Why is it Always the Bad Boy?

February 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

I knew this day would come. Eventually my beautiful, angel daughter would fall under the spell of a boy. I just didn’t imagine it would happen when she was four years old.

A Breakfast Bombshell

She had already announced to me her plans to marry the three-year-old, next door neighbor, Ben. That was a startling conversation over pancakes a few weeks ago. She said it was either him or her brother, depending on whether Ben was up for it.

“Ben is a good kid,” I told her. “But I think he likes garbage trucks more than girls right now.”

It wasn’t until later that day when she told me of her new love. The target of her affection is definitely not someone I would choose for my baby girl. I know who he is and I know his reputation. He’s a bit of a bully and has some anger issues. He is one of those guys who walks around like they’ve got a chip on their shoulder.

He’s kind of goth, too. Dresses all in black and doesn’t say much. But when he does speak, he has this detached, almost ominous voice. I haven’t had any conversations with this guy yet and I don’t want to. I cannot imagine he is good with small talk.

The Big Reveal

“Daddy? I love Darth Vader.”

I hit pause on the DVD remote. “What? Really?”

“Yeah! He’s really nice and then he gets burned up but nobody helps him. When he falls down in the fire his friend doesn’t help him and goes away. Then the other guy comes and gets him and helps him and then he turns into Darth Vader.”

I was speechless for a couple of seconds while I attended to all of the alarms that went off in my head:

  • Of all of the characters in these movies she has to pick THAT guy?
  • I’m glad she seems to have missed that entire scene a few minutes ago where pre-op Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, goes on a murderous rampage.
  • She has a point. It was very un-Jedi of Obi-Wan Kenobi to leave his former student to burn alive on a volcano planet.
  • I really should reconsider letting her watch these movies…

She can’t stop talking about him and it doesn’t help that he is everywhere: coloring books, stickers, t-shirts, pajamas, posters, etc. His distinctive visage is in every toy and movie aisle at the store. You can even find Darth Vader dog toys at the pet store.

Not only is it his clothes and the voice, my daughter is attracted to this guy’s sad sack story and she wants to save him. “Nobody likes him. But I do.” she says.

This doesn’t look good. What’s worse, her attraction to bad boys is expanding beyond Star Wars villains. Just the other day while watching a Care Bears DVD, she told me how much she likes the main antagonist No Heart. “Sometimes he’s not very nice,” she confessed. “But I really like him.”

Great. I suffered enough as a young boy watching the prettiest girls in my class pine for those boys who pushed me around when they weren’t looking. Now this? Something has to be done.

Dad vs. Darth

Perhaps I should devise a strategy similar to my approach to tattoos. From the beginning I have let my daughter cover herself in temporary tattoos as much as she wants. My hope is when she gets older she will think tattoos are for little kids and take a pass on the permanent ink. So, what can I do that will make her believe in her teen years that the bad boys are really just boys and only little girls like them?

Maybe I will show her this picture.

It’s clear this is just another phase I have to endure as a Dad with a daughter. Given my own personal experience with bullies it breaks my heart to see her have a soft spot in her heart for them. I just don’t think I can turn her away from those attractive but ultimately bad-for-you bad boys.

The best I can do is listen to the little man in my head and try

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1 Comment Add your own

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