One night about six months ago I put my beautiful little girl to bed and, somehow during the night someone replaced her with an eyeball rolling, attitude packing tween. I’d put my missing daughter on a milk carton but no one does that anymore.
I’m beginning to see why these years are called “the wonder years”; people go to bed normally one night only to wake only to wonder what has happened to their sweet, unassuming daughters.
Parenting a pre-teen girl is a challenge that no one prepared me sufficiently for. While their bodies are in full swing and changes seem to be taking place daily, I’m left
wondering how my role as mom may change over these next few years. I do know this: my relationship with her and my ability to support her through these tumultuous years will shape her into the young woman that God wants her to be.
I have not been called to be her friend. That means that sometimes she’s not going to like me very well. She will definitely not agree with me a lot of the times and I have to be ok with that. As parents, we often get caught up in the emotional trap of wanting our kids’ approval as parents. That’s not the way God designed families. He gives authority to parents trusting that that will seek His guidance and make decisions based upon His ways.
I have to offer her constant affirmation even if her behavior leaves me feeling less than warm and fuzzy. It’s my job to affirm her character, not necessarily her physical attributes. She needs to know that I admire her trustworthiness, her loyalty, the fact that she loves seeing a project through to completion, etc. I am helping to shape her view of herself.
I must be dogmatic about watching what she sees, listens to and watches. This world is trying to shove it’s ways down the throats of our daughters and it will succeed if we are not vigilant. Though she doesn’t know she needs one, I will be my daughters’ loudest advocate in this area. I will see that her heart is full of positive influences. I will do my best to provide her with positive music, positive things to read and watch and will show her how to make Godly decisions. When I’m tired and don’t want to enter into an argument, I will realize that this stuff matters. I will persist.
She needs to know that I am someone she can watch. If my life with the Lord is not growing or if I don’t show her how the Lord is at work at my life, I give her nothing practical when she leaves home. If all I’ve done is taken her to church but haven’t taught her how to live as a Godly woman, I’ve not done my job well. I will model for her a strong character, integrity, and live my life based upon biblical values. I will show her that when times get tough, I cling to Jesus. She needs to know that He is the rock to whom I cling.
I will hold tight during the eye ball rolling, the constant arguring and remember that God has called me to persevere. I won't back down to the "but so and so's mom lets them" and I will live my faith in front of my kids. It won't just be an at church sort of faith.
How about you? Have you experienced the phenomenon known as “the wonder years” in your home? What do you do to guide your daughters through these years?
Does this happen to boys?!