1. She has to learn from her own mistakes, she can’t learn from yours.
2. Tell her your mistakes anyway. Not so she can avoid them, but so she learns it’s ok to make them, and so she knows that you’ve been where she is.
3. Help her develop her femininity and masculinity from an early age. Play sports with her as much as you play dress up with her. Teach her how to apply mascara, and teach her how to change a tire.
4. Honor all the ways she is different from you. She was put on this earth to be her, not a mini-you.
5. Encourage her to question everything, even you.
6. You’re not her friend. You’re her mother.
7. Have all types of music playing, all the time. Give her the gift of rhythm through osmosis.
8. She has to date some assholes before she can appreciate a good man (or woman). Let it happen. The more disapproval you show, the less she’ll want to share with you.
9. Take her camping. Take her to the beach. Take her to the desert. Drown her in nature.
10. Help her think through things, offer your perspective, but resist telling her what to do.
11. Meditate with her. Make it part of her routine like taking a shower or brushing her teeth.
12. It’s ok if she wants different things for herself than what you want for her.
13. Raise her to make her own decisions, and then trust the ones she makes.
14. Develop an interest in her interests. If she’s into video games, pick up a controller. If she’s into yoga, start stretching.
15. Show her both sides of every story. Expect her to develop her own opinion, not just parrot yours.
16. Fill her world with a variety of powerful women. From Eleanor Roosevelt to Laura Croft. Mother Teresa to Lady Godiva. Elizabeth Bennet to Katniss Everdeen.
17. Never yell at her for crying.
18. Help her cultivate an appreciation for healthy living, but never critique her appearances. She’ll get an abundance of that from everyone else in the world, it should never be from you.
19. Make sure she knows how to indulge in chocolate, without a damn thought about calories.
20. Try your best to resist complimenting her on her looks, and even on her intelligence. Compliment her on her hard work, her perseverance, and her kindness.
21. Make dirty jokes. Let her know sex is a safe topic.
22. If you’re anxious about something, she’ll learn it’s something to be anxious about. Don’t sweat the small stuff, so she doesn’t either.
23. Read to her, and then read with her.
24. Let her explore. Let her go wherever she wants to go, and let her know you’ll be there when she returns. But give her mace to take with her.
25. Don’t let her take herself too seriously. Tease her regularly.
26. Admit when you’re wrong, and when you don’t know something. Teach her its ok to not know it all.
27. Remind her to look up. At the stars. At the clouds. At the leaves. Just look up and remember how tiny we are.
28. Develop an interest in her friends. If she finds something lovable about them, you can too. It’s in your best interest for her friends to feel comfortable with you and welcome in your home.
29. Dance with her. On a Tuesday. In the afternoon. In the kitchen. Teach her to cha-cha.
30. Always treat others with respect, treat yourself with respect, and demand respect from others. You’re the model from which she’ll learn how to treat others, how to treat herself, and how to expect others to treat her.
31. Expose her to many possibilities, but then sit back and watch her become whoever it is she wants to become with warmth and acceptance.
32. Take care of yourself so a) she learns to take care of herself, and b) she learns she doesn’t have to take care of you.
* Special thanks to my mama(s), for passing many of these blessings along ❤
I plan to keep adding to the list, so let me know what you think I missed!