A prayer for fathers raising strong daughtersRaising strong kids is hard. Raising strong daughters is hard in our society. I think it may be even harder for fathers: we mothers want to raise girls who can take care of themselves, but fathers want to take care of their princesses.
Right now, my husband is on a walk with our self rescuing princess, getting Father's Day bread. At 14, she is a strong young woman who has already decided she will never *need* a man to take care of her, who can navigate around the south county on a bus alone, and works hard at any task she can to earn money for her chosen pursuits. She's even confident to spend an entire day traversing Comic Con without mom as a chaperone.
It hasn't always been easy, and in fact there were times in her younger years when I could see why some parents *wanted* to break their kids spirits and make them buckle down and obey. She has always climbed fearlessly... to the top of the fridge to get a banana as a toddler, to the top of our old metal aluminium swing set (which she would then walk across the top of like a tightrope) and any tree, without fear. She has always had her own sense of style, from the fairy wings and tiaras of her preschool years to the 80's metal band shirts of now.
At one point in the frustrating early years with my strong girl, one of the great wise women of our church said to me, "You are so blessed. You have a daughter who'll always made her own decisions and never let anyone convince her to do something she doesn't want to." Many, many times over the years, I clung to that. Today, I shared it with a father whose wonderful strong girls I had just watched, and I pray it was taken as encouragement!
So this is my prayer for all the fathers of strong girls:
May you have the patience to let your girl be strong even though it makes your life harder.May you have the strength to look anyone who calls your daughter "strong willed" in the eye and say, "Yes she is! Thank you!" May you have the wisdom to know that when she tells you she doesn't need a college degree because she's going to be a rock star, the proper response is not to step on her dreams, but to remind her that both Mick Jagger and Ray Manzarek studied economics.
May you have the hope that in the end, that raising a self rescuing princess is worth all the work.