04 Nov Daddy’s, Daughters, and Dirty Looks

I trust my kids, but I’m a nosey dad.

And I try not to put up with any shenanigans. 🙂

 

I do web history searches. I go through my oldest child’s texts. I secretly see what she is posting on Instagram.

 

And I don’t do these things to ruin her/their privacy, or ‘cause I think my precious children will blow it.

 

I do them because, over many years in schools, I have seen countless nice children (from good families) get bullied or sucked into bad behavior.

 

In the interest of full disclosure, my meddlin’ doesn’t stop there. As such, one of my kids was pretty ticked at me this morning.

 

She’s a wonderful student, amazing daughter, and great friend to others… but I’m her dad. Not her buddy. And when her skirt was too short—‘cause she’s been growing like a proverbial weed—my serious side came out. By God’s grace I stayed calm and loving.

 

“So…,” I intoned, using my best Love and Logic voice, “I notice you’re wearing that skirt again. I hate to repeat myself, but the school rules state that it can only be two inches above your knee.”

 

Dad,” she replied, “but I don’t have any leggings with me to put under it.”

 

“Well sweetie, you can either find some leggings in the uniform donation bins, or you can pay [Mama and] me gas money to go all the way back to Fox Island.”

 

“But Daddd,” she countered, “Why would I have to pay you? And it’s not that short.”

 

I hearkened back to my football and rugby years, and all the gross things I heard seemingly nice boys say about girls’ bodies.   My thoughts kicked in: There is no way I want her to be “noticed” in that way.

 

“Smart girl, I am so proud of you. You are making great choices—so much better than I did in middle school. But that doesn’t change the rules. When people see you in that skirt, they’ll make judgments about you. And I want them to only see the good in you.”

 

She muttered complaints while sorting through the hand-me-downs at LCS, and finally, grunting in exasperation, found a cute pair of khakis. She smiled, and headed to class.

 

I wasn’t mad at her, nor did I want her to be frustrated with me. But if it comes down to me making the right choice as a papa, or me being her buddy, I pray I’ll always pick the straight and narrow.  I see those qualities in you as well.  Let’s pray for each other, and our dear kids, in this ever-darkening world.  I am blessed to walk alongside families like yours…

 

Lest you think my fam is perfect (or that parenting comes easy to me),

Jon Johansen