"You need to love your wife as you want your daughter to be loved. Your young daughter is impressionable, and unfortunately, she is going to learn from the movies, television shows, magazines, social media, and her friends, what love looks and sounds like."
The parent trope of the dad who hates his daughters' boyfriends is as old as time. We've seen it way too often both on and off-screen, with fathers distrusting every inch of whoever dares to date their little girls and citing first-hand knowledge of how men think and act for their lack of faith. However, mom-of-three Nicole urges dads to consider another—much more effective—alternative to shooting daggers at their girls' dates. Nicole, who shares "an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life parenting, marriage, and self-improvement" through her blog jthreeNMe, published an open letter to girl dads a few years ago, explaining what they should focus on when preparing their daughters for the future.
"To all of the men with daughters: The mere thought of your little girl having a 'boyfriend' must make you crazy; it does me, and I am just her mother," she wrote. "That little 6 lb 9 oz angelic princess you brought home seven years ago, will probably have a 'crush' within the next couple of years, and a boyfriend just a few years after that. That is terrifying. The good news, though, is that you are able to show her all that she deserves from a man. Relationships and marriages are hard, and that is a truth that your daughter will learn one day. They are challenging for all people, including the kindhearted and well-intentioned."
"The best (and probably the hardest) thing that you can do for your daughter is to model for her how a woman should be treated," Nicole continued. "You need to love your wife as you want your daughter to be loved. Your young daughter is impressionable, and unfortunately, she is going to learn from the movies, television shows, magazines, social media, and her friends, what love looks and sounds like — or so she'll think."
"More likely, however, is that what she will be 'picking up' outside of her home will be so far from 'real' and 'right' love. You, and only you, can combat this -- by treating her mother well and loving her mother hard," she explained. Nicole stressed that it all starts at home, with how a dad treats his wife. "Today and all days, respect your wife. Hold her hand at every chance you get and kiss her a lot. Smile at her. Make eye contact. When she is talking, listen intently. Open doors for her. Build up her confidence. Praise her for her accomplishments."
"Encourage her when she is in need of it. Empathize with her when she seeks support. Go on adventures with her. Tell her she is beautiful, inside and out, and tell her often. Your daughter more than loves her mother; she is enthralled with her. The mother-daughter connection is so intertwined, that mothers and their daughters, well, they tend to live a parallel life. And, your understanding of this will help you to come to this realization: That your relationship with your wife is about so much more than just you and her. The greatest gift — behind his time and attention — that a father can give to his daughter, is loving her mother," Nicole concluded.
Speaking to Bored Panda, Nicole clarified that it's not just dads who worry about their daughters dating. All parents have concerns about their children finding and maintaining healthy friendships and relationships, she said. "With social media, magazines, reality shows, and the like confusing them when it comes to authentic connection (what it feels like and what it looks like) hoping our kids turn into good people who meet and fall for other good people is an anxiety-provoking wish for all of us parents," Nicole explained. "I don't think that men are 'too involved' in their daughters' lives nor do I think their wives are."
"I think any good parent is appropriately attached and involved and most importantly present," she added. "That takes a lot of a husband and wife's energy, leaving little for each other sometimes which is why it's important to give the relationship with your spouse deserved attention."