Every so often I see images floating by on Facebook with ‘rules for dating my son/daughter’. They seem to be made up of a bunch of ‘thou shalts’, a bunch of ‘thou shalt nots’, and a few threats to back them up. And I hate them.
Instead of making rules and threats, why not teach your child about healthy relationships, make sure they know what expectations you have, and then let them go forth? They’re going to make mistakes, they’re going to get their hearts broken, but that’s going to happen no matter what you do. Threats and rules just make you look insecure in your own parenting, untrusting of your child, and disrespectful of their choices.
Oh, but it’s just a joke, you say? Well, it’s a joke that promotes the idea that parents have the right to absolute control of their adolescent children. It promotes the idea that the best way to solve a perceived problem is through threats and intimidation. And that’s the makings of a shitty joke.
I want the people my daughters date to be respectful toward me. I want them to treat my daughters well. But I’m not going to go making empty threats over it. And if the threats aren’t actually empty? That’s just wrong.