My Daughter Said What?!

*The following is a Guest Post from Silly Socks ‘N Things*

As some of you may or may not know, I have been raising my 12 (soon to be 13) year old stepdaughter since she was 8 years old. I knew she was in a very fragile emotional place when she came to live with her dad and I. So I made sure not to push her into anything. I must have repeated myself a thousand times when I told her that I wasn’t placed in her life to replace her mother. Her mother will always be her mother no matter what the circumstances are.

I know I did right with that and I feel that’s one of the reasons why her and I are very close. She feels comfortable talking to me about anything. She knows I’m always going to give her the truth and not sugar coat anything or give her a scary answer like: once you have sex your body will deform and your mood will worsen forever (don’t ask).

My Daughter Said What?!

She really is a great sweet kid with big dreams and determination. But. She’s 12 and when you’re 12 you make mistakes, like we all do. I try my best, as the positive female/mother figure in her life, to use those mistakes of hers into a good learning lesson. I’ll admit that I don’t always get it right. I’ll lose my cool, then apologize followed by the “lesson learned” conversation. Kinda like a Full House episode!

So what happens when you catch your child doing the very same thing you used to do as a kid? Well, I am the last person to give parenting advice. But what I can give you is my parenting experiences. Very recently, I caught a conversation between my daughter and her soccer teammates on a voicemail when she butt-dailed me from her coach’s cell phone. She had just called me, five minutes before, to tell me her game was done. Since it was on my way home from work, I picked her up instead of her dad. It was a good thing she called me because I honestly don’t know how my husband would have handled the situation.

Let’s just say the voicemail I heard was…. colorful. I had to hear it a couple times because there was just no way one of those little voices was my sweet girl. No way. Honestly? I wasn’t even 100% sure it was her with the colorful language. So I called back the number to talk to her. I didn’t ask if it was her. I just told her about the conversation I heard and we’re going to have a long talk about it. When I picked her up, she got in the car and was on the verge of tears. She was so sorry for letting me down. Oh my gosh!! It was her! What do I do? What do I say? I’m not perfect! I had a foul mouth when I was 14 years old and sometimes I curse now, as an adult. Does this mean it’s ok for her to talk like that? Am I a hypocrite for not wanting this child to have such a foul mouth when her parents are not around?

I was quiet as I was processing all of these thoughts. I let her apologize and tell me how she’s never ever going to do it again. I knew she was afraid I was going to lose my cool. But I didn’t. What I did was tell her that I love her. That I’m so proud of her for how far she’s come since the 3rd grade, when she came to live with us. I thanked her for all the help she’s given me around the home and the help she’s promised to give when this baby comes. One of her biggest fears is disappointing her dad and I, especially her dad, and I did tell her that I was disappointed. I understand that she’s trying to figure out who she really is but I refuse to believe the person I heard on that voice mail is who she really is. I know that she has heard me curse and those aren’t my proudest moments. I want her to be a better version of her parents. The person I heard doesn’t match up with the person I see at home every day. The person that is on the student council, in sports, dreams of going to a university, helps people, loves to read and watchromantic comedies, loves Jesus and desires a deeper relationship with Him. Was that really her talking? Or is that the kind of friends she’s keeping?

I said all of this and I can only hope that it resonated with her. The ironic part of all this? I was just talking to her, a few days before this incident, about how I want to get some frames up on our walls of Scriptures that have to do with being careful how we talk to each other. Something to remind us to stop and think about what we’re going to say and how we’re going to say it before it actually comes out of our mouths. Isn’t that crazy?

My daughter is the oldest and the only girl. So all these experiences I’m going through with her are a first. Maybe you handled a situation like this differently and I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Parenting,

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Southern Carolina Family