Raising a daughter who will be secure and able to navigate life well requires a bit of intentional heart-care.
I nearly panicked when our first daughter was born.
That sweet baby girl.
Not sure exactly why, but I keenly and immediately felt my inadequacy as a mother. It’s true we had a son, but I guess I figured that if things ever went wrong, I could always hand him over to his dad.
But a girl…..?
I knew a mom has to care for her heart – oh, how well I knew! I knew she would turn to me to learn how to be a woman and to navigate the complexities of life.
What I didn’t know was just how to go about it.
How does a mom look after her daughter’s heart?
1. Walk together. The girls and I have some of our best talks when we’re out walking together. Maybe it’s the fresh air, or the steady movement of our legs, but there’s something about it that opens hearts and minds to good conversation.
2. Take tea together. Although we have a very busy household, most every day we sit down and enjoy a cup of tea for 15 to 30 minutes. It’s a daily connecting point and a nice opportunity to bring up questions, grievances, or just fun news.
3. Bring home little gifts. This is the “love language” of one of our daughters in particular. It’s only something small, but it says to her that I’m thinking of her. And all my girls appreciate the sharing of a bit of chocolate.
4. Set aside a special time for her. The girls love it when we make special plans together. Sometimes I’ll grab one and take her out to a cafe. Or we’ll all dress up and attend a fancy event for an evening.
5. Work together. For me, it’s less about “getting the job done” and more about the camaraderie of working together. Talking and laughing while we fold clothes or prepare a meal.
6. Seek her out. Don’t wait for her to come to you. My girls mentioned recently how much they appreciate being checked on to see how they’re doing.
7. Take the time to listen. Lots of time. A girl’s heart cannot be rushed or squeezed in between a zillion other priorities. She needs her mom to be available to simply listen to her thoughts and concerns. Her fears and her insecurities. Her hopes and her dreams.
8. Pray for insight. It isn’t always clear how to reach through to your daughter. Be prepared to earnestly pray over her, asking the Lord to show you what she needs from her mom.
9. Guide her with wise instruction. A daughter relies on her mom’s wisdom and solid counsel – helping her to sort through the choices, relationships, struggles, and challenges that face a young woman.
10. Enjoy her for who she is. She is uniquely made by God. So delight in her personality, her gifts, and, yes, even her more annoying traits. She needs to feel her mother’s loving acceptance.
11. Be patient with the process. She’s not going to get it all right, all the time. And that’s okay. I’ll remind myself, “How it is today, isn’t necessarily how it’s always going to be.” Give her room to grow.
12. Offer encouragement. Tell her specific things that you admire and appreciate about her. Communicate that you are confident in her future and that God has good plans in store for her life.
So, as you see, it takes a significant amount of time and effort to connect with a girl’s heart. It’s not simple and it’s certainly not a science. No wonder I panicked.
But your daughter – that sweet baby girl – sure is worth it, isn’t she?
Yeah, I think so too.
*These are a few of the ways I connect with the girls in our family. What are some of yours?
In His grace,
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Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson and together they enjoy raising and home-educating their 8 children in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She encourages women to embrace the rich life of loving relationships and the high calling of being a wife and mother. Lisa is the author of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and her husband is the author of 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt and Lisa are also the co-hosts of the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast where they talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture.