Jeff Welch has very specific rules when it comes to dating his daughters.
The dad and writer based in Jonesborough, Tenn., recently posted a guide for dating his daughters on his Facebook page, noting he’s not the one who will be setting the standards.
“You’ll have to ask them what their rules are. I’m not raising my little girls to be the kind of women who need their daddy to act like a creepy, possessive badass in order for them to be treated with respect,” he wrote on the social media site. “You will respect them, and if you don’t, I promise they won’t need my help putting you back in your place. Good luck pumpkin.”
Welch told TODAY he understands the urge some fathers have to protect their daughters.
“I get that,” he said. “But the kind of posturing by fathers of daughters I was specifically responding to had nothing to do with that ‘protective instinct,’ and everything to do with asserting their dominance over women and reinforcing a belief that women need men to take care of them.”
On Facebook, his post received over 18,000 shares and 400 comments. Many applauded Welch’s statement, adding most memes of this sort tend to describe the father as an overprotective figure.
“Overly protective, territorial dads are weird. The ‘I’ll kill anyone who looks at my daughter!’ type are creepy AF,” user Michelle Zimmer wrote.
Others described how they are raising their own children.
“I will teach [my son] that it is not OK to objectify women, and to stick up for any woman if he sees or hears them being treated with disrespect within his peer group or anywhere else,” user Liz Shelby wrote.
READ MORE: Workshops on mindful parenting
After the response, Welch posted another status on Thursday, further explaining his feminist views and how some of his five daughters are very religious.
“I call myself a feminist, and I mean that in every way that the word is generally perceived to mean,” he wrote. “My oldest [daughter] is dead set on being a missionary. That’s what kind of heart she has. Would I rather see her to be a CEO? Yes I would, but guess what? My opinion of the kind of woman she should be is completely irrelevant. That’s not my job as a parent, or a feminist. My job is to love her, and make sure whatever she becomes, it is because that is what she wants to be.”
When your kids want to date
Vancouver-based parenting coach Julie Romanowski says when it comes to your child’s dating life, getting too involved could lead to negative outcomes.
“Avoid being controlling, overbearing, judgemental or punishing, as this can have a very negative impact. Try to listen, discuss and stay neutral knowing that a parent’s role is to help guide a child through life’s lessons, not rescue or solve [their problems].”
“Standing up for your children, supporting them and honouring them as strong individuals is a great gift for a parent to give,” she says. “The level of trust that is demonstrated here lets children know that they are valued and have an incredible amount of worth.”
Much like Welsh, Romanowski says, most parents want to impart their own values to their kids when it comes to dating, but what they really need to do is lead by example.
“If kids are told what is expected of them and then they observe the adults in their lives not demonstrating it, this can eradicate all the hard work and effort that has already been made.”