The other day I remembered Marina. It was one of those flash-backs that come to us sometimes in our old age: something from our teenage years that we remember for no apparent reason. In my class at school was a lovely girl called Marina. Marina was lovely not only in looks but also in nature and everyone liked her. Because of this, she was invited to all our parties and dances.
Read more: Overprotective dads going too far?
Where you go, I go
She always explained to us in her gentle way that she would only be allowed to come if her father could come with her. We were very sympathetic but there was no way out of it and Daddy had to come too. I think that for her it must have been an extreme embarrassment, but most of us just accepted the sight of him sitting alongside her while she waited for one of the boys to be brave enough to ask her to dance.
I was chatting to my youngest son recently and told him about Marina’s over-protective father. I couldn’t believe my ears when he said, “That’s what I did.” He then explained that his elder daughter, who was then not yet 18, had nagged and pleaded to be allowed to go “clubbing” with some of her slightly older friends. He had eventually agreed but had said, “OK, but I am going with you. I want to see what goes on in these clubs.”
What about the cool dads?
My son had been a bit of a “joller” in his youth and I would
have thought that he would have known just what goes on in the clubs that young
people frequent but apparently times have changed. Ecstasy had a rather different meaning in his
I checked with my granddaughter if what he had told me was indeed true and she laughed and said, “Yes, Dad came along with us quite a few times.” I could not believe that he would humiliate her in that way, but she soon put me right and said, “No, Ouma, my friends loved it and said I had a really cool Dad.”
My son’s comment was, “I think that every parent should do that once in a while instead of sitting at home stressing about what goes on at these clubs these day. Go see for themselves. Also good to be on social media with your kids to what goes on there too.”
Die of embarrassment or stay at home
I am not convinced. I only know that I would have died a million deaths if my father had accompanied me to any of our parties. In fact I don’t think I would have gone if that had been a condition. It was bad enough having an older brother who could be counted on to report back to the parents.
When we had our matric dance the nuns insisted that we had at least one set of parents present to monitor things. As I was head girl, it was assumed that it would be my parents. No way was I having it and I got around it quite neatly. My brother was by that time married and I persuaded him and his wife to be the chaperones. Thank you, Jimmy & Phyl, eternally grateful and I am sorry that you had to dance all night to the four tunes that made up the repertoire of the Marist Brothers band.
Are you the type of parent to follow their child to these sorts of things? Send us your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org