Raising a daughter in a world that is constantly tearing her down is tough.  As mothers, we must build and affirm our girls to meet head-on the challenges they will face daily.

Angel here and today is Charlotte's sixth birthday.  I remember growing up with a single momma and her taking advantage of every opportunity she had to teach me about life.

My momma didn't grow up with parents that empowered her so she was determined that I would have a strong foundation under my feet.  She was constantly affirming who I was and all that I could be.  My mother had a significant influence on the woman I am today in many ways which is why I am in turn doing the same thing for my girl.

TEACH HER THAT BEAUTY IS NOT SKIN DEEP

I would be lying if I didn't say my mother told me I was beautiful daily.  She did.  So much so I believed it and would tell myself even as a little bitty girl.  I do the very same for Charlotte.  We look in the mirror and I'll say "do you know you are the most beautiful?" she always smiles and says "yes momma" then I ask her this "do you know what is most beautiful about you?" to which she points and says "my heart because Jesus lives there."  I learned early on anyone can be made to look beautiful but the most gorgeous women in the world radiate love and kindness to others.

MAKE SURE SHE IS KIND AND ALL-INCLUSIVE WITH OTHERS

Of course, we all want our children to be nice.  One of the most important things momma ever taught me was "Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle, make them feel special when they are with you."  That has stuck with me through all my years.  When Charlotte started school we sat her down and told her to be kind to everyone and each day find someone new to play with.  She listened!  We were even told she sought out kids playing alone and made them feel welcome.  Every child wants to feel included even if they don't show it.

TEACH THEM HOW TO SPEAK UP FOR THEMSELVES

Yes I know I just told you all to tell your girls to be nice.  However, the world will also take advantage of those who are not able to handle themselves.  I remember it well, when I was about nine years old we went into an ice cream shop in Toledo, Ohio.  The lady behind the counter was extremely rude to me.  When I got in the car I asked my mom why she wasn't nice.  My mom explained she might have been having a bad day but it was never ok for someone to treat you ugly because of it.  I went back in with my mother's permission and told the lady "I was sorry she was having a bad day but didn't think the way she treated me was very nice."  She was shocked and also apologetic.  I said it in a nice way and it made her realize what she had done.  From that day on I was never afraid to take up for myself.  Charlotte has zero problems telling someone when she doesn't agree with or isn't ok with how they have treated or talked to her.  She is kind and direct and makes no bones about it.  This is because we have used teachable moments to help her express herself when needed.

ENCOURAGE DIFFERENCES AND INDIVIDUALISM

My mother exposed me to so many different people and cultures I was always eager to learn and know more.  She always told me the choices of others don't reflect who I am as a person and the world needs a variety of people and that I should respect that.  She encouraged me to be different and own exactly who I was.   Little girls of today have so much more to deal with because of social media.  They are constantly seeing images of what they think the world loves.  The world is fickle and changes constantly.  Please impress upon your daughters to grab hold of the girl they see in the mirror and love the crap out of her.  It starts there.

LET THEM BE SASSY

DO NOT TAKE THAT AWAY!  If you are raising a daughter that has a whole lot of sass please do not discourage it.  It will serve her well in life for a variety of reasons.  Let her discover who she is in every situation that comes her way.  Teach her respect but tell her to take no crap.

TELL HER THAT HER WORTH DOES NOT COME
FROM A MAN, MONEY OR THE OPINION OF OTHERS

This is gonna taste horrible coming out but for many years I found my worth in the opinions of men.  It took me years to realize the only opinion that mattered was that of the Lord.  I know there are some of you who may not be believers as you read this.  I would be ignorant to think otherwise, however, this is who I am and how I am raising my own daughter.  Learning there was someone who loved me enough to die for me even when I didn't deserve it changed my entire outlook.  Knowing how loved I was for no reason but because I was me amazed me.  Now I am gifting this to my own little girl.

Ephesians 2:4-10 Judge your worth and value by what God says about you in His Word, not by how someone else treats you.

I know that this isn't a fool-proof way of keeping my daughter from hurt or heartbreak but I am essentially preparing her for different stops on her way.  Yes, she'll still have her heart broken by a stupid boy, but she'll also know she is loved.  Will she encounter mean girls in middle school or sooner, ABSOLUTELY, but you better believe her daddy and I will be right there to encourage and guide her.  I still went through the motions growing up but looking back I realize so much of it was easier because momma took the time to help pave my way.

Today my beautiful Charlotte will celebrate another year on this earth. I thank God daily for loaning me this beautiful gift of giggles and love in one tiny package.   I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to help guide her through life by the very same principles my own momma shared with me.

As always thank you for letting me share my life with you all.  Help me wish my girl a Happy Birthday~

Celebrating Angel's Daughter Charlotte Turning 6

Sharing photos of Charlotte on her birthday

CHARLOTTE CELEBRATING NATIONAL BOW DAY

TRISTATE MOMS CELEBRATE NATIONAL BOW DAY

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