“So, what’s easier, raising girls or boys?”
That question always makes me chuckle. As a mother of five sons and three daughters, I can say with total confidence that females and males handle LIFE differently.
And as I go down this mental road, I easily recall the time when Rachel, our oldest daughter, was in high school.
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At that stage of her life, she was not being very nice to anyone, including me.
One fine evening my husband called her out on her behavior, telling her she was being a menace to our family and what the heck?
Rachel got this snarky look and spit out, “I am bleeding from my vagina.”
My husband paused, raised his hands, looked at me and said, “I got nothing,” and walked out of the room.
Yes, boys and girls are different.
They do just about everything differently. Girls, at least my girls, are Way More Emotional.
If someone hurts their feelings in any way, shape or form, there is a lot of residue. A Lot.
My boys? They forget about it in about two seconds. Not kidding.
It’s easy for me to want to step into my daughters’ emotional upheaval and say a sharp word or give them THAT look. On the flip side, it’s also painfully easy to not engage with them. After all, teenage emotions are hard for all to navigate, right? So surely it’s easier to just avoid.
But there is a better way.
I have found, through trial and error, that my daughters BECOME as I invest intentionally into them. (By the way, before you embark on this journey with me, I highly recommend our last blog/podcast: Your Child Deserves the Best Version of You, where we explored mommy self-care.)
Two summers ago I decided to invest in my then-13 year old daughters in an extremely specific way. I knew I had to do something because they were both rolling their eyes at me when they thought I wasn’t looking.
By the way, we don’t have twins, we adopted a daughter, who happened to be the same age as another daughter. Their names are Bridget and Malaysia and they are two peas in the same pod. They stick together, they are fiercely loyal to each other and that means that when they were rolling their eyes they were communicating the same thing: Mom is crazy.
I wanted to make them stop by going down the You Must Respect Me road but as I thought about it some more, I figured that they had an emotional need that was not being met.
That summer my daughters became my mission.
I wanted to be an influencer in their lives. My son Eric and I were starting to put together “The Parenting Dare” a porn-prevention course where we guide parents into deeper waters of engagement with their kids...and I knew my own daughters were not at the place of trust needed for those important conversations on love and lust and sexual temptations.
I took each one out separately, mostly to coffee shops. At first I didn’t have an agenda. I just enjoyed their company. Then as they started to look forward to our time together, I added some intentional conversation. It was all about them and their emerging personalities. Even as we engaged on topics like their changing bodies, we kept it fun and light.
Yes, I spent some money. Yes, I invested my time.
But guess what? By the end of the summer, they no longer rolled their eyes at me. They trusted me and felt safe to ask me all sorts of questions on just about every topic.
Isn’t that cool?
So in 2017 I turned that experience into a mini course for mothers, knowing that we are all walking each other home.
We called it “The Daughter Dare” and it was well-received. One time I was visiting St. Peter’s Parish, which is just down the road from where I live and a complete stranger approached me saying, “Lori, I wanted to thank you for doing the Daughter Dare. It has changed my relationship with my daughter.”
That compliment fed me for weeks.
We are now rolling out the second version of The Daughter Dare.
What is different? Well, first, the format.
Instead of dripping emails over a two-month period, we nestled the entire mini course in our site.
What that means to you: You just sign up and you are given instant access to the course.
What else is different? Oh my. I created THREE AGE CATEGORIES.
There are five videos per category, created for you, the mother.
Summary of Videos:
Age Category 10 and under:
Age Category 11-13:
Age Category 14-16:
I have found that the best way to relate with my daughters is through asking them questions.
The Four Levels of Happiness
This video will help your daughter makes sense of the world we live in.
Addressing Sending Nudes
This is one of my favorite videos we have ever put together. I introduce the difficult topic of sending nude photographs and then two of my most favorite people ever, two beautiful college girls, talk about their perspective.
Now, several mothers have asked me, “Is there a Son Dare?”
Here’s the truth. We created “The Parenting Dare” so parents, especially mothers, could feel comfortable talking to their children, especially their sons, about puberty and the challenges in our culture. Watch the trailer for The Parenting Dare.
While we created content for “The Parenting Dare” I knew that daughters just needed more because they are basically crazy during the teen years. That’s another reason why “The Daughter Dare” was born.
That being said, if you have a son, there are videos in The Daughter Dare that will be beneficial for him, especially as he goes into junior high and high school:
Age category 14-16, video one, two and five. Also watch the bonus video: Questions.
Yes, raising daughters can be intense. They are emotionally fragile and strong-willed at the same time. It’s like riding a roller coaster.
Yet. They need us. They need mothers that are regulated. They need mothers that will make the time to invest intentionally, guiding them to their best self.
This mini course is my heart.
Your best thank you: share The Daughter Dare with your cool mother friends.
P.S. Next week my beautiful, strong, amazing Rachel, the one that was nasty in high school, shares her personal conversion story. You won’t want to miss it.