A letter from a mother to her daughter,
So let’s be honest no one prepared me for this part of motherhood…….you know the part about raising a teenage daughter. I remember the first time my heart broke when I went through your phone and saw that you had smoked! Or when I realized that your mind wasn’t as innocent as I had thought. I cried myself to sleep because no one prepared me for this. I called my mom and told her, you didn’t prepare me for this part of parenting (I WAS SO UPSET) You see the beginning stages of life and early childhood I was prepared I read every book, I kept you on a routine, I read to you, I would sing with you, you were my baby, and my sweet beautiful baby girl……….but then life happened.
I’m learning the importance of having an intentional relationship with you. I have to speak life into because I never want it to be a day where someone else tells you how beautiful you are, sexy or whatever kids may say and it distract you, that you believe them so you lose all values or morals, I don’t want you to be a broken vessel. I want you to understand that you are a young queen, that your identity comes from Christ first and that you’re first loved in the home.
God showed me what it looks like to spend intentional time with you. As I mentioned before I had my daughter complete the love language assessment. I know she likes quality time. So that is what I did, I spent every day with her and the shift in her attitude was amazing. Her mood was lighter and at that moment, I realized when she first entered puberty I had neglected her. That was a hard pill to swallow, that you let everything of the world pour into your child except you and was so shocked that you didn’t recognize who she was anymore. That her innocence was slowly slipping. God is good though, because I didn’t dwell on the past things and I pressed forward. I realized with his help I was able to shift the atmosphere in my home. These are the most impressionable years and who your child spends the most time with is who they will follow.
I am growing every day and still learning, I do not have to yell to get my point across, it makes my kid shut down and now we are stuck back at square one. I have to let my child know that I love her daily and how amazing she is. Middle school is tough and your emotions are constantly changing, that love and respect for themselves starts one by us modeling ourselves and then letting our children know that. What we label, we give life too, so this is important. If I want you to be smart, classy, respectful, and god-fearing, then I will call you by those names. I set the tone in my house and my child is watching. So If I say I am a Christ follower then my actions should replicate them and my child definitely is an observer and will call out hypocrisy. She’s constantly holding me accountable. I am her first role model. The bible lets me know that I must show myself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity. I am still learning especially when my child is only 12, but I thought I would give other mothers of teenagers some practical advice.
- Spend time with your teen. Really get to know them and do activities with them that you both will enjoy. Teens love YouTube and they love showing us funny videos, I know other parents can relate. Take time to laugh with them, dance with them, sing a song, and cook dinner. Just spend time with them, it may seem small but this quality time goes a long way.
- Show them you have real relationship with Christ, my daughter hears me worshiping God, praying to God, we pray together. How can I expect her to build a relationship with God, when I don’t show her my own?
- Have a community of other like-minded individuals that will pour into your children the same way you pour into your children. This is so important because there will be days when you feel like giving up, when you are tired especially for us single moms and you will need that support from those who are close to you, to say hey I’ll come and get her and talk to her, or I will call her. This matters!!!
- Setting time intentional time to express your feelings. I’ll be honest it easier for me to write out my feelings then express them in person, plus it doesn’t help when your child tells you that you are creepy when you say I love you but you don’t want it to become a foreign thing. I can’t use the excuse that I didn’t get told I love you and let it carry on from generation to generation, so I decided to break that habit. Let your child know you appreciate them, especially when they do things right. I can tell my daughter feels better when I say thank you or how much I appreciate her helping me etc. Gratitude and praise truly does go a long way!
- Set limitations it is a fine line especially for me with having a relationship with my daughter but her understanding that I am a mom not her friend. Some limitations in my home is one having an app on her phone netsanity it filters out all the crazy things on the net(lifesaver) , we also have a no technology time period when she turns in her technology. She has chores and she doesn’t get paid for them. She still has a bed time and she cannot close her room door. We keep an open dialogue and address issues as they come.
- Another area I realized I had to teach my daughter was having healthy friendships. I went through her phone saw mess being started and also people disrespecting her verbally. I wanted her to understand what true friendships look like and never to tolerate abuse from anyway. It reminded me of my profession as a teacher a lot of times we have expectations in our mind and think the students should automatically know….however they don’t so it is our job to teach. As a parent is my job to teach my daughter everything. With God’s help I know that He will continue to give me wisdom and I will continue to pour into my child and share the information with others.
I’ll leave you guys with this, I kept seeing one of my favorite author, YouTuber and Christian social media influencer Heather Love prayer for her children. I love how descriptive she was in her prayers for her children. So I started to do the same with my daughter.
Dear Heavenly Father, Help my daughter see herself as you see her, show her the gifts you instilled in her and help her fulfill her purpose, guide her footsteps and fill her heart, so that she will live a life that you see fit, place your arms around her and protect her from the enemy as we know he will try to attack, but he has already been defeated, align her life with the right people that will pour into her, let her experience joy daily, worship you , desire you first and follow you! In things I pray and believe, Lord have your way, Amen!
I love being a mom, it is truly a gift however some days are harder than others. I hope this blog will help other parents and make the load we carry as parents a little lighter.
Sincerely, a sista on the sofa Kendal.