Being a father is no easy task, but being a father with teenage girls will have you pulling your hair out. I was raised by women, so I learned to listen to women early in my life, which served me well in relationships, and in my bond with my daughters.
As they were growing up, I often wondered when would be the right time to have THE TALK, the one thing that father’s dread, but must be told. I came to the conclusion that it would be best for me to give them the WHOLE game, and not just the part of it. My girls had to know what they would be up against, going into the world as young black women, so I started with the basics.
When they were young, I told their mother, my wife at the time, that I would treat my girls like a father should. I bought my two oldest, who are now 17 and 15, their first diamond when they hit the age of 12. I took them to buy their first bras, as well as their first box of pads when their period first started, I remember that day well lol. I took them to their 8th grade Prom, as well as told, and showed them how a young man was supposed to treat them on a date. I knew that as their father, I had to be very involved in their life.
When our oldest started middle school, I felt the time was right to have THE TALK. I realized early that kids these days are exposed to more sexually based things than we were coming up. And I knew that even though we were strict on the types music our kids listened to, the types of programs they watched on t.v. we had no control over what other kids listened to and saw at home, and that our kids could be exposed to certain things indirectly through others. I took it to heart that I had to be clear and very honest with my girls, to prevent them from becoming a statistic.
I started by explaining to them what they need to look for, and listen for, when dealing with boys. The one thing that’s for sure, is that the game doesn’t change, the players do, but the intent remains the same, to conquer. I explained to them what some boys will say to get their attention, how they will give them all kinds of compliments like how pretty they are. I had to give them the game, without them being in the game. One day my oldest came home, and asked me what a blow job was, because the girls at school were talking about it, and laughed at her because she didn’t know what they were talking about. I explained to her what it was, and how young ladies shouldn’t be doing it. I took her to the computer and pulled up a site that showed venereal diseases of the genitals and mouth, which had some very graphic images.
I could see the pictures were having an effect on her, but she had to know the bad side to sex, since her friends would only tell her the good parts. I had to be honest when it comes to how real life is, and how sex plays a part in it. The last thing I wanted was for my girls to be teen mothers, or to catch a disease. A lot of girls go through life NOT knowing, NOT having a male in their life who’s willing to show them what love is, and who cares enough to make sure she’s fully aware of what lay ahead when dealing with the opposite sex.
Fast forward some years, and my oldest is a senior in high school now, and her sister a sophomore. They both have seen the things I warned them about play out through their friends. They’ve seen the games boys play, they’ve seen two of their friends have babies, and how hard their lives are now. They’ve seen how young girls eager for love and acceptance, give up the most precious part of their bodies all for a boy.
Thank God we haven’t had any pregnancy scares, we haven’t had to deal with the broken heart, or the drama that comes with young love. I have told my girls that boys will be there, so don’t be in a rush to fall in love.
This time in your life should be devoted to setting yourself up for later in life, so your education is very important. Once they turn 18 they will be allowed to date, have boyfriends and so on.
As a father, I can only hope that the things I’ve taught them about love and life, will stick with them as they grow into womanhood. That’s the only thing a parent, who’s been involved with every aspect of their kids upbringing can ask for.
No matter how bad we may want to, we can’t live their life for them, no more than our parents could live our lives for us. So we just hope and pray that our love and wisdom that we’ve given them sticks and stays.