My daughter has her first official date coming up and it will be to go to a formal high school dance.
Her date is coming to our house to pick her up. He is a 14 year old boy so presumably one of his parents will be driving him over.
I could meet him at the door with a shotgun (I’d have to buy one first, I suppose) or a machete or some other cliche veiled threat, but I’m really looking for some realistic questions I might ask the kid when he shows up. He’ll probably be insanely nervous, as will my daughter, so I’d really rather just make this as easy on both of them as possible.
How would you greet your kid’s first date? One or both of his parents may be in tow!
If his parents are chaperoning, there’s no need for the shotgun. Just be sure to make the youngsters endure posing for multiple pictures/videos, and clearly understand whatever curfew you feel is appropriate.
I’d settle for asking the obvious stuff: How does he know her, do they have classes together, “Oh, so you must know [daughter’s friend]”, etc. You very well probably know this stuff from your daughter but it makes non-confrontational conversation that forced him to engage with you. I think it’s good to have him speak with you and acknowledge you but obviously you don’t want to do the silly cliche stuff (not that you would). Your daughter might end up dating this guy for the school year or something and you don’t need the boy’s parents thinking of you as the asshole who showed their son a baseball bat or threatened to break his knees.
“Hi, you must be Date! I’m Daughter’sparent. It’s nice to meet you!”
“How are you getting to the dance? Your parent brought you? I’d love to meet him or her, is it okay if I go out and say hi?”
“See you kids back by curfew, have a great time!”
If you could get my dad to answer this question, I’d give you a million bucks. I was 17 years old on my first date and it was a miserable, humiliating experience. He didn’t seem to get that behaving like a crazy person only made made things worse, and made me more reluctant to follow his must-meet-the-boys rule. I even had a talk with mom beforehand and was like “Can you make sure your husband doesn’t do anything crazy?” No dice. He dialed up the crazy to 13. After dealing with that a few times, I started sneaking off to meet boys because my dad insisted on being an asshole.
So yeah, follow the advice above. If you act like some creepy macho dick with a gun (and I know you were joking about the gun thing and are actually trying to be normal and decent about this), your daughter will just start hiding dates from you. My life is my cite.
I see nothing wrong with asking questions to whoever my 14 year old is hanging out with, date or otherwise. I don’t think I need to justify why I’d want to talk with the people my young teen hangs out with, especially if I’m doing so cordially and respectfully.
This was exactly the way I had intended to try and approach this. If he comes to the door alone I plan to invite him in, ask a few pleasantries, and then head outside to meet is mom or dad or both and then make sure we are aligned on the pickup time.
This is a dance so the curfew will be set by that. My daughter knows this.
I wasn’t sure what would best put him at ease and if anyone had experiences with this. I don’t plan to turn up the crazy for the exact reasons stated above… the last thing I want is for my daughter to feel the need to hide from me.
Just remember that the slightest mis-step on your part will traumatize your daughter, sending her into a lifelong cycle of alternating depression and mania, giving lap dances to sailors in a desperate attempt to get acceptance and validation from a Father Figure.
There’s nothing wrong with asking questions in the context of having a normal conversation with a person you’ve just met.
I don’t think the OP was asking advice as to how to make conversation with strangers and avoid awkward silences. He has perhaps watched too many sitcoms.
On my daughters first date, I pulled the young man aside, put my arm around his shoulder and just said “Mate, I hope you two have an enjoyable time. Just remember, anything you do to her, I’ll do to you”
Dude was literally carded, asked if he had a cell phone so that dad could power-stalk him (heh, “if” – this was a while ago), dad wanted to get down his license plate as if… I’m not even sure what he thought he was going to do with that. If he thought for one second that dude was going to abduct me, why on Earth would he have let us go out? There was grilling that was shouted at this poor young man and threats of calling the police if I weren’t home on time. What kind of lunacy is this? My mom attempted to run interference, but the craziness had already done its damage. Dude was scared to drop me back off or ever pick me up again. Uhh, did I mention my dad’s an old man? Yeah, which made it even weirder.
Sounds like you’re good. Friendly and setting rules without being batshit.
The part you omitted:
“I could meet him at the door with a shotgun (I’d have to buy one first, I suppose) or a machete or some other cliche veiled threat, but I’m really looking for some realistic questions I might ask the kid when he shows up. He’ll probably be insanely nervous, as will my daughter, so I’d really rather just make this as easy on both of them as possible.”
He wants “realistic questions” to ask in lieu of threats. This clearly alludes to the meeting being some sort of vetting process.
He has a child the same age, so surely is perfectly capable of making conversation with one.