Become Your Daughter's Inspiration
- Tuesday, August 27, 2013
This is Part 1 in a 3-Part Series on inspiring your daughter.
Young girls swoon today over the music, looks, and happenings of the popular British Boy Band One Direction. But what if I told you that you could compete for that kind of influence in your daughter's life
Although you, as her mom, start out as the single, most influential voice in your daughter's life, that may change the day she decides to look elsewhere for a role model. Friends, boyfriends, celebrities and musical artists all compete for her heart, mind and values. So I want to encourage you with some ways to remain (or reclaim) an inspiration in her life through some deliberate and intentional actions on your part.
After surveying daughters aged 15-45 as I was writing my book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, I learned a lot about what girls need most from their moms. And three things stood out that, if practiced, can do wonders to build your relationship with your daughter, rather than break it. Here are three ways that you can be the one person your daughter looks to, over anyone else, for advice, approval, encouragement and inspiration throughout her growing up years and beyond.
A - Accept Her for Who She Is.
This sounds like a no-brainer. But you'd be surprised how many daughters I've talked with who truly believe they can never measure up to their moms' standards. In fact, not feeling accepted by her mother was the most common wound I encountered as I interviewed young women to talk about their relationship with their moms. Daughters need to know they are loved for who they are, not what they do. It's one of the ways we show them the unconditional love of Christ. In most cases where daughters carried a wound of not feeling accepted, their moms were unaware their daughters saw them as critical and unsupportive.
If you tend to be a critical person, or somewhat of a perfectionist, your daughter may see that as a lack of love or support for her. Critical words can easily slip out of our mouths when we talk to our daughters. Through the years, I've found that Ephesians 4:29 is an excellent safeguard for how to talk to our daughters: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
A girl's deep need for acceptance is often at the heart of every choice she makes concerning friends, boyfriends, activities, and where and how she spends her time. Knowing she is deeply loved and accepted for who she is will cause her to set her standards higher when it comes to relationships, rather than making decisions so she'll "fit in" or "feel loved."
You can show acceptance to your daughter by supporting her dreams and ambitions even if they are different from yours. You can also show your love and support by understanding and accepting the ways she is different from you. For example, you may be tidy and neat, she might not. You may be an early riser, she might be a night owl. You may have excelled academically, she might be more interested in art or music. Give her leeway to be herself and appreciate and affirm the ways she is unlike you, because those things make her unique.
B - Become Interested in Her World
Our girls will want to be around others who "get" them. Why do you think they are so attracted to musical artists their age and celebrities who talk about what they are interested in? They long to connect with someone at an emotional level and when a celebrity or singer says something they are thinking or feeling, they make the emotional connection. We can better understand our daughters by asking them questions and listening to them or, better yet, listening to what they are listening to.
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