - but they know it’s not like that for every teenage daughter.

That is why the two Cashmere High School year 13 students are writing and producing their book, Dadsitting, about some of the struggles and experiences daughters will face as they grow into women.

“We think a book will help educate fathers so they can have more of an understanding of what their daughter is going through, so they can become closer with their daughters. You only get one dad,” said Montana, 17.

Maddi, 18, said what they have seen since starting the project in February is a stereotype that daughters relate more to their mothers.

“It shouldn’t be that way. Daughters should feel equally as close to their dad. Dads should also feel like they can connect with their children.

“Having a daughter is probably really scary for them – they may not know what women go through.”

Montana Woods and Michael Woods. Photo: Supplied
Montana Woods and Michael Woods. Photo: Supplied
The book, which will be in an online audio form, will highlight the experiences an average teen girl will go through, such as periods, starting high school, friendship conflicts, first parties, first relationships, first breakups, social media and body issues.

The pair, who plan to get in touch with an editor and a publisher later this year, have spent the last school term exploring what issues teenage girls face through an online survey and interviewing students at the school.

Maddi said the next step will be to gather information and views from various fathers.

“After the school holidays, we are going to talk with more father figures.

“While we both have a good relationship with our dads, some girls are struggling to connect with theirs.”

The pair last week completed the first challenge in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), which gave them an opportunity to unleash their inner entrepreneur and experience the start-up world first-hand.

They submitted evidence on validation of their product by taking a prototype to market.

The next challenge for the two will be pitching their product.

The one-year programme requires students from across the country to complete four challenges before proceeding to the regional final, where top teams will pitch to a panel of judges to be selected as regional champions.

The winning teams will then compete in the national finals in December for a share of more than $20,000 in prize money, scholarships and awards.