Great post by Patricia, mother to three girls and year of experience of all the house-filled hormones it brings. And yet, there is no real manual for how to deal with the tears, the tantrums, the energy, the random bursts of heart-spillage… But here’s a little help she’s picked up along the way…
I wish I had a manual on raising girls, but I am afraid each girl is so unique, that any manual would be far too exhaustive. What I can say, is that young lady of yours, needs you more than ever. So, while I am flying on a plane home from Lima, I jotted down 30 do’s and don’ts of raising girls. I hope these help. And for the record, I would like to say, I am certainly not a perfect parent by any means, and my girls would be more than happy to share the areas I am not so good in. They are sweet like that. I suppose that is where “open conflict” comes in. My family doesn’t hide or bury stuff. Thus, I need the grace of God every single day to handle it.
30 do’s and don’ts of raising girls.
1. Don’t let her disconnect from you.
2. Don’t let her hide, however, give her the space she needs to recharge.
3. Don’t judge her, or she won’t share her heart with you.
4. Don’t allow her to control the home with her emotions.
5. Don’t let your other children become victims to her emotions.
6. Don’t take things personally when she looses it or needs her space.
7. Do hold her close
8. Do spend lots of time with her
9. Do listen
10. Do dates with her
11. Do reassure her that she is normal
12. Do everything you can to make her feel beautiful, loved and wanted.
13. Do confront her when her emotions are dominating the home
14. Do set boundaries on what emotions are ok and what are harmful to others and herself
15. Do help her find the tools to cope with those emotions that hurt other people or herself
16. Do help her understand what a good friendship is and what isn’t. Girls can be quite cruel to each other at times
17. Do get help from others during those times you are feeling defeated as a parent. Sometimes we need counselors; pastors and friends who can help us navigate through the rough waters of raising kids
18. Do help her discover ways she can calm herself, whether it be a quiet place, a warm bath, a run around the block, or something else.
19. Do give her a safe place to share.
20. Do help her when the hormones rage. She doesn’t much like herself when she looses it. She doesn’t much like herself when she can’t control herself, so she needs help. She needs you to love her, even when she is difficult.
21. If you have an introvert, DO read the book, “Quiet.” This book was one of the most helpful parenting books I have read (even though it wasn’t meant to be a parenting book). Help the extroverts in your family provide space for the introverts to share.
22. Do make sure she gets enough sleep. Sleep deprivation, mixed with teenage hormones equals disaster.
23. Don’t take things personally when she looses it or needs her space. (I know this is a duplicate. Steve made me put it in twice. Evidently he thinks us mom’s need to hear this more than once. 🙂
24. Do forgive yourself. I can’t begin to count the number of times I lost it with my girls.
25. Do confess when you have been wrong as a parent. Teach your children about humility.
26. Do encourage them with something every day. Steve and I try so hard to remind our girls of their gifts often, because we are also constantly correcting them too.
27. Do trust that God has a plan for your children. Sometimes, it’s ok they break, its ok they struggle. Sometimes, these are the very moments they find Christ.
28. Do pray for them.
29. Do help them get back up on their feet when they have felt defeated. When they don’t get the part in the play, when they didn’t win the race, make the team, or get the job, don’t let them give up.
30. And finally, do take care of yourself. If you aren’t a healthy mom (or dad), it’s all the more difficult to expect your kids to be healthy.
Patricia’s Blog | JonesBones5