Raising a daughter in today’s social-media-oriented, crazy world can be challenging! As our daughters grow up, we actually have some growing to do, too. What does it look like for us to really love our daughters well? How can we mature in an effort to remain an emotionally-safe place for our girls? How can we lead them well through the hormone-charged pre-teen and teen years?

Joining me to help tackle these questions is Kari Kampakis, an author, speaker, and podcaster from Birmingham, Alabama. She firmly believes that mothers can love well by improving the foundation, habits, and dynamics of their relationship with their children.

I do want to note that this conversation may be directed at moms of daughters, but if you are a dad, please listen in because these principles apply to either parent’s relationship with their daughter!

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How to prioritize connecting with your daughter over correcting her
  • The importance of finding your source of security and love outside of your relationship with your child
  • Why your actions during the pre-teen and teenage years will set the tone for your future relationship with your daughter
  • How to become your daughter’s emotional coach

This conversation was full of SO much practical advice and examples, and I am grateful to share it with you!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

My Key Takeaways:

1) When your daughter becomes more independent, it’s not rejection of who you are. This is so important! It can be a real challenge when the dynamic of your relationship with your daughter changes, but recognizing this is normal is a crucial part of staying steady rather than giving up. More than anything, it’s important that we simply keep pursuing them, no matter how many times we hear some version of “no” from them.

2) Know where your source of identity comes from. It’s natural during this time for your pre-teen or teen child to begin to pull away from their relationship with you. As parents, this can feel devastating if we have idolized our relationship with our child as our source of love and identity. The source of our identity and love should be found in Christ first, then in other relationships with our spouse or close adult friends, and then from your child. When we are secure in who we are and that we are loved as parents, we can respond maturely in a way that seeks connection with our child rather than reacting from a place of rejection.

3) Choose words and timing with connection in mind. This is a time of transition in our relationship with our children. They are becoming more independent and starting to think for themselves. Our goal as parents is no longer to solely correct their behavior, we also need to be mindful of staying connected to them. Instead of pointing out that we don’t like their choice of clothing, it may be better to bite our tongues. Let’s choose to pursue, invite, and seek connection with our pre-teen and teen children. There are still times of correction during this season, but we need to be careful that we are not sacrificing connection.

4) Shift from “fixer” to “guide.” Is it your natural instinct to swoop in and save the day? In this stage of life, our pre-teens and teens experience some intense emotions. Rather than try to fix the problem for them, we should be okay letting them express the negative emotions and guide them through navigating those hard emotions. One of the best ways we can do this is by setting a good example. You do that by making sure you are navigating your own emotions in a healthy way rather than jumping right into fixing the issue.

About Kari:

Kari Kampakis is an author, speaker, and podcaster. In 2013, Kari wrote a blog post that went viral titled 10 Truths Young Girls Should Know which led to her becoming an author and publishing a book by a similar name. Kari’s latest book was just released, More Than a Mom: How Prioritizing Your Wellness Helps You (and Your Family) Thrive. She lives in Alabama with her four daughters, her husband, Harry, and their dog, Lola. Learn more at https://www.karikampakis.com/ —




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