Rules for dating my daughter from mom

The idea that a teenage boy will try to score and that it’s the father’s role to prevent him (and that the girl’s wishes are irrelevant in this tug-of-war) is all around us, so it’s not surprising that young men remain uncomfortable in the presence of their girlfriends’ fathers.

My husband likes my daughter’s boyfriend and has no desire to alienate or exile him.

When it comes to raising daughters, there are tons of jokes, even a whole TV show (see above), about the intimidating, overprotective father (usually with a shotgun), who threatens all potential male suitors to treat his daughters with respect—or else!

But why leave it to the dad to demand respect for his daughters?

I'm not raising my little girls to be the kind of women who need their daddy to act like a creepy, possessive badass in order for them to be treated with respect.

You will respect them, and if you don't, I promise they won't need my help putting you back in your place.

The list above plays off a repeating joke: “I will make you go away.” Well, with a mother like you, that might be a relief.

Don’t you realize this is the prelude to every mother-in-law joke there is?

If she wants to make out with him—or more—that’s also her choice.Her next novel, Things I Should Have Known, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017.She has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Self Magazine, among many other publications, and contributed a monologue to the anthology play Motherhood Out Loud.In other words, progress has been made, at least in this country.But it’s frustratingly hard to shake entrenched beliefs.And he has never said a cross word to our daughter’s boyfriend.So I’m trying to figure out why this kid is scared of him.Even so, when told that the kid was afraid of him, he laughed and said, “Good!” And in spite of everything I’ve written here, I get it.But that Kevin-Hart-type glowering, stalking thing, where you don’t give your daughter her privacy, independence, or agency over her own sexuality?That outdated shit needs to be kicked right to the curb.

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