It’s never too early to teach our children that they deserve to be treated with love and respect, and that’s just the message one father is imparting to his 2-year-old daughter in this adorable video.
Los Angeles dad Demetrius Brown catches Nola mid-meal and gives her a quick but memorable lesson: a man should always keep your honor intact, he should only lay a hand on you if he is “giving you love,” and daddy will always be there to make sure you’re treated well.
As Brown explains in the YouTube description: “Here is a video that all princesses, young ladies, women, fathers and sons need to watch. A 2 year old having a conversation with her father about her value and her worth!!” The video was posted last week, and has already been streamed more than 311,000 times.
"I’ve been doing this since my wife was pregnant," the 42-year-old dad tells Yahoo Parenting. "Even when she carried Nola I would speak to her stomach to tell Nola that she could do anything and be anything she wanted to be."
Brown says he’s been having conversations about self-worth, like the one in the video, since Nola was born. “I give her bits and pieces — just enough so that she can handle and absorb it,” he says. “It’s important to me that she knows her value and her worth and that she knows how she deserves to be treated. I want her to have a clear understanding of what love is and what respect is.”
On the Facebook page, “Conversations with Our Daughters,” which Brown describes as “moments that fathers and daughters have shared as daughters grow into queens,” he encourages other dads to share notable moments, memories, and advice they’ve shared with their girls.
Some people who've seen the video have told Brown that Nola is too young to understand his lessons, but he believes parents need to start teaching the important things early. “For me, it’s about getting them while they’re young,” he says. “If you give them the opportunity to grow, they will. We never talk to our girls like they’re babies, we talk to them like they’re little people. I’ve heard people criticizing me for using the word princess because they say it’s teaching entitlement, but I use it because it’s a reference she can relate to.”
Brown says parents who want to teach their kids to value and respect themselves can do so at a young age by using bite-sized pieces of information, and repetition. “Then they will digest it and retain it,” he says.
It’s clear the message is getting through to Nola as she explains to her dad that she’s a princess who will be a queen one day, but the cutest moment might be at the end, when Nola, big sister to 16-month-old Bailee, says, after all this princess talk: “I’m a big girl and Bailee’s a baby! What are you talking about?”
Still, cheers to Brown for the reminder that words like respect, love, and honor should be taught from day one.