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)
With her jelly bag and pink ruffled skirt, Emani and mom Erica threw up the peace sign, or chucked the deuces (however you want to look at it) while they hit up the annual Birthday Bash event in Atlanta back in 2013.
ATLANTA, GA – JUNE 15: Erica Dixon and Emani Richardson attend the Hot 107.9’s 18th Annual Birthday Bash at the Philips Arena on June 15, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)
She’s been a scene stealer from a young age. She hit the stage with her mom and dad during a performance at the annual Birthday Bash event in Atlanta in 2014.
ATLANTA, GA – JUNE 14: Lil Scrappy, Emani Richardson and Erica Dixon backstage during Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash 19 at Centennial Olympic Park on June 14, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)
Name a better date for an awards show than your child — I’ll wait. Emani was Scrappy’s plus one for the BET Hip Hop Awards in 2014. Father and daughter put on their funkiest shoes for the event.
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 20: Emani Richardson and Lil Scrappy attend at Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on September 20, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)
Emani and Erica were side by side and showing off big smiles during a mother-daughter outing in Atlanta in 2014 for Kontrol Magazine.
ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 19: Emani Richardson and Erica Dixon attends Kontrol Magazine Fashion Jams: The Glamorous Life at Social Haven on November 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)
And while Erica got all glammed up while taking her daughter as her date for the Trumpet Awards in 2015, Emani kept it cute and age appropriate in a colorful dress and Chuck Taylor sneakers.
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 24: Erica Dixon(r) and daughter, Emani Richardson, attend the 23rd Annual Trumpet Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on January 24, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)
Emani hit the stage to support her dad Scrappy while he performed at The Tabernacle in 2015 in Atlanta, rocking an interesting but cute pair of Minnie Mouse ears and a shirt from a clothing line she had called Emula Clothing.
ATLANTA, GA – JUNE 19: Emani Richardson attends The Tabernacle on June 19, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)
She hit the stage with her dad and stepmom, Bambi, during yet another Birthday Bash concert in Atlanta in 2016.
ATLANTA, GA – JUNE 17: Lil Scrappy, Adiz “Bambi” Benson and Emani Richardson attend the Birthday Bash ATL Classic Hip Hop Concert at The Tabernacle on June 17, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)
Emani was all smiles next to her dad and Bambi at the LudaDay Celebrity Basketball Game at Morehouse back in 2017.
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 03: Adiz ‘Bambi’ Benson, Emani Richardson and Lil Scrappy at 2017 LudaDay Celebrity Basketball Game at Morehouse College – Forbes Arena on September 3, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Emani has a pretty good relationship with Bambi, who is mom to her brother Breland. Before he was born, she snapped a picture with a very pregnant Bambi and her dad at the LudaDay Celebrity Basketball Game in 2018.
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 02: Adiz ‘Bambi’ Benson, Emani Richardson, and Lil Scrappy attend 2018 LudaDay Celebrity Basketball Game at Morehouse College – Forbes Arena on September 2, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)