Moms Parenting Daughters

Photo by byrdiegyrl in Flickr

Photo by byrdiegyrl in Flickr

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

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6 thoughts on “Moms Parenting Daughters

  1. I’ve always been thankful to have both two daughters and a son – the “full experience,” you might say. There is a difference between the mother/daughter relationship and the mother/son relationship. But one thing I’m finding since our son went to college this past August is that when he’s home our relationship is becoming much more close and loving. I think he needed that separation to appreciate what he had at home. In a nutshell, those relationships never seem to stop changing, but they’re always good! -Amy at http://www.momgoeson.wordpress.com

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    • You hit the nail on the head–separation very often causes our children to finally appreciate. I’ve experienced the same with my son who is now in the military. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  2. I can relate to so much of what you say here. I have an 18 year old daughter and 12 year old daughter (and 16 year old son). When the 18 year old was in middle school/early high school, we did not see eye to eye on anything. It was extremely frustrating but when I learned to back off and let her be herself (and make some mistakes), our relationship improved tremendously. She and I are very different and that is okay. I found a way to set limits yet give her space and appreciate her uniqueness. It’s very hard to find that balance when you are always trying to protect them/guide them your way…

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  3. Very powerful. I have had major issue with my teenage daughter between 12-15. Dark tears and your so right as I was doing it my way, since leaning on Gods way, there has been a big improvement. On my part mainly but we getting there, thanks for the encouragement.

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    • Keep leaning on Him! So often we want our daughters to change and we see the things in them that are “wrong.” But we need to look inward and find ways we can do our part to help the relationship.

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