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Melissa Locker
September 8, 2017

J. Warren Welch has a message to his five daughters’ future suitors: Good luck pumpkin.

Welch and his wife, Natasha, are raising two 16-year-old daughters, Ashton and Jade, as well as 13-year-old Darcy, 12-year-old Carmen, and 7-year-old Laney, in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Welch isn’t your typical Southern daddy, though. He’s not standing on the porch of his house in Tennessee with his arms crossed, glowering in the hopes of making a teenaged boy shake in his Nikes. Instead, Welch and his wife are raising a pack of girls who can take care of themselves.

That’s why when Welch made up some "rules" for dating his daughters, which he posted on Instagram and Facebook, they weren’t exactly the typical, gun-polishing jokes most dad’s make about boys dating their little girls. Instead, Welch wrote a love note to the strong young women he and his wife are raising. He wrote, "You'll have to ask them what their rules are. I'm not raising my little girls to be the kind of women who need their daddy to act like a creepy, possessive bada*s in order for them to be treated with respect... You will respect them, and if you don't, I promise they won't need my help putting you back in your place." He ended the note with a simple “good luck pumpkin.”

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Welch’s post—which he captioned “I ain't raisin' no princesses”— must have resonated with many parents, as it has since gone viral on Facebook with over 11,000 shares. "I understand the urge to protect your daughters. I get that," Welch told TODAY Parents. But welch doesn’t think his daughters need protection from boyfriends, because they are smart enough to make their own choices. "I know that my daughters don't need my help making important decisions about their relationships,” he said. “These girls are my heroes!"

Welch may call his daughters his “heroes”, but we’re guessing that admiration and respect goes both ways.