Question from a nervous father


#1

Here is my question:

I have a two year old daughter who, if she continues to look like her mother, will be very attractive when she blossoms into womanhood. The very thought of that makes me want to borrow my father-in-law’s hunting trophy’s that kept my hormones in check when I was a young lad. They worked when I was a kid…okay they didn’t. :slight_smile:

By the grace of God, I know more than I knew then and want to encourage chastity with my daughter and my son. I don’t want them to have the attitude of “let’s see what we can get away with, without making Jesus mad.” type of logic that teenagers love to get away with. I don’t want to instill in them granular rules like “no kissing” and so forth because I think they will then see what they will try to get away with. I feel if I convey to them the logic behind chastity, and that they are receptive and understand it, I won’t need to set up a bunch of granular do’s and don’ts.

I know that I have 11 years for my daughter, and 9 more years for my son before they become teenagers. But it seems that kids are becoming more “worldly” earlier and earlier.

Is kissing outside of marriage fornication, btw? People in the Victorian era would have a totally different answer than people from today’s era, but what would be the Catholic response be? I never really thought about that until after I was married and after I had kids.


#2

Kissing outside of marriage is not fornication. However, passionate kissing is stepping into very dangerous territory. My boyfriend and I both believe that a gentle, innocent kiss is OK, but we want to save passionate kissing until marriage.

Don’t make too many rules about what is and what isn’t OK. Instead, make sure your daughter knows to act like a lady, help her to become strong and secure, let her know that she is cherished (by her earthly father and her Heavenly Father) and encourage her to look to the Blessed Mother as a role model. As for your son, show what it means to be a true gentleman and show him how to treat a lady (opening doors, etc.) Also, remind him to look to Jesus and St. Joseph as role models and by your example, show him that women are to be loved and cherished. Premarital sex is often rooted in selfishness, so that’s where we all must begin.

Also, encourage modesty and chastity at all times. Monitor what your kids see on TV, read, or listen to on the radio. Monitor what they wear to school. And also, monitor what you watch, wear, etc. Your kids will see your example and follow.

After that, all you can do is leave it in the hands of God. You’re already doing the right thing by asking this question:)


#3

the best thing you can do to insure your daughter grows up with healthy attitudes toward sex, marriage and men is for you and your wife to model a healthy marriage, in which sex has its proper place as intended by the creator and in which both the man and woman love and respect each other in the manner described by Paul in several epistles, Corinthians, Ephesians etc. This love must be modeled on the love between Christ and the Church to have its fullest expression, which means your faith and trust in God must by the lynchpin of your marriage.

Then when she turns 16 and is allowed to even think about dating, insist that every boy come in the living room to meet you, and give him the third degree, the way my dad and DH did. “Dad, they’re scared of you” the girls would wail. “Yup,” DH would say with satisfaction.


#4

Don’t be nervous, just pro-active!

As a formerly “hot” teen girl, I got myself into such terrible relationships all becasue of needing attention I wasn’t getting from home. Dad worked a lot and came home and went into his huge suite. They had everything they needed in their room, entertainment, food, sauna, etc etc. My mom was severely angry & depressed from Post Abortion Syndrome, although we didn’t know this until a couple of years ago. Hence, no one ever paid attention to us. It was kids vs. parents instead of being a united family. Mom would “tell” on us when Dad got home and he would yell or not. There were no firmly set rules. Sometimes being home in the morning from being “out” the night before was okay, and sometimes it wasn’t. Sometimes, they didn’t notice-we had a large home. This was in highschool! Can you imagine what I was doing?

The thing I think of is the lack of physical demonstration of love from my parents. There were no hugs or kisses or backrubs. We simply were not even touched once we got over seven. Everyone knows that humans need touch! If they don’t get it, all sorts of bad things result. In my case, I went and found boys to hug and kiss me. I waited until I was seventeen because I felt so bad about myself I didn’t think anyone would want me. Boy was I wrong, unfortunately.

Please remember to tell your daughters they are precious & pretty and reinforce to your sons that you are proud of them and that they are growing up strong. This needs to be reaffirmed with physical affection.

God bless for thinking ahead!

Mograce


#5

If you’re looking for a book to read, I would reccomend “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” by Meg Meeker. It just recently came out, and it is excellent. As above posters have said, your biggest job with your daughter is to be sure she gets all the love and affection and respect from you that she needs. Then she will not feel that she must seek it elsewhere, which generally leads to disaster.

I understand your being worried…our first child, a girl, is still in utero, and my husband is sweating bullets—which started the moment the ultrasound tech announced, “Yep. You’ve got a lady in there.” I’m pretty sure I could see the blood draining out of Dh face. :smiley:


#6

I** definitely agree that how you love and respect your daughter will have a huge impact on how she feels about herself. Just be sure that she is getting what she needs, not what you think she needs. We are all different. Some girls want more physical affection from their dads, some need more verbal expressions of love. Some want you to do activities together, others just want you to watch and cheer. **


As your daughter grows, be sensitive to her unique personality.


**As for your son, show him what it means to be a man. Teach him about strength and courage, and how to persevere in the face of struggles. Teach him all about love and marriage and how special women are and how to cherish them (demonstrate on your wife and daughter:) ). **


**Your daughter will see that you do not approve of your son treating women as objects and your son will see that other girls are someone’s sister or daughter. It will foster more respect. I don’t understand those parents who have a double standard for their male/female children. Girls aren’t even aloud to think about boys until their 30 and boys are encouraged to “score”. How messed up is that???:confused: **


As a mommy to a little girl I face many of the same fears you have. I try to learn from my past experiences so that hopefully my mistakes will not have been in vain. And I use myself as an example when explaining female behavior to my husband (not that I think he’ll ever really understand, lol).


So as long as you and your wife are in agreement about how to raise your children you will do great. That doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, it just means that you’ll have a partner to pick you up when you fall.


Malia


#7

It can’t be fornication if it’s not sexual. It brings pleasure, however, of a related kind, even if it’s not sexual, so there’s surely the possibility of seeking pleasure for its own sake, disorderly pleasures and whatnot.

You won’t find anything official, as in Magisterium and all, but St. Thomas Aquinas was pretty strict and said it was either for married people or situations warranted by customs. I disagree on two accounts: 1) I don’t see it wrong to kiss a fiance(e) or boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever-you-call-it, if it’s a sign of love and affection, 2) I don’t agree that local customs provide a sufficient excuse for something which shouldn’t happen. To some extent, #1 would be contained within customs and #2 wouldn’t be so absolute as to make customs allow for what’s normally forbidden in the light of the rest of St. Thomas, but I suppose there’s at least a bit of a difference. If not much. And he’s the wiser of us two, after all.

Now, let’s take a look at my #1. Obviously, that’s different from getting tipsy and randomly kissing someone. Is that fornication? Who knows. I just know it’s lousy, frowsy and poor taste. I hold a similar opinion of the tradition of mandatory kissing after a date, especially if one is seeing several people at the same time. Normally, the border of friendly gesture is the kiss on the cheek. Whatever crosses that border had better be warranted. Romantic relationships are only there and only justifiable by looking at marriage. Removing the relationship while preserving the relations is obviously not the answer, so if teenagers thing that it’s okay to do something boyfriends and girlfriends do if only they just avoid that appellation, well, they’re deluding themselves.

See my point? It’s not so much about specific gestures themselves but how they are understood, how they are construed, what the person performing intends to convey and what the person receiving thinks he’s receiving. The externals’ surface meaning is no excuse for internal disorders and neither is the absence of internal motivation an excuse to play with the externals at leisure. In plain words, if it’s not warranted, it shouldn’t happen. Gestures of love, affection, friendship, are there for their specific purpose and not for such a kind of thrill or enjoyment that’s against their nature.

It’s hard to classify examples of lousy conduct among teenagers as sins, so long as there is no clear arousal being given or obtained on purpose, but there’s simply acres of room for disorder. Some things, even if not unequivocally sinful in a given situation, are unhealthy and not proper. For example, if a boy has two girlfriends, each he kisses and with each he holds hands, swaps love letters, goes to parties together and whatnot, provided, that each of the girls knows of the other, some people will just cut it there, so long as no sex is there and everyone knows of everyone. However, polygamy is against human nature, even at such a low stage as some not sexually expressed polyamory. Another example would be getting a bit loose at a party. The excuse that it wasn’t sex just doesn’t cut it. It may not actually be sinful the first time it happens or something, but it surely sends a message that it’s time to start controlling oneself and maybe cut down on the alcohol intake. Sometimes actors seem to be very happy with their excuse that it’s in the script, so they have their base covered and they can freely enjoy it. Whatever. I’ve had enough dealings with it to know about a number of ways to fake it, you never need to go for the full thing. What else? Married people or those in relationships, thinking it’s all fine if they just don’t have sex are also there. I’ve heard from people thinking it’s not cheating if they just make out a bit, surely I have.

If I were to summarise all my ranting in a short paragraph, I would say what my highschool catechist (a missionary of St. Vincent a Paulo) said: if it’s to show feelings, then it’s good. If it’s to satisfy desire, then it’s bad. Perhaps I would add that I don’t think the thrill of the chase and all that is wrong, but when it becomes a matter of doing this or doing that - when it’s a landmark, a stage to cross, a point to reach, a way to possess and mark someone, an issue of conquest, a toll, a payment, a customary expectation, then it’s bad.


#8

Malia’s advice is sound yet again. Perhaps to develop one of the threads of it further, these days there is compensational mentality encouraging girls to score as well as boys, or even giving girls more such “moral rights” than boys, in compensation for years of oppression. An offshot of that perspective is the idea that commitments are measures by which men dominate women, so it’s oh-so-wrong to expect a girlfriend to be faithful, or that generally monogamy is wrong before marriage, which are not even logically, let alone theologically or morally sound ideas. Boys ought to be reverent and girls ought to inspire reverence. There is no other way. It can be achieved by very litteral and strict rules only to a certain extent. It’s not like soulless rules can’t do damage if they cloud the real thing and replace the very core from which they stem. This is not to encourage relativism but to say that developing a healthy sense of situation and propriety is a good thing to do. While a lot of dilemmas can be cut by a simple, “would Mary do that?” or, “would St. Joseph do that?” we couldn’t assemble a full and complete and applicable to all situations and free of exceptions list of what Mary or St. Joseph would do. :wink:


#9

This is wise and wonderful advice! (how old are you? man, when I was your age I never could have come up with such wisdom!)

I would like to add: please do not feel bad or anxious that your daughter will be beautiful. Physical beauty is a gift from God and should be treated as such. Keep your daughter focused on that.


#10

Almost 18:blush:


#11

pprimeau,

Being a father with a very beautiful daughter as well, this thought has crossed my mind on many occasions.

Of course, a gun over the mantle is ridiculous and totally inappropriate…that’s why I’m buying a broadsword.

Sure, a gun *might *be intimidating to future boyfriends, but there is nothing more menacing than a man with a broadsword - especially if he knows how to use it.

Here’s a future conversation with a boyfriend to be:

“You see that up there, above the mantle? I call that my ‘chastity sword.’”

Problem solved.


#12

Ouch:D


#13

Get into the daily habit with your children of saying 3 Hail Mary’s for purity and for their future spouses if it is God’s Will for them to marry.


#14

“Let the praises of God be in their mouth and a two edged sword in their hands.” :smiley:

I have a 16th century Spanish replica that looks like it was designed to chop the infantry from horseback. And I can swing it so that you don’t even see a blade but a moving glitter (whereas it’s a bit heavy for your typical guy). :smiley:


#15

That’s awesome. Even though I mention the purchase of a sword in jest, I think a part of me is actually kind of serious. That’s a very nice sword to have. I was thinking maybe even a Roman gladius too.

Where’s that Scripture from, by the way? Its a good one. :smiley:


#16

Psalm 149, verse 6.

A pirate cutlass would be awesome as well. :smiley:

I love swords, but I’m not normally into ways of intimidating people that involve tools. I don’t use tools or even gesture, even in direct threats of violence. :smiley: I’m more into Abe Lincoln posture and “the look”. :stuck_out_tongue: Nothing is better than the matter-of-fact tone. :smiley: If they fear my tools, they will not fear me if they can separate me from them or catch me unaware. It’s only right when they fear me because I could do nasty things to them with just the powers of my mind. :smiley:


#17

**Chevalier, totally off topic, but the more I read your posts I can’t help but be reminded of my sister’s ex boyfriend. He speaks the way you write and has a lot of the same types of obscure references. It is uncanny.

Malia**


#18

I also wanted to add that, as a former teenage girl, I can assure you that your daughter(s) will want you to intervene in their lives. Even if they put up a fight. Us girls rely on our fathers to have better judgment than us (especially about boys) but you won’t get us to admit it until we’re well into adulthood;)

So take an active role in your daughter’s social life. Make sure her friends know where you stand. Make sure the BOYS know where you stand and just what will happen if they dare to disrespect your daughter (this does NOT have to involve weapons, lol). And most importantly, make sure your daughter knows where you stand, that you care, and that you would do anything to protect her.

Malia


#19

Since he’s spoken of in the past tense, I take it it’s not a positive thing? :smiley:


#20

**
LOL, he wasn’t a bad guy, just SO not right for my sister.

malia**


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