We have our first boyfriend in the family. I have to say that I am pretty excited for my daughter. She’s nearly 15 and I think that is a fair age. I trust her, but I’m not “Channel 6 News at 11” stupid. I never underestimate the tenacity of a hormone frenzied teen. The other night, my mini-me told me she had a rehearsal that wasn’t on the calendar. Immediately, my mind went to the old “I have a practice at the school and you need to take me but I’m really going to pretend to go there wait till you leave and sneak off to my boyfriend’s house” mode. After some detective work, it turns out that she really did have a practice. Poor thing. She never even knew I was investigating. Would she even know to pull something that sneaky? Damn skippy she would.
I feel like I have been preparing my girls and myself for the first boyfriend since they were old enough to talk. There were the pre-school conversations about the boy who kissed her on the cheek. That’s so cute. He likes you.
In elementary school it was more about diffusing the gross factor. I’ve listened to countless stories of how he said she was stupid, explaining that a 5th graders game was pretty sad and for the most part, he’s brain-damaged.
Middle school contained more brain damaged boys, some with weird facial hair and funny voices, but that’s about it.
Now, high school is all about damage control. The conversations have become dramatic arias about relationships that I clearly don’t understand or couldn’t possibly have experienced. I listen, face completely devoid of emotion. I have learned that if you begin to even crack a smile, it will be met with a “Mahmmmmmm! Gahdddddddd!” So, I sit like a statue, rolling my eyes on the inside.
I try to add a nugget of wisdom at the end, careful not to begin with a “when I was your age”(I was told that anything after that sentence turns into Charlie Brown’s teacher talk). I can usually get in a good piece of advice if I pretend to say it in passing. However, now that the boyfriend has entered our airspace, the commentary has become far more pointed and direct.
If you’re going to give your daughters advice, you better be willing to lead by example. It is impossible to teach your daughter how to have a healthy relationship if you can’t consider yourself a role model.
One of my pet peeves revolves around the use of the word “bitch”. Ooh, I hate that word. I especially can’t stand to hear it in everyday conversation. If you call me a bitch, prepare to be cursed out or worse. No man should ever call you a bitch. You have to make it clear that this is unacceptable. Now, if you allow this type of talk in your home, it’s not so easy to insist a boyfriend show your daughter respect. A man who calls a woman out of her name is a man who doesn’t deserve her attention. Ever.
A young lady will emulate relationships she sees. If you make bad choices and demonstrate destructive behavior; guess what. Get your act together.
My daughters are constantly reminded that their bodies are not the equivalent of a roller coaster. Contrary to some opinions, their physiques are not created for the amusement of others; to hop on for a ride, have fun and then get off. I teach them to respect their bodies by feeding them physically and spiritually. When young ladies understand the majesty of the human body, she is more likely to take great care of her own vessel. Girls who have little to no self-respect tend to become jiz depositories.
It’s okay to be affectionate toward one another. When you kiss, hormones and neurotransmitters rush through your body. Along with natural endorphins, they produce the euphoria most people feel during a good kiss. In addition, your heart rate increases and your blood vessels dilate, so your whole body receives more oxygen than it does when you’re just standing around. Also, along with the increase of the heart rate comes the increase of blood flowing to different parts of the body. Would you care to take a wild guess as to where that blood is rushing to in the young man? That’s right, my dear. You can say that kissing is the gateway drug of sexual activity. Do not pretend it means anything less.
If a young man is respectful, he will not embarrass you or put you in a position where your character may be compromised. Your reputation precedes you. Make sure it’s a positive one.
A dad or consistent positive male role model is the most important part of relationship building for a young lady. This is where she gets her healthy dose of self-respect and understanding of how it feels to be loved and cherished. If this man tells her that she is beautiful, smart and worth being treated only with the highest admiration, she will take that knowledge into future relationships with potential suitors.
My last piece of advice, this week, was to choose wisely. It’s nice to be a couple, but a couple of what is the better question. Be as particular about a young man as you are about your choice in shoes. Believe me, if they are worth your time and attention, they will understand and happily submit.
I have only hope that my daughters will listen to my advice. I know they will have to find their own way but I can sleep at night knowing we have laid a good foundation. It’s also easy to sleep knowing I have a .45 and a shovel.