I never thought I’d be that dad who wanted to threaten their daughters’ dates, but once I held my eldest girl in my arms, I knew I would do anything to protect her. That said, the whole cleaning-a-shotgun routine when a boy comes over isn’t nearly as effective as actually preparing my two girls to join the dating scene. Which is why, rather than engaging in that kind of behavior, I’m doing four things to protect my daughters‘ hearts.

Model Respectful Behaviors
The most important lesson about dating I can teach my children will never be one that I actively preach. Seeing how I treat their mother shows them exactly what they should expect from a future partner, so it’s vital that I model respectful behavior in front of them. Since I work from home, I’m able to see more of how my actions as a husband impact my children. One afternoon many years ago, I heard my oldest son and daughter playing house. They had eaten a play meal, and my daughter asked my son to help her clean up. I was horrified to hear him say, “No, I’m the dad, and we don’t have to do that stuff. It’s just for girls.” At the time, I would shut myself in my home office and work for hours, and it was obvious that my son had picked up on my unwillingness to help. His attitude was one I never wanted to encourage, and from that day forward, I made sure to model more equal and respectful behaviors for my children.

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