Dear Mom of a Teen-age Daughter,
It’s hard, isn’t it?
It’s hard to raise a daughter, whom you believe is destined for greatness and for service in the Kingdom of God, in this age of sleazy wardrobes, sex-before-marriage, everybody’s-doing-it, world that we live in.
It’s hard because the voices of our culture are so loud, the gray area is so vast and the tension is relentless.
It’s hard because no parent ever wants to fight with their teen-age daughter over cleavage, how-short-is-too-short, and what placing your body on display communicates to a sex-addicted world.
It’s hard because there is so little to say “yes” to in our world gone wild.
It’s hard because there is always the risk of rebellion.
Its. Just. Hard.
Although my 2 daughters are now out of the teen-age years, I can tell you this: there are some battles worth fighting.
There are stands worth taking.
“No” can be a very positive, loving word.
You are the parent. Act like it. You are not the best friend. You are the mom.
You are the mom who has been a teen-ager and knows infinitely more than a 15 year-old whose hormones are raging.
When you take a stand, take it with firm love and deep conviction.
When you fight a battle, fight it without raising your voice or accusing. Fight with love and with deep conviction.
Let me assure you that you really do know what is best for your daughter and your word should be the last word and the guiding word.
What you allow is what will continue to grow in the life of your daughter who is more precious than words can ever express.
If you allow sexual attire and provocative Instagram pictures and questionable hashtags … that is what will continue to grow in her life.
The battle is relentless, isn’t it? Even the toughest warriors grow weary in the battle that is fought for the highest and noblest of causes. Fight on, mother. Fight on.
May I give you 5 suggestions today? My prayer is that these suggestions, from a seasoned mother, will help you to craft a strategy as you endeavor to disciple your daughter.
1 – Be the mom. Your goal is not to be her best friend, her confidante or a raucous cheerleader. Your goal is to be the cartographer … you set firm boundaries. The boundaries that you set should be dictated by the principles found in the Word of God and not by the unstable whims of the culture.
Modesty was required in our home when our girls were teen-agers. Jeans that were ripped above the knee were not allowed. 2-piece bathing suits were not allowed. Tight, revealing shirts were not allowed.
Do you want to know why they were not allowed? Provocative attire … and let’s call it what it is … it’s provocative … is meant for one purpose and one purpose alone: to cause a guy to give you a second look. It’s mean to get the attention of a young man in an unwholesome manner.
I believed that my daughters were made for more than that. They were made to be cherished and to be loved based on who they were and not on the amount of skin they were revealing. I loved my daughters too much to allow them to dress inappropriately.
And when they were unable to make that decision for themselves, I made it for them.
2 – “No” is a powerful and loving word. When “no” is birthed in love and protection it determines your daughter’s future. Never be afraid of saying a firm, yet loving, “No!”
- “No, I love you too much to let you dress like that.”
- “No, I love you too much to let you go to that party.”
- “No, I love you too much to allow you to put those pictures on Instagram.”
- “No, I love you too much to have 20,000 followers because you use the #sexy.
And whenever conviction leads you to say the firm but loving, “No,” always try to say a better “Yes!”
- “Yes … you can have some friends over for a girls’ night!”
- “Yes … you can have a new outfit that is stylish, fun, attractive but not provocative.”
- “Yes … you can go to that Christian concert!”
3 – Pray with your daughter. When you have been engaged in a difficult discussion with her, end the discussion with heartfelt prayer. Take it to the Father and ask Him for wisdom and to bless your relationship with her. Hold her hands while you pray and let her know that she is loved.
4 – Use your words to create positive self-esteem in your daughter during these challenging teen-age years.
- Tell her that she is loved every single day.
- Tell her that she is beautiful and that she is bound for greatness.
- Talk about her in positive ways in front of others.
- Point out the things that she does well and praise her for positive choices.
There may be seasons during these teen-age years when your daughter won’t like you very much, but there should never be a day when she doesn’t know that she is loved unconditionally by you … her mom.
5 – Send her on a missions trip. I believe that sending a teen-ager on a missions trip is one of the most life-changing events in a teen’s life. She will come home appreciating the blessings that she has been given in new and vibrant ways. Her focus will have changed from blending in with her culture to serving her Creator.
Parenting teen-age daughters is not for sissies. However, you can do it, mom! You can stay the course and disciple your daughter in spite of the cacophony of the world in which we live. God has chosen you to parent your daughter through every season of life. You are enough … you are more than enough to be a wonderful mom!
With love and prayers,