5 Things I Want my Teen Daughters To Be Absolutely Sure Of

Our teen daughters need to know where their identity is found. Here are 5 truths you can pass down to your daughters.

There is a pink disc swing that hangs from a tired rope, knotted tightly through the floorboards of our backyard tree house.  

Neither the swing or club house has hosted a frisky climber, a fort made from pink bed sheets, a Barbie doll tea party or an arched back and crisscrossed legged, lazy swinger for several years now…

I considered these musings of now wrinkles in time memories, while driving to my daughter’s doctors appointment, early one morning.

I was in deep reflection mode and feeling the acuity of time slipping by at a faster than I prefer tempo.  

Achy twinges accompanied my reflections, seemingly squeezing my heart, taking me farther and farther away from my swing pushing and fort building days, with every new squeeze.

As I drove along the curvy backroads dotted with yellow daffodils, my reflections were interrupted. 

“Kids need 3 things from us before they walk out the door in the morning” the voice of the Christian radio host shared over the air waves.

Now, with my ears perked and my interest peaked, I raised the volume and waited for the morning host to spill the tea on the 3 things my girls needed every morning, in hopes to hush my puzzling plight of time.





The three ingredient morning routine recipe for success had been dished.

As this new information collided with my dusty reflections, I found myself nodding in silence.

The radio host went on to encourage the listeners that these 3 “kid essentials” can all happen all at the same time.

Nodding again…she is right.

Naturally, I mentally rewound our morning, asking myself if I had checked off these 3 boxes with each of our 3 daughters, before leaving the house. 

Did I give her attention?


Did I show her affection?


What about affirmation? 

Did I check that box too?

Not so sure about that one…hmmmm.

Wait, “I love you” is an affirmation. 


Oh friend, if I’m being honest?

I am not getting straight A’s in my successful Mothering report card every day.  

Not even close. 


As a mother to 3 daughters, two teenagers and one pre-teen…I have learned that it is never too late to do a little course correcting, when we get off track. 

Praise God!

I appreciated the morning radio host’s heart that day.

Because, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the child raising and heart shaping years… 

I believe a gentle reminder to refresh the window of our heart and sharpen our self awareness in our mothering patterns, can be a good opportunity for the sometimes needed and necessary, re-centering of our Mom hearts.

Which in turn?

Has a ripple effect of influencing and re-centering our kiddos hearts.

The thing is

There are things I want to not only give to our teen daughters everyday, but there are things I want my teen daughters to know deeply everyday.

Because as my morning reflections confirmed, there is coming a time, in the not so distant future, when I won’t have the opportunity to give each of them in person attention, affection and affirmation, before they race out the door in the morning.

And so? 

There are 5 important things I want my girls to know…like really know, before I let them go.

These are the P.S. and ellipses to the very first things I wanted them to know, from their “day one,” as teens like to call it. 

What were those day one things?

Well, if I close my eyes and squeeze them tightly enough?

I can put myself back to the fresh from God moments of each of their hospital room deliveries…just like that.

Back to the moment when I wanted them to know something so important, right from the start.

Feel something so tender and true, right from our very first sacred, Mom and me moments together.

The very first 3 things I wanted to trace over their hearts, and whisper from the eyes of my heart?

That they were so very wanted, prayed for and loved so very, very much. 

Maybe you too, can put yourself back to those very first eye ball to eye ball, first meeting moments, when you just wanted them to know from the depths of your soul, how very much you love them.

Fast forward through the bewildering and sometimes seemingly cruel consequence of the ticking hands of time.

And now?

Time is doing what times does best.

Time keeps ticking.

Moving forward. 

There is no taming, no stopping, no rewinding, no slowing down or speeding up the hands of time.

There is no control, only aching confession that it goes by too quickly for my Mom heart to handle. 

And no matter how hard we aim to stay present, stay mindful, and stay in the moment of those younger mothering years?

It still all goes by way too fast.

Today, while I am more seasoned in my mothering, than I was in those first skin to skin and eye to eye meeting moments…  

I would be lying if I said my heart isn’t still a little wobbly, as we walk through the season of heart shaping…also known as the teenage years.

Because now, instead of reaching my arms out and drawing them in, cuddled in a safe swaddle and promise of protection…


My arms reach out.

A soft and cautiously optimistic extension of my heart, now on legs. 

An armful offering to the wonders and discovery of the world, with all of her earthly blessings, mountaintop moments, human heartaches, broken promises and everything in between.

Yes, a threshold moment, hovers in the air, in this teenage time stamped season of…letting go lightly…letting go a little more now…and a little more, and even a little more.

One thing I know?

I have more things to say.

Things I want to add on to our first fresh from God conversations as Mother and Daughter and to all of the heart to hearts we have had since the day one delivery room diaries and dialogue. 

Because in this letting go season?

As I continue to surrender daily and hand the gifts of our daughters back, to the One who created them, and as I wrestle intimately with the unbiased hands of time?

There are 5 things I want my teen daughters to be absolutely sure of, while I am over here loosening my finger grip in preparation of letting go…and letting go again…and again.

Truth #1

The Creator Defines His Creation

Your identity is found in the One who created you, so you can always know exactly who you are.

You are a beloved child of God. 

More than ever before in your life, you are going to be receiving mixed, conflicting and loud messages from the world around you.

Know this.

You are made in the image of God.

You are loved, lavished in grace, redeemed, forgiven, chosen.  

You are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, the guarantee of your inheritance.
(Ephesians 1:13-14)

Knowing who you are, is just as important as knowing who or what you are not.

You are not what you accomplish in school, your G.P.A. or a stat from the sports fields.

You are not what other people say about you.

You are not the things you have, the car you drive or the clothing you wear.

You are not the number of followers you have on social or the streaks you have on Snapchat. 

You are a unique and beautiful individual, created by God to bring goodness and beauty into the world, in the personal ways that He has fitted, designed and sealed you for.

Your truest taste of freedom will be found within your willingness to live as deeply and authentically connected to the unique design God created you to be, from the inside out.

He wants to take you on a journey with your purposefully designed gifts and talents.

Go on your God journey and let Him do the leading. 

Truth #2

The way to make life work is to surrender to Jesus.

“As God is exalted to the right place in our lives, a thousand problems are solved all at once.” AW Tozer

Love God with everything you are and put Him first in your life.

Seek to love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and you will discover what it means to rest in His perfect peace and be used as an instrument of peace for others. (Which is pretty awesome.)

The truth is?

Not every day is going to be a good day.  

You will have bad days.

There will be disappointments, discouragements, days when you have doubts and need a do over. 

But, the way you can go through this troubled world, without a troubled heart, is with your faith firmly planted in the The Way himself…in the steadfast love of Jesus.   

Faith is not insurance that nothing bad will ever happen. 

Faith is assurance that when everything falls apart, God does not flinch or flee.

He will carry and sustain you, every step of the way.

Our job is daily surrender and obedience, God’s job is everything else. 

Truth # 3

You are designed & assigned.  You have a race that no one else can run, so run it. 

“Keep your eyes on your own paper.” – Bob Goff in “Undistracted”

AKA: Put the phone down.

You are living in the days where everyone’s “bests” are served up on the thin soup that is social media.

Viral highlight reels dangle and dance and if you aren’t careful, they can delay your progress, distract you from your path and even worse?

Lead your heart to feeling low.


Choose compassion (for yourself and others) over comparison, concentrate on the work in front of you, and you will win every time. 

Don’t get caught playing the comparison game or view other’s successes as a threat to your own success.  

You are not her and she is not you.  

Her assignment is not your assignment. 

Keep your eyes on your own paper and be a cheerleader for the girl next to you, along the way.

P.S. – Remember, Forward Is A Pace. 

Using only results and efficiency as a top criterion is a broken and outdated metric system for success.

Instead, know that God wants you to show up with open hands to your assignment.

Allow yourself the grace and permission of faithful experimentation with one baby step after the other, and you will come to a state of relaxation, where the name of the game is not insisting on results.

But instead?

The name of the game is showing up, putting in the practice, investing effort and time to the tasks and trusting the process and the path, He has designed and assigned, especially for you.

Truth #4

Gratitude is the key to combating envy and unlocking fierce grace and unshakable calm.

Gratitude is not a list to jot down.

Gratitude is a posture of the heart, a way of life, and a daily prayer.

Living a life drenched in gratitude for even the smallest of things, brings you back to who God is, and leads you in His love, to live out His perfect plan for you.

Complaining is easy.

Gratitude is hard.

When you catch yourself complaining, arrest it, by following it up with the mental handcuffs of gratitude.  

Try this – 

Look around you and label the next thing you see.  

Then, name what you see and state why you are grateful for it.  

This simple practice redirects the heart and reframes the focus, especially on tough days when things don’t go as planned.

Gratitude and humility are cousins, they go hand in hand.  

When we take hold to each of them, it tilts our moods and minds towards a softer place and refreshes us onward, into healthy participation in the forward motion of our life. 

Truth #5

It’s ok to be needy.

The apostle Peter tells us to clothe ourselves in humility, (1 Peter 5:5) which requires a level of authenticity.

Authenticity is a rare jewel in the world we are living in.

The most beautiful version of yourself, will always be the most authentic version of yourself. 

True authenticity is rare, because it requires a level of honest vulnerability.

Do not be afraid to be vulnerable. 

We cannot be truly authentic without humbling ourselves and acknowledging our need for Him.

When you seek Him, He will show you endless grace and love. (1 Peter 5:5)

No one in this world is doing it all alone, or has everything figured out and going according to plan A, despite what they may want you to think.

We are hard wired to need help.

We are hard wired to need rest.

We are hard wired to need community.

We were made to need Him.

So go to Him, with every need.

I love how Jennie Allen describes why David is known as being “a man after God’s own heart.”

“Because he brought all of his heart to Him.”

David allowed himself to be needy and brought his whole heart to God.  

He didn’t hold anything back.  

David brought it all.

His need, his sins, his despair, his fear, his failure, even his frustrations with God.

All of it.

David was a man after God’s own heart because he brought all of his heart to God.

Let God know every need of your heart and you will know what it’s like to be a daughter after God’s own heart.

This is called prayer.  

Prayer works.

Bonus & One More Big Truth

You can tell me anything, no matter what, and I will never stop loving you.

Also important to know?

The truth always comes out.  

Even when you don’t think it will.

Which is another good reason to tell me whatever it is, sooner vs. later. 

Because, the sooner you tell me what is going on, the faster I can help you navigate it.  

As Marie Forleo says, “everything is figure-outable.”

I will always love you and be here to help you figure it out. 

No matter what.

Dear daughters, while I am holding the tension that is, cradling grief for the pink swing and dandelion days that are behind us, while simultaneously carrying gratitude for all that is good and right now.

Know this.

I am full of fresh and active hope and deep pride while watching you grow.  

You are the best thing I have ever done.

You are proof that God exists, because you are answers to my before we met prayers. 

And now, I lift up my “learn to let you go” prayers, in expectant faith that God will do what only He can do –  

Be with you always. 

Living on a prayer,


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For more encouragement, you are invited to read posts from Heather here: “A Mother’s Heart Manifesto – An Open Letter To My 3 Daughters” and “3 Things I want our daughter to know before she turns 13.”

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Heather is an interior decorator and owner of Home with Heather.  Heather is also a lifestyle blogger and women’s speaker.  Heather lives in Maryland with her husband, Shawn, and their 3 daughters. She writes what is on her heart, weekly on her blog, heatherkrout.com. You can also find Heather on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest for inspiration to empower you on your walk with God and inspire you with new and fresh ways to love your home.