From my message today:
"I have two daughters, one of which is starting secondary school this September. As a ‘Protective dad’ I have begun working on various rules for anyone wishing to date one of my girls in the years to come:
Rule 1: If you pull onto my drive and beep, you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re certainly not picking up one of my girls.
Rule 2: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, as long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off my daughter’s body, I will remove them.
Rule 3: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loose it shows your underwear. You may come to my door dressed like this, I will not object. However, I will take my nail-gun and fasten your trousers securely in place at your waist.
Rule 4: I’m sure you’ve been told that having sex without utilizing a ‘barrier method’ of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
Rule 5: You may feel that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about triathlon or Christian stuff. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on the subject is ‘early’.
Rule 6: Once you have gone out on a date with my little girl, you will continue to date no-one but her, until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
Rule 7: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a short, middle-aged, dawky dad. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have access to a shotgun, a shovel and five acres forest. Do not mess with me.
Rule 8: Be afraid. Be very afraid. The voices in my head frequently tell me to clean my gun as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull onto the drive you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password. Announce in a clear voice “Mr Green, I have brought your daughter home safely and early”, then return to your car. There is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.
To be fair, I am still in discussion with my wife & daughters regarding some of the finer points of these rules, but it captures the heart of my approach …"