Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. ~ Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are not the norm between a mother and her teenage daughter. It can be a time of tension and frustration as she learns to take hold and you to begin letting go. Maybe your daughter’s struggling to fit in and you are the target of her aggravation. For some of you, you just wish she would be respectful; of you, herself, and others. Could it be your daughter has brought home a boy she wants to date, is dating and you are thinking over my dead body! Maybe it’s her grades as she’s so consumed with being social and not seeing the ramifications of doing poorly in school. Being a mom of a teenager is a season filled with a whole lot of emotion, isn’t it?
Let’s face it moms, there is a lot of destruction trying to ensnare our girls in this crazy world we live in.
If you are identifying with me, let me ask you, are your conversations with your daughter filled mostly with correction? Do you find yourself spending most of your time together telling her what she isn’t doing, should be doing or shouldn’t be doing? Do you spend precious moments rehashing that one thing that needs to change?
Can I share something with you that has incredibly impacted not only my relationship with my daughters, but my relationship with myself and my God? Instead of spending valuable moments correcting or warning so she avoids making a wrong move, try extending gracious words. I know this may seem crazy and you may be thinking you have no idea what I’m dealing with. And you are right. I have no idea what you’re dealing with. I do, however, know the incredible shift in my own relationship with my daughter when I started parenting like I believe in her, like I believe God is using what I have already taught her.
I tell you with tears welling up that it completely shifted my perspective and my heart. Instead of parenting out of fear, I began parenting out of faith. Instead of telling her how to solve things, I would ask wise questions believing she would come up with a good answer. I encouraged her to take hold of her life instead of trying to keep hold until she’s ready.
Moms, this is not about flattery! Flattery deceives our daughters and corrupts their minds. Flattery won’t build your daughter up; it will puff her up, so please know I’m not encouraging flattery. What I’m sharing with you is a shift of perspective that will overflow your heart with joy to be the mom of your teen because you began to believe again. Believe that God is for you and for your daughter. Believe that the truth planted in her heart would indeed take root. Believe that all those hours, days and years of teaching wrong versus right could begin to be seen and owned. More times than not, our daughters know truth and when given the responsibility to own it, they will surprise you with how well they flourish.
Recently, I was listening to a daughter share about her relationship with her mom. Her mom loves Jesus, loves her daughter and desires for their relationship to be everything God could ever shape it to be. Yet, as the daughter shared of conversations with her mom, they were filled with telling her all she is doing wrong, not building her up with anything she was doing right. It struck me deep, because for several years, that was me, and maybe that is you. With the greatest intentions we can tear our daughters down.
Start believing again. Believe God is going to do a glorious work in your daughter. Believe she has heard all the love and truth you have poured into her over the years, believe you are the mom God has called you to be.
With that belief, speak gracious words that build up, heal and are sweet to the soul. In doing so, you will create a safe space for her to grow and instead of shutting you out and pulling away she will be inviting you in to watch her take hold of the life God has given her and thrive.
By: Kelly Vance