It Happened Again

connecting with your teenager family enrichment Aug 30, 2023

This past weekend I was a presenter at a parenting conference.  One of the key points of my talk was centered on the impact of building a strong connection with your children.  My assertion was that if a child feels seen for who they are and loved unconditionally at home, they take that with them when they go out into the world.   The connection to their parents and their home becomes a source of strength that helps them get through difficult times.   As part of this talk, I shared a story to help illustrate this point.  It is the story of a mother-daughter mud run hosted by Northview Church.  Coincidentally, the church that was hosting this conference. 


Some of you may be familiar with this story … but for those of you who are not it goes like this.


I was speaking with the Family Ministry pastor of Northview Church about some of the different programs they provided for their members.  During the conversation he shared that one of their best events is a mother-daughter mud run.  Here is how it works.  They set up a mile-long course that includes a few obstacles and a lot of mud.   As you can imagine, it provides the opportunity for the mother daughter pairs to let down their guard and have a lot of fun together.     As the pairs finish the course, they are directed to an area where they can sit for a few minutes alone.  What the daughters don’t know is that their mom has been instructed to write a letter to her ahead of time. The prompt for the letter goes like this:


Right now you are not beautiful in terms of the outside world.  You are covered in mud, your hair is a mess and you smell.  But here are all of the reasons why I believe you are beautiful… 


Mom takes it from there.


Picture mother and daughter pairs sitting together covered in mud while mom reads her letter revealing the beauty she sees within her daughter and her unconditional love.


Can you see how this moment is very powerful from the standpoint of building connection?  Having the daughter feel seen for who they are and loved unconditionally.     


Here is the twist.   As I was sharing this story at the conference it happened again.   Every time I share this story I get overwhelmed with emotion.  I have these moments where I can’t get any words out.   FYI -  Even as I sit here writing this I am starting to feel it.  The idea of these mother and daughter pairs having this moment fills me with a sense of peace, joy and love.       


I have come to the conclusion that we all need more of these moments in our lives.  Moments where we feel reconnected to the power of unconditional love.    Consequently, I will continue to share this story.   Because here is what I have realized …


Each time I share this story a brand new moment is created.   A moment between me and the people I am sharing it with.  For this I am grateful. 


Here is my wish… When I tell this story twenty years from now, I hope I still say “It happened again”.


You Family Enrichment Coach,

Jim White





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