As a parent, I think a lot about how I'm raising my girls. Am I teaching them to be strong, kind, compassionate, hard-workers compared to weak, dependent, entitled and lazy? One thing that I know for sure is that they know that they're loved. Not just because we say it to them often, but because we show it. When Sheridan asks "Mommy come play with me," or "Daddy come play with me," if we're able we're pretty good at dropping whatever we're doing to at least show her that we are interested in what she's doing and she's important. I know there will come a day when she won't ask us again to come play with her and I tearfully will have to accept this knowing that I don't have any regrets because I took the time for her. I believe this is especially important for her Daddy to do with her. The relationship between a daughter and her daddy can shape every future relationship she has with anyone she comes contact with. I've heard time and time again how important it is for a girl to have a strong father figure in her life to teach her how men should treat her and I completely agree. Having your daddy tell you how beautiful you are as you twirl in your princess dress just makes a girl's day and it's something they'll remember for a lifetime.
What they do best: riding horses and dancing in the kitchen.
But what about her relationship with her peers that are girls? We all know that bullying has been on the forefront now with so many young people killing themselves or killing others in reaction to being bullied, but could this stem from how good their relationship is with father? I believe that we should find our sustenance and our confidence in the "ultimate Daddy" our God, but a little girl gets her first experience of this by how her father treats her. Did he raise her up to stand up for herself, for others, to be able to throw a punch? My dad did. I remember him driving me into town to my dance class one day and I shared with him how an older girl at middle school had been threatening to beat me up and he told me right there and then that if she threw the first punch, I had his permission to finish the fight no matter what the repercussions from the school were. It was good to know that he had my back when it came to bullies. This also reminds me of my friend Callie on our very first day of kindergarten. We had just met that morning and we were out on the playground for recess and a boy was picking on Callie about something so she took off her powder pink cowboy boot that had a silver plate on the tip and she smacked him over the head with it! I knew right then and there that we were gonna be good friends! You can bet that no one messed with Callie for the rest of her elementary days!
I guess some would say that you're just returning violence for violence, but what do we have going on these days? We have bullies hiding behind computer screens instead of confronting their victims in public. So they're even bigger cowards now! I think we need to teach our kids to deal with bullies out in the open! I know that if someone's getting bullied they should tell an authority, but what if it the bullying just gets worse? I guarantee if the victim says, "meet me behind the school and let's deal with this right here, right now!" that coward who uses words on social media would be high tailing it out of there or they'd be running to the principal. Yeah the one who was really getting bullied might get in trouble, but I really believe that 9 times out of 10 that they won't be bullied anymore. And yes, words can hurt. They can hurt more than any punch to the face could, but if we're raising our kids to follow God and to know what He says about them, then these words spoken by bullies won't sting quite so much. So I encourage you to teach them what God's Word says about them, teach them Jesus had rumors and lies spread about them but He still was able to complete the mission that He was sent to this world to complete. Pray over them! Pray that they'll be able to withstand all the lies that the enemy will speak about them and encourage them to believe that greater is the One who is inside of them then he who is living in the world. Don't just send them to Sunday School to learn about God, teach them yourself!
Also, you who have sons, it's up to you to teach them how to correctly treat girls. So take that responsibility seriously, because we're raising some pretty tough chicks over here at the Lostroh Household!
I'd love to hear your take on how to deal with bullies, how to raise tough kids and how to teach your kids to treat others right.
From the land of tough chicas,
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace