Punch Young Love in the Face

I found out on Instagram, of all things, that my daughter was now being courted.  She’s five and in Kindergarten.  They’re not really courting her, either.  But there is a boy in her class who has a crush on her and colored a picture for her.  He used pink and purple because he thought she would like that.  He also left it in her locker to be a surprise.  Oh, and he wrote her name and his name on the back with a giant red heart.

Aw, first love note!  How cute.  I wasn’t running for the shotguns.  I remember what it was like to be young and ‘in love.’ This wasn’t the first time she ever got anything from a boy.  Besides, I want to be one of those cool dads who has a great relationship with their daughter and can have those frank and honest discussions about boys and love and sex, so I have to play it cool.

I was doing well.  Until a few days later, when I found TWO MORE in her backpack!?!?  This boy was obsessed! And he was a very good draw-er, which scared me.  It’s those artsy romantic types you have to watch out for.

Still, I didn’t head for the shooting range.  I did what any level headed, cool, modern dad would do.  I scheduled a little time with Bill Duff (host of the TV show Human Weapon) to give my daughter a little one on one coaching.

Here Mr. Human Weapon himself is helping to demonstrate the proper stance to take when a boy approaches to tell her that he likes her.

Next, she practices what she’ll do if a boy asks her on a date.

He seemed impressed, but I asked him to offer her a few pointers and have her practice it again.  She did much better the second time, and remembered to breathe “Ch” as she landed her punch.

He then prepared her for the unthinkable…what if a boy tried to kiss her!?  Just as he’s leaning in and off-balance, she’ll hit ’em with this hook.

My work here is done.

She also chuckled a little when I let her have a preview of her prom dress.

But once she tried it on, she really liked it.

OK. Disclaimer time.  No, I did not personally schedule a one on one coaching session with Bill Duff, but he did move back in the area to open his own gym.  Actually, as one of the Browns’ alumni, he was a volunteer at the Father/Kids night at my daughter’s school.  It’s part of the All Pro Dad network (you can start one in your area if there isn’t already a chapter near you!) and it organizes events about once a month to strengthen the relationship between fathers and kids.  Every time I go to one of these events, Ella is so excited and talks about it for days.

We had chariot races (on blankets around the gym floor) and here the legendary Ernie Kellerman is giving her advice on how to throw a football.

The head coach of the Browns from ’78 – ’84, Sam Rutigliano, was also there and spoke briefly to the dads to encourage them to let your kids know you care.

We had a great time. I asked her what her favorite part was and she said, “Boxing!”  ‘Atta girl!

And if the boxing thing doesn’t work, then I’ll always have my Plan B


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