My eldest baby girl is 10 years old. However cliche, I can't believe how rapidly the time has gone. One minute she's a 5 lb preemie and the next she's almost as tall as me and wearing my shoes. She was born a whole month early and her wanting to grow up quickly hasn't changed since birth. I was the same way. Maybe it has something to do with being The Firstborn.
When my daughter was in public school, I used to feel sad that she had this whole other life that I didn't know too much about. I'd ask her questions, but you know how kids are...When we started homeschooling, we got to know each other better. It's amazing to watch our kids grow into the people God created them to be. Their thoughts, dreams, concerns, and wishes.
Whether or not you homeschool, it's so important to create extra time with your girls. We want them to be strong women of faith, to embrace the gifts God has given them and to know that we love them. Creating a safe place to talk with your kids is so important. My eldest talks a LOT. Such a chatterbox like I was at her age. As an introvert, it's hard to hear so much constant verbalizing. However, the thing I need to remember is to stop shushing her. Her talking about things that seem silly or not a big deal can turn in to big things later. If I quiet her now, she might not talk to me later when it really matters. Create a safe place. Judgement free.
A couple years ago I read two books by Dannah Gresh called, Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl: Guiding Your Daughter from Her Tweens to Her Teens, and 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters: How to Talk About True Beauty, Cool Fashion, and...Modesty!. Those books are amazing! I highly recommend them if you have a girl that is about to be 8 years old through the early teen years. It's time for "the talk" much earlier than you might think. By the time my eldest was in 1st grade she had already learned a LOT of [incorrect] things about sex from their public school peers. Awesome. [sarcasm]
Around that time, we also started keeping a journal that we share. It's our mother/daughter diary where we can ask each other questions or just chat about whatever. We love to talk in person, her head laying in my lap while I play with her hair. There are times that she might be too shy to ask something in person first. She'll start with the journal, ask me a question, leave it on my bedside table, I write back and then we can talk further in person. It helps her to feel more comfortable.
We are now also adding in Mommy - Daughter Dates. I can't even tell you in words how much I love this. Cherish, really. The girls love getting one-on-one time with me and I enjoy it even more. Their personalities are so different and I love how they're growing with their faith as well. The mother/daughter dates are relationship strengthening. We grow closer when we get to chat one-on-one without any distractions...except the ambiance of a coffee shop or the beauty of nature in a park.
My eldest, Lorelai, went on a photography training session this past weekend. She had fun going to "work" with me and getting to play model for the photo session. Then we had our mother-daughter date at our FAVORITE local hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. We talked about so many things and just enjoyed each others company and great coffee. Because coffee.
Take a note from Nike and Just Do It. You won't regret spending extra time with your kids. And that's what they really want from you. Not more toys or gadgets or activities...they just want your time. Time = Love to kids. Give them all you got and cherish every moment you can. It's all over so quickly.
What are YOUR favorite mother-daughter date ideas?
First two photos [and the one above] were taken by my photography student, Brandee Hardy, and the next few are from us hanging out at the coffee shop we go to.