By: Jeff Wood of Drooling Daddy
Having a daughter as a dad means one day she will start dating. This is something that scared me even in the early years as you start to wonder-will I handle it right? Will she come to me for support, and can I truly be there for her when she does? Us men have always heard of “a girl with daddy issues” and get freaked right out about the thought of us being the cause of the ‘daddy issues’ and our daughters making poor choices because of that.
Now I am a father of 2 daughters, one who is 18 who’ve I have been down this road with, and the other who is 10 and about to enter these years. I’m not going to lie, even though I have been through it once I’m still freaked out to do it again.
I may not know everything there is to know, I may not have done everything right but I did come out okay and my oldest daughter and I are still very close.
I found as a parent, let alone a dad, you can’t stop dating from happening- even though I wanted to lock her in a tower somewhere (yes dads pay attention to Disney Princess movies and see some good in there) but since this is obviously impossible…here is an alternative that worked for me.
I gave my daughter all the information possible. I had the “talk” with her and wasn’t uncomfortable even though she was at first. I told her about everything and let her know I would be there to answer any questions she had with out judgement, as I would rather have all the information to help her make the right choice for her then find out things the hard way. Whether the talk is about sex, how to treat someone or how should you be treated, us dads can share some valuable information with our daughters. I even took her down the condom aisle and talked with her, she went beat red and wouldn’t say anything. Hmm… how can you be ready for something if you can’t even talk about it, I asked. That statement hit home with her and led to great discussions between us.
When she had her first boyfriend, I saw things about him she didn’t. The teen mind if you think back to yourself is blind to negatives when dating early on but me being neutral picked up on them right away. I never approached her with “you can’t see him” as like everything it would make her lash out at me and not help at all. Instead I told her what I saw, and yes she got angry, but I continued to let her know “red flag” signs, little words and phrases to watch for so she could see for herself how controlling he was trying to be.
I will say this though, on many occasion I wanted to ring his head off the door on the way out but that is only something a dad can dream about and not act on.