As a mother raising a daughter, I’ve often felt a kinship with her similar to two magnets. In her early years, she laughed and played and enjoyed my company. That was back in the day when she truly believed I had all of the answers. We were so different, but like two magnets pulling together, we made a handsome pair.
By the age of 11, she was struggling to become her own person and for a while we became like the opposite ends of those magnets – one side always pushing away from the other.
Often, I have heard mothers say, “We just can’t seem to get along anymore.” And there are many good reasons for that, one of the largest being – she is becoming a woman! Long before her body gives you a hint, her mind and personality are developing independence and pride.
I was a strict parent with my daughter and I have never regretted it. Did we have some very large disagreements? Sure we did. But as the mother, I stood my ground. Even when my daughter didn’t want to hear it, I always explained the reasons for my decisions and I always told her how much I loved her.
Just as magnets attract, my little girl came back to me, but not in the form that she once was. Now we were shopping for prom gowns and talking about her future. It didn’t happen in a day, or even in a month, but as she grew and matured she understood my reasons and my rules. Lots of conversation and honesty were key for me and my daughter. Together we unlocked a precious vault of understanding where we didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but we did agree to disagree while maintaining respect for each other.
My daughter is a grown woman now with children of her own. We don’t play dolls or have tea parties anymore. Instead we have cook-outs and get-togethers where we sit back and watch the children play (her children/my grandchildren) but we are close and we are friends. She even asks me for my opinions… again.