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What did Dad say about flowers?

Teens reflect on their fathers' romance advice

Teens reflect on their fathers' romance advice

June 13, 2006|by FEDORA COPLEY and SHANNON MUMAW

Teens are notoriously experimental and not always sympathetic to parental advice.

But with Father's Day around the corner, teens interviewed recently at the Valley Mall in Halfway said they at least listen to advice from fathers about members of the opposite sex.

Three girls from Martinsburg, W.Va., classmates at St. Joseph Parish, said their dads' advice is a big part of learning how far to go, especially romantically.

"It's important to follow it," said Emily Hume, 14. Her dad's advice about prospective boyfriends is succinct: "No baggy pants."

Taneisha Harrison, 14, said her dad tries to guide her about getting physical with boys: Holding hands is OK. Don't do any "bad stuff" with boys. Nothing above kissing. Double dates are OK. Be home by 9 p.m.

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Lauren Coffey, 13, said her dad advises her, "Never too old," for boyfriends - no boys older than 15. She can go on dates, but her father suggests it's "better to go on double dates with friends."

Three friends from Waynesboro, Pa., passing through the food court, said they didn't get any advice from their fathers about dating.

Ben Eyler, 16, said his dad doesn't advise him on girls. Justin Dennis, 14, and Chris Carnes, 15, said they didn't have father figures in their lives.

Danielle Dietrich and Stephanie Scott, both 14-year-olds who attend Waynesboro Area Senior High School, sat with Danielle's dad in the food court before catching a movie. Danielle said her dad tries to give advice about not getting too involved until she's older because "he doesn't want me to get hurt or heartbroken." But if she does go out with friends, she says he's cool with her staying out past 10, her usual curfew, as long as she calls.

Stephanie said her dad is fine with romance as far as kissing goes, but "I'm not supposed to do anything, you know ... sexually."

In another part of the mall, Adam Ritchey and Kaytie Johnson, rested on a bench. Both are 15, live in Greencastle, Pa., and attend Greencastle-Antrim High School.

When it comes to fatherly advice, Adam said, "Avoid girls who are drunk. My dad just told me to avoid any girls involved with drugs."

Kaytie, also 15, says her father's suggestions include "Don't go for guys only into one thing." Her parents don't require a curfew, she said, as long as "I let them know where I am, who I'm with."

Kaytie knows her dad trusts her, and she follows his advice. The feeling is mutual, she indicated: Her dad trusts her opinion about boys and wants her to be with someone who will make her happy.

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