Abigail is our youngest daughter. She is sweet, smart and tender. She is in fourth grade at our local public elementary school. We like the school. It is a good representation of the broader community we live in. There are lots of families that are different than us in their faith, their lifestyles and their parenting practices.
Abigail loves Jesus, her family and friends, American Girl Dolls and stuffed animals of all shapes, sizes and colors. She also plays softball for the “Hot Tamales” and loves Blue Bunny ice cream.
Most people like Abigail. So my ears perked up a few weeks ago when I heard her describing an incident that took place during her lunch recess. A certain fourth grade boy; we’ll call him “Tommy”, was going down the lunch line saying “mean things” to each of the girls in Abigail’s play group. Some of the girls were getting upset. One of the girls fired back her own “mean” comment. Some girls were just quiet, waiting for “Tommy” to move on to other targets.
There is nothing too shocking about a fourth grade boy saying “mean” things to fourth grade girls. There is a decent possibility that Tommy actually likes one or more of these girls. He would not be the first man in history to do dumb things while hoping for a great outcome.
What I was really interested in, was Abigail’s response. My older daughter asked her what she did after the mean comments came her way. Abigail responded, “ I told him that what he was saying wasn’t true. I told him that I was not going to receive that.” Turns out that sweet Abigail knows what is true about her. Tommy’s comments had no place to land. A girl who knows the truth about herself, can navigate and tolerate a world that does not. The truth is a gift that we plant. cultivate and grow in our daughter’s hearts. It functions like an emotional immune system that recognizes and rejects foreign material from entering and disrupting our health.
One question to consider:
Are you making regular deposits of truth in your daughter’s life?
Ask your daughter to list five great qualities about herself.
Don’t let her off the hook if she struggles.
Have her say them out loud to you.
Pray that your daughter will have
Ears to hear the truth
A heart to believe the truth
And Courage and Confidence to speak the truth, to herself and others.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Don Worcester
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