by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Parenting

13My oldest daughter turns 13 in five months

The fact that she’s almost a teen has been staring me down for some time now.

When I look at her baby picture on my desk..yup, almost there.

When I see her talk to friends using my very own mannerisms..yup, almost there.

When I do the final check of the house before going to sleep, amazed at how her toes already touch her bed’s footboard. Yup. There too


Well on Friday evening, she was going to see a friend perform in a show. Before the performance, she planned to meet two “old friends” who’d join her. A girl, who has little to do with this story..and a boy.

This b-o-y happens to be a couple years OLDER than my little girl who, just yesterday, would only wear sequined, crinoline tutus and pigtailed hair. 

It also needs to be mentioned that it couldn’t be any clearer that this boy enjoys my daughter’s company..very much

So, yes:

  • I agreed to send my daughter
  • without her parent
  • out into a dark theater
  • with a boy that really digs her

I knew this was it.

I’m gonna throw up!


The age that I started “dating” is completely irrelevant here! Or is it? Yes, it is.

I felt as if I could have flown round trip to Fiji waiting for my daughter to return home that night. But when she finally came into the house I knew I could not..must not, blow the exchange, so I nonchalantly went about my business..let a second or two pass and then casually inquired about her evening.


Did I get what I got because that’s what I wanted to hear?

I don’t care.

Because she was happy and I was happy.


Any parental tips are gladly appreciated in the comments section below. In other words..HELP!



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  1. avatar Ben says:

    Not entirely sure how I came across this, though I’m glad I did– got a good laugh outta it. Who knows? The perspective of an eighteen year old guy might help someone somewhere down the road. Apologies if it’s a moot point now, but I’ll say it anyway. I’m in agreement with Mandy in that you chose well in trusting the kiddo. Give her enough slack that she can get an idea of her preferences, while gently nudging her towards a more gentlemanly guy, if I understood some of your fears correctly. Surprising as it may be, there are some of us that take pride in our manners, and occasionally become competitive with our chivalry. Teach her how to spot that in any guy, and you’ll find that your fears will begin to subside.

  2. avatar Val says:

    This is such a sweet post Greg. Dads and their daughters…it is such a special bond. Lucky girls!

  3. avatar Mandy says:

    This is hilarious for 2 reasons- first, because I DREAD the day my 3 year old starts to “date”, because she is already boy crazy and that is truly scary.
    and secondly, because I remember hearing my father say similar things on the phone to my grandmother about ME.
    Really though, I think you played it right. I was only open to talking to my parents about my social (and dating) life when I trusted they were willing to listen and be happy when I was happy and save their concerns or fears for a better appropriate lesson time- like daddy daughter dates. When they would correct or scold me while I was on a social “high” after a fun night, it pushed me away in a sense.
    Though I’m sure you weren’t really looking for this huge long novel of a comment about ME- I’m glad this topic came up so I can remind myself how I need to be when this time comes up in 10+ years. Reminders are good.


    • avatar Greg says:

      3 & you’re thinking about it already?! Though, come to think of it, 3 really does seem like yesterday. Many told me to enjoy it because it goes quick & now I’ve almost become “one of them”. It’s also easy to play Monday morning QB on these types of situations, but I think the stakes are higher here & like you said we need to be sooo very careful! Thanks so much for your thoughts Mandy 🙂