L Listen more than you talk. James 1:19 Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your daughters long to be heard. A few reasons why your daughter might not share with you are: They don’t sense you have time or that you are interested. They fear you might not understand. They don’t desire a lecture. They don’t necessarily want advice or for us to fix it. Just listen
O Omit when you are wrong. We are going to blow it as we are humans. A mom who can acknowledge her own failings, apologize to those she’s hurt, forgive herself, and then move on is a mom who models humility. Righting a wrong takes more than just saying “sorry” It takes admitting what you did, voicing a sincere apology, asking anyone you’ve offended to forgive you, and making restitution, if necessary. This is really important to do with our daughters when we blow it with them.
V Validate her worth to God and to you as well as others. If you don’t make her feel special she will seek the attention/approval of others.
E Establish community among family and friend, within your church, school, etc. As adults we should dare to influence others and desire for others to influence our children. I have actively done this from early on when hiring babysitters, being involved with youth while my girls were young and having the Godly older girls hang out at our home. Even today my girls both have older college aged women who mentor them and young moms who invest into their lives.
Y You have more to offer your daughter than you realize. Invest in her life. Many moms back off as they want to give their daughters space but usually your daughter’s desire for you to be more involved. Ask yourself, “am I my daughters chief critic or cheerleader?’ Who better to give confidence or encouragement than you.
O Openness. Be transparent. Let your daughters know you are not perfect and share your short comings. This will do more for allowing your daughters to approach you with any issue. Your daughter wants a human, not a superhero.
U Understand where you are going as a family. Have the end in sight by this I mean know where you are going and how you plan to get there together. We have our road map for life (family mission statement) so as to be on the same page. This gives us purpose and identity. Our mission statement allows us to filter out the many good things in live for the best.
R Reactive parenting is not good as it is staying defensive, continually reacting to your child’s mistakes. Be proactive and be on the offensive. You again will want to know what you are trying to achieve, realize that parenting at this age involves repetition as we will train our daughters and instruct them in making the right choices in the circumstances they will face. And we will do it over and over.
D Decide today if you already haven’t what specific boundaries and standards you will have for your daughter. If you don’t nail down your own convictions ahead of time, your daughter and her peer group will establish their own. If you don’t have convictions, if you haven’t taken time to grapple over what you believe and why, the undercurrent of the culture will suck your family into a sea of conflicting and confusing values. This has been talked about a lot during this year with your girls. Areas I see this being important in are with clothing, media choices, dating, outside activities, business, etc.
A Accountability. One of the major mistakes I believe many parents make is giving to much freedom without appropriate oversight. Ask questions “Where are you going?” “Who will you be with?” “What time will you be home?” ”How was your evening?”
U Understand your daughters. Be a student of her and her peers. Remember the saying “I once use to be your age.” This might be so but realize that life is not anything like it was when you were your daughter’s age. Many parents feel as if they understand what teens go through because they were once teens. Do you believe that? Do you realize that more than any other generation, the boundaries have fallen away in the area of sex for this generation as it sells, it is bluntly in the media and bombards our daughters daily. There is a great price to be paid.
G Go to GOD daily and as needed as He is always there for you. Regularly pray for your daughters. Bring every concern, dream, desire before their
H Home should be a safe and peaceful haven. Let your home also be a place your daughters desire to hang out with their friends.
T Trust is essential to your daughter opening up to you.
E Eat meals together as often as possible. We decided as a family that dinner time would be a priority so it is rare that we do not eat dinner together. We also often eat breakfast together. Meals eaten together are a great time to reconnect. We usually will ask for high and low point of the day.
R Respect your daughters worth as an individual. Questions you can ask are: Do I listen to my daughter? Do I consider her feelings and ideas? Do I give her sufficient recognition, and numerous compliments? Do I accept her for who she is? Do I avoid comparing her with others and to her siblings? Do I handle discipline privately and fairly? Do I allow her an appropriate amount of privacy?
S Strong Friend Will you be known for building loving relationships with your daughters? Because people will last through eternity, relationships with your daughters have eternal significance. The relationships you make and cultivate and nurture will also sustain you throughout all of life’s seasons.