People have always asked me how it came to be that I get along so well with my daughters. And this is especially true since we founded our company Pinks & Blues and we work together every day because we are just so excited and enthused and happy to do so with each other.
Well, back to our relationships… and the reasons why it all works so well. I truly have given this a great deal of thought, because since the beginning of their lives I have had such love and awe and respect for my “girls” while many moms were having such difficulties with their daughters.
I have actually developed a list of 10 QUICK RULES FOR RAISING DAUGHTERS WHO WANT YOU IN THEIR LIVES AS KIDS, TEENAGERS and ADULTS. I will concentrate on one rule per blog! In no particular order, here goes.
#1: Never criticize “the boyfriend.”
Welcome the boyfriend. Embrace the boyfriend. If the boyfriend is not the right guy, he will disappear on his own if you don’t make him a major issue.
This is especially true of “bad boys.”
They are NEVER welcomed into a home with the obligatory embrace that I suggest, so you completely throw them off when you do. Since they are never welcomed… when embraced, they run. Simple.
This rule works, oh, 99% of the time… because there’s always that slight possibility that the boyfriend (even the “bad boy”) will begin to love your love so much that he will come to visit even when your daughter is not home.
Then it becomes sticky… because your welcoming embrace has made your daughter look closely enough at the boyfriend to have her cringe at his every move, but the boyfriend has never been embraced by any parent, anywhere, any time, and he just plain old likes it.
Then you must, must, must say to your daughter, “Let him down easy. He really is a nice boy.”
She will make you proud (and hopefully the ex-boyfriend will get over you!).
Of course your daughter will catch on that you have this “welcome and embrace ‘til it’s over plan,” but you must never admit it. Until her wedding day.
Then you just smile and say, “You know, if you hadn’t fallen in love with _____ and _____ and ____ and ____, etc., and learned all about personalities and characteristics and idiosyncracies, you would never have realized the power of true love that you know on this day.”
And she will say, “What if your plan failed and I was marrying ____ or ____ or ____ today?”
To which you answer, “I would have gladly welcomed and embraced any of those nice boys into our family!”