I have four daughters, two of which have gone through their teenage years and during those teenage years, easily the biggest minefield is when they discover boys and decide its time for a boyfriend.
This was the time when I nearly chewed right through my tongue to stop myself from saying what I was really thinking about the latest boy to enter their lives. Who, of course was the best thing to ever have happened in their lives.
As a dad you are faced with a huge dilemma in more than a few ways, but one thing is for sure you will not change what they are going to do and who they decide is their next boyfriend.
It is a minefield as a dad to see their daughters have a boyfriend and actually quite an emotional experience because you realise that they are no longer daddy’s little girl they are growing and maturing and another male is important in their lives.
Of course the important thing is not to feel rejected as the person that daughters have always seen as their superhero I guess it’s kind of move over Superman here comes Batman.
It’s a tough realisation that you are now surplus to requirements and somebody else is far more important, but actually that’s ok. Your children have to grow-up.
The worst possible thing of course you can do is criticise your daughters new boyfriend even if you think he is a waste of space and you genuinely think he is not the one for her. It’s best to keep a very discreet silence. Or you are in danger of driving a wedge between the two of you which in my experience can last for years. You have to remember they are all loved up and the new boyfriend cannot possibly do any wrong. So beware before you speak because the consequences maybe not what you had in mind.
Many years ago my sister met somebody when she was 16 years old and my mother in her wisdom decided he was not good enough for her, this turned out to be a big mistake, because my mother and sister became estranged and even now their relationship has not really recovered. My sister is to this day still with the same person and very happily married.
On a more personal note my wife’s father disagreed with our relationship. The main reason being the age gap and he did everything in his power to split us up. Eventually he kicked my wife out of the family home. We moved in together and have been together 12 years now, married for six years this coming January. The consequence for him was my wife didn’t speak to him for five years or so and although they speak now the relationship will probably never be the same again.
What these two incidents taught me was not to interfere with my daughters choices of boyfriends. I may not agree with their choices and it’s sometimes very difficult to stay quiet, but they have to find out themselves and learn from these experiences as they grow up.
The choice is simple, speak your mind and end up not having a relationship with your daughter for however long or bite your tongue and let it play out, because after all the boyfriend your daughter chooses may actually turn out to be a nice person. Trusting and respecting your daughters choices is so important after all if you have raised them well they will have their own rules about what is acceptable or unacceptable in a boyfriend and they will know what’s right or wrong.
My choice will always be a relationship with my daughter whatever the situation.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Would you speak your mind about your daughters choice of boyfriend?