My daughter, Kyla, is a whopping 7 years old.
I wrote the following when she just a few months old.
From August 2009:
Words cannot describe the joy of being a new father of a beautiful little baby girl. I now fully understand that which so many in the massive society of fatherhood have had the pleasure of appreciating before me.
You wish time could virtually stand still so this tiny little miracle could forever retain her angelic innocence. That being impossible, you try to soak in every glorious baby moment. Pondering what lies ahead, however, is part of the deal. The focus on the present is often broken by well-wishing friends and relatives with those two now oh-so familiar words: “Just wait!”
So much to look forward to.
So much to worry about.
I was reminded about my future father role working backstage at the Main Stage at the Wisconsin State Fair during the Demi Lovato concert. Lovato is the latest Disney Channel star.
Prior to the show, I joked with some of the handful of fathers who looked less than thrilled to be on hand.
“Do you have any idea what you’re in for?” I asked them, knowing that 5,000 screaming prepubescent girls can shatter eardrums a mile away.
“Oh yeh I do,” chuckled one dad. “I’ve seen Britney Spears.”
Britney’s path from cute bopping teen to adolescent tramp is legendary. Following such a transformation, there’s always another young girl to step in and play the part, selling mega tickets, CD’s, videos, and merchandise. The latest is Miley Cyrus who has grown out of her sweet, Hannah Montana character.
Cyrus stunned moms all across America recently when she performed a pole dance at the Teen Choice Awards.
Lest we forget, Cyrus is 16 years old. Doesn’t matter to her big lug, achy breaky heart father, Billy Ray Cyrus who defended Miley’s stripper-like routine:
“You know what? I just think that Miley loves entertaining people. She loves singing and songwriting. I always tell her to love what you’re doing and stay focused for the love of the art and not worry so much about opinion,” said the proud papa.
So, is this the only way for young girls to “make it?” Dress and behave as provocatively as possible? That certainly is the message they’re getting.
Then there’s the music.
When I was growing up, parents (the ones that weren’t cool) were having heart attacks about anything even remotely more exciting than Pat Boone.
I’ve never understood what all the fuss was about. Elvis simply wanted to be your teddy bear. The Beatles just wanted to hold your hand. Today, almost every song is scandalous in its sheer obscenity.
The Culture and Media Institute provides the breakdown that would make any parent panic:
“From June 10 to July 22, 29 songs were listed on the top 20 airplay charts as posted by Mediabase. An astonishing 69 percent of the songs made at least one reference to sex, alcohol, drugs, or contained profanity. Nearly half (46 percent) of the songs contained sexual lyrics and 31 percent of the songs referenced drugs or alcohol. Profanity occurred in 41 percent of the songs.
Despite these troubling numbers, the media has been generally indifferent to the obscenity, and often praised the artist. Some of the artists even performed on the networks’ morning shows.”
Let’s move to the computer.
The London School of Economics reports nine out of 10 teens who go online will view pornography. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 70 percent of those who viewed porn stumbled across it – many while innocently doing their homework – and had not been looking for it.
That’s the current state of affairs.
Who will be and what will the teen tramp star be like when my daughter is 12, 13, 14?
What kind of trash will be on the radio, on the Internet and other outlets?
I trust my wife and I will be up for the challenge.
And we haven’t even discussed boys!
I’ve already addressed how I’m going to handle that whole issue. There will be two simple rules young males will have to follow:
1) The young lad will have to get out of his car, walk up the driveway, ring the doorbell, expect to enter and meet me face to face where he will be subject to a series of probing, not so subtle questions about himself, his family and just about any other topic I choose for interrogation.
That’s rule #1.
Rule # 2 is even easier.
2) The young lad is not allowed anywhere on or near my property.
I can always turn to this gem, a column by one of my favorites, Doug Giles:
“The Ten Commandments for My Daughter’s Potential Boyfriends”
Here is a sample:
“Thou shall not touch my daughter, or I’ll tear your hands off and you’ll have to ‘whip the bishop’ with a stub. Not only am I not cool with your being around me, I’m sure as heck not down with your touching my daughter. Therefore, when you’re in my space (and in my absence) you’d better treat my daughters with the utmost respect.
Do not under any circumstance hang all over my daughter, fondle my daughter or soul kiss my kid until you have a wedding ring on her finger, a joint checking account and MMA at Wachovia—or I will shove your Justin Timberlake backside off my 3rd floor balcony first chance I get, capisce?”
Happy 5-month birthday, Kyla.
Please don’t grow up so fast.
Back to the present, 2016: