Happy post-Labor Day week! My husband and I had a couple of fun outings over the long weekend, which was very nice.
On Monday I did a quick closet switchover. I moved many of my summer clothes to the back of the closet and got my fall and winter clothes front and center. I like to do that before I start shopping for fall clothes so that I have a better idea of what I already own – even though I know it will be awhile before I need warmer clothing!
This past Sunday I was talking to a friend of my daughter’s who just turned 20. It reminded me that when our younger daughter turns 20 in December, I’ll give up the title of “mom of a teenager” forever. Between our two girls, t’s been a nine-year run and it’s hard to believe that it’s almost over!
Today I’m sharing a list of seven things that our teenage daughters need to hear from us. As I look back, I wish I’d said these even more often. But it’s not too late – I know my young adult children need to hear them, too! And I’m confident they apply to teenage sons as well.
1. I love you no matter what.
Our daughters need to know that their actions don’t change our love for them. No matter what they’ve done – or haven’t done – we will always love them and want to be in a relationship with them.
Not only do we need to say these words, but our actions need to reflect them. When our daughters disappoint us, work through the situation with grace and forgiveness.
2. I’m proud of you.
In a world of competition and comparison, let’s tell our daughters often that we’re proud of them. Proud of their accomplishments, yes, but more so of their character and the wonderful young women they’re becoming.
Admittedly there may be days when it’s hard to find something positive to say. But if you look for something to praise her for, you can find it.
3. God has a plan for your life.
Our teenagers are at an age where they’re making lots of life decisions. It can be overwhelming and confusing. Remind her often that God has a plan for her life.
Share Bible verses like Psalm 32:8. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
4. Thank you.
Express your gratitude when she does something you’ve asked her to do or takes the initiative to do something on her own. Yes, this means thanking her even when she does something she’s supposed to do.
I like being thanked for making a meal even though it’s something I consider part of my “job.” If I like that, I’m guessing that she will, too. We all like to be appreciated.
5. I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me?
We may find ourselves saying this more than we would like. We’re going to make mistakes as parents and we need to be humble enough to admit it.
She already knows (or should!) that we’re not perfect. Not only will this show her that we’re willing to take responsibility for our faults; it can also show her the importance of apologizing when she’s done wrong.
6. I’m praying for you.
Your daughter needs a prayer warrior on her side, someone who will go to the throne of God for her. While you likely know areas of her life where she needs prayer, ask her often if she has anything that she’d like you to pray for on her behalf.
7. You’ve got this.
Let’s give our girls some confidence when they face hard things! You can remind her of how she came through a difficult situation in the past. Let her know that you believe in her abilities and – like we just said – that you’re praying for her to have the strength and wisdom to handle what’s ahead.
While parenting a teen girl can be challenging some days, those years are also filled with many new adventures and chances to make special memories. On a regular basis, may we speak love and encouragement to these precious lives God has given us to steward for Him.
- A Letter to My Teenage Daughter: I Think One Day You’ll Understand
- 7 Ways to Show Love to Your Teenage Daughter
- 10 Ways to Build a Relationship with Your Teenager