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Dads against daughters dating. “Let me clean my shot gun until you bring my daughter home from her date.” Countless memes, sayings and cartoons exist out there of a protective father wanting to protect his precious daughter from a sex-craved man. “You hurt her, and I will kill you.” She is not going to date until she is 40, right? Is that really the way to go about it?
They say a daughter learns how a woman should be treated by watching the way her father treats other women. She learns by seeing what a true gentleman is and how respect is given as well as received. You are her first love, and to her, you are the world. You will always be her Daddy. You do not want to see her hurt. You want to protect her for as long as you can. So no one can blame you when you get just a little protective.
The flip side of the coin is you want her to also feel like you can trust her. Think about when you were a young teenager first finding yourself attracted to another person. If your parent told you that you were forbidden from seeing that other person, what would you do?
That’s right. You would be even more motivated to do it. Just because you were told not to. It is the forbidden fruit. The only thing is, you would hide it for fear of getting caught. That was half the excitement of it, was it not?
Think about that in the context of your daughter. You want her to be open enough to tell you when she wants to date a boy. You probably do not want her to date behind your back. She should not feel like she has to hide anything from you. You want her to feel like she can talk to you, trust you and get your advice.
You probably also want her to think you trust her enough to make her own decisions. Sure, it is hard. You worry she is going to pick the troublemaker in class whose dream it is to be a professional game player and live in his parent’s basement. She could pick that guy, true. She could also pick a guy who is smart and is going to be super nice to her and treat her like you would want her to be treated. If you have taught her well and shown her what to look for, you may just be able to trust her in her selection. The person she picks does not mean he is going to be Mr. Forever. He could be Mr. Right for Right Now. It is quite possible she is going to pick someone you hate. She might also pick a guy you ended up liking more than she likes him. It is hard to say. The thing that most of us hate is we have no control over it. It just is what it is.
Take it from this woman’s perspective, though. As a daughter, I can say with no hesitation that locking your daughter up or cleaning your gun collection while she is out on a date so that the guy sees you and is scared of you is not the answer. No, you cannot go on her prom with her. It is probably a really bad idea to pull the guy aside and say “If you hurt her, I will end you and make it look like an accident.” You can think it, but I would probably keep that thought to yourself.
Teach her what respect and love is. Show her you trust her and keep the lines of communication open. It will not be easy, but parenting sucks sometimes. But put down the D.A.D.D. (Dads Against Daughters Dating) t-shirt. You can do it. Trust me; it is worth it.