Kids are especially gifted at masking their feelings. They’re so busy with homework, riding bikes, and going to activities that it can easily seem like all is well in their little world. However, underneath the easy laughter is a heart that unfortunately is facing some big challenges.
Here is a look at a few things your daughter is probably struggling with today…
and how you can help:
Her Looks: She may think she’s too tall or too short. Her nose too big or too small. She’s probably trying to figure out her “style” and may dress sloppy one day and dressy the next. She notices the girls around her…and they don’t look the same as her. Any difference, even slightly, can make her feel like her looks don’t quite measure up. Many young girls are never taught where true beauty comes from, and carry this insecurity for the rest of her life.
How to help: Tell your daughter often she is beautiful. Ask her to take a look at you – her mother, and your mom – her grandmother. Point out how we naturally age as we get older and if our goal is to be outwardly beautiful our goal will fail as the bad hair days, extra pounds, and wrinkles come. We will be let down at one point or another. Instead, remind her that true beauty is unique that many women never acquire. True beauty is one with a heart faithful to God.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Fear of Rejection: Fear of being rejected because she’s not cool enough for the girls or cute enough for the boys. This will cause her to do anything and everything she can to fit in and gain positive attention. If there isn’t any positive attention coming her way she could rebel just to seek negative attention. Any attention is better than no attention.
How to help: Remind your daughter that it is impossible to please everyone you meet. Some people, no matter how nice or kind you are, will not be nice and kind in return. If you run your life trying to please people you will do just that…run constantly without a break to even catch some air, because there is never an end when trying to please people. Instead, teach your daughter what it means to please God instead of people – to have faith and trust in Him and serve Him with your heart and hands through love, patience, and peace.
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Her Abilities: Someone is always going to be a better basketball player, dancer, gymnast, student, and your daughter is going to notice exactly who that person is. This could either make her give up on herself all together and pursue nothing, or become obsessed with being just as good, if not better, which will make her main goal turn into pride instead of passion.
How to help: Show your daughter scriptures that talk about our unique spiritual gifts. Let her know that God has equipped her with a gift to be used to share with others. Point out what these gifts are. (see Romans 12:6-8). Remind her that other people have the same gift as her, but God can only use her in a unique way with her gift. Tell her not to put too much pressure on herself to figure it all out, but instead go with her God-given passion, along with prayer, and be patient with herself as she discovers how to use her gift. Teach your daughter that these gifts serve one goal – to build up the Church, and we are all working together…and therefore there is also no room for jealousy or rivalry.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
Did you see some of yourself in these struggles? We are all daughters with the same Father, and therefore we all have the same struggles. Your daughter’s challenges are not so far from your own. Relate to her and let her know you understand. Help her feel normal in her feelings and not so alone. Share with her the gift of scripture, prayer, and knowing God. Every stronghold must come down in Jesus.
* Thank you for stopping by Cooking Up Faith ~ this devotional is part of this week’s series: Raising Little Women. Join us each week for a new Biblical focus.
* Related Posts:
Raising Little Women: How to Help Grow Her Faith
5 Characteristics of a Godly Woman to Teach Your Daughters
Marriage and Parenting Advice for Today’s Moms