It’s important to talk with your children

Published 8:45 am Thursday, March 12, 2009

Over the last few years I have sat down with my daughter Tayler Rae to discuss how things in her life seemed to be going. I started making it a part of my column as she seemed to like that and I liked to write about it.

I first sat down with her when she was 9. The last time she was 12. Tayler is now 14, but in June will be 15. Wow! The time flies — and much to my surprise when I asked her if she wanted to do this again she said yes.

Being a teenager I thought I might get a little fight, but I have to give my daughter credit as she was a trouper, and we discussed many different issues.

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We started out by discussing music:

Tayler likes rock. Bands like Linkin Park, Atreyu, T.I., Rise Against and System of a Down are a few of her favorites. She also thinks that Katie Perry, Coldplay and Greg Laswell are cool, too. We disagree on music, especially country music, as she does not like country music except Johnny Cash, and I like country music. She also does not understand how I can like Bob Dylan as she cannot even understand him. Tayler also does not like my wife music tastes as Bonnie likes doo-wop music and the rock bands Boston and Chicago.

After talking about music we naturally turned to movies. Tayler likes scary movies like “Saw” and “Friday the 13th,” which I do not really care for, but we do both agree on action movies like “Max Payne” and “The Dark Knight.”

Tayler’s other favorites are “Twilight,” “My Dog Skip,” “A Walk to Remember” and, of course, the “Harry Potter” movies.

We both agreed “To Kill a Mockingbird” is the greatest film of all time, and we have both have watched it numerous times together.

Another thing that I adore about my daughter is that she likes to read. She has some favorites, and they are “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Danny: Champion of the World,” “Black Rabbit Summer” and “Freeze Frame.” Tayler loves the underdog and is always sticking up for anyone that is being bullied or hurt.

TV for her is a release as she loves “SpongeBob,” “Bromance” and “Growing Pains” — yes, that 1980s show with Kirk Cameron. She TiVos it.

As we continued talking I mentioned to Tayler that I have noticed that she is getting a little boy crazy lately and asked her if she wanted to talk about that at all. She said, “No!” Tayler did say that Brody Jenner, Colby Odonis and Ashton Kutcher all were super hot. I asked her if they were hotter than her old man and she said, “Dad, I love you, but, yes, they are all much hotter than you.” I have to respect her truthfulness and also the way she sort of let me down easy.

I asked her what some of her dislikes are and she quickly stated country music, mean people and fish sticks.

Tayler then noted that she likes salad, yogurt, mashed potatoes and strawberries.

Our dogs Scout and Molly, who had been sleeping, decided that at this point in the interview that they needed to join us as apparently they were not getting enough attention.

Tayler and I spoil our dogs and also confuse them or as Tayler likes to say confoozle them with calling them different names. Scout goes by Scooters, Scoots McGee, Ikkers and Scoutis Maximus. Molly is called Smalls, Smally, Mollster and Mooly.

Back to the interview.

I asked Tayler what similarities that she has to me, and she said some music tastes, sports, drawing and being organized.

I then asked the same question about Mom, and she said being goofy, shopping, and girl stuff.

I said what are the biggest differences between you and Mom, and she stated Mom hates some of my music, my hats and also we differ on hairstyle choices.

She did say that Mom is my best friend and we get along really good.

I said that is because Mom spoils her and I am stricter, and she nodded and smiled.

Tayler said I love you, too, Dad, but Mom just gets me better.

I had to agree with that, but teenage years are tough on dads, especially dads with girls as they do not understand the mood swings and girl stuff that moms are better at.

Well, this ends our interview for this era of life.

Tayler, thanks for letting me in to your life again and talking to your dad. Now, please go clean your room!

Just kidding.

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.