I have raised a daughter. She is 26 now and she is amazing.
Was I ever fearful she wouldn’t be a sweet, well-adjusted adult? Was I ever tempted to give up and throw in the proverbial parent towel? Yes and YES.
Many days I wanted to give up. I wanted to give up on the tug-of-war, the defiance, and the “I dare you to correct me” attitude.
I longed for the smallest bit of reprieve. Couldn’t I just have five minutes, FIVE MINUTES, of no arguing or talking back?
Many days I was exhausted from fighting with an impossible little girl who seemed to be stronger than me. And yet, something inside of me chanted, “Don’t give up.”
Even on the worst of days, as the battle settled and the night rolled in, I’d crawled into her bed and we’d share life. I’d listen. I’d praise. I’d teach. I’d be Mom.
Every little girl needs Mom—even the little girls that are pushing Mom away. Those are the ones who need Mom the most.
Growing up is hard. Don’t ever forget that as a parent. Growing up is hard. Very hard.
Listen to your kids. Listen with an understanding heart—a heart that loves beyond and before anything else. The more you understand your child and their world, the better parent you can be.
When you understand them, only then can you be a loving and compassionate parent. If all you do is correct and assert orders, you will breed distrust and dissention.
Many days they will need you, but they will only go to you if you have developed a relationship of trust and honor.
Fight for every inch of your relationship. Every inch will be worth miles of blessings and gratitude in the future.
Now that I have a daughter who has surpassed any expectation I ever dreamed of, I am thankful for every talk, every shared cup of hot chocolate, every game, every late night hangout, every day I allowed her to ditch school.
She will always be my little girl. But now she teaches me, and in the end I am the one who received riches worth more than any worldly possession.
Yes, I have raised a daughter. And she is wonderful. And I am full of gratitude and awe.