As my daughter continues to grow older (she’s five now) I have noticed our relationship rising and falling already. She is way beyond her age (which is scary and hard), she is stubborn, a little selfish, and to be honest can sometimes be pretty-bratty. She’s also so sweet, funny, helpful (when she really wants to be), and super thoughtful.
I worry so much about whether or not we’ll have a close relationship the rest of our lives. I would be naïve if I said I know we’ll always be close. The teenage years will be here before I know it and I KNOW things won’t be easy then, but I hope and pray that our foundation will already be established and strong enough to withstand our challenges and even though we will drive each other crazy at times, we will still have a good relationship.
The only way this can happen is if we start building that strong foundation NOW! She needs to know that she can trust me, that I’ll always be here for her and that she can come to me with anything. She needs to feel safe and secure with our relationship. She needs to know that she is loved and will always be loved no matter what.
I have noticed that as my children grow older my love for them continues to grow, but it’s growing differently than how it was when they were babies.
Having ages 8, 5, and 18-month aged children at home has really made me come to this realization. To be honest I don’t really like it. I have noticed my love for each one of them is different and how I am on a different level with each of them. That sounds terrible to say and I don’t mean it the way it sounds…it’s hard to explain.
This is a strange and new experience for me having a wide range of ages in my home, so I am not used to feeling all the emotions that comes with parenting at this point.
When my children were babies my love for them was indescribable. They needed me all day, every day. I would wait on them hand and foot, and I loved every minute of it. I absolutely adored my babies and wanted to breathe them in every second I could.
Now, that love is still there as they get older, but it’s changing. They don’t need me as much anymore, they are becoming more independent. They aren’t wanting and needing me all day anymore. They are becoming their own, individual selves and I can literally feel my love changing. It’s hard for me to describe, but what’s really the struggle is letting it happen.
Love evolves. It’s no different than when you first start falling in love with someone. For example, my husband and I were so infatuated with each other at the beginning, we never wanted to be apart. We were so in love that I never thought it was possible to love him any more than that, but I do.
Our love has changed over these past 10 years of being together. The infatuation has faded quite a bit, but the love is stronger than ever before. It’s grown firmly into admiration of our history together as a couple. We’ve experienced and endured so much that it’s made our love for one another become more solid and real.
That’s how I feel with my daughter. Over the years our love has developed a history, it has bonded us in ways that can never be erased. Our love is maturing and changing into a real relationship with memories that are intact. The cute puppy love (the baby love) is fading out and the real relationship love is fading in.
I don’t like change. It’s hard for me. I have a hard time adapting and letting go. This is the time where I can either make or break my relationship with my daughter. I know without a doubt that I don’t want to break it. So, I’m going to do all that I can to continue to build a strong, loving relationship.
Some days are harder than others. We butt heads a lot. She can be quite difficult, and it’s either her way or no way, but as the days keep moving forward I am realizing more and more that my control over her is dwindling quickly. She is becoming an individual now, someone who needs to make her own choices and learn from her own mistakes. She needs to fall in order to fly.
It’s so hard to loosen that rope though and let her make her own decisions. I feel the more I loosen that rope the more she won’t need or want me, and I’ll lose her forever.
So, I’ve made it a priority to build and strengthen my relationship with my daughter; to rediscover our evolving love for each other and make it stronger than ever!
HOW TO BUILD A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR DAUGHTER
- Spend quality one on one time with her daily (if possible.) If it’s not possible to have the one on one time because of other littles at home, then spend time with all of them. Just spend time together. It doesn’t have to be long, 20 minutes is plenty, but this is something she’ll remember forever.
- Go on dates with her at least once a month, if possible. I know, this can be financially difficult, or schedules can make this difficult as well, but if you take her out on dates when you can this will bring you closer together by making memories with just the two of you. Plus, it’ll make her feel super special and will be something she’ll never forget.
- Snuggle as long as she’ll let you! My favorite time of the day is when we snuggle in bed together, or on the couch. She’s a snuggle bug too and I love it!
- Be there for her ALL THE TIME! If you are busy doing something and she approaches you to talk to you about something, stop everything you’re doing look her right in the eyes and listen to her. Show her she’s number one and nothing is more important than her.
- When she comes to you with a mistake she made, don’t get angry. Talk it out. It’s ok to show your disappointment and to let her know that, but don’t be angry.
- Praise her for all the things she tries at. Show her that trying is all that matters, no matter what the outcome is.
- Be there for her day and night and make sure she knows it!
- Talk to her! Ask her tons of questions about her interests, school, her likes, her dislikes, ask if she has any questions about life that she doesn’t understand. Have an open relationship that she feels she can come to you with anything.
- Learn about her interests so you can understand her more and bond over her them. Better yet, have her teach you about her interests.
- Love her hard, especially on the bad days. Point it out to her, help her realize that even if she’s crabby you still love her so much!
- Write her notes in her books, lunch, or backpack when she’s old enough to read.
- Make her feel special and unique.
- Make her feel that your family will fall apart without her. Show her that her life has meaning, and she has a special role in it.
- Teach her how to be a lady and to always be kind and respectful to others.
- Don’t force it. Let your relationship build naturally and have fun!
Change is tough, but you never know what may come from it. It’s never too late to start building a stronger relationship with your daughter.
If you have any ideas on how to build a stronger relationship, please comment. I’d love to hear them.
If you’d like to read a very similar post on how to build a strong relationship with your son go HERE