Teaching Older Daughters

Posted By on April 22, 2010

Recently a mother wrote me and inquired:

“What do I do if I have waited too long to teach my older daughter homemaking skills and now she is not interested. Is it too late? What do I do now?”

I believe this scenario is more common than we know as many readers have asked me this question. Often times a mother will not see the need to teach her daughter but then later realize she should have. Perhaps the mother herself will not have grasped the grand vision and importance of homemaking until her later years and then will try to teach her daughters, but by then the daughter might not be interested.

May I offer some hope here? Please do not give up! I believe it is never too late for any daughter to learn domestic skills, whether it be cooking, cleaning or taking up a skill. Your daughter might not realize the importance of it right now but with a loving and gentle mother, these things can learned too—at whatever age– fifteen, eighteen, twenty five and up!

I asked my daughter, Janai, how she would answer this question. She is 17 years old and I did not start teaching her many things until she was older too. I did not understand the importance of homemaking and it wasn’t until I understood my calling that I wholeheartedly began to teach my girls. Unfortunately for Janai, that came a little later than sooner. But that is okay, because even if we are a little later in the game than other mother and daughters, the point is we are still learning and here is what Janai had to say in response:

“I believe that even though a mother is teaching a daughter later in life she should continue to do so even if that daughter does not have an interest at the time. The mother should continue to be a good example and even if the daughter does not seem interested, she should continue teaching her in a loving and gentle way and later the daughter will appreciate and remember all the mother had tried to teach her. All situations are different and the mother needs to approach this with prayer.”

Well, there you go ladies. Right out of the mouth of babes. If we approach this prayerfully with love, not in a harsh, demanding way we can help our daughters learn to care for the home, cook, bake , sew and enjoy all that comes with homemaking. I must also add that you will have some daughters that will be more gifted or have interests in one area than the other. One of my daughters loves to bake and the other is gifted in music. I do not try to compare them, I know the Lord has made them both unique with separate talents and instead of fighting those talents I want to foster them. But I still try to prepare all my daughters with what they need to know to run a home and cook well. We must fully equip our daughters for the future, whether or not they marry they will need to know how to cook and run a home— and help them to see the service and delight behind it all.

As my daughter stated, we must be a good example. She also told me this speaks louder than words and how true this is. If mom is stomping around the house angry, slamming cabinets because she has to clean up or is grumbling about ‘making another meal’ then what kind of lovely picture are we painting for them of domestic life and duties? Who on earth would want to learn anything about that? She would instead be tearing down her home, and her daughters view of the home, instead of building it up.

Approach the Lord with prayer as you embark upon teaching your daughters if you feel you have missed the window of opportunity with her. There can be grace found in telling your daughter the truth and telling her you were late in teaching her, that you are sorry you didn’t and would like to teach and help her now. Even if she rejects it, she knows she had a mother who humbled herself, loved her and wanted to teach her later. If she is older perhaps you can gently involve her–what comes to mind is the image of grandmother in the kitchen waving the young mother over to her asking her to help stir the soup or add the spices as she has an everyday conversation with her, this might be the case with older daughters, working along side with them in everyday tasks and they learn as they go as they spend time with you.

Ask the Lord to soften and open your daughters heart, whatever her age, and to help you be faithful and patient in this area. Perhaps there are personal issues that need to be addressed—is the daughter rejecting these things because her heart is more turned towards the world than the Lord and her parents? There might even be relational issues that you might need to work on in order for this to happen, and praise the Lord that He can use something like this to work on how we LOVE and forgive eachother as well. Let us be the model of 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 as we seek to train our sweet, precious daughters:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

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About The Author

June Fuentes is the happy wife to Steve and blessed homeschooling mother to eight beautiful children that they are raising for the Lord. She has a heart to see mothers all around the world grasp the vision of biblical motherhood and to see this noble role restored in the 21st century to the glory of God. June strongly believes that weak homes equate a weak nation and therefore blogs at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home to minister to Christian women on how to build up strong Christian homes. She is also the owner of the popular blog, Raising Homemakers, and is the author of the encouraging eBook, True Christian Motherhood. She is the founder of Wise Woman Consulting, her service to teach women how to successfully make money blogging at home and a consultant for Lilla Rose, where you can find unique and beautiful hair products. Together with her husband and dear friends, they are planting a church in the Midwest. She would love for you to join her on the journey to biblical womanhood on Facebook and Twitter at @wisewomanbuilds.

Comments

6 Responses to “Teaching Older Daughters”

  1. I so appreciate this article. I am so guilty of not teaching my 8 yr. old daughter homemaking skills. She does know how to make her own scrambled eggs and she dusts with the best of ‘em! I guess most of the time I want to do it myself because I figure I can do it faster. Over Christmas, we had guests stranded at our house due to the snow, and lots of dishes started to pile up. Instead of running the dishwasher, we just started washing them in the sink. My daughter was so happy to help! Just a few weeks ago, she begged me to help wash the dishes, and I started to realize the importance of teaching her these things. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Renee Stam says:

    Amen Sister, Great post!

    I do not have experience with older daughter or children because our are (3, 17 months and baby#3 is due in 8 weeks) But even at this young age our daughters have learn some basic homemaking skills and seams to like it very much!!!!

    Praying that their captivation for making a house and home will always be strong :-)

    Renee

  3. Tiana Krenz says:

    I regularly wish I had been taught homemaking skills when I was a young girl. I am 32 now, with three young children and a fourth on the way. I have been a homemaker for almost 6 years, and I still feel pretty inept. I was taught to think that, for a smart girl like me, homemaking skills were unimportant and a waste of time. Now I’m learning it all “on the fly”, and it is a constant struggle. You can be sure that I am teaching my 4 year old daughter as best as I know how. I don’t want her to feel as unprepared as I do.

    Blessings!

    :)Tiana

  4. Deanna Rabe says:

    Mrs. Fuentes,

    This is so encouraging to see others who are helping their daughters to be keepers at home and to love the home.

    I am so thankful for my sweet daughters who are learning beside me and for my two who are almost grown and really could run a household of their own. I am thankful to work side by side with them everyday!

  5. CATastrophe463 says:

    I think getting my own apartment and learning to keep house on my own helped me learn “home making” more then anything else. That was when I started calling my mom and asking her how to make recipes, or do dishes without a dishwasher, or grocery shop. Before that I had absolutely no interest.

  6. sallyforth says:

    I know it has been some time since this post was written/commented on, but I would love to share my feelings on this subject. I apologize in advance for the length of this comment, I just hope that my experience can be helpful and will inspire women who are struggling to look to their families and communities for the help and support that they need.
    I was blessed to be raised in a household with four generations of women, each of whom took it upon herself to teach me and all of my cousins the value and joy of homemaking.
    My great grandmother focused on decorum, modesty, and hygiene. “Ankles crossed, ladies!” and being sure that our hair was brushed and faces washed when we came to breakfast. My grandmother was more regimented and instituted benchmarks that we girls had to meet, from baking biscuits on our own to sewing baby blankets to donate to those in need and more. My mother then made sure that we put those skills to good use and told us all stories of women in the bible. With three strong teachers, none of us girls would dare to argue against the value of these “lessons”.
    As a young adult many of my friends raised in more “progressive” families have expressed envy at the effortless grace with which I cary myself, my ability to pull together quick from scratch meals for pennies, and my ‘classic” (read: modest) feminine style. I see other women in my generation wasting money on take out, mistaking immodesty for femininity, and struggling to understand their place. Teaching your daughter homemaking is one of the most valuable gifts you can give, in my experience one of the best ways to deal with disinterest is to enlist the help of other female role models. The old saying that “it takes a village” becomes more pertinent once that child enters early womanhood. I am so glad to read about mothers who are as dedicated to helping their daughters and sharing the gift of homemaking.

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