(This article originally appeared on Meetothermums.com)
I worry a lot.
My latest ongoing worry is about how on earth you’re supposed to help your child grow into an amazing (but normal) human being and not screw it up.
Not so long ago my only real responsibilities were to make sure that my little pink bundle was safe, warm, clean and fed. As long as I did all those things I was doing pretty well. Now that little bundle will be turning 5 in a few months the responsibility of guiding her in the right direction is slightly overwhelming.
What if I forget something really important, and I remember too late when she’s 18 and heading off to Uni? What if she’s too shy to ever speak up for herself and goes through life not getting what she wants? And how am I supposed to keep her from turning into a Miley or Kardashian wannabe?
The temptation to take my family and go and live in a hippy commune is quite strong sometimes.
So as I have another 14 or so years to worry about helping my child develop into a well rounded grown up, here’s a list of values and traits I want to teach my little girl as she grows up…
Don’t change your opinions, beliefs, or interests just to make people like you. Do what makes you happy. Happiness is important.
Put your hand up in class when you know the answer, and even when you don’t. Have opinions and make sure they’re heard. Don’t be a pushover, it’s ok to say no.
Treat other people nicely and always look out for your friends & family. Have compassion and help those in need.
People can be mean
Really mean. Don’t waste time on friends (or boys) who treat you badly. Chin up, move on and don’t let them know you’re upset.
Try your best
That’s all we will ever ask.
Don’t bottle things up
If something is troubling you, talk about it. To us, your friends, your teachers, anyone, just get it out in the open.
Nothing in life is free. If you want something you will have to work your little socks off to get it. If you wait for it to come you, you could be waiting a long time.
You are beautiful
I don’t care what the so called ‘experts’ say about not telling your child they’re beautiful. Growing up thinking “even my own parents never told me I was beautiful” doesn’t bear thinking about, so always know that we think you’re the most beautiful girl in the world.
Don’t chase boys
The ones who are worth it don’t need chasing.
Be whatever you want to be
Whether it’s having a family, or a career or both, the decision is up to you. If you want to be a rocket scientist or a hair dresser it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s your choice.
So those are the 10 things I want my daughter to know. The list took a long time, and there will no doubt be many additions as my daughter grows. Maybe I’ll have to do another list next year!
What would you want to tell your children? Have I forgotten anything?!