published Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Baumgardner: Dad plays the foolin lesson for daughter

By Julie Baumgardner

Scott Mackintosh headed out the door for family night wearing a "Best Dad Ever" T-shirt and a pair of Daisy Dukes, which he had just made out of an old pair of jeans. He was only planning to wear this outfit out to the car to make a point to his teenage daughter, who refused to change into a longer pair of shorts for their family outing.

However, when he got to the car, his kids did not notice what he was wearing because they were preoccupied with their smartphones.

"As I returned to the car, it was evident that their faces were still glued to their phones and they had no idea of the spectacle that stood before them," said Mackintosh in a blog post.

He had a decision to make. Would he change clothes or take his scheme on the road? He took it on the road. Not until his wife took a picture of him when they arrived at the restaurant did the rest of the family notice his attire.

"My daughter then gave her disgusted look and said, 'Why are you dressed like that?' followed by 'Oh well, I don't care,'" said Mackintosh.

My son, daughter and wife took a couple of pictures and posted them to social media. We ate dinner and it was no big deal."

Or so he thought. The photos of Mackintosh in the short shorts quickly went viral with hundreds of thousands of views, and comments like "the best dad," "coolest dad" and " the most embarrassing dad" ever.

What kind of a father would embarrass his daughter like that in public? One who wanted her to know that people often make judgments about you because of the way you dress.

Over the last few months, Mackintosh and his wife had been round and round with their daughter about her attire. They have raised four daughters and three sons and have some pretty specific guidelines about appropriate clothing. They firmly believe that the way you dress sends messages about you and influences the way you and others act.

At the end of the evening, Mackintosh said there was no "Dad, I get it" or "Dad, you're the best ... thanks for that awesome lesson."

However, Mackintosh is convinced that his daughter will always know that her dad loves her and cares about her enough to make a fool out of himself. How many daughters out there wish their dad cared enough to make that kind of sacrifice for them?

Julie Baumgardner is president and CEO of First Things First. Contact her at julieb@firstthings.org.

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