Every morning, after the kids are off to school and I can finally start my cup of coffee, I check my Facebook, news, sports etc. Just a few minutes to allow my caffeine requirement to hit my system. This morning I came across a picture my friend Sean Seidell had reposted and several comments voicing their point of views stirred me to write this.
I’m admittedly torn on this subject. When my daughter starts to date (…gulp) every fiber of my being will want to protect her from the inevitable pain and heartache that will occur. I am fully aware that as she grows into a young woman, she will decide who she thinks is an appropriate guy/gal to date and she will establish her own rules.
This is where the views split for me. I agree that memes such as the first photo with the dad sniper “threatening” the boy with death is overdone to the extreme. If you dig deeper and grasp the undertone of the photo, I think you find many layers that can be revealed.
First, our children look to us[parents] when building their rules of life. Does Mommy argue with Daddy all the time? Does Daddy treat Mommy with respect? Are my parents affectionate to each other? These questions of course are just a few of the hundreds of questions that fill out the multitude of facets that help mold our children.
As my daughter grows into a young woman I remember that she will look to me when she starts to look for qualities in her future partner. My example everyday as a husband to my wife will provide a classroom for her to see how a woman should be treated and respected long before her going on Date #1. The love and respect I show my wife echoes to my children and when my daughter begins looking into the dating pool, she will more than likely look for someone who mirrors those similar attributes since my wife and I have been the consistent examples her whole life. Before we go any further these ring true for my sons too. So my rules for my daughter also apply to my boys.
Do I need a gun or other weapon to make this point to any person they decides to date? No. Do I want my kids to be hurt by boys/girls who break their hearts? Of course not. My role is to support and nurture my kids and teach them what I think are important qualities in a person. If the people my kids eventually deem qualified to meet Mommy and Daddy, then it would be MY litmus scale to pass. Whomever my kids decide to bring home will be directly related to the virtues my wife and I helped to instill.
A parent who is overprotective and smothering because of whom their children end up dating can sometimes be directly connected to the level of role model you (parents) were for your kids. Even when you have to repeat yourself a million times and the same deer in the headlights look stares back at you every single time, your kids are picking up on everything. If you want your kid to bring home someone you find wholesome…then guess what, be a wholesome person. BE that example, because you will find out faster than you like that it will be yourself to blame if your son or daughter brings home someone you find less than appropriate for you kid.
The tshirt from Feminist fathers’ is right as far as the physical and intimate nature of dating. Those rules are correct for both MEN and WOMEN, GAY or STRAIGHT. No one has a right to decide what is right for your body….BUT those rules that our kids use to decide what is right is effected by us, the parents. Be smart and backup your words because if you end up hiding in the bushes with a gun to “threaten” your kids dates then you have to evaluate what YOU did wrong, NOT your kid’s choice in guy or girl.