25 RULES FOR MOTHERS OF DAUGHTERS
1. Paint her nails. Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up.
Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly remind her that
living and having fun is most important.
2. Let her put on
your makeup, even if it means bright-red-smudged lips and streaked-blue
eyes. Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you…then let her be
3. Let her be wild.
She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want
to hop on the back of a motorcycle-gasp. She may be a homebody or a
traveler. She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet mr. right at
age 5. Try to remember that you were her age once. Everyone makes
mistakes, let her make her own.
4. Be present. Be there for her
at her Kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer
games…her everyday-little-moments. When she looks through the crowds of
people, she will be looking for your smile and pride. Show it to her as
often as possible.
5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and
play dress-up. If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with
high heals, allow it. If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur costume
to the grocery store, why stop her? She needs to decide who she is and
be confident in her decision.
6. Teach her to be independent.
Show her by example that woman can be strong. Find and follow your own
passions. Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself-
not just your husband or children. Define yourself by your own
attributes, not by what others expect you to be. Know who you are as a
person, and help your daughter find out who she is.
7. Pick flowers with her. Put them in her hair. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.
8. Let her get messy. Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes
you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud
pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen. The most wonderful of
memories are often the messy ones.
9. Give her good role
models- you being one of them. Introduce her to successful woman-
friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors. Read to her about
influential woman- Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie. Read her
the words of inspirational woman- Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily
Dickinson. She should know that anything is possible.
10. Show her affection. Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother. “I love yous” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.
11. Hold her hand. Whether she is 3 years-old in the parking lot or
sixteen years old in the mall, hold on to her always- this will teach
her to be confident in herself and proud of her family.
Believe in her. It is the moments that she does not believe in herself
that she will need you to believe enough for both of you. Whether it is a
spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date,
or the first day of college…remind her of the independent and capable
woman you have taught her to be.
13. Tell her how beautiful she
is. Whether it is her first day of Kindergarten, immediately after a
soccer game where she is grass-stained and sweaty, or her wedding day.
She needs your reminders. She needs your pride. She needs your
reassurance. She is only human.
14. Love her father. Teach her to love a good man, like him. One who lets her be herself…she is after all wonderful.
15. Make forts with boxes and blankets. Help her to find magic in the
ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales. Someday
she will make her 5 by 5 dorm-room her home with magic touches and
inspiration. And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be
16. Read to her. Read her Dr. Seuss and Eric
Carle. But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost.
Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them.
Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much
meaning. Help her to find their meaning.
17. Teach her how to
love- with passion and kisses. Love her passionately. Love her father
passionately and her siblings passionately. Express your love. Show her
how to love with no restraint. Let her get her heart broken and try
again. Let her cry, and gush, giggle and scream. She will love like you
love or hate like you hate. So, choose love for both you and her.
18. Encourage her to dance and sing. Dance and sing with her- even if
it sounds or looks horrible. Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes. Let her
dance on her daddy's feet and spin in your arms. Then later, let her
blast noise and headbang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants.
Or karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather.
Introduce her to the classics- like The Beatles- and listen to her
latest favorite- like Taylor Swift. Share the magic of music together,
it will bring you closer- or at least create a soundtrack to your life
19. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk
about anything. Let her tell you about boys, friends, school. Listen.
Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. She is not only your
daughter, you are not only her mother. Be her friend too.
Teach her manners. Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just
her friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words
21. Teach her when to stand-up and when to walk
away. Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses,
or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat - let her know she does not
have to listen. Make sure she knows how to demand respect - she is
worthy of it. It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or
words, because sometimes you say more with silence. Also make sure she
knows which battles are worth fighting. Remind her that some people can
be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help
her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk-away. Teach her to be
the better person.
22. Let her choose who she loves. Even when
you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him
without your disapproving words; she will anyway. When he breaks her
heart, be there for her with words of support rather than I told-you-so.
Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one. And when she
finds the one, tell her.
23. Mother her. Being a mother - to
her - is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with
her the joys of motherhood, so one day she will want to be a mother too.
Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will
ever love her like you love her. No one can replace or replicate a
mother's love for their children.
24. Comfort her. Because
sometimes you just need your mommy. When she is sick, rub her back, make
her soup and cover her in blankets - no matter how old she is. Someday,
if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face,
encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments
she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back
in attempt to comfort her...she may just whisper, "I need my mommy."
25. Be home. When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will
come to you; welcome her. When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run
to you to share her news; embrace her. When she is lost or confused, she
will search for you; find her. When she needs advice on boys, schools,
friends or an outfit; tell her. She is your daughter and will always
need a safe harbor - where she can turn a key to see comforting eyes and
a familiar smile; be home.