For many of us, the change in the seasons signals a new beginning of sorts, a new season of spending time with our daughters. The changing leaves, school schedules, and new grade levels for our girls remind us that they are growing up so quickly, and we have so many things to share with them before they are gone. But how do we spend time with them? In this post, I hope to share with you four key components of spending time together.
First, I want to explain what kind of time I am talking about. If I were to put a formal name on this intentional time, it would be called Mentoring. My personal definition of mentoring is “to teach WITH PURPOSE ON PURPOSE the correct morals, standards, values, and ideals.” Simply put, mentoring is a pattern of sharing life with your daughter to guide her. While this purposeful teaching happens in the everyday rhythm of our lives, it is vital to plan intentional, specific times when you can purposefully teach the particulars.
Yes, mentoring involves time, but what do we do in those mentoring moments? Our T-I-M-E with our daughters should include the following:
With all mentoring, the sharing begins at the heart level and involves an appropriate degree of transparency on your part. If you feel the Lord nudging you to share a specific situation, make certain it:
- Contains a relevant lesson.
- Do not share too much or inappropriate information.
- Present the experience and then shines the Light of God’s mercy and grace through it. Show her and tell her how God has used this situation in your life to bring you closer to Him. Psalm 78:4
True intimacy is birthed from (appropriate) transparency. It seems to me that at a certain age, girls struggle with it being all about them! While this is a natural stage of development for our girls, it is important to draw those in-grown eyeballs of theirs to an outward gaze.
Your goal Mama is to enlighten your daughter on the role of a give-and-take relationship. While you are making sure you are a student of your daughter and meeting her needs, you can gently train her on how to develop a healthy, godly interest in others.
On one level, we could teach our girls meaningful things during this time, such as never wearing white after Labor Day, never wearing black to a wedding, and always wearing clean underwear. (Have I dated myself with this comment?)
Or we can teach her things that have eternal value such as acquainting her to her savior Jesus, how to develop a quiet time, and how to pray. The concept here is to make your moments count!
Mary Poppins gave some pretty great advice when she said “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.” And it also applies to mentoring your daughter! Moreover, while sugar can help many bitter things taste better, sometimes it takes more than a spoonful to make life’s medicine go down. Mom, you know your daughter better than anyone. You know what makes her excited, what gives her joy, what drives her. Our challenge is to incorporate FUN into the mentoring time. With a little thought, you can make it something she wants to experience more and more!
The next step after planning a TIME is planning WHAT TO STUDY
Would you like more information on my Mother/Daughter Bible studies?
The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood and Beautiful Girlhood is for girls ages 9-14. Pumpkin Seed Press publishes The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood to accompany Beautiful Girlhood. You can purchase both books on Amazon.
Beyond Beautiful Girlhood Plus Companion guide is for daughters ages 13-18. More information on both can be found on my website by clicking on the books.