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    Where Did You Hear That From? & Other Questions I Ask Myself As A Mom

    Here's what to do when your kid says something out of the BLUE.

    Have you ever had a conversation with your daughter that just did a full 180 from what you expected?

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    You thought it would go one way and then you got in there and it went totally opposite? For me, this usually looks like this: My daughter said something to me that either:

    1) Completely threw me off guard, leaving me no choice but to have to flounder for an answer

    2) Shocked me because I thought it was something she was entirely too young to know about, much less have questions about

    3) Totally went against my moral or spiritual values, leaving me wondering how she came up with the question in the first place!

    Inevitably, after our daughters have come up with the most out-of-pocket question they could have possibly thought of, we say..... Where did you even hear that from?

    If you’re anything like me, I know sometimes you wish you could just filter her entire life. You know…protect her at all costs no matter what it requires of you.

    Fight off bullies? Check.

    Make sure she never learns a single cuss word? Check.

    Go to war to ensure she gets an invite to all the birthday parties? Double check.

    giphy.com / Via giphy.com

    But the fact of the matter is, those are totally unrealistic and unfair expectations to put on yourself and to put on your daughter. While the underlying feeling of this parental desire is simply protection, it turns into much more and becomes difficult to create a healthy and lasting relationship with your daughter and the people she comes in contact with.

    So, what do we do instead? By following these easy steps, you can ensure that you’re protecting your daughter while still allowing her the freedom to make choices and decisions for herself.

    Protect -vs- Control

    Naturally, we moms want to protect our children from the "outside elements" of this world; what they see, do and talk about when they're not with us. Unfortunately, this normal desire to protect can turn into unhealthy control if we're not careful. There is a thin line between loving protection and overbearing control with several underlying factors that contribute toward our decision making. Our daughters’ maturity level, if she's proven to be responsible or not based on past experiences, and many other things can affect how we choose to protect and control our children, but considering these things first before we choose to act can be extremely helpful in the long run

    Anchor in Values

    Aside from drawing the line between protecting and controlling, I believe there is one specific way we can protect our daughters at all times, no matter what they're exposed to. In order to do this, we can establish a foundation of values that will anchor them when they begin to experience new behaviors or new ideals and concepts for the first time. Values are our internal compass that keep us on course and when we get off course, our values will help us course-correct. This is no different for our daughters.

    Values in Action

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    A few weeks ago my daughter came home from school and shared some new information that goes against our family values. Upon her stating what she had heard, I asked, "Where did you hear that from?" and she shared her friend's name with me. After she let me know who had shared the information with her, the first thing I said was, "Thank you for sharing that with me" because I want her to know that she can come to me with anything. The second thing I said was, "Remember how everyone is made differently? Well, people think differently and believe in different things too" because I want her to grow up respecting differences and appreciating the beauty in uniqueness. Lastly, I reminded her of our personal family values, confirmed that we do not agree with the new information and provided some examples why. Ten seconds later, we moved on to the next topic of interest and all was well.

    Reflection

    What are your moral and/or spiritual values? If you asked your daughter right now what she believed her family values are, would she effortlessly be able to share them back to you? I know this may seem like a daunting task, but the more you express your values and repeat them, the more they will become anchored into who your daughter is as a child, and later, who your child will become as an adult. As your daughter matures, she will adopt her own values, but the core values that you taught will always remain etched in her heart.

    Happy anchoring Mama.

    With Love, Antonia