I’ve seen the most beautiful mother daughter relationships and I’ve seen the hardest. There is something so special and unique about the Mother Daughter relationship God has created. God gave you your daughter for the exact purpose that you are the best mom for her. If there was anyone better to be her mom, God would have given her that mom. Don’t you believe that? God doesn’t make mistakes. Through this unique relationship, seeing personally, and through working with girls, talking with daughters and older women in ministry, there are things that are so crucial for a girl to know she has from her mom.. things a girl needs from her mom and nobody else can replace it.
Many people know it takes a village. But somethings can come from every one else in the world but if missing from mom, there is a void in life forever. The mother daughter relationship is very crucial to a girl’s life. No matter the age.
“It seems that daughters need their moms even more as they age. I think about losing my mom when I was 27….. there were so many discussions I wanted to have with her. I needed her advice, her wisdom. ….. her.”
(n) emotional support or encouragement.
“the lack of one or both parents’ affirmation leaves some children emotionally crippled”
Though affirmation is a love language, daughters need it regardless of their love language. Affirmation from both parents is something we all have coded in our hearts, because ultimately we were made to be affirmed by our Heavenly Father. We all want to make our parents happy and affirming your daughter is something essential to their mental, emotional and physical state of her heart.
“My mom writes me notes. She’d stick them places that I would always find later. She’d stick them in my over night bags or my lunch boxes. It’s never been social media posts or Instagram tags that have given me the sense of affirmation from my mom. It’s the times when I’ve been in tears over something someone said or the time I didn’t get the part I really worked hard for, my mom would be there. Sometimes the emotional support and encouragement didn’t even come from words. Most of the time, she didn’t know what to say. But the affirmation in the quiet moments of being there has been enough for me to know that my mom supports me and encourages me through it all.”
With affirmation also comes approval. A daughter needs someone who supports her, encourages her and is her cheerleader. This doesn’t mean not to discipline, not to teach, not to turn her in a different direction when they’re going the wrong way. Daughters need their mom, like Jesus, to accept them where they are but love them enough to not keep them there!
Girls need affirmation. It’s a scientific fact. If she doesn’t feel affirmation at home, she will find it somewhere else. Somewhere else in boys, friends, teachers, worldly things. Having affirmation from others is not a bad thing, but seeking it from others will make her crave it. She’ll do anything to hear someone tell her she did a great job or she looks beautiful. Be the voice of affirmation she hears from her Heavenly Father, don’t let the world do that because it won’t be our Heavenly Father’s affirmation she hears.
(n) a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.
I recently heard a story from a mom whose teenage daughter wasn’t so into the bear hugs and smuggle kisses like she once was. Many times when daughters get into their teen years they trade the hugs for eye rolls and the kisses for “talk to the hand.” Naturally a person’s response to this would be to stop the hugs and kisses, nobody wants to be rejected. This mom proceeded to say that every once in a while she would find her daughter standing in front of her with a slight lean inward. At first, she wasn’t sure what was going on. But she began to pick up on the fact even though her teenager wouldn’t dare ask for a hug and sometimes she’d even go cold shoulder or push away in a hug, she was standing in front of her mom wanting a hug. This mom now takes every opportunity to take in this hug that stands in front of her.
Girls need affection. It’s a scientific fact. If she doesn’t feel affection at home, she will find it somewhere else. Somewhere else in boys, friends, worldly things. Having affection from others is not a bad thing, but seeking it from others will make her crave it. She’ll do anything to feel affection. Be the touch of affection she can feel from her Heavenly Father, don’t let the world do that because it won’t be our Heavenly Father’s affection she feels.
(n) notice taken of someone or something; the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important.
She gets in the car from school so excited to tell her mom about her day and her mom is on the phone the entire way home from school about the mama drama that happened from the book club. They get home and the dog has gone to the bathroom everywhere and she has to clean it up. When it’s all cleaned up, finally she can tell her mom about her day. “One minute, I have to respond to these emails.” She finishes her homework and goes in to see if her mom is done reading emails and she’s making dinner and feeding the younger siblings snack. The phone rings and it’s her dad. Her mom stays on the phone with her dad while making dinner.. something bad happened at work. She goes back to her room and waits to be called for dinner. Maybe at dinner she’ll finally get to talk to her mom. Dinner comes and the entire night her parents talk about work, the dinner they have to attend this weekend and the bills. She finishes dinner, washes her dishes and goes to her room, writes in her journal about her day and goes to bed.
“I hear from so many young women who have moms who are too busy or too occupied with their own drama, that they do not feel they can take up their mom’s time.”
If my mom doesn’t want to listen to me, if my mom doesn’t have time for me.. who does? Who will want to if my mom doesn’t even want to?
It’s detrimental to a girl to have her mom not listen to her. If she’s not worthy of her mom’s attention, whose attention is she worthy of? A girl, if she’s not getting attention where she is designed to get it, she will find it somewhere else. Studies show if a daughter does not get the healthy amount of attention from her dad, she will look for it in other male roles in her life.. boys or men. The same is for the mother/daughter role. The lack of attention from the two people you are “supposed to love you” is crucial in lining the path of where attention is sought after for the remainder of life.
Girls need attention. It’s a scientific fact. If she doesn’t feel attention at home, she will find it somewhere else. Somewhere else in boys, friends, worldly things. Having attention from others is not a bad thing, but seeking it from others will make her crave it. She’ll do anything to get attention. We all know girls like this. Be the attention she can feel from her Heavenly Father, don’t let the world do that because it won’t be our Heavenly Father’s attention she finds.
“Someone to help them sort out life….. find solutions, help. I feel like my daughter (who is 30) needs me more now than ever. She asks me about marriage, parenting, life….. relationships.”
Be available. Put down the phone. Answer the emails later. Do the laundry later. DVR the show and spend a late night talking. Take her to lunch. Spend time alone with her. Sacrifice the good night of sleep and sleep with her when she asks. Lay down with her. Read with her. Pray with her. Be there for her. Even when she says she doesn’t want you, she does. She wants you to want to be with her.
With Availability comes Attendance : the action or state of going regularly to or being present at a place or event.
In elementary school, she needs you there. She needs you at her games, her plays, her dance recitals.. etc. In middle school, she needs you there, even if she acts like she doesn’t want you there. She needs you at her awards days at school, her games even if she’s sitting on the bench, her art shows, her performances.. etc.
When they’re older, they’ll act like they don’t care if you’re there or not. You might not get the running jump hug or even a thank you for coming. But your absence is known. And your presence is missed. Being there is caring. Being present is caring. You took time out of your life to be in hers. This means the world. Every single time.
Girls need their mom to be there. If she doesn’t feel like their mom is there, she will find someone else who will be there. Someone else in boys, friends, worldly things. Having someone else there is not a bad thing, we need others around us but seeking it from others because there isn’t anyone at home, will make her crave having someone else there. She’ll do anything to feel like someone is there.. doesn’t matter who. Be the one who is there so she can know her Heavenly Father is there. Don’t let the world be who is there for her because it won’t show her that our Heavenly Father is always there.
Daughters need to know that their mom will give them uncensored advice. Friends give advice that is tainted at times by competition. Moms give advice based on experience.
“I love that my mom always tells me the truth, not just what I want to hear or what will make me feel better. She has been doing this since I was 13 to 26. She tells me when I do something great, but she also tells me when I’m wrong or out of line, or I need to work on something. I think a lot of people may skip over or not address certain issues because they are afraid it may hurt their relationship. My mom always spoke the truth in love, and while I may not have loved what she was saying to me, I knew she was right. And I’m thankful she had the courage to tell me when I needed to correct something.”
“Authenticity makes you approachable and approachable is crucial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Part of being approachable is being ok with your daughter being herself and independent. Moms who are controlling are not approachable. Moms who come off as perfect are not approachable. Being authentic is being okay with telling your daughter your struggles and what you had a hard time with at her age. If your daughter thinks you’re perfect, her mistakes and her sins will seem so much bigger to her than they are! Be genuine with her and help her through it.
Girls need authenticity. There is research showing the millennial generation and younger all want authenticity more than anything. We are are growing up in a world that is anything but authenticity. If she doesn’t feel authenticity at home, she will find it somewhere else. Somewhere else in boys, friends, worldly things. And there’s a possibility that she won’t ever find it. Not finding authenticity could flow into not being able to trust the authenticity of Christ. Be the authenticity she can feel from her Heavenly Father, don’t let the world do that or not do that because it won’t be our Heavenly Father’s authenticity she finds.
Be an Anchor.
In a world where everything is changing and constantly leaving, your daughter needs an anchor in her life. Our first anchor should always be Christ. In all things, point your daughter to Jesus Christ. Your affirmation, affection, attention, availability, and authenticity should be a reflection of that of Christ. Be your daughter’s second anchor. She should always know that Jesus Christ will never leave and her mom will never leave her either. She should know she can go to her mom for every thing. There is nothing she cannot bring to her mom. Nothing that she can say to lose her mom’s love, her affirmation, her affection, her attention, her availability, and her authenticity. Nothing will move her mom. Walk with her and always anchor her.
I recently heard my friend speak on “10 Things Moms of Middle Schooler Should Know” and she gave a Trainer/Coach/Mentor analogy. When your daughter is young, you are like a trainer. You are teaching her, training her, showing her what to do and how to do that is best for her. In middle school and high school, you become more like the coach. You help with the game plan, you have time outs sometimes, but ultimately you stand back and let her make some decisions on her own. As she grows older you become the mentor. You there to give her advice, help her through things you went through with her, you might be present for every single situation but you are there when she needs you most. Through every season of life be the anchor of affirmation, affection, attention, availability, authenticity pouring out love and truth. She needs you to be her truth.
“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4
Thank you to Dr. Deb Douglas and Mary Cam Shaw for helping me out and talking about their mother and daughter relationships. Love you both so much and I’m so thankful for what each of you pour into my life and ministry. Blessed to be walking with you.
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