Ever since they were small, my goal has always been to show my daughters what a good man is like.
I wanted them to know what was possible when it comes to being in a relationship, such as having love and respect and being cared for. We, the dads, have the responsibility to set the standards so that our children know what to expect or what is possible.
In today's video, I share why it is important to be a better communicator when it comes to talking to your children about relationships and their partners.
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As the first man in my daughters' lives, I knew that I was the model for manhood in their little eyes. That put a lot of pressure on me to make sure that I was the best man that I could be. Now by no means does that mean that I am now perfect. However, I did realize that I had work to do when they were young, and I needed to get to work if I was to actually model what a good man would be. And that had been my goal for them since they were small. Now granted, I've always wanted to be a good man. Don't we all? But the reality is that we are all flawed in some way. And my daughter's birth, both of them, really motivated me to take ownership of that to yet another level. And that is something that I take seriously. We are the dads. We are the models. So we have to own that. And that's where I challenge you as dads to step up. Own it. Be real, be raw, be vulnerable with them without being jerks. Our daughters need to know what to expect from their partners when they grow up. In what way are they going to do that if not through you, Dad? They need to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that these things that they may want in a partner are possible. Being treated with respect and dignity, being loved, being cared for, and being able to argue well. They need to know that that's even possible and that's going to be through you. Anything that is outside of that is going to be out of the question. They're not going to settle as easily as many people do because they know that it's possible. They need to know what humility feels like. They need to know that all these are possible. This is a very long -winded introduction to this conversation that I had with my daughter's boyfriend. But I wanted to set the context for it all because, in a manner of speaking, my daughter chose someone that must have resembled me in some way. I trust my daughter because I've been there for her. I've tried to hold her hand throughout her life to make sure that these things that I just pointed out earlier were real. Were possible. So all that makes me realize that this young man has to mirror me in some way. And maybe in ways that I may not even be aware of, but that is the context that I'm trying to set up. This may be slightly controversial, but I chose to deliberately never use intimidation, shame, and fear in my parenting. This has also been true as my daughter started to get older and started vying interest in little boys. I made it a point to never cast shame on them or make them feel bad because they liked boys. If they brought it up, I just let it be. The purpose of that was to make sure that they would trust me. 'Cause I didn't want them to be scared to introduce me to a boy and let me know that they're even interested. I wanted them to know that that was not something they had to worry about. Here's a realization I had when I was younger. A lot of the girls I dated weren't supposed to be dating me. Weren't supposed to even be seeing me. And I think that's totally even true. Dads forbid their daughters from dating boys until who knows when. That's great. If you rule your home with an iron hand and an iron fist, then so be it, but there's some reality to it all because kids are going to do what they're told not to do. Especially as it relates to dating and seeing others like that. They have hormones running through their bodies. And if you remember when you were that age, you probably did some things that you probably shouldn't have been doing. And were hiding it or been sneaking around. My thought is, if I am at least honest with them and try not to shame them and shut it down and insist that they not even be interested in boys or date boys until who knows when, my hope is that they would actually trust me with that information. That they would come to me without question, that they would not hide. Because hiding it all would be even worse for me. That leaves too much room for things to be done that could lead to bigger issues. So I just chose to take this route. I never tried to threaten them or tell them I'm going to have a gun or have all the family there to scare the shit out of him. It just wasn't something that I thought was beneficial. Given everything that I've seen in my life. I needed to do a better job and be a better communicator and understand the reality of the entire situation. All right. So my daughter is 19 now. She has a boyfriend. All my impressions of him have been positive. He's even a fan of mine. He said really good, nice things about me even before they were dating. A year or two years past. He had verbally said some things to both of my girls because they knew each other in school and spoke highly of me. So there is this respect, and it wasn't just because they became a couple. This is actually something that he had verbalized way in the past. So it was pretty neat. There was a healthy respect and understanding. He comes over to the house. He's really cool. Really seemed down to earth, but you know, we're around a bunch of people, family, and friends to make it less intimidating. And it was cool. I liked the kid. There's something about him that I appreciated. And I could see what my daughter, I started getting a hint of what my daughter saw in him. So I insisted, I told my daughter that I had to meet with him and sit down one-on-one. Frankly, just so we can just talk bluntly without a bunch of people hovering around. And also so we can remove that awkwardness as much as possible because I wanted him to know me as a human being. And I wanted to see him in the eyes, look him in the eyes, shake his hand, ask tough questions, and have him ask me anything that he wanted as well. She agreed to it. He agreed to it. Everything was great. Funny thing though is, I shared this on my social media, on my Facebook, and I have a lot of people, a lot of friends that follow me there. And one of my friends actually said that if her dad had proposed this, there was no way that she would've allowed it. But then she said she does know and realize that I'm different. And that I'm probably going to handle myself differently. I would imagine that part of the reason for that is because her father probably was more on the intimidation side, more on the casting fear and threatening side. That was not my approach. But I know that that's common. So we sit down, we have a conversation, and it literally was a bro date. The idea was to get to know each other better. And I wanted him to know who I was but also wanted him to be able to speak to me in a much more calm manner and not fearful. I know that he's not scared of me per se because he knows that I'm not going to be a jerk about it. But I want him to come into my home and speak freely, speak to me as a man. We talked about a lot of things. We talk about life, business, sex, relationships, contraception. We talked about a little of everything. We had a great conversation. I really, really got a sense for him, and I did understand what my daughter saw in him. And as weird as it sounds, there were elements of myself in him. He's a good man with good intentions. And I told him, "I don't see you as my enemy. I don't see you as someone taking my girl away from me. She chose you. And at the same time, I understand that things could fall apart, but make sure if that were to happen, you handle it like a man. You own up to the issues, and you break up with dignity." As dads, we want to have all this respect, and we want to be seen as much more important. We want to get the same spotlight that the moms do. And although we may not get the parades or all the flashy lights that the moms do, we are very, very important. It has been proven through scientific studies. Has been proven through time. Just look around. We all have issues with our dads and hopefully, some of those issues are positive. Guys, your daughters will eventually grow up, and your sons will eventually grow up, and they will have families. You need to own up as dads, as fathers, and start modeling that behavior for them. Just shutting them down and insisting that they never date is preposterous because, in 20 or 30 years, you're going to want to have a grandchild, as I said earlier. I'm not suggesting that you talk about sex to your daughters when they're three or four or five. But I'm suggesting that you do talk to them about sex when they're 15, 16, 17, when they're much older. And you talk about it in a dignified way. In an honest way and not use shame and fear around it. Especially during that age, they got the hormones pumping through them. Remember, they will look to you for direction. They will look to you for support, and if you make it a shameful thing for them to go out into the world and be adults, then they're not going to trust you. Trust is the absolute, most important thing that you need to nurture throughout this entire process. Trust is everything in the world, and there's another video coming for that alone, but you need to make sure that throughout every phase of your daughters' and your sons' lives, whoever, that they trust you. If things fall apart at any point, it's because they stopped trusting you. Trust just went out the window. They will no longer trust that you will be there for them in a way that they feel valued and appreciated for who they want to be. This meeting with a young man went really well. He went home and later told my daughter that he had never had a conversation like that with another adult. So there's that. I recognize that I am also mentoring him in a sense. If he's not having these adult conversations, then he's going to have to stumble his way through them. So if I can, somehow, have these conversations about life, about money, about finances and business, artistic aspirations. If I can somehow help him, then it will only benefit my daughter. He's not having them right now. And it's not to make anyone feel bad about it. It's just because it is the way it is. As a young man, you don't know that you can ask these questions or these conversations can even be had. So I felt good. I felt really good about the conversation. I felt really good about meeting up with him, and I looked forward to continuing this relationship and developing it for the foreseeable future. My daughter really loves him, and I love the kid. He seems like a really good young man. He's been there for my daughter. He's already shown signs of doing really altruistic things for my other daughter. Like, the kid, he seems really good. And I can't help but feel really good that my daughter would choose him because he's shown nothing but class. And for that, I can't help but think that maybe she has been paying attention, and she sees what's possible. And then she chose someone that met those qualifications and met those standards that I set for her. Thank you for listening to today's podcast. I appreciate your attention. If you enjoyed this, please leave us a review on iTunes, or what is it? Apple Podcasts. Subscribe to it and on whatever channel you may be on. And I look forward to sharing the next episode soon. Until then, buh-bye.