Dear Mama, I’ve been cleaning up the Christmas tree this week, sweeping pine needles and thinking of the things I’ve never said to you. They are the very things no one says to me, that I would so love to hear. I’m late telling you what I’m about to write. Really late. I have grandchildren now. But I hope that “better late than never” holds. Thank you for all the years upon years of Christmases when you decorated the house and the tree, cooked the holiday meals, shopped for the gifts, set it all up, took it all down, and cleaned it all up by yourself. Christmas is a lonely time for mothers, I think. So much to do, and so much […]
The unique relationship between a mom and daughter, how to raise successfully raise them then have a healthy relationship when they are grown.
“Hold your head high when you walk.” “Make sure your skirt and shirt are pulled down.” “Don’t be louder than a boy.” “Cross your legs when you sit in a skirt.” “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” “At times, it’s OK to be seen and not heard.” “Make eye contact and say ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘yes sir’.” “Why buy the cow when the milk is free?” “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” “Girls who talk about other girls will most likely talk about you too.” “Always act like a lady.” These are just a few of the simple lessons in life I remember my mom teaching me as a young girl. They
‘Jan’ Asked: How do I even begin to connect with my teen stepdaughter? She is 15-years-old and disrespectful to her mom and me… Having already raised five of my own, I don’t have much patience for her entitlement and laziness. She is involved in many activities like show choir and cheerleading but truly her attitude is horrid… I understand life is not easy and she wants to fit in… The only time she is nice is when she wants me to buy her something. Her mom doesn’t know what to do with her and often gives in because she doesn’t want to fight. My husband has severe health issues and is firm, but quiet… So then she just stays in her room.
My mom was an amazing woman who attended college at a time when not many women did—back in the early 40s. I am so grateful to have been raised by this strong-minded woman. She was determined that her three kids would learn a good work ethic, attend church, memorize scripture, and learn to love books. Our reward for helping her clean house every Saturday was a trip to the library. She was into health foods long before it became trendy. No potato chips, sugared cereals, or soft drinks in our home growing up, and we drank our fair share of home-crafted carrot juice. My mother did a lot of things right as a mom, but there were rarely any one-on-one mom/daughter times.
In episode 63, These Strategies Will Help You Raise Great Kids, of our podcast, This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock, co-founder and president of The Grit and Grace Project, shares some of her own parenting experiences and snippets of wisdom from her new book, Raising Great Girls. Having raised two caring and successful daughters of her own, Darlene penned her book in the hopes of encouraging other moms to push past the difficulties that often come with cultivating young ladies (or young men!). In Raising Great Girls, Darlene outlines various job descriptions, like Creative Counselor and Coach, that a parent must assume in order to mold a balanced daughter. She breaks down three of these job titles within the podcast and
Are you that mom who would rather stick an icepick through your eye than talk to your teen daughter about sex (seriously, it doesn’t have to be that bad!)? Or maybe the idea of sex conversations makes you squirm a little. We need to talk, girlfriend! First, let’s talk about why you need to have the conversations. Notice I said conversations. This really should be an ongoing conversation that starts in preschool. But if you are behind the 8 ball, and even if you fear that your daughter may have already had sex, take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. It’s time to talk. The reason why research has demonstrated that abstinence programs have not been successful (teens who participate in
In the introduction to Raising Great Girls, author Darlene Brock makes an eye-opening observation about motherhood: experience isn’t necessary. It’s a truth that can chill your spine if you’ve never thought about it before. In a world where entry-level job positions still somehow require three to five years of experience, the most challenging—yet rewarding—job a woman will ever encounter calls for none. Just a heart that’s full of love and ready to grow. After raising two happy, strong and successful girls of her own, Darlene decided to share her hard-earned parenting secrets. She offers a candid look at the struggles every mom will face, but not without practical advice to handle them. Each chapter in the book is named for the roles
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreNo mother-daughter relationship is perfect, but some are more difficult than others. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down to share the distinct challenges they each had with their moms growing up. They open up about how the dysfunctional dynamic impacted their own motherhood duties and what they chose to do differently with their own children. Through each of their stories, you’ll glean advice on what to do (and not do) in your relationship with your child, how you can begin the process of mending a fractured mother-daughter relationship, and get the confidence you need to be the mother
Moms, it’s almost Mother’s Day! As an act of solidarity with my fellow girl moms, I want to give you a gift. I didn’t have boys, so if you’re a boy mom, I can’t help you as much there. But from May 5-9, my Raising Great Girls Kindle eBook is absolutely free. If you’re anything like I was in my motherhood journey, you probably have times of feeling every insecurity, a bit of a failure, with a boatload of mom guilt mixed in. I’m sure you also have seasons you think “I’ve got this!” and you do! But no matter the season you find yourself in, I want to give you some of what hindsight taught me: hard-earned wisdom that I share
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreSociety is quick to point out the challenges of motherhood. We see it in the “Mommy needs wine” shirts at Target and read about the seemingly endless struggles from other moms on social media. We don’t deny that motherhood comes with its share of hard times, but with the difficult seasons come the rewarding ones, too. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down this week to talk about the beauty of being a mom—from the privilege of shaping a little one’s views and raising them with the potential to positively impact the world, to enjoying life from a child’s perspective and all
“Mom” is the job that gets no break, no personal time, vacation, or maternity leave—because that particular break is part of the occupation. Motherhood isn’t just one job, but many, and those jobs are accomplished in different ways at different times throughout your child’s life. If you have the added pressure of raising girls, it just gets more complicated. So, I thought I’d get a few answers from the author of the book, Raising Great Girls: Help for Moms to Raise Confident, Capable Girls, (perfection not required), Darlene Brock. It was a pretty easy task since I also work with her. Question: I know you’ve written this book from hindsight, but tell me about what your life looked like when you were
Scrolling social media, I see women who are painted like porcelain dolls with tiny waists and thick-alicious hips. I see images of perfection that are totally disproportionate and unattainable. And what is worse: this dangerous trend now compels me. I find myself searching frantically for the perfect filter before I post a pic, the one that looks “natural” or like I’m just the right age (younger than I am). If I can’t find it, then I spend way too much time adjusting the lighting and color saturation; maybe I’ll even add one of those funky (and slightly creepy) filters that make me look like an extraterrestrial, flower child, or naughty pirate. I do this, I play along, even though most days all
(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) Dear Daughter, We are together more than ever these days. I watch as you wake each morning, walk into your closet, and choose an outfit that doesn’t go together. You pull up your leggings without noticing the skin that spills over the tight waistband. You run a brush through your hair and carefully choose a headband or opt for a braid. I passively wonder if you wish for hair opposite of your own in texture and color. But there is no sighing or visible expression of disappointment as you comb through the tangles and frizz. Instead, you smile and make silly faces at your reflection in the mirror. Virtual school ends, and you’re
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | More The job of “mom” can be tough! A mother nurtures, disciplines, clothes, feeds and does her very best to protect, all while balancing many more jobs both in and out of the house. With each day abundantly filled, do you find it challenging to invest enough time in building the strong relationship with your kids that you desire? Mom, you are not alone! In this episode, we give five ways every mom can build that relationship at any stage of their kids’ lives. We share things you can do to develop their character while making treasured and lasting memories. Darlene (mom
“Mom, stop talking please. You’re embarrassing me.” This was spoken, of course, through gritted teeth in a pleading whisper as my 13-year-old sat in the front seat next to me, his friends tucked into the back during our daily afternoon carpool. It was after I made the deadly mom mistake of trying to engage a car full of prepubescent boys in conversations by asking how their day was. This, moms in the middle, is a fatal mistake. It Will Hit You Like a Sucker Punch You know this, right? If you’re in the middle, you know. One day you’re hip and cool and wearing the latest denim and the next, you’re excited about your new vacuum and color-coded carpool schedules. It happens
Before my daughter was born, I hung a quote from The Velveteen Rabbit above her crib. I have no emotional connection to that book; in fact, I’ve never read it. But the second I read the words printed on that beautifully distressed canvas, my eyes welled up with tears because I’ve lived it out and thus learned the very lesson I suppose this soft, tattered bunny is sharing. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints
It’s been happening for about a month now, this 3 a.m. visit. It starts with a creeping tip-toe, then a gentle tap on my shoulder. Sometimes there are tears, sometimes there aren’t. But it always ends the same, really, with an elbow in my ribs and a foot jammed into my husband’s back. Always. We’re really not sure why they started, these visits. If you ask my daughter during the daytime, when she’s wide awake and lucid, she wouldn’t be able to tell you. It’s a mystery even to her. But for whatever reason, every night for the past few weeks, she’s visited our bedroom in the wee hours of the morning, scared and needing comfort. So, of course, we open up