In this day and time our children are being pushed into adulthood long before they are emotionally ready. I won’t go into the myriad reasons for this because I have no wish to start debates with people who want to justify it. There is a difference in teaching a child responsibility and expecting them to behave like adults.
A very dear friend of mine has a granddaughter who will be seven years old in a couple of weeks. I carefully selected her gift to be something age appropriate and that encourages girlhood from a Biblical perspective. I’ve written her a letter to include with her gift but I felt the need to share this letter with other young girls and their mothers.
Dear Sweet Hannah Grace,
Happy Birthday! Seven is such a wonderful time in a little girl’s life. You have already learned so many things but it’s just the beginning. There is a whole world full of wonders out there waiting for you to discover them.
For your birthday, this is my special prayer for you:
That you will always love God – He always loves you.
That you will love and respect your parents.
That you will love and protect your baby brother.
I know you may not understand all of this right now but one day you will. Do not be in a hurry to grow up. Ride horses, swim, sing silly songs at the top of your lungs, swing as high as you can on a swing, run, play, catch lightening bugs in jars on a summer night, spin around until you get dizzy, make daisy chains, share secrets with your friends and laugh until you get the hiccups. Hang onto the sweetness that every day of this precious time in your life holds.
I also want you to know that you are surrounded by family and friends who want only the best things in life for you and will always love you.
These activities might seem immature to some but they are the activities that filled my own summer days in the South when I was a little girl. I long to see my grandchildren experience these things for themselves.
Let’s stop encouraging our daughters (sons too, for that matter) to grow up too fast. Encourage them instead to do the things I wrote above to this sweet little girl. Help them to maintain their childlike innocence just as long as possible. For once innocence is lost, it can never be recovered.