COLUMN: Survival tips for fathers of teen girls

n observation of Father’s Day, editor Andrew Holota is setting down the column-writing quill.His 13-year-old daughter, Anna, takes over this corner for the occasion.

In observation of Father’s Day, editor Andrew Holota is setting down the column-writing quill. His 13-year-old daughter, Anna, takes over this corner for the occasion.

Ten survival tips for dads of teenaged girls:

– Always remember, hormones overpower the brain.

– When it comes to fashion, don’t comment unless it’s a matter of life or death.

Yes, I understand that it’s your job to perform your fatherly duties, and make sure that we’re appropriately dressed before we walk out the door, but just because you don’t understand a new style or find it a complete fashion faux pas, the rule still applies – don’t comment if you don’t want to be an eye-witness to a major emotional break-down.

– Support our ever-changing opinion and image.

Any teenaged girl goes though one or all of these phases: the boy-crazy stage, the health freak phase, the ‘I hate guys’ stage, and of course, parental rebellion.

So my tip for you is to put your “fatherhoodness” into stand-by mode and be more of an onlooker rather than someone right in the middle of the cross-fire.

– You may think that you know us, but you don’t – because how can you know who we are if we don’t even know yet?

– Sorry to break it to ya, but your one and only job during a father/daughter shopping trip is whipping out the Visa.

– If we bring home that truly lovely looking young lad covered in tats and piercings where piercings really shouldn’t be … just do what you have to do.

– Don’t criticize, comment or critique our friends unless it’s one of ‘those’ type of incidents, then please, refer to the above rule.

– Please, oh please, at least try to avoid all conversations and situations that will evidently lead to crying and or screaming. But don’t ask me how you can prevent either of these, because honestly you can’t.

– I truly love you, but some areas are strictly Mom territory.

– When in doubt, wing it.

In your role as a father, there will be times where you have absolutely no idea what to say or do.

You never know, maybe stepping in will solve the problem, causing your daughter to spring into your loving arms, or it may generate a completely unexpected, and frankly, uncalled-for outburst, ‘Dad, you’re ruining my life!’

But don’t worry over this superb set of years.

If you are able to master these few basic rules, then there should be no reason for any permanent scarring or damage.

So Daddy, don’t worry. I promise we’ll make it through my teen years. And to all the dads out there, you’ll make it through, too!

Happy Father’s Day, and see ya on the other side.