Dads Raising Daughters: Wisdom On Love, Dating & (Gulp!) Sex
We’ve been hearing from real dads about teaching their daughters that they are smart and beautiful and that girls can do anything boys can do. Today we tackle the motherlode — her, fatherlode? — of parenting topics: dads imparting wisdom on love, dating, and sex.
For advice, I turned to Tony, the father of three girls under the age of nine; Adam, the father of two daughters under the age of four; Jim, the father of a nine-year-old girl; Joe (AKA Frisky commenter _JSW_), the father of two girls under the age of twelve; and Jesse, the father of three girls under eight.
Read on for their fab (and adorable) advice…
All the fathers I spoke to have daughters who aren’t even dating yet. (Although at least one elementary-schooler makes sure she puts lip gloss on before she leaves the house in case she comes across any boys!) But these dads are still very much aware that they are teaching their girls important lessons each day. Several of them echoed the same sentiment: “Girls often grow up to be with men who are like their fathers,” as Joe put it. But my favorite quote was from Tony, who said, “Be the man you want your daughter to bring home.”
Of course there are more specific matters to be addressed. Even though his daughters are young, Adam and his wife have discussed future rules — or, at least, concepts he wants to become his girls’ personal rules for themselves. He wrote in an email:
- If you are anywhere, ever, any time, and you are uncomfortable and want to get out, we will pick you up no questions asked. Period. Both my wife and I had that rule with our parents and I think it give you a confidence and a foresight in to where a scenario may go and neither of us had to use it.
- It may be hot button, but I don’t give a shit. If you get pregnant by accident (which obviously you never should because we will be so open and supportive of safe sex, right? RIGHT?) you will tell one of us (mom, I assume, but who knows) and NOT the boy, potentially NEVER the boy. I see why that is hot button, and I know it may not be fair. I know all the reasons why I would get lambasted for this —and I don’t care.
- Never take an open drink, ANY drink, or leave your drink unattended. My wife was roofied in a fucking seltzer (her friend took her home, thankfully).
Of course, no dad wants to think about his daughters’ getting roofied or having unintended pregnancies. But that’s the world we’re living in and Adam wants to be prepared. As he put it, “Insulating and exposing is a delicate balance.”
Tony talks with his eldest about the boys she has crushes on, fully aware his nine-year-old likely may not do that forever. (“And I hawk-eye the neighbor’s kids who show interest,” he added.) Joe says that even though his daughters are too young to discuss dating in any real depth (“Sex? I don’t want to know.”), he is already trying to instill in them loving and accepting values:
One thing I’ve always been very open with is the fact that you’re allowed to like whomever you like. Most boys like girls and most girls like boys, but some boys like boys, some girls like girls, and some people just aren’t interested at all. I realize there’s more to that theme, but it’s been sufficient so far. In fact, just a few nights ago, we were watching and discussing George Michael’s “Freedom 90″ video. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss the meaning behind the lyrics while I got to check out supermodels.