WT 110: Raising Little Girls
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Hello ladies and welcome to Wire Talk with Karen Stubbs. We are always in the business of celebrating motherhood around here, but with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend we don’t want to miss the chance to say it once again, Happy Mother’s Day Mommas! Hopefully you all have a fabulous day of being celebrated ahead of you and for those of you who may be walking through this season of motherhood as a single parent or whose significant other is out of town or away for a season, please hear us say that we see the hard work you are doing and you are one amazing mother.
Today we are in the middle of a little mini-series all about Raising Boys & Girls. The past two weeks we have tackled questions about little boys and older boys and now it’s time for some girl talk!
Question 1: I have one daughter who is 5, she is a mini me...good and bad 😬 How do you handle sassiness? She is the oldest and often wants to control/be the boss. When she talks to me (and sometimes her father) she has such an attitude. Its not always what she says but more the way or tone she says it in. How do I handle this?
Karen's Answer: I understand this question 100%! I used to tell Kelsey, “I’m the boss, not you.” I would also tell my girls when they would get sassy, “Let’s try that again, and this time don’t tell me what to do, ask me what you want.” I think with children in general, they need to understand the hierarchy in the family. We all spoil our kids too much, and it is all fine and well, until they start believing that they rule the world. This brings on an attitude of entitlement which no one likes. Little girls can tend to be sassy, because they are adorable, and everyone tells them that all the time. As a mom, you will need to manage that. You can say, you are adorable, and I love your spunk, but right now you are being disrespectful. Teach her, she doesn’t know unless you do. This is a long journey, so buckle up and be patient, but just know, it’s an ongoing issue with some children. You got this! Just teach her.
Question 2: How do you help sisters be friends AND how do you help girls be friends. I have three girls, 7, 9 and 11. They seem to be in competition more than friends or two will pair off and ignore the third. And how do I help them make/choose friends at school? Thanks!
Karen's Answer: Let’s talk about sisters first. I had three daughters, and I am one of four girls, so I get it. I don’t think you will ever be able to cure the competition factor, but you can manage it. And I don’t think it’s yours to manage necessarily, it is your daughter’s to manage. At their ages of 7,9, and 11, they can and should start taking ownership of their thoughts and feelings. You can sit them all down together and lay it all out for them. Just say, the 7 year old is talented in this area, the 9 in this area, and the 11 in this area. Some are better than others in different areas, but you all shine in your own way. We need to be “FOR” each other and not against one another. What does being FOR someone look like?
Being each other’s cheerleader
Believing the best in that person
Giving the other person the benefit of the doubt
Keeping short accounts
Choosing joy over jealousy
Let each of your girls start managing their thoughts and emotions, and you just guide them, not try to fix it all. The bottom line is, this is life. It’s natural to compare yourself to others, but it never works, because you either go away feeling less than or better than, and neither way is good. How to develop close sisters? That will be on them, not you. You can talk to them, encourage them to love their sister and be close, but sometimes they are and sometimes they aren’t. There is no magic formula. Friends: This is hard because friends are tough. I’ve wiped many a tear with all my daughters concerning friends. I used to tell my girls to choose a loyal friend, a friend that doesn’t talk about people behind their backs. And I would encourage my girls to be a good friend. To do all the things I listed about sisters. Once again, as the mom, you just have to teach it to your girls. If you don’t they will just do what comes naturally to them, and that is to look out for themselves.
Question 3: I have two, ages 4.5 and 20 months. How do you instill in them that their worth comes from God? I’m am so very scared of the world they are growing up in and looking for external approval in how they look and what skills they have.
Karen's Answer: Whew! Great question, and honestly we could spend an entire podcast on this one question. I wrote several curriculums for this very problem, one is Make it Count, and the other is Says Who? Part 1 & Part 2. Says Who? is more for the mom, because I’ve found that until we as moms get this concept of renewing our mind with truth, then we can’t teach it to our children. Make it Count is how to combat the lies that pop into our minds. But on a practical, "right now" answer, start praising your girls on their sweet actions towards others, like sharing, or being thoughtful. When we praise them for their beauty and achievements all the time, then they naturally want to continue getting the praise. You won't be able to stop them from looking for approval because we all do that, but you can teach them where their true worth comes from. Take a deep breath! Your children are super young, and you have lots of time to parent in these areas. Fear not! Even if you miss something, God has them in His hands.
Question 4: Do you have any thoughts on how to get my husband more involved with my 7 year old daughter? With my son he is an incredible, hands-on dad - they are constantly wrestling and talking superheroes and playing Legoes but with my daughter he almost seems at a loss sometimes for how to get into her world...
Karen's Answer: I can understand that. You may need to coach him on how to get into her world. He may just be intimated by her, and the thought that daddy/daughter relationships are to be oh-so-special. Let him know that she just wants a relationship with him, and it doesn’t have to be over the moon. Here are some things Greg did:
Took the girls outside to play with them. He would draw things on the driveway and make up elaborate stories.
Greg would take the girls with him to run errands and did Home Depot projects on Saturdays
Read a book
Helped with homework
Put notes in her lunch boxes or mailed them a postcard from the cities he was traveling too
Stopped by to get an unexpected treat, like a slurpee or French fries
Little girls just want their dad’s attention, so give him some of these ideas!