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Bring on the Boys! (A Father's Nightmare)

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My husband's face darkens every time my teenage daughter mentions a boy she likes.

parents discussing, daughter looks at her cellphone

Beth Falkenstein: It is my husband's fondest dream to be the father that strikes fear into the heart of every high school boy. You see, having been a boy himself, he knows what they're after. So it is my duty to keep my husband from purchasing a 12-gauge as our daughter blossoms.

Having been a girl myself, I know how much fun the chase is. In many ways, it's the most important part of high school. The crushes, the flirting, even the bittersweet heartbreak of an unrequited affection plays perfectly into the teenage narrative. I have not one single recollection of learning about pi, but I can remember every detail of the moment the cute guy with the smoky eyes in sophomore choir first talked to me. That memory would never have happened if I had been known as "the girl whose maniac father will use your head for batting practice."

The tactic I have used with my husband is to point out to him that these interactions with boys are necessary -- vital, even. These years are the trial-and-error period when she learns what is important to her in her future relationships. Who are the diamonds and who are the duds.

That the first kiss with the shy nerd was better imagined than realized. That the strong-but-silent jock is really strong-but-boring on a date. And the goofy boy in the school play is not so goofy when you walk home with him after rehearsal.

(Okay, true confession: While all of that teen-psyche mumbo jumbo may be valid, I have an ulterior motive for convincing my husband to hold off on the convent applications for our daughter ... I am loving reliving my teenage romances vicariously through her!)

next: Find, Seduce, and Keep the Man You Want!
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jolinea July 1, 2009, 10:56 PM

Gross in so many ways. Sad that you’re reliving your life through your daughter and worse that all you remember about high school is frou frou crap. What a fabulous role model you are!

Magill July 2, 2009, 8:16 PM

Seriously Jolinea? That’s what you got from this? Well, I suppose that’s what makes the world interesting.

MerrieWay July 4, 2009, 4:28 PM

MerrieWay Muses: If we live vicariously through our kids - we are really trying to control their lives and not take responsibility for our own.
Dad should know that spying on his daughter will teach her to hide, lie, and shut out open communication, when it really counts.
When parents leave the door open for real commmunication, our kids feel safe to ask our opinions and to share what is troubling them.
Stop projecting your fears- and listen- your child is not YOU. They must make their own mistakes, gain their own kudos to become who they truely are.

aurhynn July 14, 2009, 12:22 AM

I actually found this humorous. She is pointing out that she is letting her daughter learn to make decisions on her own without fearing severe parental backlash. I’d like to think her ending comment was more for humor sake than truth so I took that with a grain of salt. I often joke to my husband any potential boys better watch out for ME. I’m more likely to use the boy’s head as a soccer ball. Besides, she never said she forcing her daughter’s decisions, she sounds more like she’s being a spectator, stepping in only when asked.

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