At church today I noticed a thirteen-year-old girl’s pretty necklace so I leaned over, examined it, and told her how beautiful it was. The young lady thanked me and explained that it was given to her by her mom, who was standing next to me, for her birthday. Her mother then looked at me and told me how fun it was to have a girl. She pointed to my three girls, six and under, and said, “You think this is a fun age, but this (pointing to her daughter) is even more fun!”
This little conversation was short, and certainly not a deep one. However, it left a big impression on my mind as I drove home. It lingered in my mind and I finally figured out why at the outset it wasn’t a deep conversation, but upon thinking, it meant so much.
I am so used to hearing people speak ill of children.
“Don’t you wish you could return the baby back to the hospital or stick him back into your tummy for more baking?”
“Oh, just wait until your baby starts crawling, he’ll get into all sorts of things and mess up everything in your house.”
“When they reach their teenage years, they all become monsters.”
These are just few of the comments I’ve heard through the years. So, when I heard a mother telling me how fun and wonderful it was to have a teenage daughter, it was music to my ears. I can actually look forward to those supposedly dreaded teenage years with my daughters with excitement. This gives me hope and encourages me that not every teenager is a monster. Often when we hear negative comments about teenagers, we can’t help but fear that our children may turn out to be just like everyone else’s teenagers. This certainly doesn’t bode well, and as we face challenges of parenting, we can’t help but think about what awful years we will get into with our children. When we set our minds to such negative expectation, we will certainly live accordingly.
However, if we don’t believe in such propaganda and expect (and invest in) greater things from our children, we will learn how to enjoy the children better and see them as gifts from the Lord, rather than some fearsome monsters-in-waiting to be dreaded. How we speak of our children has many implications of how we view our children. I’m glad I was able to witness a warm and positive view of a young and growing teenage girl today. Bravo to that mommy for thinking highly of her. It’s certainly an encouragement for a mom like me with little girly girls.