Since I recently posted about “Moms Parenting Sons,” it seems appropriate to consider the unique relationship moms have with daughters. In fact, in the future I plan on tackling “Dads Parenting Sons” and “Dads Parenting Daughters,” so if any of you readers have some words of wisdom, questions or ideas about these relationships, please share!
I don’t like to stereotype, trust me. But there are some things that tend to be more common in relationships—and with girls it usually means a lot more drama. Granted, it’s probably a word that I overuse but I’ve yet to come up with a better replacement.
Similar to what happens with boys, moms tend to go through a period when their girls are younger in which they are very close. Then when 12 or 13 hits, things can quickly take a nosedive. Sometimes these “down” years last a lot longer than they do with sons. And it will oftentimes take until females are in their 20’s before the relationship with mom starts to mend.
But…this isn’t always the case. For instance, when my daughter was younger she was more of a daddy’s girl. We actually struggled earlier in our relationship, especially when she entered 5th grade. That was when the girl issues ramped up. However, my personality coupled with my upbringing made it difficult for me to relate to her feelings. That’s a whole other story.
When she was in middle school, things became even more difficult. I made a lot of mistakes in the way I handled our relationship—all with good intentions. But good intentions don’t replace the damage done.
Then when she was a freshman she did something that rocked our entire world. I was in a desperate place in which I knew the only way I could parent my daughter was to let go of my ways and trust in His. That’s when a transformation began—first in my heart and then in our relationship.
Because of that, I feel like I’ve been given the blessing of having a close relationship today—better than it’s ever been. Even though she’s 16! But I’ve learned that despite stereotypes, despite what “usually” happens, God can step in and change the direction.
In a nutshell, here’s what I’ve learned so far about parenting a daughter (and I know there is so much more to learn!)…share in her interests, listen to her heart (you will get the meaning behind her words), be fun (but not obnoxious) and most importantly—allow her to be who she is—don’t try to make her into a mini you, what you had always hoped to be or who you think she should be.
© 2013, Stephanie Romero