Now that I have an empty nest, I reflect back on the precious moments my daughters and I shared. I am especially thankful for the times we sat down and evaluated our relationship. My mom and I had a very healthy relationship. When I was a teen, I could talk to her about things that other girls would probably be to nervous and scared to talk to their mother about. Like that time, I found out I was pregnant at young age of fourteen and wondering how much longer. How much longer before my mom finds out. How much longer before the whole world finds out. How much longer before everyone misses me when dad finds out. That was a very scary time in my life and I was not prepared to handle it emotionally. I remember walking in the kitchen one morning and mom walked in behind me and said, "You are pregnant." I froze right where I stood, and she just turned walked out. You will have to stay tuned for the rest of that story.
Now back to me and my daughters. We would sit down and just talk about how we can make our relationship better. They would share with me things they wish I would stop doing and I would share with them things I wish they would stop doing. We we could celebrate what we had accomplished from our previous conversations and then we would always conclude with THE TALK. It never failed, they would always say the same thing, "Momma you are going too far. We get it... that is enough!" When I tried to get their dad involved, he just looked and said, "Naw, that is your area." Then behind closed doors, he would let our a fatherly scream, "Lord my babies are growing up, I can't handle it." Don't you dare tell him I said that.
Those were so wonderful times and now that they are young women in college, we still have those conversations. There is a certain level of transparency that I can reveal now that they are older. I also help them clear their conscious my sharing with them some of things I knew, that they THOUGHT I did not know. Talk about a priceless, I am momma and I know everything moment.
I realize that I am blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with my daughters and I know that I am not the only mother that can say that. Creating, nurturing and maintaining that kind of relationship with my daughters was hard but rewarding work. I had to learn when to reel them in and when to release and give them room to grow. Our girls have many distractions and I had to be intentional about being the LOUDEST voice in their heads and in their lives.
I reminded them constantly that:
- They were MY daughters.
- Certain behaviors were not tolerated because they were a Bryant, a Denman, Richardon, a Jones, a King's Daughter.
- They were beautiful and special.
- Excuses are not allowed. OWN IT.
- Success is hard work but worth it.
- Speak up.
- Diva's don't dummy down.
- Your father has demonstrated how you are supposed to be treated.
- Never allow a boy/man to define you.
- Respect is earned and talk is cheap.
- Never let anyone tell you what you can't do.
- When people show you who they are, BELIEVE THEM.
- There are enough people being ordinary. You were created to Extra-ordinary.
- You can't trust God and worry about the same time.
As a result, I am two VERY confident daughters.
For mothers who may be reading this and honest enough to admit that they desire that kind of relationship with their daughter, I say to you START NOW. It is never too late. It may be more difficult. It may require some serious sacrifice and transparency. It may require some healing on your part but she is so worth it.
About a month ago, I hit the streets of Dallas (southern sector) and I stopped girls wherever I saw them and asked them to share with me three things they wish their mom would stop doing. I must admit I was not shocked. As a speaker, girls empowerment coach and mentor, I hear the same thing over and over.
Here are the Top 10 Things (in no particular order) they wish you would STOP doing:
1. Stop yelling and cursing so much.
2. Stop going out so much and spend more time with me.
3. Stop needing a man so much and then tell me not to date.
4. Stop complaining and make better decisions. Prioritize better.
5. Stop comparing me to my sisters and brothers. I am me.
6. Stop talking about my daddy. You may not like him anymore but I love him.
7. Stop buying all that junk food and cook at home.
8. Stop jumping to conclusions. You always think everything I do and say is bad.
9. Stop talking at me and start talking to me. I need to really talk to you sometimes. I go through alot.
10. Stop getting mad so easily. Why you mad all the time.
Here are some others that were mentioned as well:
1. Stop spending all your money on stuff and then can't pay the bills.
2. Stop telling me all your business. I can't handle all that.
3. Stop thinking I am mature for my age. I am still a kid.
4. Stop trying to be my friend. I need rules no matter how much I act like I don't. You are the mother - act like it.
5. Stop being so controlling.
Believe it not, at this very moment you daughter needs to share something with you. She needs to talk to you about something she is dealing with or going through. She can't because she is too afraid or she already knows how you are going to respond. MOM PLEASE STOP...
These are the voices of your daughters. LISTEN TO THEM.
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