Friday, July 8, 2011

It's never to early to plan

We are probably 10-13 years away from this blog becoming really interesting, which would be about the time that boys really starting entering my daughter's life. If there's one reason I can point to that makes men prefer to have sons over daughters (outside of hoping they become professional athletes) its the issue of their daughters having to date someday.

Since I'm an obsessive planner and the only hope I have in combating this is to utilize the time I have now when she's a child, I've started to get to work.

Please realize that there is a good deal of this that is tongue in cheek (although the degrees of that are open to discussion).

I'm in the group that believes that no boy/man will ever meet my expectations for my daughter. Having said that, I also realize that it is my issue not hers. So I accept the fact that I can't dress her in a burka, lock her in a room, or feed her fried twinkies until she's pleasantly plump enough that I don't have to deal with the issue.

She's going to date someday, she's going to have her heart broken at times, and she's going to make her own choices at some point.

I see two ways of approaching this, one I can take the stereotypical path and become a curmudgeon (Dungeonkeeper) and make life impossible for her as a teenager or I can work to prepare her for what the world has in store for her and maybe add a bit of psychology to the mix.

I have to admit the idea of being a curmudgeon is appealing, bolting windows, forbidding her to see boys, and barring her from wearing certain outfits all seem like perfectly logical things for me to do, and we are still about 10 years away from those issues (imagine what will feel right then). I also know that if I have that mentality, it will cause huge fights, she'll lose respect for me, and she'll probably do the opposite of what I forbid anyway. That's not an appealing scenario.

That means I have to take an alternative path. That path entails preparing her for the world at large and developing a strong relationship with her. My hope is that the relationship will make her comfortable enough to talk to me about difficult situations that are going to happen. (I hate being the grown-up sometimes)

Now, you might be reading this and thinking, "Oh how sweet, you are such a good father". Thank you (if you are), but don't get ahead of yourself yet.

From day one, my goal for Bronwyn has been to fill her with love and help her find her own confidence. I fully expect to continue on this path, but I've also come to realize I have a highly manipulative side to me as well (my family reading this, just rolled their eyes and said 'no shit, Sherlock').

Which is why over the weekend, I had a bit of an epiphany in regards to the "dating dilemma". I realized how I was going to approach this issue and I was a bit ecstatic that I've already been doing some of the work.

About 6 months ago, I was joking (kind of) with Bronwyn, that any boy she brought home, I was going to throw in the garbage can. She didn't say much at the time, but on a visit to her grandmother's (my mom), she shared with my mom her fear that I was actually serious. This is wonderful news and the hook I needed to enact my master plan.

My master plan is that there will be no fights over boyfriends or dating, it will be my responsibility to get her to recognize how strong and smart she is and to help her her understand what she should be looking for in a boy. It will be her job to choose the boy based on those things.

The reason I say there will be no fights is that, with the hook I've set in place I won't need to fight with her. All I need to do when she brings a boy home, is sigh, slightly shake my head in the negative, or make eye contact with her in a disappointing way. At that point her subconscious will be dumping those boys in the garbage. The date will go fine, but within a week the nagging feeling of trash will surely extinguish any interest and she'll move on. It's simple and brilliant! I can only imagine the cartoon like sequences that will be playing through her mind and the subsequent disinterest towards the boy that will follow.

This is not a fool proof plan (unfortunately). It's conceivable (although unlikely) that I'll be reasonable and not sigh or shake my head disapprovingly at every boy. It's also possible that she'll have enough confidence in her decisions to not care about my approval (which would be very good) or that she'll catch on to my subversive ways (which would be very bad). There's also an outside chance that I'll turn her into Ally McBeal where she regularly suffers from humorous hallucinations brought on by emotional situations.





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