Dear Teenage Daughter, I’m Not Trying to Ruin Your Life. I’m Trying to Save It.

This letter from a mother to her teenage daughter is a great reminder that parenting is not a popularity contest, it’s a calling.

Dear Sweet Child of Mine,

I know you are so big now. You’re growing up faster than I could have ever imagined. In my mind, you went from 16 months to 16 years in about two weeks. It’s gone by so quickly for me, and even as you wish away your youth in exchange for budding independence, I can still see you as a baby in my arms. Oh it was not so long ago I would rock you to sleep. And now, the nights where we will be under the same roof are quickly slipping away. Dear God, how did that happen so fast?

But so many times, what I want to say to you in the heat of our “discussions”  is not what comes out. In my fear for your safety, for protecting you from every hurt I endured, every pain I see you walking straight toward, I come across as angry.

It seems to you that I just don’t understand.

Sweetheart, nothing could be further from the truth. I do understand. I understand completely. And what you need to understand is that my first job as a parent is not to win a popularity contestit is to protect you. I am here to first stand guard. To keep you safe—from even yourself if necessary. If that makes me unpopular with you or your friends, oh well. Such is the price of being right. And I am willing to pay it.

Lyette Reback
Lyette Reback
Lyette Reback is mom to 15 children (and one on the way) and has been married to her husband, David for 23 years. She just so happens to believe that her children and yours will change our world for good. The Reback’s website ( is focused on bringing hope and help to parents and families. With her vast experiences in parenting, she loves to teach moms and dads how to reach the heart of their children by helping the child discover their purpose and walking with them in faith towards it. Lyette is also the author of Please God Don’t Let Me Screw This Up: Hope & Help from a Mom of Fifteen.

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