Another meme that bothered me floated through my feed today. This one read, “I threw a shotgun shell at my daughter’s date; told him it’s much faster after 10pm”.
Trying to bend people to your will with threats is not how you treat people you care about. Even if you don’t care about the boyfriend, you care about your daughter (I hope), and when you threaten one you’re threatening them both, as both will have to display the correct behaviour in order to get her home on time. Teenagers also form very intense relationships, and your daughter may well feel that in insulting her boyfriend, you insult her. Mafia tactics are nothing to be proud of, and they’re not going to endear you to your daughter, nor to the man that might on day be your son in law.
Gentlemen, you need to let go of the idea that your daughter belongs to you. By the time she’s dating, she is old enough to be her own woman. You can love her, and be there for her, but you need to let go a bit. You can’t make threats on her behalf, and you can’t (and shouldn’t try to) control her with threats. She may be your daughter, but you do not own her. You can tell her to be home by ten, you can expect her to be home by ten, you can even have consequences in place for if she’s not home by ten, but threats are not ok.
Then there is, of course, the legal ramification of making threats. Many, varied depending on location, and all even more harsh if you follow through.
But it’s just a joke, you say? No-one would ever follow through with it, you say? Well then, why say it? Why make threats you can’t go through with? It devalues what you say. It makes you seem like you are not a man of your word. Where do you draw the line between threats you will follow through with and those you won’t? When should you be believed and when shouldn’t you?
When you threaten your daughter’s date, you say that you don’t believe you raised her well enough to trust her. You look like a rooster puffing himself up – all hot air and promises.