Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Articles, Blog, Dinosaur Dad, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A new dadly experience….at least for me.

I have spent the last year hearing a young man’s name come from my oldest daughter’s lips, about every other sentence.  She is 18 and her boyfriend is out of High School and is out on his own.  The name Chaeys has become part of our family language. My daughter is very serious about this relationship and from what I can tell…legitimately so.   I only have known this guy from a distance.  Just seeing a picture or 2 and asking questions of my daughter about his hobbies, work, likes, dislikes.  I have formed an opinion, but, I wanted to not rush to judgement about the young man until I, hopefully, would get to meet him.  The situation may seem a bit strange in that a dad should know who is daughter likes and have already “vetted” the boy.  But, our life is somewhat unique…and all too common at the same time.  My oldest daughter is from my first marriage and lives (mostly) with her mom.  Because of this situation, I have not had the opportunity to meet Chaeys because we live 1 1/2 hours away and do the every other weekend thing.

Recently though, after my daughter asking several times over, we made arrangements for him to come to visit on one of our weekends together.  I tried not to have preconceived ideas about what he might be like and determined to just “go with the flow”.  We set specific ground rules about who would sleep where (they were separated by 2 floors and we put my daughter in with her other step-sisters), and we made plans on what we would do for the weekend activities.  I didn’t let either of them know, but I set aside time for me to talk with Chaeys about my daughter and their relationship, etc..  

When I picked them up, I was met by a boy who made an effort to shake my hand and be respectful (1 point), I watched from a distance and noticed that he treated my daughter with respect and they smiled a lot at each other (another point).  When I got around to talking with this young man, I found out he has plans for his life, he has 2 jobs (one as a farm hand) and he spoke to me without saying the word “dude”…even once!!!  (‘nuther point).

If you are in a similar situation, here are some tips:

1)  Try to talk to the boy ahead of time and let him know a few rules of your house and what he can expect.  Find out if he has any food allergies and if he would like to do anything (bowling, hiking, favorite board game).

2)  Turn off the TV.  Spend your time talking and getting to know each other and make time to talk with him man to man, father to ….future son-in-law?

3) Set rules for the sleeping arrangements!  Let’s face it, there’s is a strong physical attraction in addition to the sunshine and unicorns fairytale romance your daughter thinks she is in.  We put a couple of floors and several others in between the two of them.

4)  Make sure you have each other’s phone numbers.  Communication is important.

Though we only spent about a day and a half with Chaeys, I am now confident that he has only the best intentions when it comes to my daughter and I’m impressed that he has a brain and thinks for himself…it also helps that he seems to be a hard worker…AND refused to take any money to help pay for his gas!  I can see what my daughter sees in him.  My oldest daughter graduates this year and after that she plans to go to school near where He lives and works.  I can’t guarantee they will always make good choices, but at least now that I know this young man, I can help them to steer in the right direction.  What other ideas can you think of when it comes to a situation like this?

 


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