Recently, I blogged about some important reasons why every dad should interview his daughter's date. Today, I'd like to share with you how to interview your daughter's date.
There are lots of suggestions you can find on the Internet, including some really funny ones like an application to date your daughter. But for most of us, this is serious business and we just need a few simple guidelines to go by.
My friend, Dennis Rainey, has written a good book, Interviewing Your Daughter's Date, which covers this topic in depth. But to give you some quick insights, let me share with you a few key steps from my experience.
1. Have your daughter prepared to tell any guy that asks her out to call you first before answering him. This helps her know that you are expecting to be her first line of defense and gives her guidance on how to respond to a guy's invitation. This also allows you to be the heavy when she wants to say, "No," but is struggling to do so.
2. Set a time and place that's comfortable. An in-person visit works best. So you might invite the young man, and even his dad, to your home. I wrote how I did this for my first interview with my eldest daughter's date in my original blog on interviewing your daughter's date.
3. Start with asking him questions about him. Ask about his family, his work and studies, his life plans, what he enjoys doing and even his driving record ... the kinds of things that will give you clues about his values and character. Don't be shy ... even if it seems a bit uncomfortable for him and for you. Your job is to help your daughter, not just make him feel good about himself.
4. Share with him your thoughts and expectations for him if you agree to let him take her out. Here are some points—with some of Dennis Rainey's included—that you can share:
a. Let him know that your daughter is priceless and that you expect him to treat her as such.
b. Share with him that you expect him to keep her safe and not put her in any dangerous situations.
c. Make sure he understands that no alcohol or drugs should ever be involved.
d. Make sure he understands that if they get in a situation where they are uncomfortable or need any kind of help, he should call you immediately.
e. Acknowledge that attraction of a young man to a young woman is both normal and good but that a physical relationship is to be reserved for marriage.
f. Acknowledge that you're going to hold him accountable for his relationship with your daughter—the physical relationship as well as how he treats her in general.
g. Make sure he has understood everything you've talked about...don't assume he gets it. You might even ask him to repeat back, in his own words, what your expectations will be.
5. End the conversation by thanking him for coming to speak with you. At that point, you can give him permission to take out your daughter. Or you might even buy yourself some time by saying you'll think the conversation over and get back to him with an answer, especially if you saw issues that you believe need to be addressed with your wife and daughter.
So, I encourage you to make the investment of your time to do these interviews, and someday, when your daughter is looking back, she is very likely to be really, really grateful that you did.
What are some other good questions or points that you think should be part of an interview with your daughter's date? Share your comments with us!
Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit markmerrill.com.
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