Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bringing Up Girls

Isabella recently joined the Girl Scouts Daisies and Sunday they had their annual father-daughter masquerade dance. James went to get a quick haircut while Isabella got dressed and returned with this sweet flower arrangement for his date.

When I saw him walk through the door with a big smile on his face, armed with the bouquet for Izzy, my heart about melted. We are lucky girls, us three. I think God blessed us with two girls because he knew James is everything a little girl needs in a dad.

My own relationship with my father is a bit strained.  Its had its ups and downs.  It was never an easy one to maintain.  James and I both come from broken families with a lot of emotional baggage, so we sometimes worry about what we may not be doing right, because we never had proper role models at home to model how to do it right. 

When I was pregnant with Paloma I found the book Bringing Up Girls, by Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family.  It was a hard read, only because I came to the sobering realization that bringing up girls to be Godly young women is an extremely difficult task in our world.  And that's not to say I live in fear of the world and think it all evil for our girls, but especially with technology infiltrating so much of our lives (and I love my technology, so I'm guilty too), it is hard to silence the noise all around them, all around me. 

It's something you can't ever slack on.  Isabella got an iPod Touch for Christmas (from my mother-in-law), and it's an an awesome educational tool, and distraction.  She can access YouTube and the Internet, quite innocently.  I personally don't like her watching the Disney Channel's afternoon programming.  The Disney Channel!  It just had too many shows in which the lead characters were tweens with attitude.  And let me tell you, the attitude catches like fire.  The sass in the girls' voices is immediately imitated in the interaction between her dolls when she's playing with them.  It's scary.  So now we stick to PBS Kids and Nick and Disney Jr.  Since I homeschool, it actually helps me supplement (or teach her) what we learn during the day.

I want my girls to be like this, or this.  Who wouldn't?  I don't know how to get them there, but I hope God is gracious enough to help us lead them in that direction, because it's nothing we can force or manipulate them to become.  I've seen parents try that tactic and it has had such disastrous effects on their children.  Whatever their trials are in life, I pray God helps us help equip them to face those challenges with strength and grace, knowing that whatever the outcome, they have a God and parents who will always love them, and that the security in knowing that guides them through a brave new world.