Mothers and Daughters
I’ve known women (some childless, some not) who’ve sat together at various social functions and expounded on the virtues of having daughters over sons and vice versa. The consensus goes something like this (for both mothers and someday mothers): daughters are harder than sons to raise.
|Photo: Ned Horton
Why? There is no arguing with the fact that for most, having a little girl is pure joy. It is fun to dress her in adorable outfits from infancy, play dolls and dress-up, help her with cookie baking and tell her stories. You name it. Little boys on the other hand, seem to have been delivered to us wired completely different from their sisterly counterparts—active, mischievous, naughty, daredevils with priorities all their own. So for the mothers of girls, when does everything change? The day when little girls morph into the woman-in-training who make their fathers lose their hair or go gray over night (and in some cases, both).
These ladies that I talked with, and having a daughter myself, all agreed that the drama that surrounds the raising of young ladies these days, is what drives parents to moments of sheer hilarity and sheer terror. Read: training bras, make-up, self-image, cell phones, and boys…yikes!
So how do we (and I choose to address only moms at this point) raise healthy minded, well-adjusted, competent and virtuous young women—reminiscent of the type whose price is far above rubies in the Bible? Here’s my answer: ladies, lead by example.
And here are a few things to ponder.
1. Pray without ceasing. It’s a scary world out there and with each passing day it only gets worse. Pray like mad for those sweet girls that they will be protected from evil (in every sense it). More importantly, pray for God to help cultivate in them integrity of character and sound judgment to do what is right. If our girls choose God first and foremost, that is all we can ask for and I, personally, will go to bed each night one happy camper.
2. Take care of your own healthy self-image. Do so and your girl will follow. I have made it a priority, since my daughter was a baby, to exercise with her because I wanted her to grow up with the knowledge of how important activity is to the human body. But sometimes it’s hard to keep my body issues in check, especially in front of her. It is a must to impart the tools of health and well being on our daughters for their own good, but we must make it crystal clear that it is dangerous to become obsessed with their bodies and take things to the extreme. We all know how prevalent unhealthy ideals and attitudes are in society and how easy they are for young girls to pick up. As moms, we need to work doubly hard to keep ourselves in balance, in order to be a good example to our girls.
My daughter is far from being a pre-teen right now, but rather than psyching myself up for what an awful testing of the soul that time might be, I choose to look forward to it. I want to keep the lines of communication open starting now in hopes that she’ll know she can always talk to me (even if she chooses not to). I am a mother first, but we can still be friends. There is so much ahead for our powerful-women-in-the-making. I believe that our daughters are special gifts.
Parenthood can be the ride of your life, and even more so with a young lady to raise. My prayer for all moms of daughters? That you will keep your humor, take things in stride, and always remember that God will protect and guide our girls, even if we don’t always know how to.