I often hear it from dads of young girls, or men who want to have children someday.
If they have a daughter, they will do their best to scare the crap out of her boyfriends, and that way, their little girl will be treated with respect. Because apparently, when you’re afraid of your girlfriend’s dad, there’s no way you’d try to sleep with her, and you’d, of course, marry her eventually instead of leaving her for another girl.
This is probably true. On another planet. In another dimension. In another century.
Dads, hear me out. Your little girl will one day be a hormone laden young woman who will fall in love (or think that she is). And for the very things you want to protect her against? She will be attracted to them like a moth to a flame just to rebel against your authority. She will fall for men who could not care less about that rifle you display in your living room, or that supposedly terrifying stare of yours.
If you keep on believing that the fear you instill in boys will protect your daughter, the very things you dread will come true.
Let me tell you about the difference between a girl who falls for bad boys and mingles with the wrong crowd, and the girl who does not. The difference is self-esteem. Self-esteem is your best weapon against your daughter’s boyfriends.
Teach your daughter that women are worthy of respect by respecting her mother, and other women.
Teach your daughter that a good man will not emotionally manipulate others, or physically hurt them, by showing her what a good man is yourself.
Teach your daughter that fulfillment isn’t found through a romantic relationship, but rather through personal accomplishments. Show her how to explore her personal interests, and develop her talents. Encourage her, give her a rich environment in which she can find out who she really is. Because who she is is defined by what she loves to do, not by her boyfriend.
A woman with strong self-esteem will not need anyone to protect her against those who might want to hurt her. She will be able to protect herself. No one will successfully pressure her into having sex. No one will be able to emotionally manipulate her. If she is unhappy in a relationship, she will not fear leaving. She will know that being alone is always better than being mistreated by a boyfriend, no matter how handsome or popular he is.
Dads, stop trying to scare your daughter’s boyfriends. Embrace them, welcome them, love them, the way your little girl does. Trust that she knows what she is doing, and know that you raised a strong, confident woman who will be safe with or without your help. And enjoy watching your daughter grow.
Author: Joanna Steven
Editor: Travis May