By Brenda Yoder

I often share my testimony with women about my almost-near disastrous relationship with my only daughter. Five years ago I made hard decisions to change my lifestyle and behavior so I could salvage our relationship when she was a teen. She’s a recent college graduate whose heart and desire is for the Lord. God has worked His grace and power in our home and family.

I’ve shared a lot of things with moms of girls over the years – young moms exasperated with small kids, moms raising preteens fearful of the path their daughter might take, and moms in the trenches with teen girls. Here are twenty things I often share that I’m glad I did in raising a girl, and twenty things I would do over.

20 Things I’d Do Again

  1. Be a stay at home mom to watch her grow
  2. Have tea parties
  3. Play dress ups
  4. Read books to her
  5. Take her to parks
  6. Sing to her
  7. Have play dates
  8. Lay beside her bed and pray for her when she’s sleeping
  9. Take her to museums
  10. Take her on a road trip
  11. Be honest about my life when she asked hard questions
  12. Have her dad intervene when she wouldn’t listen to me
  13. Have her dad date her when other girls had boyfriends
  14. Tell her dad what girls need to hear
  15. Write her notes when she wouldn’t listen to me
  16. Make time for her even when exhausted
  17. Talk to her about sex at age-appropriate levels
  18. Stay up late when she wanted to talk
  19. Stand firmly even when it hurt
  20. Hold her loosely

20 Things I Would Do Over

  1. Trusted God earlier
  2. Trusted God more often
  3. Walked away more
  4. Let her and her brothers work things out more often
  5. Given her space when she demanded it
  6. Realized some things are just that way, and it’s okay
  7. Bit my tongue more
  8. Realized earlier in her life that she’s not me
  9. listened more
  10. lectured less
  11. prayed more
  12. Practiced more patience
  13. Told her I was proud of her
  14. Given up my rights to have the last word
  15. Appreciated her more
  16. Encouraged her more
  17. Shown her unconditional respect
  18. Given more grace
  19. Hugged her more
  20. Held her just one more time

We all have things we wish we could do over. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ makes do overs possible no matter what stage of parenting we’re in. His power also provides wisdom for things we happen to get right.

Somewhere between tea parties and tiaras, little girls grow up. What are things you’ve learned in raising girls, no matter their age? What are things you’re glad that you’ve done? What would you do over in raising girls?

Broken and Beautiful: Brenda has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a BA in Education. As a Parent, Counselor and Educator her ministry is helping moms and daughters navigate the tough stuff of life. Have a question for Brenda? Email her at [email protected]



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