Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

Recently I wondered why my teen was taking so long (well, longer actually because she is a teen after all) to get ready for school and bed. Checking her phone like I usually do, I found she was sending positive quotes to all her friends at the beginning of the day and the end of the day. At first, I was annoyed because it wasn’t like a group text, it was each one individually.

Then I sat back in awe of this human I was raising to be so compassionate, so caring, so utterly empathetic to make each one of her friends feel so special.

RELATED: Dear Daughter, Be the Girl Who Lives Out Love

In this world filled with so much chaos and what seems like a lack of empathy, I feel so proud that my teenager can express her caring nature to her friends. But how did she learn this? Teenagers, in general, are not the most empathetic individuals walking around. And then the revelation came.

Maybe, amidst the craziness in the day, she may have learned it from me.

Now, I am a far from perfect mom by any means. I can lose my temper, I miss appointments, and recently I didn’t do a great job skimming a Valentine’s Day email from my 4-year-old’s school about needing goodie bags (oops!). But the one thing I am excellent at is telling my kids I love them and that I am so proud of them.

I will always be the mom who says I love you many times a day. I probably tell the kids I love them at least five times a day. This means in the 18 years they are under my roof, they will have heard “I love you” more than 30,000 times! That’s so crazy to think about.

But to me, “I love you” means so much. It means I care for you. It means I see you. It means I will protect you.

It means you are worthy of some of the most cherished words in our language.

My kids are so confident by hearing me tell them I love them and giving them positive affirmations that they usually repeat it back to me. They know they are amazing, they know they are loved, and they know they are capable of creating a positive change in this world. And now my teenager is creating that change starting with her friends.

RELATED: Dear Tween, I Could Not Love You More

So today, even with all the craziness going on around you, don’t forget to say “I love you” to the kids at least five times. Give them that long hug. Because I promise, you aren’t just changing their lives, you are changing so many more too.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Hillary Rodriguez

My name is Hillary Rodriguez, and I am a wife and mother of three children. My eldest child was born with severe visual impairments. I volunteer my time with my local Special Education PTA and parent organization for families of children with visual impairments. I believe in teaching children and families to advocate for themselves. In my downtime, I like to walk, read books, and travel with my husband. 

There’s Power in the “I Love You” Between a Mother and Her Child

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Grown daughter kissing mother

My mother never said she loved me. This was true up until somewhere in my late 20s. This isn’t to say I didn’t know she loved me. I did. She was dutiful and caring, with steady support that I didn’t appreciate nearly enough. She would listen to me ramble on and on about this thing or that person, and she seemed perfectly content to sit and listen, offering gentle and wise counsel. There were times when I knew she had no idea what I was talking about, but she never lost interest in the conversation. No, it wasn’t that I...

Keep Reading

When it’s Time To Let You Go

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Woman and adult daughter holding sand dollars, black-and-white photo

Setting your babies free is not easy like a day at the beach. When they’re little, splashing joyfully on the shoreline, not daring to go out where it is deep without your hand to hold, you think this tiny, soulful, simple sweetness feels as endless as the tides though sometimes just as tumultuous with their crashing, constant boundless needs. But time flows on like the ocean, and at some point, that child’s footprints in the sand are as long and deep as yours, and you know those steps will take them away someday. Probably soon.  So you must prepare. Both...

Keep Reading

Can I Tell You a Secret? The Teen Years Really Aren’t That Bad.

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mother and daughter smiling at each other, color photo

It seemed the moment the pregnancy test showed a positive result, the loads of advice from well-meaning parents appeared as well. I get it. Now, I’m a seasoned parent, so I often feel compelled to pass on my wisdom to the newbies. One particular thing the established parents would say was, “Oh, you have a girl. You just wait!” or “Just wait for their teen years!” The moment I’d think my 8, 9, 10, or 11-year-old daughter was being sweet, there’d undoubtedly be a sour-looking, worn-out mom of teens, lurking in the shadows ready to burst my bubble. “Oh, you...

Keep Reading