Monday, September 22, 2008

Mentoring my daughters

This past Saturday morning was a long time in the making.

Ever since I first held that tiny newborn little baby with a pink ribboned hat I knew I had a special task in raising my daughter. At a certain age, boys tend to follow their dads around more and enjoy the tools and power toys, whereas girls fall more under my domain for a longer time, and in a deeper way. Not that I have any less responsibility to raise my sons, but definitely a different one.

With my daughters I have more knowledge to pass along, more life experience to share, more mentoring to do. As much as I love to play catch with my son and wrap up each day chatting about the day's events, I have a different role with my daughters, at least at times.

I have long wanted to pick a time to spend one-on-one with each child, but have given up at times when it seemed too hard to keep up with. When my oldest daughter celebrated her ninth birthday this past summer she wanted to go ice skating with just me for her birthday gift. We had an amazing time, and she talked the whole time! I realized that now was the time, capturing this moment, this age, this openness and love.

I heard Shelley Noonan speak at a homeschool convention about mentoring daughters and again felt that longing to set up this type of time with my daughters. I didn't know how to fit it into the schedule, though. This summer as my daughter reached her ninth birthday, and with her birthday request ringing in my ears, I realized I needed to make this happen now.

This past Saturday provided us with a special "first" time together. We had about 30 minutes to use up in between her soccer pictures and her game. So, we snuck away to Panera and capitalized on a gift card I had stored away for a special occasion and the rare alone time we had just then.

We had a great time, just talking and laughing and enjoying a special treat together. We also read the first chapter of the Beautiful Girlhood book together and talked about the joy of childhood merging with the responsibility of maturity in the years to come. We talked about the joy of the age she is at right now. I think it released me as well to realize that we do still have a lot of years ahead of us, and she can still enjoy just enjoying childhood for a bit yet, even as she inches closer to adolescence.

Pumpking Seed Press, Shelley Noonan's company, sells the Beautiful Girlhood book as well as the Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood which offers great questions and Scriptures to supplement an already excellent book. I didn't bring the companion guide with me this time, but I am excited about covering these additional questions and topics this coming Saturday. There are a few books geared toward mentoring daughters of various ages on their website. Christian Book Distributors also sells the Beautiful Girlhood book, and for a dollar less, but not the companion guide. I'm sure that you can mentor your daughters well without these resources, but the key is doing it intentionally. That's where I had to start.

Now that we have started, we are both excited to continue. Before I did not know how to find the time, and now I realize that we can have a little "tea time" with just the two of us right at home almost any time throughout the week. I can always, well almost always, spare 30 minutes to grow that relationship.

So, Saturday morning it is.

Tea in the school room, just the two of us.


Becky said...

That sounds so sweet...just what you both needed.

Lisa said...

I have stuggled with one on one time with my children, especially Chelsea(being the only girl and on the brink of adolescence.) It sounds like you haad a great time. You are right, you don't have to leave the house to have some special one on one time.

5intow said...

You're right, Lisa, one on one time is tough, especially with a full house, and as outside activities start filling the schedule. I have also realized recently that sometimes even making dinner together counts. Any time we can grasp those little, private conversations is such a treasure.

amada said...

I'm just beginning to grasp this concept... My daughter is 5. I'm a little slow :) Post more on this as you go, pretty please!

Spending time daily talking over issues with my dear daughter has been seriously the key to turning the tides of the constant tantrums! I'm not really sure why I hadn't thought of it before!

Thanks for your post on the AO group about memorization. Very good. I totally agree... :)

Trujillo, Peru