Since it’s wedding season and the Royal Wedding left most of us yearning for our happily ever after, and wishing to be in Princess Meghan’s shoes, I felt it was important to write about how we help our daughters lead a life of royalty! Meghan Markle is fabulous, no doubt. But she’s not the only one who gets a fairy tale life.
As daughters of the Most High King, we are entitled to a crown. It is ours for the taking, but maybe you weren’t aware of this because of how you were raised. So, it can be hard to know how to pass on this inheritance when it’s your turn to raise a little girl.
If you or someone you know is raising a little princess, please read and share this post.
After reading Gary Chapman’s, The 5 Love Languages (Singles Edition), I have learned a lot about my primary love language and the ways in which I prefer most to be loved. For me, quality time is key to feeling loved by others. As a child, I was always affirmed. I knew I was smart and beautiful because my parents never failed to tell me I was. I was hugged and kissed often because being Hispanic doesn’t really allow you to be any other way! I was given gifts, taken on trips, and had birthday parties. A well-rounded childhood.
So how could a child like that still feel unloved? Well…for the most part, I knew I was loved, but I had a biological father whom was inconsistent in my life. Additionally, my brothers went to live with their father when we were young, and so I often felt alone. These were people I longed to spend time with, but opportunities seemed few. I have very fond memories of my childhood but I can’t deny the void that existed.
Every person has a primary love language—how he or she prefers to receive love. This isn’t something that happens when we’re ready to enter into romantic relationships. The need for expressions of love is innate. It’s important to know and speak all of the love languages (Click the link to learn more about Love Languages for Children), but what is your little girls primary love language? Learn it, speak it fluently, and watch her love tank overflow!
1. Spend Time with Her
Every once in a while, I ask my daughter, “How do you know mommy loves you?” One time, her response was, “Because you play with me. You take me to the park and let me go to the store with you.” All of these answers point to the love language of Quality Time. As a single mother of two, quality time can be difficult. As moms, in general, it can be tough to find the time. You’re probably working full time; maybe even more than one job. You have several commitments, and try to maintain a social life.
When you get home, you’re just exhausted, and then your daughter asks you to play with her. Everything inside of you wants to say, “Maybe later.” But remember, she longs for special moments with you. Yes, she is imaginative and could probably entertain herself while you lay on the couch for a few minutes. But she’s asking you to show your love for her. Play with her. Pray with her. Read her bedtime stories. Rub her back until she falls asleep. Let her tell you all about that show that you know nothing about. There are many things we need to sacrifice as parents, but sacrificing opportunities to fill her love tank, shouldn’t be one of them. So spend time with her.
2. Give Her Gifts
Another time, my daughter answered the aforementioned question by saying, “You buy me stuff.” This one is tricky. Many parents want to be able to give their children the world. This goes wrong when too much is handed out on a silver platter and an attitude of entitlement begins to surface. But there is a way to balance how gifts are given and teaching what it means to be grateful. Whether it’s because you are buying her a toy at the store or giving her a special seashell you found at the beach. You might find that your daughter begins to develop a spirit of giving to others and sharing just as you have showered her with that kind of love. So give her gifts.
3. Hug Her
Maybe you didn’t grow up in home of huggers. For some, physical touch can have negative emotions attached to it. So it is important that we are careful with physical touch. But from the start of their lives, babies need to be held. They need that skin to skin contact to feel bonded to their mothers. And as long as there hasn’t been any negative experiences with physical touch, that need doesn’t go away. I know how tiring, and even annoying, it can be when your daughter wants to be literally attached to your hip. The moment you sit down, she’s on your lap. She lays her head on you when you’re watching tv together. She wants to hold your hand in the store. But she longs to be close to you. Physically close to you. So hug her.
4. Help Her
I know you thought you’d never have to remember your times tables or what “y = mx + b” means. So I am sorry to break it to you, but your daughter is going to have homework, and she might need your help. Do homework with her. Teach her how to tie her shoes. Brush her hair. Teach her the family recipes. Give her a ride to the mall. There may be days that it seems she doesn’t appreciate what you have to offer. But one day, when she is living on her own, she will thank you for all that you did for her and all you taught her. She will be a better wife, mother, and/or person for it. So help her.
5. Tell Her You Love Her
Because the world has a way of making us feel small and insignificant, it is so important that we speak life into our daughters. Tell her how beautiful she is. Tell her how smart she is. Tell her how creative and fun she is. Tell her how proud you are of her. Point out her strengths and talents! Influence of social media and tv is so strong and can be so negative. It’s heartbreaking how easily we can lose ourselves in all of the noise. So tell her you love her.
6. Stare at Her While She Sleeps
Just kidding. No, but really. Admire her. Look at her and take in all that is. In those peaceful moments, when she’s not giving you attitude or going through your make up or sneaking out of the house. Look at her and remember how incredibly blessed you are to have her, no matter what. Let her be your motivation to be better everyday.
7. Pray for Her
God’s promises are for your children, too. Claim all that God has for her! Pray for her future husband and children. Pray for her future career and home. Pray for her purity and her faith! Parenting is difficult; we all make mistakes—big and small. But just like any other goal in our life, we must work at it. Our children’s futures must be a priority. When you don’t have the strength to play with her, pray for it. When you don’t have the knowledge to help her, pray for it. When you don’t feel the joy to hug her or tell her you love her, pray for it. There may come a day where she will go off on her own, and it might be all you can do. So pray for her.
Raising a princess doesn’t mean raising a snobby, entitled child. When I say princess, I mean raising a girl to know and love herself, to know her worth, to dream big, to go after her “happily ever after,” to live faithfully and fearlessly. How do you raise a child like this? Well…when she is loved, it will shine through her. And that light is her crown. So love her, deeply, intentionally, and unconditionally.