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Somehow in just a month, I will be sending my daughter off to middle school. That is just so insane to think about. I remember being that age that she is now. I can’t believe that she is no longer in elementary school. She is still a child but not for much longer and I realize that there are so many things that I want her to know. So many things that she needs to learn as she becomes less of a girl and more of a young woman. There are so many things I want to teach my daughter about growing up and I hope that I do a good job of raising her to be a wonderful human.
As parents, it’s so easy to make mistakes and really mess up our children. I am so blessed that my daughter is an amazing person but we are entering the teen years soon. I know that there will be many moments where she frustrates me and I’m sure many moments where I frustrate her.
Although I’m writing these lessons to my daughter I think the majority of women need to hear them too. They are things it took me years to learn and I’m still trying to learn. I hope they speak to you as well and if you have a child you try to teach them these things as well. I only have a daughter, but I’m sure boys would need many of these lessons too.
1 You are so much more than your looks
Too much importance is placed on a woman’s looks. This can make life so hard especially for teen girls. They can become obsessed with looking better even if it means hurting themselves to lose weight and look better. I don’t want this for any girls and have worked very hard to make sure Isabella is aware that she is not only beautiful but that she has so many great things about her.
I also work hard to make weight not a big issue in our home. I am heavier than I would like to be but I try very hard to not complain about and talk about my weight in front of her. I don’t want weight to be something we are focused on in our home. There will be enough influences in her life that will talk about and discuss weight from friends to on tv to in magazines, the internet, etc. I want us not to obsess over and worry about weight in our home with each other.
2. That you can’t make everyone happy
This one is so important, especially for Isabella to learn. She is a bit of a people pleaser, and I don’t want her to spend all of her time and energy trying to make other people happy. We work on learning to stand up for herself and speak her mind.
I want her to understand that it is possible to say no to someone or to ask them to stop doing something you don’t like respectfully. So many women struggle with this issue of trying to make other people happy. Even when it hurts them and I’m doing everything I can to break that habit.
3. Be honest
I’ve realized that so much of the drama that people have in their lives comes from the fact that they aren’t honest enough. When you start lying, it complicates your life, and it can make things so much more difficult. Life is just so much easier when you are honest.
I’m not claiming that I’ve never lied, but they’ve only been little white lies from time to time. I hope that I raise Isabella to live a life that she doesn’t feel that she needs to tell lies about. That she is confident in her choices and decisions so that she can be truthful.
4. Try new things
I’m in the middle of my 30’s now and have realized that the best moments and things in my life had happened when I decided to take a risk and try something new. Moving from my hometown to a new state was scary and a massive change but one of the best decisions of my life so far.
I hope that she will be willing to try new things and step out of her comfort zone at times so that she can get to have new experiences and discover stuff she doesn’t know. Her dad and I encourage her to try new things as much as we can. Anything that she shows an interest in we try to get her to participate in. We want her world to be full of so many new experiences and opportunities.
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5. You don’t have to live your life the way I did
this is one of the most important things I want to teach my daughter because I took way too long to learn this lesson in my own life. So I don’t want her to do the same thing. My parents got married young and had kids right away. I followed the same path and although I don’t regret getting married and having my daughter when I did. I do wish I had slowed down and took my time to enjoy my 20’s more.
I also, of course, didn’t know that I would have a stroke at 25 and lose out on the ability to do a lot of things so I wish I had enjoyed and did things more before then. I tell my daughter that I love her dad and I’m glad that I married him but I was very young, I was only 19 when we got married. That I hope that she will wait till she is a little older and has done more things in her life before she gets married.
My parents never said we should do things the way that they did but it was never encouraged that we do things differently. It’s part of the reason why I lived in my hometown or really close by until we moved last year. It was just expected that we stay in town and my parents didn’t mind that we moved but my extended family was surprised and shocked by it.
6. We all make mistakes
It’s so important to me that she knows that mistakes happen to everyone and that she doesn’t need to be embarrassed or ashamed if she messes up. I spent way too many years hiding my mistakes from people I was afraid to admit my problems or things I had done wrong.
This made my life way more difficult and more painful than it needed to be and is not something I want for my daughter or anyone else I care about. So when she makes a mistake we address it and talk about what she can do differently next time to be more successful but not to be embarrassed because everyone makes mistakes.
7. The bad stuff will Pass
When you are in the middle of a hard or challenging period of your life it may feel like things are never going to be better and that life is always going to feel as awful as it does now. I understand that it feels this way but trust me the bad stuff will eventually end and things will get better.
No matter what crisis life throws at you it is possible to get through it and get to the other side. There have been quite a few rough patches in my life that I thought I would never feel better or get easier and some of them took a while to get through but eventually, I made it to the other side and I know you will too. remember that you have people who love you and will help and support you through anything. Also, remember that you are stronger than anything that gets thrown at you. It may not feel that way but I know that it is true.
8. You can do anything
I’m so excited to see what you do with your life as you grow up into the woman you will become. The world is filled with so many amazing opportunities and I’m excited to see what you do with them. I know that it is truly possible for you to become anything you want to be.
I hope that you will go to and finish college so that you will have more opportunities opened up to you. I want you to be successful in life but I don’t want you to settle for a career that you don’t love just because it pays well. It is possible to love your career and be able to support yourself with something you enjoy.
9. require respect from people
I really think all people deserve respect and that it can be harder in general for women to get the respect that they deserve so that is why it’s so important that if you have daughters that you make sure to teach them to require respect from people.
Not everyone is going to treat you exactly how you think you should be treated so you have to be aware of what you will and won’t tolerate from the people in your life. Then if certain people don’t treat you right hey might just not be someone that you should spend your time with.
This is so important when you begin to date, which I’m aware is just a few years away. Don’t let the person you are dating treat you badly or make you feel bad about yourself. This can get progressively worse. I worry as a parent and an aunt about the kids in my life being treated badly by the people they one day are dating.
So I try to show an example of respect by respecting them and the people around me and encouraging them to speak up if someone does something that hurts them. we have to set not only the good example but teach young people to respect others and do not accept disrespect from people around them.
10. Take care of yourself physically
Another lesson I hope that you learn from the mistakes I have made is that I hope you will take better care of yourself physically. I never thought much of my health until my stroke happened and even then it didn’t really make me start making changes for a while. Although my stroke was not caused by my bad health choices if I had been healthier who knows it might not have happened or might not have had such an effect on my body.
Once I began making changes to better my health I started feeling better and I could see what I had been missing by not caring for myself. So make sure you stay active, drink a lot of water and get enough sleep. There are lots of good things you can do for your body but I think those three are so important and make such a difference in how you feel.
I hope my ideas of things I want to teach my daughter give you some examples of things your own daughters could learn more about. Being moms isn’t easy and we have so much to share with our kids. That’s why I wanted to share the things I want to teach my daughter.