Raising Great Girls, Willows Academy’s speaker series for parents, was proud to present “Preparing Girls for the Dating World” featuring Doug Hinderer, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as part of our 2022-23 Raising Great Girls lineup.
Doug earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is a regular speaker at the Willows Academy and has given presentations to the students for several years. At this event, he shared the contents of his talk to the students with the parents to encourage increased communication and conversation around these topics.
Hinderer’s hopes were that parents walk away with a renewed appreciation of the beauty of marriage as well as practical ideas on how to talk to their daughters about marriage, sex, and dating. At Willows Academy, we believe in the irreplaceable and primary role of parents in helping their teenagers navigate these topics and aim to support parents throughout the adolescent years. Join us on Friday, February 3 to learn from Doug as he shares insight and expert advice on “Preparing Girls for the Dating World.”
After graduating with a degree in psychology, Doug pursued a career in human resources, largely due to the reality of raising a large family.
“It worked out well–I got a few promotions, changed jobs, made a decent income where I could put the kids through school,” Hinderer explains.
Doug always prioritized his role as a father before all else, evident in his choice to shift his career trajectory to better provide for his family. In addition, he and his wife made it a point to spend one on one time with each of their children, including rotating which child went with him to run errands and letting one child at a time accompany them on date nights.
His dedication to his family also included constantly growing and improving as a father. In a recent conversation with his oldest daughter, Doug says that the two joked about how she got the worst dad while his ninth and youngest child got the best one. He attributes this growth to both experience and maturing in his faith.
“It’s a journey and you’re constantly adjusting and getting better,” he says.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
As the financial demands of raising his family waned with his children graduating from schools and moving out, Doug began to explore his true passions more in earnest. After completing his master’s in marriage and family therapy, he jumped headfirst into counseling couples and providing the support they need to strengthen their marriages. Currently, Doug provides individual and couples therapy alongside keeping up with a full schedule of speaking engagements and workshops.
In his six years of working in counseling, Doug has seen that one of the biggest issues in the landscape of marriage today is the lack of formation.
“I went to school for six years to learn how to be a therapist, and I’m still learning to be better everyday. I had to go to a six hour class to get married in the Church,” he pointedly observes.
Through working with many couples, he has a firsthand look at the unfortunate consequences of a lack of proactive teaching about healthy dating and the true purpose of marriage. The vacuum left by the lack of formation will be replaced with messages from the media and mainstream society that normalize a fast track to physical intimacy and a degradation of God’s role in marriage.
Doug emphasizes the importance of parents engaging their children in these conversations. His talk, “Preparing Girls for the Dating World,” is one of many ways he is working to equip parents to do so.
Willows Academy believes in prioritizing parents as the primary educators of their daughters. Our speaker series for parents, Raising Great Girls, is one of many resources we provide to support parents and strengthen our partnership. Learn more about the Raising Great Girls series here.