Mommy-Daughter Dating

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Do you like your kids? I mean, do you think that they’re really fun people to hang out with? Are you in love with them?

Of course you LOVE your kid. There are some creepy, horrible mothers out there who do not love their children. Flip on the news and you will see sad stories that prove this to be true. I wish it wasn’t so. I doubt any of you who spend time to read this here mommy blog are creepy, horrible mothers. You’re probably like me: you love your kids to death, but you sure as heck get annoyed with them from time to time. There are moments where you don’t necessarily “like” the way they are acting. It’d be easier if they were at school, or being babysat, or sleeping, right?

Fess up! You know you’ve been there (unless you’re the perfect mom from yesterday’s post). My Mom and I have a special story of when we really bonded as friends. As gals.

I was a really difficult child. I know that is hard to believe, but it’s true. I was a turd, but partly because I had two older brothers that were always torturing and teasing me. I screamed a lot, got in trouble a lot, and had a really smart mouth on me. Not a good combination in a kid, right?

My Mom was pregnant with my youngest brother and rather than leaving me at home to fight with the older dudes she took me along to her doctor’s appointment. It was the crucial appointment where she found out the sex of the baby.

I was eight years old and it was the perfect day. We drove for 45 minutes and she listened to me. I don’t remember the conversation–what we talked about didn’t matter. I just remember she took so much interest in what I was saying that I felt like the most important person in the world.

The big disappointment of the day was finding out that I’d be having a baby brother instead of a baby sister. I remember my mom laughed at my face when the doctor announced it was indeed a boy inside my mama’s belly.
She made it up to me by taking me to get a big hamburger and then frozen yogurt afterwards. Those were the days when I did weird things like put gum-balls in my ice-cream, but nonetheless it tasted delicious and extra special because Mom gave me full liberty to get whatever I wanted.
We sat across from each other and talked like friends. I was blissfully happy. Maybe my mom was proud of me while I sat there trying to chew gum-balls and swallow frozen yogurt simultaneously. I got to be the bright, shining kid instead of the whining, screaming nuisance. Maybe she got a glimpse of the fabulous person I was to become…Ok, enough with my creative liberty.
The point of all that is, what started out as a convenient way to keep me out of trouble turned out to be the most wonderful mommy-daughter date. I was cool to hang out with. It wasn’t a burden or difficult to spend that time with me. She wanted to be with me.

That day for my mom and I was breaking point in our relationship. It gave me a clean slate and I used it to its full advantage. No joke, from that date on, I became the easy kid. Because it was so earth shattering a realization for my mom and I, I wanna share some of the tips that made our day so special.

What makes up a great date with anyone is: going somewhere special and listening to each other share your heart.

At home, we don’t listen to our kids that much. Sure, we hear them–the constant stream of questions, whining, and just NOISE sort of gets in the way of what they’re really saying. Kids can say stuff that will blow your mind. But you have to listen to hear it.

1.) Take your daughter somewhere special. A date should be an escape from reality with the one you love. An escape that allows you to connect and grow closer together. Mark it as special and have the two of you dress up. Trust me, its more fun this way.
2.) Whether its at dinner or over an ice-cream with gum-balls, listen to her! Ask her questions about what she likes to do and who she wants to be when she grows up. What her favorite thing about Christmas is. Filipa over at Pepper & Buttons has this beautiful list of things to ask your children.

 

Have those conversations!

3.) Show her off! Be affectionate, smile a bunch, expect that others are watching her with the kind of wonder and excitement that has captured you! You’ll fall in love all over again as you show off that beautiful little girl.
4.) Most importantly: Have FUN with your daughter. Goof off with her. Be silly–try on hats and sparkly shoes, have a dance party in the dressing room. If at all possible, try not to have to say “no” to her. Put disciplining on hold.
No, don’t spoil her rotten or throw out all rules, but try to emphasize the special nature of your time together and how important it is to be on your best behavior on a date. I mean, that’s certainly true of real dates, right? We all stay on our best behavior when we want to romance the other person and wow them with our best qualitites. This isn’t lost on our children. In my experience, both as a child and as a mom, the joy of having mom’s full, undivided attention usually produces the most perfect version of your child. Its a win win, folks.

5.) Build her up! We know as women what a difficult, emotional, and sometimes heartbreaking journey it is to transform from a little girl to a woman. We’re bombarded from every angle about our self-esteem, our worth, and especially our image. Dates with your daughter can combat all the crap that our culture wants to throw at her. By asking her questions, listening to her, encouraging her, showing her off, and treating her with affection you will build that self-esteem and encourage the good qualities to shine through.

If you want some extra reading material on how to raise a confident daughter head over to Momma Made It Look Easy and read her post on 6 Tips for Raising Strong Daughters .

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27 thoughts on “Mommy-Daughter Dating

  1. best mommy daughter dates

    […] while ago, I talked about how my Mom took me on a really awesome date as a kid, and it transformed me from being a she-devil to a proper member of society. The simple act of […]

    Reply
  2. Megan

    This is SPOT ON!

    When I was younger I would have loved and done anything for my mom to have taken this kind of time with me. I even specifically asked for such as a teenager and got nothing.

    Now at 27 we don’t have any relationship. I haven’t spoken to her in almost 2.5yrs.

    I have my own daughter now and I won’t make the same mistakes. Thank you for sharing this. Its so important!

    People get so caught up in the motions of life that they forget the little things.

    Reply
    1. hillary

      I’m glad it spoke to you! I hope your relationship with your daughter is a new start and you build your own traditions! Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply
  3. hilljean

    Really great advice for all of us – and your sharing that lovely memory helps us know how long-lasting and special those kinds of days can be.

    Reply
  4. hilljean

    This is a very sweet post. I don’t have a daughter but 2 sons (3 years old and 3 months old). This is a good reminder that i should spend more quality time with them, not just try and entertain them all day til the point of exhaustion, put them to bed so I can have some alone time. ???? Maybe I’ll take my 3 year old on a “date”. I’ll record it and send you pics.

    Reply
  5. 20 Daddy Daughter Dates | Because my life is fascinatingBecause my life is fascinating

    […] home radiant with his attention. Quality time is so. so. important for both parents and children. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: one on one time with your kids will benefit both parties and make […]

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  6. hilljean

    Yep, I was pretty awful back in the day. Hard to believe, I know.

    Reply
  7. hilljean

    I LOVE this post! Thanks so much for sharing it at Happy Hour Projects – featuring it on FB today!

    Reply
  8. Kathryn

    loved reading this, In the past I have been on many of these dates with my SweetPea, but the tradition had fallen by the wayside. Planning to get it back going strong.

    I wanted to also mention the importance of “Daddy Dates” as well. Our angels are taught how to be treated by the men in their life as well. My daddy took our family on dates out to nice places so we would learn all you pointed out. When mamma worked long hours he took me (and sometimes a friend or 2) out on Friday nights. I have to work at it for my husband to pull away from work but even he is changed when he returns from a night out with his Sweet Pea!

    Reply
    1. hillary

      I’m definitely going to be working on a daddy-daughter date post next!

      Reply
  9. hilljean

    Ooh congrats on the baking daughter ???? I need to take my little dude on a date too. That’s coming soon!

    Reply
  10. Annette

    I came across this post on Pinterest and just had to leave a note (it’s a little long…sorry!) to let you know how much it touched my heart. I’m 46 and have an 18 year old son (he’s a senior this year). My Mom who’s going to be 85 next month always took time to listen to me and take me special places and made me feel important (she still does!)….in short, she taught me how to be a good mom someday. I always tried really hard to relate to my son and take time to play with him, building tents, listening to his dreams and hopes for the future (he was going to build a high-rise apartment next to our old house and marry someone that could make really good cherry pies…my favorite ???? The other day he had to do an essay for school and needed to interview someone about an important life changing event. He interviewed me and I talked about how having him had changed my life and how important every moment with him has been and how proud I am of the smart, funny and caring young man he’s become. I said I wasn’t sure if it was due to good parenting skills or just that he was a naturally great kid with good morals ???? He then said to me “It was good parenting skills, and I hope to be the kind of parent to my kids that you’ve been to me.” He told me that he loved me and always appreciated the time I’ve spent with him. It really DOES matter how much you listen to your kids and spend time just making them feel special and enjoying their company. They really grow up so fast! My son still shares pretty much everything with me…I know his friends and they know me and I’m still trying to be a good “fun” mom while offering important advice when necessary ???? Kids aren’t little forever, taking time with them when they’re small really encourages them to trust you and listen to you when they’re older.

    Reply
  11. hilljean

    Wonderful way to spend the day and really get to know each other. I cannot imagine being the only girl in a house full of boys. Kudos to you growing up. Enjoy your time with your daughter. I have 6 boys and no girls in sight. My baby having days are over. I do try to make each boy special though. New follower here from the Friday Blog Hop.
    http://lovejoyjunction.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  12. Stacy Anderson

    Isn’t the point of the date to talk to your daughter about her own life? All the questions were so the mom could talk about herself. I think that misses the point of having a date with your child.

    Reply
  13. hilljean

    Thank you. Yes, that’s a special memory that always stuck for both of us ????

    Reply
  14. Jennifer

    Thanks so much for including a link back to my post. I’m not sure how I’m just now noticing.

    Reply
    1. hillary

      Girl, SO many people repin your post all the time!! I loved it, and I know tons of other people are benefitting from it too ????

      Reply
  15. hilljean

    so cute! I don’t have a daughter (yet, she’s still baking) but I have been known to take my son on special lunch dates ????

    Reply
  16. hilljean

    I do remember that day… and have shared with other moms w/daughters. Great memories and great sharing… the pictures are the best!

    Reply
    1. Crystal Andrews

      Hillary,

      I really enjoy reading your posts. They are meaningful and make me laugh! What a blessing! You also inspire me to keep writing on my blog that I recently started. And this post above is fabulous! I am always thinking about my precious my 5 year old daughter is to me and since I work full time, I really want to make the most of our time together. Mommy/daughter dates will be perfect!

      Reply
      1. hillary

        Thank you so much for your sweet words! I’ll come check out your blog right now!

        Reply
  17. hilljean

    Please do! I’d love to hear about it. It’s amazing cause my daughter is only 3 1/2 and yet the quality of time we had was just spectacular. Thank you for stopping by! I’ll come check you out too ????

    Reply
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