boy advice

Words of Wisdom to My Daughter about Boys

A movie called Where Hope Grows is about a former major league baseball player and struggling alcoholic named Calvin. He is a single father of a teenage daughter. His daughter, Katie, is consistently disappointed with him because he is more concerned with drinking with his buddies than being there for her. This causes her to turn to her boyfriend for the support she is missing in her dad. Even in his negligence, Calvin sees that the boy his daughter is dating is bad news. When he tries to warn her, even forbid her from seeing him, his words fall on deaf ears. It was a great reminder that if I am not lovingly consistent, faithful, and present, my words to my daughter will suffer the same fate.

A while back, my wife sent me a video text of my daughter. She was wearing a wedding veil and bouquet. She said, “Hello Daddy, welcome to my future.” After I got over the initial heart attack, I thought about her relationships with boys. I want to prepare her the best I can. The greater I model the right things to her, the deeper my words will sink into her heart when giving her boy advice. I want her to be in relationships with boys that treat her well. She needs to be prepared on how to spot the character qualities of these types of boys. With that said, here are my words of wisdom to my daughter about boys.

Watch how he treats his siblings.

Sibling relationships bring out a person’s true colors. They are forced to relate to one another and the different personalities. They’ve been with one another long enough to grow tired of one another. How does he treat them? Is he kind to them overall? You will be able to see clearly his level of patience, grace, and how he handles conflict. The manner in which someone treats their siblings can be a good indicator of how they treat long-term relationships.

Pay attention to his company.

The people we surround ourselves with influence our attitudes. When we spend time with positive people, we are more positive. If we are around negativity, we are more negative. Does he spend time with boys that treat girls with honor or respect? Are they the types of friends that will help make him sharper and more decent? Will they challenge him when he is in the wrong or making bad decisions? If not, move on.

Listen to how he speaks about others, particularly those in authority.

Whatever is most true about a person eventually comes to the surface, mainly through our words. Is he respectful with his words? Does he talk down to people or behind their back? How does he speak about those in authority? You can get an idea if he is humble or arrogant, thoughtful or brash. When he spends time dismissing the authorities in his life, it could be a sign that he is closed off to the advice of others. This will inhibit his growth. If his words have a sting to them, there is probably bitterness and anger that hasn’t been dealt with. All are signs of potential relational difficulty.

Listen to how others speak of him.

Reputations are normally built from the consistent actions of one’s past. They don’t always convey the true story and a person can certainly change. However, if a boy has a negative reputation, proceed with caution. Be on the lookout for those things. The reverse is also true. A person with a good community standing may have earned it or could be just putting on a good face. The good words of others is a piece of the puzzle to help you get an accurate picture. Don’t let it replace your own judgment.

Observe his self-discipline.

A person that shows up on time, completes his work with excellence, and is willing to delay gratification is a person with faithfulness and integrity. Does he take care of his responsibilities? How often does he follow-through on his word? This shows his inner strength and whether or not he can be counted on. When difficulty shows its face, you want someone steadfast next to you, not a straw man.

These may be high expectations, particularly for developing boys and young men. However, I’m talking about my daughter and I will always set a high standard to be met for the boys that want to be with her. If I do my job in preparing her well, my hope is that she will too.

Sound Off

What wisdom do you want to impart to your daughter about boys?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • Jeff

    Watch how he treats his mother.
    This is especially important to me because it is an indicator of how he will treat my daughter and my wife.

    • BJ_Foster

      Very true Jeff!

    • 100% spot on!!!

    • Miguel Sandoval

      What if there is NO mother, instead a step-mother? There is no biological connection. Remember today’s family is dynamic and not the traditional one it once was.

      • Manly

        If there is a step-mother… watch. How the step-mother is treated is a good indicator because it is NOT biological. They are around that person (not blood related) frequently. If they don’t have respect for someone they live with why would they have respect for someone they want to marry?

  • Greg

    Good article. I would add watch how he treats waiters/waitress, hotel staff, etc. If he doesn’t treat those who are helping him well, using respect and good manners, that’s a bad sign.

  • Paul_Sp

    Generally good suggestions, but the bar shouldn’t be set so high that unless the young man is nearly perfect, he’s unworthy. Her dad isn’t perfect either.

    Have to allow some room and grace for improvement and growth in all young people.

    Also can’t expect an 18 yr old fellow to think and value like a 25 yr old man.

    Further down the road, I’ve known of father-in-laws who just never give their son-in-laws full approval, because “no one is good enough for my girl”, unless of course the young man is just like her dad.

    • Truth Hurts

      Don’t think Standard here is too high but it’s guidelines. At 18 if he is meeting the Standard he may not be the guy for your daughter.

      • Paul_Sp

        Huh? Did you mean if he is NOT meeting the standard………?
        I didn’t say the standard in the article IS too high, just gave a warning about expecting too much.

        My kids are grown, and at my age, I’ve know a few dads who were rather hypocritical in how much they were insisting from any young man wanting to date their daughters.

    • Miguel Sandoval

      It’s simply being respectful of women. If an 18 year old hasn’t learned that by then, then they certainly have no business being 10 miles near my daughter!

      • Paul_Sp

        No, I disagree, this article, which I generally agree with, is not simply saying to be respectful of women. Much more than that!

    • Manly

      Regardless of what we say, we all should strive for perfection. This does not mean “Perfection” is only acceptable standard. We all need improvement. Think of this grading scale like school grades. It is easier and more productive to change a B+ to an A. It is harder and much more challenging to increase a C- to an A. The question becomes are they perfect in their own minds… if so they see no need to change. OR are striving to be perfect? This shows effort that will yield great results without perfection as a requirement.

      • Paul_Sp

        Umm, that’s kind of confusing trying to apply it to actually deciding if a young man appropriate for your daughter.

        • Manly

          I apologize… maybe my comparison was unclear. Regardless of that part. My desired Standards for a Son-in-law are High. (NOT PERFECTION) Since each person truly has to change themselves (meaning we cannot change our spouse or in-laws) then I have High standards. If we agree on the Major things then we can deal with each others differences on the small stuff.

          • Paul_Sp


          • Sounds like a good balance of truth & grace. I like it!


    You will also want to pay attention to his personal habits – does he drink? How does he act if he does drink? Does he smoke weed or use coke? Is his demeanor an act or is he authentic?

  • Wonderful points BJ! We have 3 girls so this post hits home. Their all under the age of 7 so I have a few years but setting the foundation has to happen now.

    • Yes, Isecond that! Im a daddy to three girls too. Great insights!

    • BJ_Foster

      Thanks Joel! Wow – 3 girls? You must have you hands full!

  • Lauren

    Can this apply equally for boys on how to prudent about girls?

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