As our daughters grow, we can feel like they’re pulling away. Part-time jobs, extra-curricular activities, and social plans compete for their attention. We feel that our role as “mom” is pushed to the back burner in their lives.
It’s exciting to see our girls taking steps toward independence. Even so, they still need our care and influence. The key to staying connected and involved is building trust. Earning your daughter’s trust opens the door to giving encouragement and wisdom as she navigates the way to adulthood.
Grab hold of these five tools to build your daughter’s trust today:
Keep her secrets. Treat your daughter’s insecurities, heart-dreams, crushes, and personal failures with utmost care. Reward what’s shared in vulnerable moments with respect and privacy. If she knows what happens with mom, stays with mom, she’ll be more likely to open her heart in the future.
Honor her thoughts and opinions. The teen years are a season of figuring out her identity. Give her room to express her personal style. Let her ponder big ideas about politics and social issues, even if you disagree with her perspective. Give her a voice in making plans and decisions. Accept her friends with kindness. Set her free to plug into a godly faith community of her choosing. Embrace her as a unique individual.
Don’t pick favorites. Feeling like she’s second-best builds a resentful wall around your daughter’s heart. Feeling like she’s number one creates pressure to perform for your love. Give affirmation, attention, and affection in equal measure to all your kids, no matter how adorable or challenging they may be!
Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Make your expectations clear for your daughter’s behavior. Put rewards and consequences in place for her choices. And then the hard part: follow through! Discipline isn’t fun, but teaches our girls right from wrong. It spares them from greater trouble down the road. Let her know you love and respect her enough to hold her to a standard.
Be a woman of integrity. Our daughters are watching us wherever we go. They know if we’re honest at the cash register. If we gossip on the phone. If we dodge the blame for our fender-bender. If we manipulate our husbands to get our way. If we bad-mouth our neighbor. If we criticize our pastor’s ministry. Treating others with honesty and dignity proves to your daughter that you’re worthy of her heart.
We serve a God we can trust completely. He keeps his promises. His Word is true. He never lets us go. With his help, we can become trustworthy moms who love our girls like Jesus.
“Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.” (Psalm 97:11)