They Don’t Look at Your Daughter Through Daddy’s Eyes
Having a little girl myself now brings a whole new perspective to my life. To her daddy and I, she is and will always be our baby. Having said that, not everyone will always look at her the way we do.
Especially for dads, it is a difficult thing to look at your daughter as she grows up as anything other than your sweet little innocent baby. We all know, as she grows, she is developing and maturing in both mind and body. It seems as though girls seem to be developing at younger and younger ages. (Mostly due to the added hormones found in our meats)
Here’s the thing, although you look at your 10 or 11-year-old as an innocent child, to the boys in her class she is starting to get the attention in not so innocent ways.
Did you know that in 2013, a survey was done to see how many children between the ages of 10 and 17 had ever sent a nude photo of themselves? Yes, ten years old…. 2.5% say they had sent nude photos at least once. The same were asked if they had ever received nude photos. 7.1% had said they did! So, regardless if they were being truthful about their own photos, 7.1% had somehow been a part of nude photos sent or received on cell phones. That was in 2013. Sexting has become way more prevalent since 2013 so I can’t even imagine what the current poles would teach us!
If all of that is happening starting in early teen years, what do you think that teenage boys and men look at when THEY see your daughter? I can tell you, there are plenty of men out there who look at your daughter as a piece of meat while you are still seeing her as your baby.
What can you do about it?
Set the Standard High
Show your daughter what a real man is like. Show her through the living example she has standing right in front of her… YOU. Daddy, the way you respect your daughter and wife are the two ways you will impact choices your daughter makes when it comes to men. If she gets the love from her dad, sees dad loving mom, and doesn’t hear nasty or rude remarks about other women from her dad…. chances are, she will hold the bar a little higher for the men she allows in her life.
Hold Her Accountable
As parents, we think that our teens need to be given a lot of freedom. While I agree that you have to loosen the reigns as they grow, I also disagree that teenagers need to be allowed to go here, there, and everywhere without very much accountability. If your child knows that mom and dad are checking behind them at times to see if they are where they say they are if they randomly check history and messages on their phones, and if their parents ask details about their plans on a regular basis…. it will hold them accountable. In turn, making the teen KNOW that mom and dad will find out if they were alone with a guy they weren’t supposed to, spent the night at their boyfriends home instead of their best friends house, sent nude photos, etc. They will think twice before making a decision that could change their life forever. Put the fear of mom and dad in them!
Get to Know Their Friends
Getting to know their friends does a few things. First, it makes them feel like you really care. Secondly, it gives you a chance to decide which friends you will encourage your child to hang out with and which friends you need to be more cautious with.
Talk to Your Teen
They may not let you know but teens LOVE to talk. My husband has been a youth pastor for all our married life. So, that means for around 17 years now, I have been deeply involved with loving on our teen girls. Often, they just want to know someone cares. How do they know when someone cares? When someone talks to them… spends time with them… listens to them. If they don’t have the openness from you, they WILL find it elsewhere. Unfortunately, we have seen time and time again, teens lead down the wrong path because the wrong people were the ones listening, talking and “caring”.
Don’t Look at Them as Your Baby
Oh, this is so hard! I tell my kids all the time that they will always be my babies. However, loving them like a baby and looking at them like they are your baby is a different story. You need to keep in mind that what you see is not what others see. When you see your daughter through “daddy’s eyes”, modesty may not be very important. You may not think of what teenage boys and even grown men think when they see your “baby” in immodest clothing! Keep your “babies” covered.
My husband made an analogy to our teen girls when talking about modesty that I love. He told them that if we had an activity and he asked them to show up in their only in their undergarments, what would happen?! You better believe we would be getting calls and even picked up by the police. BUT, if we tell the girls we are having a teen activity and they will be getting wet, so wear their bathing suit, parents wouldn’t have a problem.
Think about the bathing suits most teen girls wear…. yep, a bra and panties typically cover more than what bikinis do! Would you let your daughter walk in public in just her bra and panties? Absolutely Not! Why? You sure don’t want men looking and lusting after your baby, right? Consider that thought when you let her walk out of the house next time. If others don’t look at her as their cute baby girl, what will they think about with what she walked put of the house in?
Give your daughter the love and respect she needs to become the woman you want her to be. Love and respect come when boundaries and relationship collide.
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