Thursday, March 1, 2012
My 20 Rules For Raising a Daughter
I got the idea for this post from Pinterest. I have seen several different lists floating around and I thought it important to make my own. I'm calling it a list of rules but really it's my goals for what I want to teach Amelia. It felt good to sit down and really think about the things I want to teach her. As a parent it can be easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about the big picture. I hope to come back to this list often to get a little perspective.
1. Teach her to care for her appearance but remind her living and having fun are more important.
2. Let her dress herself, even if she wants to mix stripes with a floral print. Let her experiment with her self expression.
3. Let her make mistakes. It’s tempting to try to protect her from pain and disappointment but it is what we learn from the mistakes we make that make us who we are.
4. Be present. Don’t call watching TV together “family time.” Get down on her level and play. This teaches her she is valuable.
5. Teach her to be independent. Follow your dreams and passions. Let yourself be defined by more than just what others expect of you, but by your attributes. Lead by example.
6. Let her get messy. Splash in puddles, dance in the rain, make mud pies. The best memories are often the messiest.
7. Believe in her. It is in those moments of self doubt that she will need you to believe enough in her for the both of you.
8. Encourage her father to spend time with her, just the two of them. She needs that relationship to learn how to accept/expect love and respect from men.
9. Compliment her often. She needs those reassurances and she needs to know of your pride in her.
10. Let her pretend. Let her believe in fairy tales. She will have her whole life to live in reality. Let her find magic in the ordinary.
11. Read to her. Just like pretending, reading will open new worlds to her. Help her discover the wonder of words on a page coming to life. It’s a joy that will be with her for life, but starts with you.
12. Sing and Dance. Do it often. Show her the simple joy of jammin’ to your favorite song with the windows down and the wind in your hair. Help her compose the soundtrack of her life.
13. Teach her to love by loving her and passionately expressing it. Love her father, teach her to love a man like him, someone who lets her be herself and loves her for it.
14.Listen. Communicate. Talk, share secrets and dreams. Teach her that her point of view and opinion matter.
15. Be there to comfort her, whether she is sick or broken hearted. Let her lean on you. There is nothing like a mother’s care to make everything alright again.
16. Pray with her daily. Teach her how to talk with God. Show her how to have a relationship with Him by sharing yours.
17. Take time to enjoy the simple things. Every so often spend a day just enjoying time together. Bring her into bed with you one morning and lounge around until noon, cook together, laugh together, be silly. These are the moments she will hold onto and try to replicate with her children someday.
18. Teach her to try new things. Be there to catch her when she falls and help her back up while encouraging her to try again. Have adventures together!
19. Show her how to laugh at herself. Having a sense of humor can help make even the stickiest situations better.
20. Be her friend. This will teach her how to be a friend. Teach her how to recognize and hold onto a good friend and how to let the others go.
I am curious, what are your rules for raising daughters? Or sons?