Do you remember when you first started dating? We’re not talking about just having a secret boyfriend you only communicated with at school, but the type you hung out with on weekends who knew your parents. Did you get permission to begin?
For Emani Richardson, who just turned 15 on March 31, she’s been given the official green light by her mom, Erica Dixon, to start getting better acquainted with young men. In a YouTube series she does with Emani called “Teenage Talk Tuesday,” the mother-and-daughter duo talked about the open and honest relationship they have, which has allowed Erica to feel like she can trust her child to be mature enough to be courted.
“She’s 15. I told her she can start talking to boys,” Erica said. “She has friends, but I mean, I don’t know if I want to call it dating. I don’t know if I want to call it that. Well, I guess, because I’m okay as long as I talk to parents, well the other parent, and they go to the movies or skating and we just all on the same page.”
All that being said, Emani is not new to dealing with guys. She shared some advice for young girls her age that was also applicable to grown women about not ignoring red flags.
“If you talk to a boy you really like, no matter how much you like him, if he does something wrong the first time, always take the red flag and cut them off!” the teen said. “Block him. Don’t block him on Instagram though because you want him to see you’re doing good. Just block him on everything else.”
Erica, who has had her fair share of public relationship ups and downs, agreed.
“I’ve always told her, once someone’s shown you who they are, believe their actions, not their words,” she said. “A person can talk all day long, and this is for young ladies and young men, too, watch action. Y’all young and y’all just getting in the playing field. Like I tell Emani, take your time. You like somebody, that’s fine. That’s it. I’m hands on all the time when it comes to her.”
And open for the pair includes allowing Emani to share what’s going on without fear of judgment so that she’s comfortable confiding in her mom.
“Parents, mother to mother, I think you should be open. I allow Emani to come to me and let me know how she feels. She pretty much tells me everything,” Erica said. “Sometimes I be like [bugs eyes out]…I wasn’t ready, but I appreciate that because she’s so honest and she’s so open being 15. She’s not sneaky.”
“It’s just like, most of my friends aren’t able to tell their parents so they just be sneaking and doing stuff or lying,” Emani said. “But I could just be like, ‘Mom, please…’ I can ask her to go somewhere without lying who gon’ be there. I can just open, and if it’s a no it’s a no. If it’s a yes it’s a yes.”
So far, Emani’s encounters with boys have been positive, and fruitful.
“I allow her to accept gifts. I do,” Erica said. “She got Valentine’s Day gifts. Friendly gifts, though.”
But as the teen shared, she’s not taking anything too serious and not interested in doing anything that she’s not ready for.
“Don’t be too fast,” the teen shared as advice to young people watching. “They will cut you off. I see it every day.”
And just because Emani can date now doesn’t mean Erica is allowing her daughter to be released to the hounds of the world, including the guys who’ve started popping up in her child’s direct messages on Instagram.
“Oh I monitor everything. I can log into IG. I see some of those reckless DMs,” she said. “Y’all fellas, stop now. I see everything, so stay out her DMs.”
That baby is growing up! Hit the flip to see images of a much younger Emani, now 15:
Looking just like her daddy, a teeny Emani posed alongside Scrappy, mom Erica and grandmother, the always colorful Momma Dee, in this photo from 2012.
ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 11: Momma Dee, Lil Scrappy, Emani Richardson and Erica Dixon attend the Runway Red Celebrity Kids fashion show at Zoo Atlanta on August 11, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)