The foundations of a mother/daughter relationship…

*Attending as many of her softball games as possible over the years–rain or shine.  Cheering her on.  Encouraging her when she’s down.  Helping her to own the problem when she is struggling with her skill level.   Giving in to your daughter’s insistence that you try chewing sunflower seeds and spitting the shells “like a pro” (which all softball players think they are) and having the seeds end up all over your chin because you are clueless on how to chew and spit sunflower seeds “like a pro” and then enduring your daughter’s laughter as she witnesses you failing to chew and spit sunflower seeds “like a pro.”  Enduring the teasing of the entire softball team as they see how slow you are at texting.  In other words, laughing at yourself with your daughter.  Sitting up late listening to your daughter after she has returned from a date fiasco.  Rubbing her back.  Letting her know that she is not a bad person.  Watching a movie with her at midnight because she can’t sleep because she’s too depressed after dealing with one of those “loser, infantile, idiots” called “teenage boy.”  Gently, but firmly insisting that the curfew be honored because you love her and don’t want her to get hurt.  Talking about the stupid things boys try.  Looking up boys in the yearbook with her so that she can show you which ones are cute.  Picking her up from school in the middle of the day when she calls and says she needs to talk.  And all the little things that add to the “emotional bank account”–helping with homework, buying her surprises, throwing a surprise birthday party, spending one-on-one time together, going for walks, sending emails, watching YouTube videos together, snacking late at night, praying with her, talking about God, laughing and crying together, asking her to put a “messy” bun in your hair because you like the way she does hers, shopping for new jeans and shoes, going to lunch, insisting that she do chores, letting her know she did a good job on her chores, letting her drive, bringing her a snack at work, texting her, getting to know her friends, inviting her friends to attend church with you, apologizing to her when you make a mistake, etc. 

…will help you get through the times your daughter…

*Makes choices that cause her pain.  Tries sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night.  Gets angry with you when you catch her trying to sneak out of the house.  Allows a certain 21 year old to manipulate her into believing things she knows deep down inside are not true.  Gets manipulated by said 21 year old into leaving the house in defiance of your rules.  Allows loser 21 year old to talk to you disrespectfully.  Loses her faith in God, you, and herself.  Tries to play the “18 card.”  As in, “I am 18 now.  I can do whatever I want.”  Which in turn causes you to implement such disciplinary actions as needed to help her see just how much an 18 year old who has yet to graduate from high school still needs her parents.

…and will play a role in her return when she…

*Finally recognizes the manipulations she has allowed herself to fall for.  Realizes that you aren’t as stupid and out of it as she thought.  Apologizes for her actions.  Begins to make the changes she needs to make in order to get her life back on track.

Build that foundation.  Keep it strong.  If the foundation is there, sooner or later, she will return!

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