1. Elizabeth says

    My own daughter just turned seven. She’s sandwiched in between four brothers so I feel like I have much to learn about raising a girl.
    So many good points in this article, though I think I might offer one distinction. The wording “givers” and “takers” always seems to imply that one is good and the other is bad. In fact, “givers” not motivated out of Godly love are in fact “takers” themselves. Girls who are looking to please others rather than God must not be taught to see themselves as victims of the “takers” …perhaps you would agree?!? I see it as a fear of man vs. fear of God issue. God’s working on this in me and we still have a long way to go.
    Always appreciate your thoughts, Elizabeth!

  2. says

    I don’t know. I think that sometimes girls (and maybe boys, too) can overextend and overgive when they think that God wants them to that. I’m thinking of moms who parent 24/7 without ever taking time for themselves thinking that they are serving the poor in their own homes. It’s not that they want to be loved by man so much as they misunderstand what God is asking…

  3. says

    As the mother of four adult daughters, this post is so true.
    Raising our daughters involves teaching them to discern when they need to give and when they need to realize that giving is not in their best interest.
    I think self-esteem is so important–but not the kind that is built on pleasing their peers. When I was going up, the sisters used to tell us to think of what Jesus, our mothers, the Blessed Virgin would think of our decisions and actions.
    Unfortunately, in todays world, children are too often told to look in the mirror and then they are told that they should do what makes them happy. Of course, they are too young to realize that they should be thinking of long-term happiness instead of living in-the-moment.
    It is only when we think of our true long-term happiness that our decisions (though they may make us unhappy right now) lead us through the thickets of life to our real happiness.

  4. says

    Oh, this was me as a older teen/young adult. Oh, my. Yes, how much I did for others that I should not have done for fear of embarrassment or hurting the feelings of others. I would never have thought of the connection but yes, it is true.

  5. says

    I totally get this. I was that girl, and did fall into the pit, so to speak, more than once. I am very mindful of the pitfalls as my husband and I raise our daughter. She is a good girl, but much less naive than I was. I am very thankful that my husband is very good at keeping the lines of communication open. He doesn’t shy away from difficult topics as I might be tempted to do! Very thought-provoking article. Thank you, Elizabeth.

  6. says

    This is such a true and thought-provoking sentiment. Although my own first (and only so far) daughter is merely 22 months old, I know these days are coming and my own youth is still fresh in my mind as well. I was that girl too, the nice one, the late bloomer (while all the other girls were already in “full-bloom” and getting much more attention) and the ready to please girl. I think my Dear Mama’s biggest mistake might have been the fact that she was just so busy with us three girls (carpooling to soccer, church and the many other places that we stayed busy) that she just didn’t really keep up with us and our friendships that well. It wasn’t until I had developed a bond with a girl and was asking to go hang out with her more and more that my mama eventually got to know the friend and then had a really hard time talking to me about the quality of the company you keep. I was also a pretty stubborn teen ;) But I hope that one day I will be able to balance conversation and prayer with my daughter so that she chooses her friends carefully and well (and recognizes when God brings them her way). This is something we never really outgrow as adults and in my personal experience, it is a much harder lesson to learn as a young adult.
    Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your always thoughtful and wise words! :)

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