I know men are all about results. Honestly, so am I. I understand the importance of choosing to invest in something if the benefits outweigh or at least support the output of time, money and energy. I trust that the following testimonials will answer the question for you as to whether it would be worth it for you to be a part of The Abba Project.
The men who have been a part of this movement so far have included men who are salesmen, educators, builders, accountants, pastors, contractors, business owners, technicians, software engineers, financiers, law enforcement officers, managers, computer programers, and on it goes. Suffice it to say, The Abba Project is appropriate and adaptable for dads of all ages, backgrounds, personality types, and religious affiliations.
To provide you with some specific examples of how The Abba Project has changed lives, here are responses from some of the dads when I asked them what kind of impact our time together had made. Here, in their own words, are the results...
Would you do it again? If so, why?
"I was just telling another dad how much The Abba Project has helped my relationship with both my girls and at such a crucial time in both of their lives. I'm happy to pronounce being an "Abba Father Grad"!!!"-CC
"Yes. There has been a wealth of good information. In addition, it has provided incentive and
accountability to work on our daughter relationships." - DL
"Yes, because I learned things I didn’t know. I was looking for answers and had some of them answered." - PK
"Yes, definitely. My relationship with my daughter has improved a lot over the past year,
largely due to this group." - Doug
"Absolutely. This is a great group of men whose sole objective is to build a better relationship
with their daughters. They have been open and candid in sharing their hearts in the effort to
achieve that objective." - RH
"Yes. I have grown so much from this experience and have gotten closer with my daughters. They have grown from it too." - Bill
"Yes, and now anything I can do to help other dads strengthen their relationships with their daughters like I have had the opportunity to do over the past year I am committed to doing. The times we spent together as a team were truly transformational for me. I will miss our TEAM meetings." --Ron
Describe The Abba Project in one word:
Intentional Relationship----sorry, two words :o)
What things have you implemented with your daughter that are different than what you were doing before you started this group?
Dates, not talking so much about money, etc but deeper things & having more fun together.
More quick contact, i.e. texts, etc.
Dates, listening and affirmations for sure!
More one on one conversations, at home and on our dates.
Dates, deeper conversations, more open towards each other.
Frequency of connection. Showing interest in all areas of her life. Affirmation, acts of service.
What are 3 of the most impactful things you’ve learned?
The intentional investment of time is SO worth the effort and does produce fruit.
My relationship with my daughter is much stronger than it ever has been before.
If I would have known about this approach earlier we may have avoided some bumps.
I need to be intentional in keeping in touch with my daughter.
Our relationship is important to her, even as she becomes an adult.
To have more fun.
Adult daughters need their dads.
She needs my words. She needs me to listen.
Try to wait to give my opinion only when asked.
Keep open lines of communication.
The dates have been revealing.
How much impact I have in my daughters life.
Have regular dad/daughter dates.
Daughters enjoy talking to their dads.
My daughters are moving toward autonomy which isn't necessarily a move away from me.
My daughters need to know that I cherish them and sometimes it's beyond my capability
to express it.
Taking a lot of what I've learned about what a good relationship between what a dad and
daughter looks like and I've applied it to my wife.
There's Nothing Better Than a Personal Story or Two...
"I can't say enough how much you and The Abba Project have changed my life and dare I say my entire family." ----Alf
"The Abba Project really helped me see into the soul of my daughter, the troubles that she goes through, the challenges that she faces, the scary world that my 'baby' teenage girl lives in these days. The program made me think about what I need to do as a dad to help my daughter be the best she can be. I actually had to work on me before I could help my daughter."
"The funny thing with this entire process was that I became a better husband and business leader too. The skills and thinking I went through in the program helped me relate better to the really important people in my life. It has been life changing. Thanks Michelle for helping us dads see a bit better into the lives of those most important to us." ----Rick
"We're building a bridge to our daughters hearts, and that's the most important thing. In fact, when I put a sticky note on my daughters (age 13) mirror, she came downstairs and cried. So did my wife."
"Michelle, this is redemptive work!"
"I just want to say, don't give in to the cycle of shame where you get stuck between saying "I suck" and "try harder". One of those will win. But I've heard your heart as a father. You're a dad who fights for his kids."
"My daughter enjoys our dates and asks me on Week 3 during the month when our date is coming if I haven't asked her. We're doing a lot more hugging and wrestling. I'm a lot more comfortable now. I've never had a relationship with her like I've had in the last six months (his daughter is a senior in high school). She and I have developed a lot of trust here recently."
"I didn't get our date in, but told my daughter (age 15) how much I'm enjoying hanging out with her. It's been easy lately. I thought she would think that was weird, but she said she didn't at all."
"My dad never told me he loved me. This project, if it's taught me anything, is that I can do it differently."
Here is what one of the Abba dads told me just a month after our group ended:
"This thought just came to me.
I am currently sitting by my sister’s bedside in a hospital in Denver.
She is 49, a widow, and lives alone.
She has a terrible lung infection and her liver is in terrible shape from years of drinking in grief over losing her husband 20 years ago. Even if she recovers from this she has taken many years off her life and probably doesn’t have many more.
I think if my dad (or even me) had “kicked it up a notch” with my sister years ago she might not be in the shape she is in today.
This past year the Abba group has given me the inspiration and tools to hopefully help my daughter avoid ever being in this kind of situation due to the lack of a strong man in her life.
"One of the biggest revelations to me from our group was through your stories of how influential a dad still is in a girl’s life past the teen years. Continue to share your stories and it’s fine to use mine as well."
To the daughters I asked: Have you seen any changes in the way your dad has related to you because of his involvement in the group? If so, how?
"My dad sends me texts every morning, and he calls me every night to see how my day was and how everything is going. He is more understanding when I say I’d rather talk about something later, and everything like that too."
"More than I can say, really. As far as I know, Daddy’s never really been that keen on talking things out, so the fact that he was not only willing to do this, but stuck with it means the world."
"I know that he wants to fix or improve our relationship. Our relationship is very important to him and he's willing to take time out of his busy, tiring day to work on it. He's noticed it was lacking something and went out of his way to make it better. Our relationship became his project."
"I feel that my dad and I have become a lot closer. I am more open with him now about what is going on in my life, including my friends and everything. I don’t hide anything now. And it is much better that way!"
"My dad has begun talking to me like I'm more of an adult, like he's realized or learned that I'm less of a kid than I was yesterday. Our conversations consist of more serious topics, the laughing is still prominent but not the only thing present."
"You know, it’s funny but I was kind of thinking about that the other day. In the past, if something was going on, I would usually wait until I could talk to my mom alone. Anymore however, I just start talking because I feel like my dad and I are closer now, so I can talk freely in front of him and with him now. I don’t know if he always appreciates it (I talk a lot...) but it’s nice to have a feeling of openness and closeness that wasn’t always there."
"I've gotten a taste of my dad's sweet side, spiritual side and some of his past, previous to
The Abba Project I didn't always see these things so much. I've learned a lot about my dad in the past year, too many things to list."
"It was encouraging to me, as I always wanted my dad to get a better understanding of how I think, see, feel, hear, etc. things differently than he does, and I trust that he has gained a better understanding of this from you. It was a little hard to respond because it did seem a little contrived. But I am starting to see the good in it now and that what matters was that his intentions all along was to learn more about how to grow in our friendship."
"My dad has listened more and talked more. He has also been giving affirmation, but also being careful to affirm both the things that are less eternally important (ex: grades) and to affirm that things like my heart and my character are more important to him. I really appreciate this."