Stop trying to change your daughter and accept her for who she is, even if she is different than your family.
Why parents may have a hard time accepting & relating to their daughter
Girls often complain to me that their parents don’t see them, understand them, accept them for who they are, can’t relate to them, and are always trying to change them to fit the parent’s vision of them. I discussed the concept of the vulnerable child syndrome and ghosts in the nursery in a March 24, 2022 podcast, so go back with this link and listen to that to help you understand why you may have a hard time understanding and relating to your child.
Girls need to be accepted and affirmed for who they are
When I validate girls who aren’t seen by their families and help them to see that they are fine and don’t need to change, they experience a tremendous sense of relief and big smiles erupt as they finally feel seen and accepted.
Stories to illustrate how girls don’t fit their parent’s mold
Dr. Jordan shares many stories of different ways girls from his counseling practice, retreats, and camps don’t fit in their family’s vision of who they are supposed to be. Some examples include:
A dad too invested in his daughter becoming a top athlete
Moms pushing daughters to be more outgoing because they judge them as being too shy and quiet
Educated, intense parents having a hard time relating to an easygoing, free-spirited daughter
Intense, goal-driven parents not understanding their easygoing kid who seems to not be very motivated, or haven’t discovered their passion or interests or purpose
Sporty parents who have a hard time connecting with a daughter who is not competitive or aggressive and just wants to play sports to socialize and have fun
2 movies to watch with your daughter
Dr. Jordan suggests you watch these 2 movies with your kids to stir up conversation about this issue: October Sky, and Simon Birch
Gibran quote to illustrate this topic
Here is the Gibran quote Dr. Jordan read in the podcast:
“Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness. For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.”
Parent & love the daughter you have
Stop trying to make your child quieter, louder, more outgoing, more interested in things their sibling and family likes and appreciate the unique and individual small person you’ve been given.
Parent and love the child you have.
Check out Dr. Jordan’s online parenting course, Parenting girls: The challenges girls face today with their feelings and friends and what they need
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