25 things i want my daughter to know

I love my kids so much.  There isn’t one thing in this world I will not do for them.  I will kiss their boo boo’s and wipe their tears.  I will help them get dressed, teach them to do their chores, and feed them healthy foods.  Lay with them at night, read to them, and sing silly songs.  I will protect them and fight for them and give up my life for them.  As they grow, I know it will only get harder to keep them inside my cozy little rainbow-filled bubble of happiness.  Since Ella started kindergarten this year and I can already feel her slipping outside my bubble, I’ve devised a list of things I want her to know as she begins her journey to independence:

1. Enjoy the innocence of your childhood.

In a world full of superficial values, peer pressure, and bullying, as well as a pop culture that pushes materialism and consumerism – you are being leapfrogged through your childhood.  There is a constant pressure for you to grow up way too fast. I mean, when did 5 become the new 10, anyway?

Grow slowly.

2. Smart is the new cool.

Never be ashamed of being smart or nerdy, having freckles or glasses, or loving science and math.  Smart never goes out of style, it stays with you as you grow, and it will lead you down the most successful paths.

3. No matter how many times you hear it, “Diamonds are NOT a girl’s best friend.”

Friends are invaluable.  They are trusting and loyal.  They stick with you through good times and bad, happy or sad.  Some will come and go, but your true friends will be with you always.

Friends forever, through whatever.

4. Go for it, get dirty! It’s good for you.

Besides the fact that getting dirty actually does help support your immunity, it’s also a great way to express creativity!  Sculpt, draw, and stomp.  Better yet, go “classic” and make some mud pies.

5. Beat the boys at their own games.

Football, baseball, hockey or golf, never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you’re a girl.  So go ahead, build the tallest tower of legos, kick butt on Xbox, and bust out your light saber.

Awesome.

6. Be spiritual.

Find the desire to understand the universe and your place in it.  Take the time to notice the earth and all of its beauty.  Give thanks to God.

7.  See the world.

Experience new cultures, religions, people, and places.  Open your heart and mind to the tremendous benefits of studying and visiting domestic and foreign lands.

Bon Voyage

8. A strong hand shake leaves a lasting impression.

It represents self-confidence and ambition.  A strong hand shake and eye contact exemplifies a mutual respect for one another and is a sign that you are friendly, trustworthy, and honest.

9. Choose your role models carefully.

Even though you are only 5, I am so glad that right now you have absolutely no idea who Hannah Montanna is.

10. Read something every single day.

From the Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss to Junie B Jones, reading is exercise for your brain.  It expands knowledge and vocabulary- and lets your imagination run wild.

11. When it comes to wearing make-up, there’s a general rule of thumb that applies – LESS is MORE.

12. When it comes to fashion, shorter does not always equal better.  Fashion trends come and go and not all of it is fabulous.  Half tops and mini skirts are great for an 85 degree day at the beach or if you’re a Miami Dolphins cheerleader, but not for your high school yearbook photo.

13. Please, please, please do not allow yourself to become someone else’s property.  Why this is trendy, I will never figure out.  If you want to make a statement about yourself on clothing, at least let it describe an aspect of who YOU are.

I just don’t get it.

14. Speaking of trends, I hope that by the time you are allowed to date, guys don’t wear their pants hanging half way down their ass like they do now.  I really feel like this has been pretty popular for quite some time and I am praying that it finally goes away by 2022.  Also, I will flip my lid if you become this guy’s property! (see #13)

15. Being an angel should not and does not mean wearing only your bra, underwear, and a set of wings for everyone to see.

16. Since you’re growing up in the technological age of iPad, iPod, iPhone, and texting, I have to address the horrendous lack of writing skills being used by today’s youth.  This phenomenon of truant letters may very well be the Death of English (LOL).  Bottom line, don’t use text lingo in your thesis.

What does this even say?

17. Speaking of text lingo, verbal slang is just as unprofessional.  Reminds me of Alicia Silverstone from Clueless.  OMG, ROFL, BFF, TMI, FYI, IDK….As If.

18. Don’t let pop culture define you.

I don’t know why, but today we let pop culture manipulate our youth and it’s killing them emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.  From the early on fascination with princesses, to the ‘need’ for a boyfriend and big boobs, popularity, teen moms, and all the other garbage being thrown in their face – be confident going against the grain.

19. Accept yourself for who you are.

You’re one-of-a-kind and that’s what makes you beautiful.  Tall, short, big, small, blonde, brunette, redhead, white, brown, blue, pink, yellow – we are all DIFFERENT.

20. Mainstream your health.

It’s life’s greatest asset.  A positive approach to health encompasses physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well being.  Healthy lifestyle choices in your youth will help lay a strong foundation for continued wellness throughout your adult life.  Diet, exercise, stress management, chiropractic, self motivation, positiveness, and meditation, as well as a number of other approaches are guaranteed to make a huge impact on your quality of life, health, and happiness.

21. Have confidence in yourself.

A positive self-image assures power, strength, ability, and value.  It will enable you to conquer your goals and allow you to fearlessly pursue your biggest dreams.

22. Be a sister. Be a friend. Be a protector.

23. Love with all your heart.

For where there is love there is life.  Love is universal and felt by all living things.  So strong is the feeling of love that it is said it makes the world go round.

24. Never be afraid to laugh at yourself.

Laughter is humbling.  It inspires and motivates.

25. Wherever you are in life, you can come home.  I will be here – always.

♥ mommy

 Thanks for reading.  Please be sure to LIKE Mommy Om on Facebook and join our community.

Click here to read the list for my son.

***NEW*** Check out the print of the list here.

 lisa

160 thoughts on “25 things i want my daughter to know

  1. very cute! like it, esp the one with VS “angel” and the HS girl posing in skanky clothes and claims she’s showing her artistic side….RIGHT! haha.

    Thank you

  2. I just found you thanks to a Facebook friend (Krista) and totally agree with 100% of everything you said! As a mommy to three little girls I feel like our job is so challenging, to go against mainstream culture of Bratz dolls and Hanna Montana, but so important. Thank you for all your insights!

  3. We followed the above and our 35 year old daughter is the best! Still attends Mass and prays, has her MFA, married to a great guy, 2nd woman to ever hold the title “Studio Head” for a major TV Network and is the best daughter a mother could have. It wasn’t easy. The influences of the culture back then was no better. A child raised with great love which means discipline (guidance with love), in faith and hope, and who understands suffering and parents’ willingness to sacrifice and give time and energy to the family can withstand the pressures of a culture gone mad.

  4. I love this! I am the mother of two boys, but intend to share this with them that they might be aware of these qualitites in their female peers. While some of it is applicable to both genders, is there a possibility you might revise it with males in mind??

    • I’m on it! I have been writing a list to my son (who is only 3), but it’s turning out great! Be sure to follow my blog , I will post it tonight or tomorrow morning! Thanks.

  5. Very nice post, but I didn’t see anything on there saying to accept people for WHO THEY ARE & not to judge.
    Treat people the way you want to be treated, Also the simple lesson of Do not litter, it is not enough to notice the earth & all it’s beauty, but to try & preserve it for their children as well!

  6. really like your blog, i am a father and feel the same as you about so many things. Of course my daughter is 20 now and in college, but I still worry about her soo much!
    My question is: I just decided to start a blog on WP, would you mind telling me how you get your blog out there for others to see?
    Thanks so much and GOD bless!

    Michael

    • Thank you, Michael. Are you on facebook or twitter? I believe those are the best options. You can create a page on facebook and invite your friends to your page. It’s working for me!

  7. Love this. I’m going through a difficult time with my step-daughter. She’s 16, lost her mom to cancer back in September. This reminds me of why I fight so hard…# 19 reminds me of her. She’d rather be known as the “girl with the nice boobs” rather than the “girls whose mom died”, but I hope she’s known for # 2, and #22. I also love #25…no matter where she goes, or what she does, or how hard it is getting there (and through this mess), she will always have her dad and me to come home to.

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  9. Would love to have a printable copy of this…looking forward to the one for boys!!! These are exactly the values I am trying to raise my daughter with…well she turns 15 today….straight A student, amazing horse back rider…not a stitch of make up needed or desired and has the self confidence to laugh at the girls that portray themselves as “all that” at the age og 15…very proud of her!!

  10. This is amazingly beautiful Lisa. Thanks for sharing. I am not a mother yet but I am in love with everything I just read.. All true.. Be blessed..

  11. I love this. I will read this to my daughter when she comes home from school this afternoon. I try to live by these anyway, but it will be a good thing to sit and read it with her. Thank you. P.S. read the other one to my son. ;)

  12. Lisa, thank you for this.. I actually bookmarked both of these.. ( daughter & son ) posts .. who knows, maybe by the time I decide to have children I might forget a few of those great points that you made.. and turn into this crazy “professional mom” who doesn’t give her child time to even breath.. ( I REALLY hope I’ll never be THAT kind of mom ) : )

    love your spirit!

    namaste

    el

  13. I just wanted to let you know that I loved this so much I had to pin it on Pinterest to share with my friends with girls, in less then 5 minutes I’ve had over 30 repins of it :) A lot of mommy’s agree with you out there and hopefully that means a generation of strong, self confident/loving and intelligent girls is coming up!

    Lisa

    PS I read the son one first (through some tears) and had to repin that as well :) I also hate the pants hanging off the butt look. When 9 mnths prego with my son (our first born) I saw a group of teenaged boys dressed like that, turned to my husband and friend with a slightly horrified look and said “I’m going to have to wash those ugly clothes one day!” Ugh, hopefully not!

  14. I totally agree with you 100% and I will follow your blog. I have 3 young girls and I will have a lot of years to teach them and guide them the best I can. Sometimes, I don’t even know if I’m doing the right thing. Its not going to be an easy journey but we, as moms, try our best. I’m reading the rest of blogs and learning a lot. I have to thank my brother for sharing this blog to me.

  15. I love this. Your children are very lucky to have such a wonderful mother. I am 15 years old and my mother has raised me pretty much the same as you want your children to turn out. I am proud to say it is how I want to raise my children and I am proud of who I turned out to be thanks to my mum & dad. (apart from the fact that I love Justin Bieber & I know who Hannah Montana is) almost everything on your list applies to me.

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  17. My beautiful daughter (inside and out!) is 19. I followed these same guidelines with her, and she will always be a huge part of me. My son is 21. He is awesome as well! One thing that young parents do not realize (INCLUDING ME) is the objective of having children is One Day they will be all grown up. We do not “raise” our children…we are raising adults. Cherish the time you have with your little ones, for one day they too will be 19 and 21. I miss cuddling with my babies. But, I adore and love my adult offspring forever and ever. I totally agree with your thoughts. I was blessed with triplet grandbabies, two boys and a girl. They are in the NICU as they are only 3 weeks old. (Shouldn’t even be here yet.) When I am finally allowed to hold them and laugh with them, THAT will be the happiest day of my life! Thanks for your insight!

  18. My daughters are 19 and 16. I think I accomplished most of things as long as I could. Eventually they do know who their version of Hannah Montana and Justin Beiber. I have been lucky. They were into Lizzie McQuire who was pretty tame, loved Harry Potter, read tons of books, like American Girl dolls, not the skanky dolls at Target. They are into Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean. They could be much better sisters, but I pray they get there some day. God is first in their lives. One graduated top 6% of her class and is attending the second best university in our state. Hook’em. The other is top 18% and putting way too much pressure on herself to catch up to her sister.

  19. This just made my heart swell with happiness! I loved reading this, and definitley will share with my other mommy friends. You mentioned some really good things in this post, that I want to share with my daughter when she gets older! Maybe I’ll just print this out and keep it somewhere just in case : ) Thanks for sharing this!

  20. Great post. The love a mother has for a daughter is a strong and powerful thing. I found you from pintrest and wanted to comment. I love the pictures. Thank you.

  21. This is a wonderfu list, I have 3 daughters…and this is perfect for the wall in their room. Also, I am glad someone has the same opinions as me; about not letting others define us, and staying active/healthy. So many people plop their kids in front of the tv, and ignore them…so sad.
    Thanks <3

  22. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing…my little girl is just one and I am prepared for this battle to make sure she believes being, kind, smart and knowing she is important just being herself is all that matters ( if you have seen The Help, I got that;

    You is kind
    You is smart
    You is important

    from that movie, but it is perfect!

    Thanks again Lisa!

  23. Thank you so much for putting this into words! I have two daughters and I try to live by these values everyday. It’s so important to raise self-confident, ambitious young woman. I want happiness, humility, grace and strength to be the words that people equate with my girls. I’m so glad there are other mothers who are concerned less with our daughter’s outer beauty and more with the people they are becoming within…because as we all know it’s their inner beauty that will have them shining like the sun on an Indian Summer day..Really, thank you for posting. It made my day:)
    PS..I could not agree more with your sentiments on text speak..And just for comic relief maybe number 26 can be “There are many ways to speak your truth, but writing across your ass isn’t one of them. Also let’s hope your truth isn’t ‘Juicy’ or ‘Baby Phat’.”

  24. Lyn From Australia

    Just read your 25 things I want my Daughter to know. You are such a great role model for your childen. Love them as much as you can because you will trun around one day and wonder where the time went as they will be young adults. We have three amazing adult children 2 Sons and a Daughter all married to amazing people. And our four beautiful Grandchildren teacher us the most humble things in life. Thank you for sharing this with us. God Bless you. Lyn From Australia.

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  26. I love your list! I just read and showed it to my 10 year old and she loves it too! I do have one question though, where is #12? LOL If you make a list of 100, I would love to read it!

  27. I am a teacher in las Vegas where kids learn the worst of pop culture. I teach high school and I do t understand the sagging pants thing either and have been waiting since I was in high school for it to go away! Unfortunately even when you tell your students where the sagging pants style originated they only think its cooler. It started in prisons!! Guys who sagged their pants were already “taken” which is really scary they think it’s still so cool to dress as if they’ve been raped in prison!! I teach high school English to kids in Vegas who for the most part are lucky and have it all. Families, money, and love, but they still don’t care about their education or hearing Shakespeare’s timeless tales because he “writes stupid”. It’s very disheartening, but I get up every morning at 4:45am and get ready for school and teach all day. 3 kids in one class had the audacity to yell out “hell no we’re not reading this shit for 4 weeks when we started Romeo and Juliet!! The most timeless love story/tragedy of literature that still remains pertinent today to teenagers or it wouldn’t be in the curriculum! I was shocked. My students do the bare minimum just to pass with a C because they live in a culture that shows them you can make a lot more money valet parking or cleaning hotel rooms than getting an educated career, which I find so sad. I wish they’d give things like Shakespeare a chance because there is a bigger chance they may actually like or love it as I did when I read Shakespeare my first time. I have now after 6 years of college read almost all of his works and they are still beautiful today.

    I agree with you that kids today follow pop culture as its their bible in life and your right it’s okay to be a geek or to like school and learning new things. I wish more parents told their kids that at 5 and every year after that. I wish the kids of today would take their education seriously and not just think its cool to skate by on average because it’s the “cool” thing to do even though a lot of them are brilliant and don’t even know it! I wish I didn’t have to waste class time telling kids to pull up their pants and that the girls didn’t think sagging makes a guy so cool and want them as their high school sweetheart! If I had brought that home to my parents they would have flipped out! I wish the generation of today respected people and showed respect and would stop trying to talk over their teachers like its a contest on who is more interesting. Learning new stuff over gossip. I wish for the kids of today that they’d get their acts together and realize they have it backwards that knowing what everyone around you is doing is more important than knowing what your doing. I see so much in one day, one week, one school year, and every year they become a little more immature and a little more further behind educationally. It doesn’t help that the government cuts from education first everytime they need to make cuts. These kids need an education now more than ever.

    Your list is a perfect wish list for your daughter and I truly hope they all come true for her and your not sitting in a dean’s office in 10 years because she decided to build a fort with textbooks instead of reading with the class thinking she’d get away with it. I will still be teaching in 10 years and I hope kids will change by then and learn from the mistakes of this generation. Pop culture has taken over their lives and I’m not that old and I thought some things were cool when they really weren’t, but I never let that effect my education. Please keep telling your daughter how important learning is in every form or subject. The babies of today need that more than ever from where I stand each day and teach. It starts at home. Teachers who spend 3-4.5 hours a week with your child can’t make miracles without parents help. It starts at home and it starts young. These kids only think that 5 is the new 10 I hate to see what happens when the harsh reality of the world hits them and they’re not prepared because they believed that. Maturity comes with education and learning. Sometimes I wish students admired Hanna Montana compared to some of the other pop culture icons. I’d take Hanna Montana over a gangster rapper any day!! I believe you as a mother touched on a great many points as wishes for your daughter and I hope they can all come through for her in the future. Kids today need parents more than ever not best friends.

    Thank you for inspiring your daughter!

    Natalie

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  29. Thank you so much for sharing. I love the list and intend on sharing with my 14 year old going on 20 daughter. She is the most precious thing in my life and can’t imagine life without her. I am blessed that she has a heart for Christ and through that truth we are able to stay grounded in what is real and be true to herself and her savior. Thanks again for the list is will surely be used in our home. God Bless

  30. I am a college student and just wanted you to know that this almost made me cry! I appreciate my mother so much and I know your daughter will too! I hope you’re encouraged to hear that not all of my generation is ‘mainstream’, and the attitudes you seem to be passing on to your kids will be invaluable. Thanks for the encouragement- we all need to be reminded of this stuff every once in a while!

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  33. This is a truly wonderful, thoughful and wise list. I am so grateful that I read it because I noticed that my wonderful grown daughter read it and she is rearing one of my precious granddaughters! Thank you!

  34. So sweet!!! I love this. Sadly the older my daughter gets the more she develops into her own and out of my bubble :(
    But no matter what she will always be my baby.

  35. not that I’m a Mum or anything- but this is touching and lovely and I can only imagine
    what it is like to be a Mum….but hands off to all of you out there that are- power to ya

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  38. With your guidance, your children will turn out awesome. I had similar, common-sense values for raising my children. My 24-year old son is a college graduate & has a good job that he loves & is just starting his first serious relationship. My 22-year old daughter is a senior in college & is preparing to apply to physical therapy schools to earn her doctorate. She does not have a boyfriend, is extremely happy, & is amazed that many of her friends are already getting married. Keep up the good guidance & it will pay off!

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  40. This is really beautiful and inspiring. Thank you. I am just a little confused about the bible references in an article about empowering girls? That aside, a really great piece :-)

  41. Lovely, but I would revisit #6 and # 15 and add one more: Do not fall for the evils of “faith”, “god”, or “religion”. Use your brain and look for the truth, do not depend on an ancient collection of contradictory and unsavoury tales, do not unflinchingly believe in a supernatural being just because many others do or because it’s written down somewhere. Teaching kids to “have faith”, “to believe”, is tantamount to child abuse. “Good” and “morality” do not come from the Bible, Koran or Torah. Teach kids to be good for its own sake, not because someone is watching them and they’ll go to hell if they displease that person. Teach kids to have an inquiring mind, never to accept “because the bible says so”. To do otherwise is to carry out a grave disservice to an innocent mind.

    • Jason.
      I am a 21 year old woman. I would like to give my thought on your radical post. I think your viewpoint towards religion might be a little bit tainted. Maybe you were raised in an extremely religious household where you were constantly scolded for your behavior, or maybe you are trying to figure out religion first hand and have a biased view believing that religion is the source for war (or something extreme like that). There is also the possibility that the idea of faith scares you because of the unknown or maybe you are angry with God/gods. I am not sure of your background, but I would love to share the positive experience I had being raised in a religious household without being a “hallelujah Jesus preacher.”
      I was raised in a Christian household. Ya, we all went to church when I was young, but once my siblings and I started middle school, my parents gave us the choice whether we wanted to go to youth group or participate in activities with the church. Believe it or not, my other 2 siblings and I WANTED to continue to go to church because 1) our friends would be there, 2) i actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed that I was surrounded by a group of people that loved me for me, comforted me when I was sad, and could laugh and a have a good time.
      The reason these people are “good” is not because “the bible says so” but because of the morals that are associated and taught in the bible. The people are kind, understand the power of forgiveness, are not trying to screw you over by stealing, lying, or fighting. Believe it or not, the majority of all followed religions have a similar set of guidelines on how they view a “pure” person should live. The other key point in almost all religions (except for maybe Scientology) is that life is bigger that just you. Life does not revolve around you. This thought helps people make a huge reality check in seeing how maybe they fit into the bigger picture or that one failing moment is no the end of the world…life will continue on.
      Point #6 is talking about this last point I just mentioned. It explains that it is important to take time to recognize the beautiful things around you and enjoy them and be THANKFUL for them.
      Point #15.. wait are you just saying that you are relating a victorias secret model ANGEL to a religious slur? woww… referring to someone as an angel means they are perfect, pure, too good to be true, etc. ya.. VS models have perfect bodies… but the message trying to be shown in the post is that you can still be an angel without being the VS version of an angel. You can be the best friend or the perfect assistant where someone sees you as their godsend. And just to be clear, so you don’t think another biblical reference is being made the definition of godsend is “a desirable or needed thing or even that comes unexpectedly.”

      • I think a better message to take to your children is that there is something beyond themselves, whether they will believe it is a God or just Earth/the universe itself. Having a sense of spirituality is more important than participation in organized religion especially when the children are young because they’re still in the blind obedience stage (they can’t evaluate it and determine if they want to believe in that or not). I know when I have children I will introduce them to every religion from Christianity to Buddhism, and see if I can take them to meet a religious leader at a church, a mosque, a synagogue, etc. and let them learn about each one so they can make their own decisions about what they want to believe in. I just want them to see that no matter what they believe in, everyone believes in something larger than themselves.

    • Where do you think the first man on earth got his education from. There is always a teacher. I am just asking, life is full of crap. It is not as easy as it seems. You start training your baby from day 1, you show your baby the way things are done, you teach them how to live in this world, educate them the laws of the country he is born in. Like you said, you teach them the right and the wrong. A baby does not learn all this on its own. You have to let him know. Similarly, there must be a Supernatural being who educated the first person on earth. You can not become a doctor without reading Medical books, similarly, you can not understand the great phenomenon of faith, God and religion without a scripture. Just because you did not get into a right institution to learn what or which one is right does not mean that your baby has to suffer the same. The ‘moralities’ do not appear on its own neither do they grow with time nor invented. They are taught! ALWAYS!

  42. Hi Lisa,
    I don’t know how I happened apon your advice for your little girl but when it popped up I knew I
    Had to read it. Your advice is beautiful and wise, moral and clean. I’m a convert to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and if you would like your sweet daughter to stay that way and be surrounded by like minded children and teens you may want to visit a chapel near you this Sunday. The church puts out a book called “For the Strength of Youth,” and it’s a wonderful
    inspired guide book much like your own advice. Based on the doctrine of the Church we know that families are forever and what lasts the longest is the most important. This doctrine helps establish priorities that keep families , good choices, self respect and respect for others at tne core of all we say and do. The community of Saints is like heaven on earth and I hope to meet you there someday.
    God Bless,
    MK

  43. Thank you for this heart-felt post. I can’t tell you how many items on your list are on mine too. My soon-to-be-eight-year-old daughter is like an old soul. She prefers shorts to dresses and aqua to pink. (Total opposite of her toddler year choices.) She often assures me, “Mommy, I will still love you and hug you and be nice to you even when I’m a teenager.” Oh, how I wish I could bottle that promise six years from now! From a mother to another – you are awesome.

  44. I’ll add: “Become an adult who can express herself to her children without using words like ‘ass’ and ‘flippin'”.

    Embarrassing.

  45. I love both the boy & girl list. I have a 9 year old girl & a 5 year old boy. I love that my daughter is not a follower & has her own thoughts & opinions. (although she loves Justin Beiber right now gag). My son is absolutley precious too. Very well written lists! I am printing these off as a daily reminder of what I want them to know! Oh & if my son EVER wore his pants like that there will be a problem & my daughter better not ever bring a boy home with pants like that. Terrible fear i have! Thank you again!!!

  46. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 2 years old. I am now a few weeks from 18, and ready to start figuring out my life. I’ve found myself looking for the things she would be telling me. The advice she would have given when my first boyfriend hurt me, when I couldn’t find the right prom dress, or when my friends left me alone. This helped. So thank you. Because everything you wrote is true, and all young girls will discover it eventually. I am so happy for your daughter to have someone to guide her in the right direction, to know that she won’t have to learn these lessons the way I did, because even though my father is the most wonderful man I know, there are some things that can only be handled with a mother’s love. Thank you.

    • Hi K,
      Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. It sounds to me that you are a smart, beautiful, and loving person (all of the things your mother would have wanted you to be!). Your father is certainly lucky to have such a well-rounded, wonderful daughter. I wish you all the best on your adventures into adulthood and hope you always find it within yourself to choose what’s right for you. Happy (early) 18th Birthday! ~Lisa

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  48. Gaaah, this made me cry! I’m only 20 and don’t have any kids yet, but if I have girls in the future, that’s exactly what I want them to know. Especially about the make-up and boys and just being confident in exactly who they are. Natural beauty is where it’s at.

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  51. Very lovely post. Seldom do people take the time to explain these things to young girls; especially numbers 5,8,9, 13 and 19 (my favorites). I’ve I’m blessed with a daughter in the futre I plan to tell her these things as well. Thank you for sharing!

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  54. #12… that girl is from my high school. In knowing her, I’m glad you posted her picture to show your daughters how NOT to dress. Gave me a nice chuckle :)
    Love the post as well.

  55. You have worded it so beautifully. Let me tell you this list is universal. I am sitting here in India and I can totally relate this to Indian conditions. When I have a daughter I will definitely keep this in mind. Thank you so so much for sharing. Love

  56. This was one of the most sensible and honest lists I ‘ve read.., very worthwhile things to tell daughters now. I have a daughter but she is grown now and has a 7 year old son. As a parent, when one is bringing up children everyday, it is often difficult to see exactly how you are doing, if they are going to be “alright”. It’s one of those things that require time, a lot of patience, nerves of steel and tons of hope; then when you see them as adults, you see ‘how you did’. What I always found funny, for want of a better word, was that the things that you remember as important may not be what they remember, and some little thing or incident that you gave little concern to at the time, meant the world to them. And at 62, looking back, I guess I did okay because she is everything a mom could want in a person, strong, intelligent, kind, not with out some minor faults, but who isn’t, but for the most part a very good person and I am very proud of her. Sorry about the ramble… From this list, yours is/are also very lucky.

  57. Being a 21 year old reading through this list, I think my own mama did a pretty good job of instilling this “list of things” , and I personally think that it worked out pretty well. :) I love you’re #2 saying “smart is the new cool”. This lesson was probably one of the most significant ones that I learned from my mom and dad. They used to always tell me, “You can either be the nerd, or work for the nerd.” I am not quite sure why this was so motivating for me, but ever since I was young, I have taken pride in being smart and nerdy. I also like your #9. I remember when I got my first Brittney Spears CD (when she was still innocent wearing a jean skirt and pink short sleeve shirt) and I instantly was hooked to her pop-y music. However, by the time Brittney released her second CD she was wearing scandalously low cut jeans and a half of a shirt. I remember that was when my mom sat down and talked to me about the subject of self-image. She never directly said I needed to stop listening to Brittney’s music, but rather recognize that the type of image she was portraying (slutty clothing/lyrics/etc) and how that image really masks the true beauty of a woman because the focus becomes on HOW you look and not your inner beauty of how smart/kind/faithful you truly are. For some reason, that conversation was enough for me to decide that I no longer was a fan of Brittney…
    One of the things you might want to add (and still fits the same theme of what you are trying to say) is #26 you would want to tell your daughter is that “no dream is too big to live for.” or #27 “never be afraid to fail”. While although these 2 things put your daughter in a very vulnerable place and definitely removes her from her comfort zone, these moments allow someone to live with no regrets and continue to challenge themselves to their fullest capabilities. Also, the amount of confidence you build when you do have successes is insurmountable. The reason you have your friends and families is to help celebrate in your triumphs and comfort you when you do fail. There is also something comforting in someone telling you it is okay to fail or fall short as long as you tried your hardest.
    Thanks for the list. It has just further supported how smart of a woman my own mother is. :) I am sure your own daughter will grow up into a wonderful lady.

  58. I’d like to add what my husband told our girls….”Never date anyone who doesn’t treat you as well as I do.” Because the most wonderful thing a man can give his daughters is to love their mother.

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  61. My daughter is only 6 1/2 months old but I already put together a list of 10 things I do everyday to help develop her self esteem and nurture her. It’s a rough world out there and even though I can’t keep her from it, I can equip her to deal with it. Love this posting. I also blog! Love to read other Mommy’s wise words. If you have time check out mine too! Tell me what you think of my list of 10 loving acts! It’s under “confessions”. :) I will be keeping an eye on your blog! http://www.fabulousmaternalblessed.blogspot.com

      • Thanks for posting. Maybe this suggestion is late, but it seems counterproductive to include
        pictures (picture’s worth 1K words, right?!) of what you DON’t want to see. Please
        consider re-phrasing those particular points in positive-speak and posting positive images
        of what you DO hope. And I don’t think you are stuck in the 50’s like one respondent
        assumed. Being loving, beautiful, and true are timeless.

  62. Thank you for sharing & cherish each & every second of every day for b/4 u know. It its over and off they go,you have a very beautiful family love you guys take care your cousin Dawn

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  64. Very profound. I hope my daughter reads
    this and gives a copy to her daughter. My
    daughter does most if not all of these things. One thing the author did not mention unless
    I missed it, is to let your daughter know she is
    beautiful. I regret not telling her that more
    when she was growing up because I thought
    she might grow up conceited. She did not
    grow up conceited but grew up not knowing
    how beautiful she really is. She is also beautiful
    inside and I am so proud of her, she has no idea

    Thank you for putting this on here. I will
    try to send it to her so she knows how I
    feel. Amy is a very special person to me
    and means the world to me and her dad.
    I am very sorry if I ever hurt her (feelings)
    or anything and want her to know I will always
    be there for her and he family.

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  66. Even I have a daughter of 10 months. I forget myself when she is with me. I feel it the most happiest and lovely feeling I have ever had or going to have in my whole life. I wish my love for my daughter should be understanded by her as she grows up and could understand the love of a father. I want to tell her all the things beutifilly said by u and wish she should live her life in reality not in a mterialistic. May God give me the strength to fulfil her all wishes. I love you Yuhana…..

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  68. I love when old people try to act like time doesn’t change things. So you want your daughter to stay trapped in 1950? I feel sorry for her. Baggy pants complaints? Whatever, grandpa. Sexuality is a way to judge negatively, and not much else? Got it, that won’t traumatize a kid. Terrible advice, terribly written to boot.

  69. This is great Lisa, it brought a tear to my eye.
    I was just wondering though, are these just the lessons you mean to teach your daughter as she grows up, or are you intending to actually give her this list one day? And if so, when do you feel is the time for that?

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  71. To all 4 of my smart, God loving and beautiful (inside and out) daughters: Smart is the new cool.

    This is my all time favorite, and I hope they never forget it. You can be the best looking girl in the room, and not have a clue as to what is going on around you. My Mom was very smart, very independent, and could play the piano like nothing I have ever heard. That is what I remember about her. Not how pretty she was. That is also why she is so highly respected today by so many.

    Thank you for sharing this post. It made me tear up ;)

  72. Thank you so so so much for sharing these amazing, inspiring, witty, funny, meaningful, heartfelt words : ) I will definitely share them with my daughter and son. Thank you once again.

  73. Why do you assume that your daughter will be straight? What if she turns out to be a lesbian? Why do you automatically envision her with a future boyfriend?

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  75. I don’t see a list of the household things you will teach your daughter (like you plan to teach your son). Sons AND daughters need to take care of their living environment. You have a great list!

  76. This is so true. Printed it for my 11 year old daughter who is starting with fashion, peer pressure, and tech stuff. I remind her everyday about being a true person and loving herself.

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