OFFSTAGE: Garth Brooks Gives Teen Dating Advice

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Where was Garth Brooks when I was a 16-year-old with low self-esteem? That’s what I want to know. Certainly not on the Oprah Winfrey Show doling out great advice for girls like he was last week. He sat with Winfrey and talked about his own daughters (ages 18, 16 and 14) and how the only thing better than playing music is being a dad and how every day as a dad gets better. But then he went on and on about how dating older boys, even just one year older, is a big deal. “As a junior, if you’re dating a senior boy, sometimes that pushes you ahead of things you’re ready to handle,” he told Winfrey and the audience. And I think we all know what he meant by “things.” But the best part of his motivational speech was this — and I’ve told it to my daughters about a hundred times since he said it — about how a teenage girl should not become a reflection of a boy she wants to date: “The truth is, it’s the reflection in the mirror. That’s the one. You can’t lie to that voice inside of you.” If and when Brooks starts writing songs again, I’d like him to write one about just that. Set all that fatherly wisdom to music, and the world could be a better place. Well, maybe not the world. But high school, for sure.