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Things I Want My Daughter to Know
Being a Girl
"Girls can wear jeans, and cut their hair short, wear shorts and boots, because it's ok to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girl is degrading." - Madonna, What it Feels Like For a Girl
In today's culture, it can be difficult to be a girl. There are so many pressures, and it's hard to stand your ground.
Being the mother of a baby girl, I feel fear. I want her to grow up with a backbone and an opinion. I want her to follow her passions, no matter what others say, and I don't want her to be "boy crazy." So I write this now. I hope that, someday, she will take this advice, and find a way to create her own happiness in this world.
You are only young once. Then your life gets filled with so many worries and responsibilities.
So have tea parties, play dress up, and go on adventures. Build a fort and hang a sign that says "No Boys Allowed!"
(Boys have cooties, anyway!)
Speak Your Mind
Your thoughts and opinions matter!
There is so much fear of rejection that it can sometimes be difficult to say what you are really thinking. It is important that we emphasize to young girls that it is ok to be wrong. Sometimes saying what is on your mind can lead you to amazing realizations. And there is as much of a chance for you to be right as you are to be wrong.
So be brave! Say it!
Your Weight Does Not Define You
In our society, there is so much emphasis on being skinny. But that is such a waste of time! I would much rather my daughter be happy and have a little curve to her. That is so much more beautiful than the skeletons shown on all of those advertisements.
And those women aren't even real! They are airbrushed like crazy to look like that. Girls are aiming for a body that is physically impossible.
So to my daughter: forget the size 0 jeans; aim for healthy, not skinny.
You Don't Need a Man to be Complete
It is so important for you to learn about you! Who are you? What do you want to do with your life? What are your goals?
Figuring out these things can be difficult when you're in a relationship. Instead of finding what YOU need, you worry about fitting yourself into a couple. You lose out.
I know all about this. I starting dating the man I would marry at the age of 15. Almost ten years later, I am just starting to figure out who I am and what I want. And it has been a struggle.
So put off the boys. Focus on you for awhile!
What is the most important thing you want your own child to learn?
Be Able to Stand on Your Own Two Feet
Watching my mother struggle after her divorce was hard. She was completely dependent on my dad, and when he left, she had to figure it out.
Being able to support yourself is so important. Get an education. Get a job. Never let yourself be that dependent. I'm not saying that being a stay-at-home mom isn't an option. Just be able to stand alone if the worst should happen.
"You are just as good as everyone else, and better than most."
My mother used to say this to me so often when I was a child. And I never forgot it.
She taught me to stand up for myself and to never let anyone tell me I was less. She taught me to never take less than what was due to me.
And, more importantly, she taught me that other people have a point of view, too. They may seem like an awful person, but I needed to realize that I didn't know their whole story. It was important to treat people the way that I wanted to be treated.
Your Personality Makes You More Beautiful Than Any Makeup Ever Will
There has always been that saying, "It's what's on the inside that counts."
I really want this to hit home with my little girl. I think that she is gorgeous, but I don't want her to think that she should just fall back on her looks. I want to emphasize kindness, honesty, intelligence, and empathy. I want her to be beautiful inside and out.
Those who depend solely on their good looks never really amount to much, and I have higher hopes for my daughter. I want her to affect the world; I want her to make an impact on someone's life. Being pretty is just so pedestrian. She is so much more than her beauty.
Future Mothers: This is for you!
I will always be there to lean on
I want my daughter to know that, no matter what, she will never be alone.
If she gets in trouble, needs money, or just wants a shoulder to cry on, I'm there. Always. No matter what.
Before I had her, I never knew how strong the mother-child bond is. Now I feel as though I understand. There is nothing she could do to impact the amount of love I feel for her. I want her to succeed, fall in love, experience life, laugh until her belly hurts, and feel a real sense of accomplishment.
I want her to live life to the fullest and ignore all of those awful pressures from our culture. I want her to be her, however she wants to do it. And I want her to be happy.
© 2013 Stephanie Constantino