Okay, my daughter will be 9 in a couple weeks. Still a sweet, innocent little girl. She likes to dress nice, and thinks boys are gross still. Perfect age I suppose. She will ride motorcycles with her brother and I, and enjoys going shed hunting with me. She fishes, and she does "fashion designer" websites for kids on the internet. She is pretty well rounded. Softball, girl scouts, and dance. However, I do see her getting older, and more mature. Half the time I think she is more responsible than I am. Maybe over half. She is very intelligent and just "Daddy's little Princess".
When does this end? I am scared to think what I am going to be like when she starts talking on the phone for hours with her friends. God forbid she starts talking to boys. Just curious from you more experienced fathers out there.
I can tell you this, it has changed my outlook on young girls a lot. I used to check them out (not 9 yr olds, but the late teen/early 20's girls). Now I look at them and think "I will not let my daughter wear something like that out when she is that age. I wonder what that girl's mom looks like?" haha
I suppose I am maturing or getting old or something. It just doesn't seem right to look at anything under 25-30 anymore. Does this mean I am getting old, or does it mean my daughter is growing up forcing the change of attitude? Just curious.
Ho boy... get a cup of coffee.I will speak of my personal dealings on the subject.
At some point in the early to mid teens something happened that caused my wife and I to question if we were even fit parents. We have been married 25 years and dated 5 years before that. Both girls had an extended family environment,(grandparents and uncle next door) church, after school activities. Our 2 daughters are 3 years apart. Not exactly a Norman Rockwell picture but a typical upbringing. The older one did end up a Daddy's girl. She grew up seeing me shoot,hunt and fish. Summer time archery, fall and winter hunting rituals. Although I never "pushed" shooting bows and guns on her, she asked to try it and frankly showed a aptitude for both. The younger daughter was more into (for lack of a better term) "girly" things such as ballet but did pursue fishing and eventually was outfitted with her own gear.
Anyway. At some point they start to grow into their own person. In an desperate attempt to figure this out they flounder around with this concept of "Independence" Their body's and minds appear kinda sorta ready for the concept but really its never at a time that we as parents are ready for...
We felt it was a number of things. Schools, my space, TV,MTV, questionable friends, pier pressure and rebellion as they push harder for Independence, we pushed back with rules and discipline as we desperately tried to hold on a little longer to our "sweet little girl" We were told we "didn't understand. things are different now. we are to old and haven't kept up with the times." I hate you. I can do anything I want..." Defiance.
("... what we have here is a failure to communicate...")
The harder they pushed, the harder we pushed. Syndi and I started wondering where we went wrong. Maybe we were being to strict. Maybe we were bad parents after all...
Then I started looking to people that were 5-10 years ahead of me in the process.
We found that nearly all of them went through a point at this age with the kids. Some were really really bad and for some it was mild. They all assured me that after a few years... YEARS, it would all settle down. The kid would start to show signs of the values you had thought lost. Even show love to you as a parent again.
My oldest is now coming out of this stage and the younger is ramping up. I'm better prepared. Maybe it won't be as bad... The younger one sat back and learned from the older ones mistakes. Even asked for her room when I threated to throw the older one out. lol. seems a little funny now but at the time... Wow
One last note: Watch you wife. Mine shifted from "mother role" to "friend role" as she struggled with the period in question. In doing so it caused me to be even more of a bad guy. You as the "man of the house" will try to enforce the rules you have raised the kids by and the wife will typically disregard rules in an attempt to keep her relationship with this teen. This will only cause you to question your self further.
I guess the severity of the situation varies from kid to kid. Family to family. You just do the best you can and instill all the values you feel are important as long as you can. Once this period starts, you must trust that you have done everything possible to raise em right and sit back and wait. Keep the porch light on for em. regardless of how bad it got, I always let em know their mother and I loved them.
I would not trade the experience of raising kids for anything in the world. From being there at the birth to today... I wouldn't do it again, but I'd never trade it.
When they were little we also would say the ol "mine wont dress like that or she would never be aloud to do that." Mostly that has worked out but at some point you just won't have a say in it anymore. I still have rules because they still live under my roof but they are different than before.
Lastly is the cruel trick of being a man... I love to look at a hot looken girl as much as the next man. BUT... Every playboy, one night stand thought I ever had and did when I was younger and playen the field comes back to haunt me every time some young son-of-a-bitch comes over to take out "my baby girl" So far most have been good kids. My daughters have the right values... but I know what the little bastards are looken for. I was there. Don't even try to tell me otherwise. I require the boy to be introduced to me. I want to lay eyes on him. Let him know. Give him a crushing hand shake and ask when he will be bringing her back home... I always inform the kid "he is responsible for her well being" A final eye fucking and a look at what he's driving and he knows...
Sorry for the ramble. I may seem a little whacked on the matter BUT if you start asking a number of people that have already been there, I believe you'll see I'm in the ball park.