I’m a girly girl.. unapologetically! I love things like nail polish, lip gloss and Katy Perry (lol… yeah, I said it). One of my favorite things in the world to do is to rock a cute dress and some fly shoes; it makes me feel feminine and fearless! Obviously, having a polished look is a big deal to me; as a wife and mom, I feel like I am a representation of my family and my goal is to represent them fairly well. What’s more important to me, however, is being a solid individual. Here’s why…
I realize that as the mother of a young girl, the decisions that I make are destined to impact my child and shape her way of thinking. At this point in her life, she watches everything that I do very closely and strives to emulate mommy as much as possible. Sometimes, watching her is like having an out-of-body experience; it amazes me to see a little person who looks like me, acts like me, speaks like me and strives to have my acceptance. I love her so much and I have learned so much from her… she definitely helps to make me a better mom.
As part of my motherly duties, one of my main goals concerning my little girl is to teach her to be comfortable in her skin. I want her to understand how unique and amazing she is as an individual. I want her to grow into an amazing woman with tons to offer the world and in order to get there, here are 13 things I hope to teach my daughter.
1. You are Amazing
Know that and embrace it. Knowing that you are an amazing person does not equate to being arrogant, conceited or smug. What it does is that it (1) challenges you to be your best self in order to live up to that badge of honor, and (2) teaches you not to accept less than what you are worth. Most importantly, it’s not enough to simply [think you] know that you are amazing, if you embrace it, then you must be the caring, kind, thoughtful, considerate, passionate, amazing person that you say and think you are.
2. Just Be Yourself
Everyone is not the same. In fact, it would be quite the boring world if we all were. You are a unique individual and you should happily embrace that uniqueness. From very early on in your life, you have been magnetizing; people have always been drawn to you. Remember, that the only thing you did to draw them in was to be yourself. Just being yourself is good enough. People will always ultimately appreciate a genuine person over one that goes out of their way to do or be something that is outside of their character. You will ultimately appreciate that quality about yourself as well. Sincerity beats insincerity any day.
3. Smart is Fierce
No matter what anyone tells you, nerds rule! Especially when they’re well rounded. Anyone who tries to convince you that smart people aren’t cool is probably jealous because they aren’t smart or they’re otherwise inept. Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and knowledge indeed IS power. Being smart can really take you places, though not without hard work. Be smart, work hard and enjoy life – you won’t regret it!
4. Inner Beauty Rules
We all secretly desire to display an outer beauty that is commonly accepted by the masses… that is, we all want the world to think that we are beautiful. And honestly, with a little self care, for the most part, we can all achieve a look that works for us, that we can enjoy, and that is generally acceptable. You should strive to take care of yourself, but more important than outer beauty is inner beauty. No one really cares that you’re the best looking person they’ve ever seen in their life if you’re an awful human being who contributes no good to the world. There are some people out there who care how you look, but most people care more about the way that you make them feel. You should strive to be a light in the world, strive to bring beauty to the masses, strive to bring joy to your friends and loved ones, strive to be a good and decent human being. You should never do this at the expense of your own health and sanity, but strive to be the best that you can. When beauty radiates from within, the world can’t help but to see it.
5. Learn to Discern and Use Wisdom
Wisdom is defined as the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight. It is also defined as the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise. Wisdom is an important trait, one that has great impact on our lives and our decision making abilities. Not to be confused with intelligence, wisdom has more to do with how you apply what you know when coupled with your sensibilities. It is so important for us to use wisdom and good judgment as we travel along life’s roads. Intelligence and common sense equips us with the knowledge of right and wrong, wisdom impacts how we act on those things. Great wisdom comes with time and experience, but the gift of discernment helps us to figure it out along the way. Never be afraid to follow your gut and use that gift. It may not seem fun in the moment, but you’ll thank yourself later.
6. Never Hold Yourself Back
Sometimes we can get in our own way by convincing ourselves that we can’t do something, that we aren’t good enough, that we don’t have what it takes and the list could go on and on. Free yourself from your own stronghold. Using wisdom, of course, don’t allow others to convince you that you aren’t good enough and don’t allow yourself to do the same. If something is important to you, give it a shot! The worst thing that could happen is that you fail, and if you do, simply pick yourself up, realize the lesson in your failure and allow life to go on. Trust me… it will. The next adventure will be waiting just around the bend.
7. Be Cautious with Your Heart, But Don’t Be Cold
You are important to me and I feel compelled to protect your heart. As you grow older, you will learn to do the same. When it comes to matters of the heart, be rightfully cautious but careful not to be cold. It’s difficult to figure out if someone is “the one” if you never truly let them in. In addition, when you discover things (causes) that you feel passionately about, support them with all your heart. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of, but remember, it is always rewarding to do good things for others.
8. Be Trustworthy
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be honest and try your best to keep your word. It is important for people to know that they can trust you and can count on you. Remember the story about the little boy who cried wolf and ensure that you never become like him.
9. Kindness over Meanness
It’s quite simple. Always be kind to others, you never know what someone is going through; a simple smile can be enough to save someone’s life. I know it can be tough sometimes and I know that sometimes others provoke you, but kindness will always take you far. Besides, no one likes mean girls anyway. When they’re old enough to know better, mean girls don’t even like themselves.
10. You Don’t Have to Undress to Get Attention
The attention that girls get when they undress or underdress is not the type of attention you want. It’s better to be classy, fun and fly! You get to enjoy the awesome ‘fits and you get to feel good about yourself at the end of the day. There is nothing worse than looking back at pictures ten years later, once you’ve had the chance to mature a bit, and being completely embarrassed by what you see. Just keep it civilized and you shouldn’t have to worry about that part.
11. Don’t Rush to Grow Up
Let me assure you that becoming a grown up is overrated. Work, bills and responsibility all the time… just enjoy your childhood, it only happens once. Every phase of life is beautiful in its own way. Enjoy growing up. There’s nothing like being a child, being oblivious to the troubles of the world and having your sole job in life to be going to school, obeying your parents and having fun! How easy is that?
12. You Are Loved
I can’t anticipate the troubles that we might go through and I can’t even imagine the day when we won’t see eye to eye. But, God-willing you will become a teenager and those days are inevitably coming. Whatever happens, please know that you are loved. Your mother and father love you from the bottom of our hearts and from the pits of our souls. Nothing will EVER change that.
13. God Conquers All
There is nothing too great for God, so be sure to maintain a great relationship with Him. Talk to Him all the time, when things are going well and when things are feeling tough. Pray constantly and know that He’s on your side.
This clearly isn’t an exhaustive list, these are simply some things that I hope to impart along the way. She’s already such an amazing child, I hope that my guidance and example will help to make her an equally amazing woman.