When I visit either of my two eldest daughter’s homes, it feels like going home.
I’m not saying they are little mes. Each of them has their own personality, their own likes and dislikes.
However, each of my three daughters have some of my mom-isms.
They do certain things just the way I do…. such as:
- keep a bottle of aloe in the fridge
- keep a whiteboard calendar
- have and use rice steamers
- shop at Aldi and Kroger (and use store coupons regularly)
- refuse to pay full price for any clothing items (Audrey’s latest purchase- two pea coats for her boys $4.97 each)
That’s not to say that I wanted them to pick up ALL my habits. I sometimes hear my youngest daughter speaking me –
“Am I the only one who can do _________ around here?”
a. do the dishes
b. fold the towels
c. sweep the kitchen
d. all of the above
We humans tend to imitate who we are around. Our children garner their first suppositions of life from us and send run them through the ringer in their teens and college years. Whatever come out of the other side of that ringer forms the putty that becomes their adult self. Their morals. Their values. Their ideals and whatever foundation did not get washed away in the rinse cycle.
I think we mamas tend to focus on the letter of the law with our girls. Do this and not this. Don’t watch this movie. Don’t have sex. And all those things are great things. But, we must remember the spirit of the law. Our girls thrive on relationship. They watch every little thing we DO. And they want to DO things with us. That is the key. Don’t flip out if you don’t always get along or if your girls question everything you believe. Or if they argue about wanting to see a certain film or stay up half the night reading. Don’t panic if they want to debate a political topic. It is all part of the process. They are trying to sort things out for themselves. Wouldn’t you rather they sort things out with you, at home, under your roof?
Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.- Proverbs 22:6
Training up a child takes time, conversation and confrontation. Each child takes a different sort of training, depending on their bent. One will work things out by talking it through, one by thinking it through and another will just follow along quietly, soaking everything in.
Daughters are a gift and they come in varied packages. Relationship is key. If you are fighting with your teen today, don’t despair. Don’t think this is the end. Don’t say it is. Get past the words and down to the spirit of the relationship. She is watching you. Will you reconnect? Or will you smolder? Will you shake it off and smile at her later? Or will you make her pay for it for days? I am guilty of doing all of these and wondering how my girls turned out so wonderfully. The key? Not me. But God. He has a plan for each one of their lives. He will work it out. He has worked it out. He is still working on their behalf. Don’t live in the letter of the law. Live in the spirit where relationship lives. Walk in that spirit and enjoy the fruit of it. And trust that He will do the work in your children. We plant the seed. He waters. When our children are old (that is different for every child) they will not depart from their early teachings. Don’t lose heart.
My girls didn’t behave perfectly during their growing up years and neither did I. We shouldn’t expect perfection of our girls. Only Jesus has that. We should expect relationship-that is what Jesus offers us. And this is what we in turn offer our children. We build on these relationships for eternity. So, step away for the letter of the law that leads to death and step into the spirit which leads to family.
Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday!