Everyday Stuff, Parenting

$.97 to a Better Relationship With Your Daughter: Keeping Communication Open When She Doesn’t Want to Talk to You

Could $.97 be separating you from the relationship you truly desire with your daughter? It definitely made a difference for me. I want to let you in on one of my favorite creative parenting attempts to stay on the offense against the crazy hormonal surge that began stalking my daughter two years ago when she was only six! (Lord, help us!)

I think a big part of our jobs as parents is being inventive problem solvers. I’m constantly praying for new methods and ideas to improve my creative parenting. Sometimes I try something, and it’s phenomenal! The heavens part, rays of sunshine beam down, the heavenly angels sing a chorus of, “Awwww,” and I know it was from the Lord! At other times my kids look at me like I’ve lost my mind, and I know I’ve gone too far. ūüôā

So Mikaela (now 8) and I are still falling hard and fast into this new stage of our relationship. I had hoped it would be several more years away. Nonetheless, here it is. My cheerful,  upbeat, confident, little girl is dealing with bouts of extreme shyness which frequently cause her to basically be rude and shut down when encountering anyone outside of our home. (Click HERE for tips on how we deal with this.) And more and more frequently I find myself on the receiving end of her dagger pitching glares.

It’s so counter to her behavior in her earliest years, and she herself is having trouble understanding what’s going on. On the¬†one hand, it breaks my heart to see this struggle. On the other hand, it makes me see red, and it’s all I can do to¬†maintain my composure. But I have a choice. I can sit around and fume, constantly¬†asking, “Why?”¬†“What’s wrong,” or I can start implementing some attempts at helping her (and me) cope with where we are right now. I am choosing the ladder…by the grace of God!

So here is where the $0.97 comes in. I took a $0.97 composition book and on the first page this is what I wrote:

Mikaela,
     This is your very first journal! You can use this to write your feelings and your thoughts. You can use it when there is something you want to remember. Write in it when you are happy or sad, excited or scared, worried or thankful (especially when you are thankful!).
     You can even use this journal to write letters to me or prayers to God. Sometimes I will write letters to you in it, and sometimes I will write Bible verses or positive sayings I want you to practice and memorize. Together we will fill these pages with words you can treasure forever!
                                                                                    I love you always!
                                                                                             ~ Mommy

I also wrote the following lines (one per page), and asked her to please write each one three times:
“To have friends I have to be friendly.”
“No matter how I feel I can choose a good attitude.”
“‘Be kind and loving to each other,’ Ephesians 4:32”
“‘In everything, treat people the same way you want them to treat you,’ Matthew¬†7:12.”

She loved the idea and was eager to begin our new journaling project together. I know there will be many times when talking face to face about an issue may be too uncomfortable for her. I hope this will give her a way to open up when she needs to share. I also see this as a powerful tool for keeping the lines of communication open.

Who says you can’t get anything for a dollar these days? It may very well buy you a relationship to last a lifetime!

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