The day that some men become dads, their initial instinct is to protect their child no matter what, just like any level-headed parent. As innocent as it sounds, Dads often say to others that their daughter is going to be a “heartbreaker” and he’ll kill any boy who wishes to pursue her as she ages. Not only is that unconsciously pushing heteronormativity, but it is automatically assuming the daughter won’t be able to make safe and good decisions on her own when the time comes.
Fathers joke about having guns around, “just in case.” Those phrases are on t-shirts, mugs, and even on babies’ clothing. It is supposed to sound cute and fun, when in fact many fathers do have that controlling and dangerous mindset. This all stems from when those men were children. Girls are the damsels in distress and the boys are the protectors, the knights in shining armor. Society teaches these boys at a young age to be violent, emotionless creatures which creates them into some questionable men who don’t know how to respond in sensitive situations.
This of course doesn’t apply to all men, but it does correlate with the ones that joke about hurting the boys that are interested in their daughter. Instead of restricting her from not going out and ripping her youth away from her, teach her how to be smart in circumstances where she feels pressured, uncomfortable, or doesn’t know what to do. It will not only make her respect you, but it will teach her real-life skills and she will learn how to stand up for herself, and keep an eye out for the men and women who want to take advantage of her. Without mutual respect, children and teens will try to hide their friends and significant others from their parents because they won’t feel secure with how the parents will react and judge. For the majority of teens, sex is inevitable.
The best thing you can do is teach them about safe sex. Daughters aren’t “things” that need to be protected from everything negative. Real life experiences, bad or good, is what makes a person. Protecting your daughter from potentially dangerous people is another thing, and that would be an appropriate time to step in. Parents often justify their overprotectiveness by saying things like, “One day when you’re a parent you’ll understand” and “I know what’s best for you.” In some cases, they could be right. But not only are they implying that their child will have kids of their own one day, but they’re also pulling the “I’m the parent, you’re the kid,” card, which is saying that the child could never be correct because the parent is seemingly that much higher and rational than them, which isn’t always the case. To summarize, daughters can be a lot tougher than the world thinks. The way a father talks to his daughter while raising her is crucial. With the right tools, she won’t need anyone to fight her battles for her.