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Be the Protector, but No Ultimatums

My father was very protective. He stood on the porch when friends came over to visit, arms folded, legs wide, squared up in authority. He walked the block as I was outside riding my bike, using the same stance as he hit the top of every corner. My friends and boyfriends knew he meant business.

However, dad, be careful in how you interact with your daughter, and the ultimatums to which you give her.

My big sister, began to date a man on her job. He was a security guard, and living in the basement of his mother's home, she, an executive assistance. He definitely was not marriage material by any means, and my father knew it. Instead of allowing my sister to date this guy and walk her through the process so that she could figure it out on her own, he lost his cool.

One day after seeing her canoodling with him, he rushed into our shared room and slapped down a bullet on her dresser and said if he harms you, this is going in him. Pretty dramatic right? I certainly think so, but he was staking his claim as protector. As the relationship developed my father gave my sister an ultimatum. She was 18 and he was 25. He told her, if she was going to continue to see him, she had a choice - move out or stay and no longer see him. And at the age of 18, thinking she was grown, she moved out and into the basement of his mother's house.

My dad was a great man (he is no longer here with us). However, this was not his finest hour. Dad, don't push your daughter into the arms of a man you know isn't worthy of her as a prize. Instead, run the criminal background check, find out more about him. When he comes to pick up your daughter let the man know you have completed it.

The conversation can go a little like this:

“Hey Tucker, good to see you again. I have run a background check on you. I see you're 25

years of age living at 123 Headed to Nowhere Lane…”

Ok...ok...maybe just say that you know where he lives. Although this guy was definitely headed to nowhere. “You're a lot older than my daughter, so what are your intentions?“ Hear him out. And then proceed to make him aware that she's your baby girl, and that you will continue to respect her wishes and allow them to date, but that you will always be here making sure she knows she is loved, respected, and adored. Make sure the conversation remains respectful. Don't lose your cool, dad, he is still seeing your daughter and you want her safe.

What you will find, is that a man who realizes a daughter has the protection of her dad and family, and that she can't be easily manipulated or fooled, is no longer someone with whom he may have interest. In my dad's case, looking as if he was so willing to give her away, leaves the daughter vulnerable and susceptible to being mistreated, because he will think the opposite—that she isn't cared for.

Dating is the inevitable. However, if you begin to date your daughter when she is young, you will begin to show her how she deserves to be treated by any man who enters her life in the future. Take her out to nice places, open the doors, and show her that chivalry isn't dead. Model a healthy relationship with your spouse, if you are married. And it will be through your examples that she will make wise decisions, because it was what you will do and say that will guide her healthy decision making.

We love you, and thank you for protecting us.


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