It’s Monday. A great day to meet a mom who’s been there and done and wants to share want she’s learned. Carol is my sweet friend from Bible Study and book club. If she could meet you, she’d welcome you with a warm hug and a big smile. Carol has pointed Junior and Senior high girls toward Jesus for over 30 years. She’s the only woman I know over the age of 40 who still stays up all night at lock-ins! She’s been married for 34 years. When God nudged, Carol gave up a successful business career to stay home and raise her kids. Her kids, Nathan(23) and Maryel (21), are still her first ministry.
Carol lives in my town so I was able to meet with her and have a relaxing 2-hour chat about raising kids. I wish you could have been there with me, but you can still grab you tea and soak up some inspiration.
On the Father/daughter relationship: Once Carol and I finished catching up on personal family issues, the first issue Carol wanted to address was the father/daughter relationship. As a confidant for dozens of young girls over the years, Carol can spot, within 30 minutes, the ones that are ignored by their dad. Usually the ones who dress for attention, are head over heels for boys, and catty–those are the ones. Carol encourages families to sent aside money in the budget for dad to spend one one one time with their girl(s). Carol’s husband took Maryel out once a week (once a month would work too). The tradition worked well and even as a college student Maryel calls her dad daily. Maryel never felt the need to date around or dress immodestly and Carol believes such fortitude comes from a strong relationship with her father, “We are created to be loved by a male and if they (girls) don’t get it from a dad, they will find it somewhere else.”
On ways to connect to your girl : Carol wants you to etch out time to regularly do something fun with your daughter, “Find something your kids like, even if you don’t like it.” Carol and Maryel used to watch Gilmore Girls together every week. It was a great show, because it was cool to have a mom who watched such a popular show. Carol used the show to connect with Maryel and to teach. The mom in the show made bad decisions that Carol and Maryel could talk about and when the show’s daughter Rory gave up her virginity in college, they mourned together.
Carol also took days off each year to do special things with her kids, one on one. Her son, he liked to ride in the car and talk. So Carol and Nathan would spend hours in the car, just driving. Carol would find fun, inexpensive ways to make Maryel feel special. Maryel still speaks fondly of one day when she and her mom spent the day thrift store shopping for clothes for her favorite bear.
On handling stressful situations: When household dynamics headed toward anger and yelling, Carol taught her kids at a young age to take a break. She would separate the siblings or even herself, telling them they needed a break. Carol emphasized stopping situations when kindness had vanished. Separation helped change perceptions and decrease the tension levels. Teaching this skill when the kids were young really helped.
Thank you so much for sharing Carol. It fills the cups of the younger moms who long for a mentor. Next week I will share Carol’s thoughts on keeping your family from being too busy and developing spiritual disciplines in your kids! I know you already can’t wait for next Monday.