|image courtesy of Kirstin, blog.violetaharrington.com|
A fiercely competitive girl may belong to the mom who screams criticisms from the sidelines of a soccer game. The child with perfectionistic tendencies might have a mom who spends a lot of time making hospital corners on her beds at home. It's natural and logical for the daughter's behavior to mimic her mother's. This is all the more reason us moms need to examine the condition of our heart and identify where we create and thrive on drama while our daughters look on.
I have four daughters and 22 years of parenting experience and I've learned thing or two in all these years. One thing every mom needs to remember is they are watching you. They are intently listening to you. Your daughter's behavior is often a mirror image of who you are.
Many years ago, I sat with another mom as we complained about our sassy teenage daughters. Our pastor, who was in close proximity, leaned in and politely advised: they talk to you like that because it's how they hear you speak and likely how you speak to them. Ouch! After some careful (painful) evaluation, I realized he was right.
Sometimes the behaviors we exhibit to observant eyes are dangerous and damaging. I call this 'Mama Drama'. I've often found a girl prone to gossip and drama has a mom prone to the same. It's those moments we choose to speak negatively and complain about another mom in our daughter's presence. It is those moments our daughter hears us slander another woman while speaking with a friend. This is where the Mama Drama begins and with your daughter is likely where it will continue.
We may believe we are discreet and our daughters never hear these things from our mouths. But our daughters are good students and not much gets by them. How often have we drug our daughters into our drama? The only solution? The Mama Drama needs to to end with us. Because not only is it our job to protect her from trappings of the drama, it is healthy and godly for us to avoid it ourselves.
We need to teach our daughters to search for the good in people, to extend grace when wronged, to allow room for forgiveness, and to refrain from judgement. We need to school our daughters in a more constructive means of bonding with women that isn't tearing each other down. And we need to teach them how to become authentic encouragers of other women; to understand we don't need to be the best, or the first and that being last and sometimes even excluded is okay and actually quite normal even though it doesn't feel good.
And it is so hard sometimes to resist the temptation of the flesh, and so easy to succumb to what seems to come so naturally. But when it comes to our daughters -our precious daughters- it is a whole other level of accountability, We do better by them when we do better for God. It's really all about the condition of our heart. Where is your heart as you read this? If you don't know, take a long hard look at your daughter and you just might find out.