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I love Psychology and Sociology – all things that deal with the workings of the mind fascinate me. So I love studies like this one that make you think.
Professors of Psychology at Indiana State University and SamHouston State University conducted a study not long ago. They were looking at the ways in which parents respond to their son’s or daughter’s dates. An overwhelming number interfere – which was about as surprising as being told that a chubby kid likes McDonald’s – but seemed much, much more inclined to do so with daughters than sons. Daughters in the study reported many more negative comments than did the sons.
Really, I don’t think that’s what surprised me (after all, wouldn’t a dad be worried of a creature he once ran with…..and once was?) – what I found odd was the reasons for interference that were uncovered.
For daughters, the fathers and mothers were the most concerned about the young man’s “ambitions.” What did he want from life? What did he want to do for a living, etc.
However, for the sons, the fathers were more interested in what the date looked like! Ambition, social standing….who cares? Is she pretty enough?! The study didn’t say what the mom wanted for her son’s dates….though I suspect it may have been for her to get lost!
It’s oversimplifying, of course, but in the end I think what I’d want for my own girls is someone who brings out the best in them. Someone who inspires them to be the best they can be and to keep reaching, keep growing and feel great….not just good….but, great about themselves. I’d want them to have someone who lit the room up for them when he walked in, someone who just thinking about made them smile. I’d want them to have someone that respected them, not just the way they looked, but their minds and personalities as well. Basically, I’d want for them what I found with their father. Nothing less.
Make each moment count double,