When it comes to rearing girls, I have so much to learn. Each stage brings its own unique blessings and challenges. However, in the twelve years I’ve been doing life with daughters, there are a number of lessons I’ve learned.
1. It will be very tempting to buy her more clothes and shoes than she needs.
2. She’ll delight in hearing stories about when I was a little girl…at least until she reaches a certain age.
3. Her style may be very different from mine.
4. She can tell if I’m really listening to her when she talks.
5. Sometimes she’ll need me to hold on; other times, she’ll need me to let go.
6. I am thrilled to read aloud to her favorite books from my childhood.
7. Her idea of a clean room may not match mine.
8. I’m not the only female in the house who occasionally lapses into drama.
9. Nothing hurts my heart like seeing her heart get broken.
10. She will develop an opinion not only about her clothes, but also about mine.
11. She may say she’s okay, but I should trust my instincts if I think otherwise.
12. Today I have to be her mother, not her friend.
13. She’s always watching me. Always.
14. I have to let her be herself, not try to make her into a miniature version of me.
15. Teaching her to help around the house is more work at first, but so much help later.
16. She won’t always know exactly why she’s crying.
17. Her respect for her dad is directly related to my respect for him.
18. Some days she just needs time and space to breathe.
19. Having a daughter who’s personality is just like mine might make her easier to understand…but harder to deal with.
20. She can usually do a whole lot more than I give her credit for.
21. She needs to know I love her unconditionally.
22. It’s quite possible that I’ll learn more from her than she will ever learn from me.
23. Loving her sometimes means setting limits that she doesn’t like.
24. In ten or fifteen years, I’ll not only have her as a daughter….I’ll have her as a friend.
25. This precious gift from God brings more joy to my life than I could ever have thought possible.
When our oldest daughter becomes a teenager later this year, I’m sure my list of lessons will grow even longer!