People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Rules for Parents of Daughters

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Rules for Parents of Daughters

I realized when I wrote my sons' piece earlier this week I titled it Rules for Mothers of Sons.  I was so wrong to just single out mothers.  These rules are for all parents.  Sorry, dads, you don't get a pass.  Kids need as much guidance as they can get!

Tonight I went out with the girls and I told them I was going to write this post so they helped me come up with some good ones!  Thanks, girls!

So here we go:  PIWTPITT 25 Rules for Parents of Daughters (because as I was making this list it seemed to me that I can screw up my daughter easier than my son so I needed more rules):


1.  Teach your daughter to never allow herself to be anyone's property and that you will cut her out of your will if she ever wears shorts that claim otherwise.

Mike's bitch would get a kick in the ass

2.  Teach your daughter to talk about her feelings - not eat them or purge them.  Or if she doesn't want to talk, teach her to express her feelings through writing, art, music, sports, etc.  Anything but food or drugs.

3.  Teach your daughter to work with what she's got and love what she's got.  Tall, short, fat, thin, your daughter is beautiful - inside and out.  Make sure you tell her all the time and make sure she believes it.  




4.  Teach your daughter to like and respect herself and demand respect from those around her.  She might end up lonely at times, but at least she won't be a doormat.

5.  Teach your daughter that "fish lips" photos are never appropriate and never attractive.


6.  Teach your daughter to value herself enough to defend herself - physically and verbally.  Let your daughter watch "The Burning Bed."  She'll never forget it and she'll always know she has "options" if she finds herself in an abusive relationship.

7.  Teach your daughter to go easy on the plastic surgery.

Aging gracefully can't be worse than this hot mess.

8.  Teach your daughter to be strong and confident in her abilities and not be afraid of failure.  Teach her that sometimes she will fail, but she can't let that fear stop her from trying something.



9.  Teach your daughter that has the right to get loud.  Make sure she knows girls can get angry, they can have opinions and they can throw "lady like" behavior out the window if necessary.



10.  Teach your daughter to never text/email/snail mail naked photos of herself to anyone.  Ever.  Ever.  Ever.

11.  Teach your daughter what a douche canoe is so she can avoid them.


12.  Teach your daughter to never steal her best friend's boyfriend.  That's just a real skank move.  What is it that our mothers always told us?  "Boys come and go, but girlfriends are forever."  Still true.

13.  Teach your daughter that having her underwear and half her ass hanging out the back of her jeans is not attracting anyone substantial nor does it make her look smart - even in the library.


14.  Never let your daughter wear clothing with sexually inappropriate "cutesy" sayings.

Her shirt says "Hooters' Girl in Training." Nice job, parents. You suck.

15.  Teach your daughter that smart girls get further in life than slutty girls.

16.  Teach your daughter to walk away from the teen magazines.  There is so much pressure put on young girls these days to look pretty or hot it's nauseating.


 859 Ways to Get Pretty for Summer and Look Hot in a Bikini??  Really?  How about 859 Tips to Ace the SATs! or 100 Books We Love! or 252 Ways to Succeed in Life Without Using Your Boobs!  ??

17.  Don't let your 9 year old dancer look like a 25 year Pussycat Doll.



18.  Teach your daughter that bigger boobs isn't necessarily a good thing.



19.  Don't let your daughter marry young.  Encourage her to get out and see the world, live on her own and figure out who she is and what she wants in a partner before she settles down.

20.  Teach your daughter that there's nothing wrong with staying home on a Friday night and reading a good book, but try to get her to read more than just Chick Lit.  Give her The Gift of Fear.  This book really empowers women to spot danger signals.  Unfortunately in the world we live in, this is an important gift to have.

21.  Teach your daughter to beat the boys at their own games.

22.  Teach your daughter to be able to laugh at herself and have a sense of humor.  There are so many women I meet that say they have a sense of humor, but they really don't.

23.  Teach your daughter that the "Queen Bees" and "Wanna Bees" and "mean girls" are a waste of time and she should just invest in one or two great friends.

24.  Don't allow her to pierce or tattoo her body until she's on her own.

25.  Teach your daughter that her choices in life are limitless.  She really can do anything - except maybe use the Men's Restroom.

I know there are more, so let's hear them!


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446 comments:

  1. LOVE!!! My 6th grader told me a boy at school had on her same basketball shoes...she told him she had the same pair and his jaw dropped "you DO???"... I told her she should tell him maybe his mom bought him girl shoes. LMAO! :)

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  2. Teach your daughters to look someone in the eye and give a strong handshake. There is nothing worse than a dead-fish-tip-of-the-hand-handshake from another woman. I immediately think they have no self respect.

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    1. Completely agree KB!

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    2. Totally agree, too!

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    3. YES! My two year old already knows how to shake hands (and she says, "Nice to meet you!")

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    4. how about not reading twilight series at all for a SLEW of reasons. ;)

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    5. well that showed up under the wrong comment...

      THIS comment was supposed to say...

      "Don't trust a man that shakes your hand like a dead fish either. Very telling that."

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    6. Honestly I just hired a lady because she had a strong hand shake, smiled and looked me in the eyes!

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    7. 100% agree!!!

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    8. WOW what a GREAT one! A young lady who can ESPECIALLY look an adult in the eye and give a good handshake will make a HUGE impression-- and teach them how important these impressions ARE. Sometimes I think they get trapped somewhere between little kid and awkward teenager and there's just SO MUCH going on, that they forget that people are watching... not their friends, but people who matter. Hold your head up high, look people in the eye, shake a hand, SPEAK to adults...
      My dad used to tell us, "If you need something, and you ask for it in the right way, doors will open." As I have grown, I have learned what this meant.
      Asking for a job, asking for a loan, asking for help... Asking with composure, self-confidence, dignity and respect will improve your chances every time, and will help you deal with the emotional fallout when/if you fail.
      (Btw... I'm pretty sure my sister and I are making fish faces in my current profile pic. We were being ironic. So was the cat. I swear!)

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    9. I worked in Human Resources and let me tell you, I always hated shaking hands with an applicant that gave me the "dead fish" hand shake. I have always had a firm handshake.

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    10. Good one!! As a mom of 3 girls that is going to be a big one!

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    11. ABSOLUTELY. My Dad taught me this one very young, and throughout my job-finding and then early adult years, I cannot tell you how many times I was complemented on my "great handshake" and eye contact. Add posture to the list, can we please? Good posture shows confidence and poise, even if you don't feel it inside at the moment.

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    12. Both my daughters were in the same 3rd grade class with a pair of classy older teachers that really empowered them to think and do right. Every day after school whichever teacher was working that day would get down at eye level with each child on the way out of class, give them a firm handshake (no limp fish allowed), look them in the eye and give them a positive comment to end the day with. It was the best year of their schooling and taught them so much. I still keep in contact with both teachers, they taught me a lot too.

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  3. 19 and 24 are the only ones I have broken.... my daughter has always wanted a tattoo since she was little... she thought about what she wanted for a good 5 years and decided, then stuck on it. I made her wait until she was 18...

    She's getting married in May. Right after she graduates. He's in the army and they are both already so organized and grown up that its freaking me out... but she's dead set on NOT having kids until she has her degree... she wants THEM to have a good time together first.

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  4. Not having sex before marriage REALLY can be an option!

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    1. Amen! And why would you let them watch MTV (Jersey Shore, Real World, Sweet 16, etc)?!

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    3. Totally Agree! See #4 and #15!!!!! They go hand in hand!

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    4. YES! Thank you!

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    5. #4 and #15 are not hand in hand with no sex before marriage. They ARE hand in hand with being a mature adult when you have sex and having reasonable expectations about what you're going to get out of the experience. It's part of seeing the world, finding out who you are, who you want to settle down with (if at all.) Not every woman who has sex outside marriage is a skank or a slut. Be realistic.

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    6. Also not every woman needs or wants to be married so don't teach her she has to be married to have sex, just teach her to be responsible.

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    7. That was my thought when I hit #19. I think emphasizing this is more important than not getting married young. I met my husband my freshman year in college and it was all we could do to wait until I had graduated to get married and consummate the relationship. Looking back after 15 years of very happy marriage, I wish we had gone ahead and gotten married between my sophomore and junior year. It would have saved a lot of frustration (from the burning Paul talks about), and a lot of guilt for how far we did let ourselves go. It just wasn't worth it. But our parents insisted we wait because they thought I'd get pregnant and drop out of college. Still not pregnant btw.

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    8. I agree that no sex before marriage is AN option, but I don't feel it's the BEST option, by a long shot. Having sex before marriage certainly shouldn't be mandatory, but you miss out on learning what good sex is like, you miss out on developing your own sexual skills to bring to a marriage, and if you marry someone who's not compatible with what you like, you might feel trapped or frustrated--or betrayed.

      Just offering an alternative perspective.

      Having said that, engaging in sex you feel pressured or obligated into having is certainly cause for walking away and warning others about the guy/gal in question.

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  5. Don't let your daughters watch Breaking Dawn until they are at least 17, and then you can explain to them that never in their life is anyone going to break a headboard or slice open a feather-spewing pillow during the session. This is wrong and cruel and sets them up for very wrong expectations on sexscapades to come. Spectacular post today!

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    1. Actually... the feather pillow thing is possible. Not slicing it open, but if it's an older one, they have been known to blow out a seam... embarrassing, but freaking hilarious at the same time! And honestly, girls (older than 17, anyway) should be aware that sex is funny at times. If you can laugh with your partner, it's a wonderful thing. :)

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    2. Or any of those movies until she's older or mature enough to realize that Bella is an idiot for going to jump off a cliff because her boyfriend dumped her..... Don't be a dumb girl.

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    3. lmurphy's "idiot" comment is so much more true of a worry for me than anything with sex.

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    4. Yes!!! Women shouldn't have such high, serious expectations for sex. For some reason everyone thinks sex has to be serious and so perfect. No way--sex is sloppy and weird and noisy and sometimes you cramp and sometimes uncomfortable and sometimes it's incredibly intimate and sometimes, well, it's not quite what you thought. But I always laugh at least once every time I get down and dirty. It's funny and amazing. There's no two ways around it. It's probably the most imperfect thing you'll ever do in your life.

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    5. Coffee and Oatmeal:

      I love your post. I am not a girl but I have a daughter I raised by myself with the help of my mother. I agree she was taught to be a strong independent woman. She is 22 now and in a healthy relationship. She also learned what you said there, that sex isn't going to be glitter and fireworks all the time. I have broken beds, headboards, feather pillows have busted open at the seams and feathers flew everywhere causing my partner and myself to dye of laughter (which is also a wonderful thing). But, I also have screamed right at the wrong moment because I pulled a cramp in my groin or my thigh. There have been times Just couldn't get in the right position and it felt the most uncomfortable and not what we expected. But no matter what it was never the same twice in a roll, which keeps it exciting and fun, and I taught my daughter that because of it being such a wonderful thing and so intimate it is something I want to share with someone special and now she looks for that special someone to share it with too.

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    6. It should be added that someone who sneaks into your room at night without permission to "watch you sleep" is creepy; it's not fun having a stalker, someone who follows you everywhere, tells you what to do and then tells you he loves you; lying to your parents to "protect" your boyfriend and his actions will not end in a blissful and beautiful wedding and happily ever after marriage.

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  6. Tragedy will happen in life (could be for both girls and boys) - learn from it. Don't let it make you bitter. There are lessons to be learned and most are from our mistakes and tragedy that occurs.

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  7. OH, and I would add: teach your daughter the REAL TRUTH about having kids. So many get the sugar coated versions the parents give because they don't want to guilt their children or possibly make them feel unloved... it isn't unloved, its HONEST and serves as a great side dish to your regular birth control discussion: babies cry, ALOT. Colic is a real deal, where they bawl for no reason. When you have kids, you can't even make a quick trip to WalMart without it being a major packing adventure. When you have kids, you are no longer "you"... you are "susie's mom" or whoever, and everything is all about them, if you aren't selfless enough to handle that, then you shouldn't have kids yet.

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    1. I appreciate this post! In my line of work I deal with sooo many people that aren't selfless enough to have kids.

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    2. I am 45 and realized a long time ago that I am not selfless enough to have kids. So I don't have kids. Teach your daughters that it is okay for a woman not to have children even if they adore them. Just because everyone thinks you should have a kid does not mean you should. Only the child suffers if the parent is selfish.

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    3. ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!! I have three kids, and MAN I love children... but they are SO much work... SO MUCH WORK. I currently stay at home with my kids, but I have worked in a daycare and I have dealt with women who were not selfless enough to have children. If you can impress upon your daughter that she should go out and see the world and get a good grasp on who she is before she has children, that would be best. I am glad that I didn't start having children until my late 20s or I would have regretted it. Just knowing who I am, I would have regretted not having a life before kids (I'm not saying that everyone who has children young regrets it... I'm just saying that is who I am). And if you don't ever want to put yourself in the position where you are forced to constantly put someone else before yourself, don't have kids. It is ok not to.

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  8. Educate your daughter about not wanting to have a child in high school or right out of high school. It may look like a rainbows and unicorns world when your friend has a baby and her Facebook is covered with all of these cutsie pictures of the baby but what you don't see are the sleepless nights, the time they miss being a teenager/young adult, the spit up in their hair, the dirty diapers piling up all day, etc. Being a mom is hard work, even harder when you are still a child yourself.

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    1. Exactly! We must've been responding at the same time!! LOL

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    2. Great minds think alike!

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  9. I agree with all but 19 :-) I got married young and life my life (hubby is 5.5 years older than me). We have beautiful daughter and another baby due in 2 months :-)...we willbe married 5 years this summer.

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    1. I married at 18 and have been married for ten years. We have three beautiful children, my oldest turned 6 today. Sometimes you just know. I would not change a thing about it!

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    2. I was married at 18, seven months out of high school, to a guy I had only known for 3 months. When you know, you know. I ,too, wouldn't change a thing. We just celebrated our 9 year anniversary. We have a 6 year old, a 3 1/2 year old and a 5 month old. My husband is an amazing husband and father. I don't feel like I missed out on anything. In fact, I'm glad I'm not this age and still having to date. I see a lot of people from high school dating around and I actually feel sorry for them. I'm sure I'll get some slack for that but o well.

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    3. I also married young, I was married and done having kids before I was 20. We have 2 beautiful daughters that are 8 and 10 and we are coming up on our 9th anniversary. It's been the best years of my life and I don't regret anything! While I was making dreams and goals with the love of my life my friends were out getting drunk in the bars and hooking up with numerous guys.... I'm not so sure I made the wrong choice here. :) I'm not saying if you don't get married young you'll be a bar hopper, but I am saying there is nothing wrong with getting married young if you know you've found the one.

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  10. nice one, KB!
    i would also like to add: encourage your daughter to play a team sport. young women's athletics are such a great way to learn leadership skills, make friends and blow off steam. it can also set her up for a healthier body image and contribute to a better understanding of being fit for life. (weight bearing exercise is important for bone density no matter what age we are!)

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  11. Great post...I for one had to look up 'douche canoe' as I am not as 'in the know' and completely agree!

    I especially appreciate 3 & 15 because I think that media and peers place way too much emphasis on girls growing up too quickly. I want my daughter to grow up slowly, have fun doing things like appreciating nature, camping in the outdoors, learning how to change a tire, getting her hands dirty, yet still able to put on a pretty dress and go on a date with her dad.

    I love your posts and will continue to follow!

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  12. I want to add to #1. Seriously, having anything written across your butt is not appropriate. I am so tired of seeing little girls with sayings across the bottom of their shorts. My girls are not allowed to wear these ever! Why do you want all the pervs staring at your little girl's butt.

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    1. I totally agree! I have 1 daughter of my own and 4 daughters that I acquired through my boyfriend. My daughters (all 5) know that I do NOT approve of sayings across the rear end. One of my daughters is a cheerleader and of course, their cheer shorts have cheer written across the rear end, which I hate, but have very little control over. She does not wear them when she is with us and only wears them to cheer practice when she is required to.

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    2. AGREED! My daughter will NOT have anything on her butt!

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  13. Love today's post! I would add to teach your daughter to not fall for the wedding but for the partner. Seeing all these girls on Pinterest pinning their perfect engagement rings, dress, invitation creates an illusion that marriage is about the wedding event, not the "ever after."

    Also, that girls are better than boys because we can do ANYTHING. Boys can't-- they can't have babies!

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    1. Great advice, love it!

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    2. I had to laugh when I saw this about girls can do ANYTHING. I didn't know you could get yourself pregnant. ;) I agree with all these tips. Heck, I won't even have sex wit my fiancee until we are married. I told her that once we started dating, and she was happy I didn't want to because she didn't either. We won't even live with each other until we are married. It was how I was raised, thank God!, and it will be how my daughters/sons will be raised...if I am blessed to have some.

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  14. KB - DITTO!! Dumb, limp-handed lady handshakes are no way to make a good first impression.

    Teach your daughters to ignore the scale. Using some outdated chart that labels a body solely based on height and weight is as ridiculous as the height/weight percentile chart parents/pediatricians use to chart (brag about) their offspring’s growth.

    Muscles and fat weight the same! Have more muscle leads to less fat and a leaner body that looks better than a skinny no fat/no muscles body. Lifting heavy things isn't just for men and won't make you look like China the former lady (looks like a man) wrestler.

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    1. My only disagreement to this is that muscle and fat do not weigh the same. Muscle is more dense and therefore has more weight compared to the same volume of fat.

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    2. A pound of fat is the same as a pound of muscle. The volume and size are different, but a pound is a pound.

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    3. Hello people who flunked science...'weigh the same' is generally accepted to refer to weight by volume..this would mean that a square inch of fat weighs the same as a square inch of muscle...WHICH IT DOESN'T BECAUSE MUSCLE IS HEAVIER. Of course a pound of each weighs a pound, but the pound of muscle would be smaller than a pound of fat.

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    4. Teach your daughter that weight = mass x gravity. On earth, gravity is z constant so generally weight = mass = what the scale says. Volume = amount of space something takes up = length x width x height = size. Density is mass divided by volume. I've never known anything to "weigh the same" refer to weight by volume. That, by definition, is density.

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  15. GREAT piece! I had one daughter of my own, and then married a man that had custody of his five kids, three being girls! Boys are MUCH easier! Our three oldest girls are now in their 20's, but the youngest is a few months shy of 15. She probably hates me for the times I've sent her back to her room to remove some make-up or told her that her fave shorts/skirt are now too short. All of them have been raised to believe that they don't NEED a boyfriend. I've tried to push them to stand on their own before they bring a guy into the mix. I could go on and on...

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  16. Teach your daughter not to "Assume" anything! and there is no such thing as a stupid question!

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  17. Love this post. I recently attended a seminar & heard this sobering stats:

    *A girl's self-esteem peaks at age 9
    *Only 2% of women describe themselves as beautiful
    *62% of girls are insecure about themselves
    *27% of single mothers with custody of their children live in poverty
    *One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime
    *Less than 7% of national philanthropic dollars are for women and girls

    mythirtyone.com/jodyc

    http://www.thirtyonegives.org/

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    1. I was there, too! And 7 out of 10 girls don't think they're 'good enough.' I have two girls and I want to make sure that they're among the '3s' who do and not the '7s' who don't. Better yet, let's change those statistics!
      Those statistics made me cry in the theater way more than the "why" stories. Heartbreaking, no?

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    2. Jody/Jchiov:
      Cannot explain why those numbers you presented made me choke up, my girls are 5,3,1 and I am turning 50, I have waited a long time and realize that I have so much more to learn. Thank you.

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  18. Love it. I'm not a mom yet, but I'm terrified when I am, I'll have a girl. And then I'll have to go burn down Seventeen Magazine headquarters and systematically hunt down Cosmo writers before she learns to read.

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  19. Great post. I'm not a parent, nor do I plan on becoming one, but I'd like to see future generations be better and this advice is sound. Thanks for posting!

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  20. #5 - no photos with your tongue sticking out. It makes you look like an ass.

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  21. in agree with all ...except number 9 there is something ominious about being in control and calm ...like the quiet before the storm.... yes get angry and not a sap but do this in a very controlled manner ..... you will be taken more seriously than doing a Jerry Springer.

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  22. I must add to 15 that bing smart is a factor of hard work. Praise your daughter for her efforts and always encourage her to give her best, and that failure is an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and try harder next time.

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    1. YES! Hard work trumps talent - especially when talent doesn't work hard!
      Amen, sister!

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  24. I am a mother of 4 girls!!! Love it!

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  25. My husband and I are working on having children. He is terrified of having girls and swears that he will build a dungeon. Not sure if it's for our possible future daughter or the boys who may make the 'mistake' of liking our possible future daughter! Good thing is, we live on an island, barely above sea level, so the dungeon will never happen!

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  26. Be the woman you want your daughter to become. If you are 40 and dressing like brittney spears fully expect your daughter to be working a pole in ten years and not for exercise purposes. Muffin tops are not hot...and jeggings look stupid wear clothes that fit you not make you look like you were dressed by Kesha

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    1. Agree completely! And that is HARD WORK... but it keeps you in check. I have one daughter and two boys and I know what I have to be for her to grow up right.

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  27. Love this piece. I give the Gift of Fear to every girl I know either on their 16th birthday or high school graduation.

    Another book that is WONDERFUL for people to read is Stong Fathers Strong Daughters. Fathers need to be a part of their daughters (and sons) life. The co-parent also needs to respect the other and parent together either together or separte.

    Share this piece with all of your friends. The humor and depth of this piece will make people want to read it. Thanks!

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  29. I love this so much and agree 100%!! One thing I want to add is to encourage girls to find positive role models in their own communities instead of thru celebrities and models. A teacher or youth leader, someone real that girls can learn from and aspire to be like, not someone like Mylie.

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  30. Teach your daughters how to get away from someone by biting, kicking, scratching, whatever!! My daughter thought she was tough till I grabbed her one day and she couldn't break free, she then payed attention to ways to get away from an attacker! Also, talk to them about sex, because everyone else around her is talking about if. Shouldn't the true information come from us?! Just do it!!

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  31. We just worked on #8 with our 11 year old daughter Tuesday as she was trying out for the talent show at school. (love it!) I see many disagreeing with #19, but I agree with you. My husband and I were married at age 20, and even though we have a wonderful marriage and relationship, it doesn't always work out that way. (We've been married 12 years!) I want my daughter to know exactly who she is before she shares herself with her partner.

    Would also add...tell your daughter how beautiful she is and that she doesn't have to "settle" for the first guy that comes along. She has options!

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  32. Never compromise personal honor or convictions to "fit in". As a father of two daughters, I have seen how the siren song of "belonging" works. But, the truest friends are those who accept you as you are, unconditionally.

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  33. That was so great!! Agree with it all, except the last one; in a desperate moment I have used a men's bathroom!

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  34. I'm standing up and applauding this post right now!!!
    Here's a few more.....
    Teach your daughter how to throw a good punch (and how to headbutt... thanks Dad!).
    Encourage your daughter to play any and all sports (even if that means she's on the 'boys' teams). Teach her how to hit a baseball, throw a football, and kick a soccer ball. Coach her teams, go to her practices, cheer her on at games and meets (even if that means bringing the whole fire engine down for water polo tournament...thanks Dad!). Teach her that she can be just as good, as fast, and as strong as any boy. And sometimes even better!
    Put your daughter through a self-defense class of some kind, and show her how to defend herself physically if she ever needed it.
    Teach your daughter that if she's ever in a bad situation, she can call you for help, no matter what time of night, without fear of being in trouble.
    Teach your daughter how to stand up for what she believes in, even if it goes against what everyone else thinks.
    Teach your daughter to stand up for others and to not be intimidated by ANYONE (especially not some dumb boy).
    Teach your daughter how to say No. And mean it.
    Teach your daughter to ALWAYS trust her intuition. That gut feeling that's telling her "this might not be a good idea" might one day save her life.
    Teach your daughter that no matter what, you'll always be there for her. Even after she has kids of her own.

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  35. Teach your daughter about money early. Don't wait until they are on their own to help them figure out financial responsibility.
    I sat with my 8 year old and took out the checkbook. Talked about how much it costs just to "be" - the shock factor of how much a mortgage is, how much it is for cell phones, etc. really changed her perspective on "can I have......" (And the total amount for monthly expens3es was a real eye-opener that leads to discussion about so many other things on the list). She also has her own bank account and must put at least half of any money she gets/earns in it. It's amazing how far she can stretch her OWN $5 at Target!

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  36. Teach her to do her own car repairs. There is no reason for a woman to be stranded on the side of the road because she can't change a tire or use a crescent wrench.

    Teach her to replace a shower head, turn off the water valve for the toilet, reset electrical breakers, and change her own fuses. She'll thank you for it when she's 25 and living with a mechanically inept husband.

    Teach her that she should always take care of herself first. Helping others is an amazing thing, and it has its own rewards, but you can't help anyone else if you don't help yourself first. People will call you selfish for refusing to loan them money. Let them. Putting groceries on your own table and a roof over your head has to come first. Your friends' new baby will be adorable, but they had the kid, and they need to figure out how to provide diapers without bumming cash from you. Selfish is only a bad thing when you're refusing to share crayons in kindergarten.

    Make sure she knows that you're always there for her, even when she screws up. You'll be disappointed, and you might even be mad, but she'll always be your baby girl, and nothing she does can make you turn your back.

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    1. My dad wouldn't let me get my license until I could: change a tire, change the oil and drive a stick shift. It's easier and cheaper to have someone else change the oil, but changing a tire and driving a stick have come in handy on many ocassions.

      My dad also taught me how to put in a new light fixture, fix a toilet and reset all the breakers. This information seemed crazy when I was a young teen, but when I became a home owner, it proved invaluable! And now I have a pretty good tool box with just about everything you could need to replace a showerhead, find a stud, or paint an entire house.

      Thanks for posting this. I agree with you whole-heartedly!

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  37. Teach here that no matter how much she has invested in a relationship, she can walk away at anytime. Time doesn't make things better.

    Teach her that she doesn't have to have sex before marriage. If you do the research about STDs, you will understand why. Not to mention the social, emotional, spiritual and financial implications that sex before marriage can have.

    Teach her to be financially independent and invest her money. Never let a man leech off her.

    Teach her to not make excuses if she doesn't want to do something. If a boy asks her out and she doesn't want to go, teach her to be incredibly nice and say, "Thank you so much for asking me. I am flattered, but I am sorry, I don't want to go." Same goes for girlfriends.

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    1. I would also add that you should teach her it's ok to make her OWN decisions about sex. Just telling her it's ok to not have sex before marriage when she wants to have sex is only going to make her have unsafe sex if you haven't educated her about the options. Empower her to make her own decisions about sex with all the tools to keep her safe should she decide that she does want to have sex. Because frankly, she will decide what she wants to do no matter if you have told her not to.

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  38. Teach your sons and daughters to embrace every aspect of their personalities the positive and the negative, don't cultivate the negative, but recogonize that it is a part of who they are! Everyone has positive and negative qualities,it isv a self-esteem booster, it also teaches tolerance for others faults.
    I always encourage my kids to love themselves my daughter came home one day and told me her friend at school was crying 'cause the other girls said she was weird. "You know what I told her mom?"
    What honey?
    I told her, "my mom says to embrace the wierdness!"
    I told her, "People think I'm weird sometimes, but I say it's just part of my awesomeness!"
    Love that!

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  39. Amen sister!! I am one of 4 girls and I have 4 girls. My mom always said that anything boys could do girls could do better. And I encourage my girls to be strong smart women. My 14 year old and I spent a LOT of time on self-image and mean girl issues in elementary school. I told her that the girls who put her down probably had bigger issues than she did. And as far as encouraging your daughter by who you are... I am 43 and getting my PhD this summer!!!

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  40. Awesome! This made me cry. I'm going to print and save it for when my girls are big enough to learn all of these lessons (at 5 and 2 not all are worries yet). I"m sure some rules will be added, but it will be a great start. Thank you!

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  41. This is great! All of it. Makes me so thankful I don't have any kids right now, especially girls. Bless all of you that do!

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  42. LOVE THIS! Two to add:

    1) Teach your daughter how to drive a stick shift so she will never have to rely on a drunken douche bag with a manual muscle car to get her home after drinking all night at a party. She can drive home, park the car in the street and he can sleep it off in the back seat, where he undoubtedly puked all over himself.

    2) Teach your daughter how to spit. I mean REALLY spit. Before you go "ewwww" like a little girl, think back to the times when you have had a sinus or upper respiratory infection....without going into detail, it is imperative to have this "talent". But also, teach her that there is a time and a place to use this "talent" and it is never in the school cafeteria while the classes are switching.

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  43. Hee hee hee, the Fish Face girl is going to look just like the Plastic Surgery Nightmare Face in another 25 years!!

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  44. lot of truth in there. i specially like #21

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  45. We also need to add, don't let your daughter do things just because the cool mom down the street lets her daughter do things so her daughter will be cooler than your daughter. Trust me, I speak from experience.

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  46. Teach your daughter how to put on makeup properly and it should only be used to accentuate the beauty she already has. Not cover it all up and make her look 10 years older than she really is

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  47. Teach your daughter and yourself to respect the English language.... avoid words like skank, boobs, douchebag, and of course the f word! How you SOUND is a lasting impression on those you meet. Be CLASSY!

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    1. Geez party pooper...
      1. There really is no other word for skank, so it must be used on occasion.
      2. Breast sounds so formal, like you're on your way to a mammogram.
      3. Is vagina bath better?
      4. The f word is so much fun, it really displays deep emotion. It's a verb, a noun, an adjective...so versatile!

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    2. You totally missed the point. This blog entry isn't about teaching your daughter to conform. It's about teaching her to be strong- a trait that is necessary to be happy in a world that doesn't always work out 'Disney'. If you're too naive to be able handle a little saucy language, you probably shouldn't be a reader.

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    3. I'm sorry, but whenever I hear a girl(someone under the age of 25 maybe) use that kind of language I have the overwhelming desire to wash their mouth out with soap. Ask my boys-I will do it.

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    4. Kelly I totally agree with you. Teens/young adults (and even many adults) use inappropriate language so loosely - I teach to save such words for when you really really mean it - this will catch people's attention and let them know you are really serious (and even this type of use should not be used until a person is older).

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  48. Love, Love, Love today's post!! Also a lot of great additions in the comments too. Unfortunately I didn't have time to read them all but makre your daughters (and your sons) know they can always come to you, no matter what the problem. That doesn't mean you will bail them out all the time but it's important they know they always have a safe place to go when they need it.

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  49. I'm not a parent. I have not had the blessing of either a son or a daughter. But, as they say I am a daughter and have been single for my entire 49 years. This was not mt plan at all. So I would teach them that life may not always turn out as planned and learning to be strong, self sufficent and above all happy with herself. She does not always need someone to complete her. Looking back I would have also chosen a class in wood working or auto-repair over home-ec. At least in my case, I think kitchen skills may have been a bit more "hard wired" in my brain than the others.

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  50. Teach her what a camel toe is and how to avoid it....vital information

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  51. Teach your daughter to LET herself "fall in love" not MAKE herself THINK she loves someone b/c they are Attractive or Wealthy, etc. Every person, Man or Woman, deserves to be with someone who loves them exactly the way they are AND who TELLS them so...A LOT!



    I also believe that one of, if not THE MOST important thing a relationship needs is LAUGHTER. Every time our Anniversary rolls around my hubby and I are amazed that it's been another year! You know the saying "Time flies when you're having fun"? It's really true. I have NEVER understood my friends who are CONSTANTLY arguing with their mates. Who wants to live like that?

    It's kind of a cliche but one that's true...Looks will fade, and money can disappear in an instant but TRUE LOVE is FOREVER. If you doubt the looks thing go to your 10 year high school reunion! If you doubt the money thing...talk to anybody who "palys" the stock market.

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  52. As a father: Teach your daughters to not be intimidated by tools. Teach them to fix basic things around the house and to figure things out BEFORE they call a man to do the job. Also teach them when to call a professional!

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    1. YES!!! This is what I was going to post. I grew up the daughter of a contractor and he taught me how to fix many things in our home - running toilet, drippy faucet, old showerhead, squeaky floor, etc... He also taught me how to use power tools- lucky me. I never have to wait for someone else to hang a picture/shelf or replace my broken kitchen cabinet door ;)

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  53. Teach your daughter that her body will develop at it's own pace that may be ahead of or behind the other girls in the locker room.

    Teach her not to be ashamed if her chest is flat or if (seemingly) she wakes up one morning very well endowed.

    And teach her how to find bras that fit properly in either case.

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    1. OMG! THIS. I'm an "aunt" to three teenage girls and they have various body shapes and sizes. They all think they wear the same size bra.

      Also, whoever decided to make a padded/push-up bra for little girls needs punched. (I'm not talking small size, I mean a bra with cartoon characters on it)

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  54. Enjoyed this but as someone who did marry young (21) I can't give you props for #19. Maybe if you put "encourage her not to marry young" instead of "don't let her" as you don't really have any say in the matter.

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  55. I am also disappointed in #19. I married young myself (20) and have spent the last four years growing into a young adult with my husband. We have created a stable home for ourselves and our daughter before the age of 25 and like poster Hannah says, you don't have any say in the matter as a parent. Instead of "not letting her" teach her to choose wisely. Otherwise, a great post!

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  56. Like this post, but you should also add that you should educate your girls on safe sex and what sex means. Give them the tools to make informed, empowered decisions. Don't just limit their options to "you shouldn't have sex before marriage". Yes, that's a nice idea, but in reality it rarely happens (but if it does, wonderful for you!). Women should be taught that sexuality isn't a bad thing and we shouldn't be ashamed of it. Teach her how to respect herself and respect men, relationships, and sex and I'm sure they will make appropriate decisions. Your daughters (and sons) will make their own decisions regarding sex no matter what you say, so why not arm them with the appropriate knowledge and tools should they decide they want to have it? And why not leave lines of communication open about it so they can talk to you if they decide to have sex? Whether you agree with it or not, it's by far the smartest and safest option.

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  57. #25. If the line at the women's restroom is super long - tell her to go ahead and duck into the men's room if she really has to go. Been there.

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  58. i hope to teach my daughter all of that, along with if she ever finds herself pregnant, without being married or even in a relationship with the father (whether she's a teenager or a barely grown woman, or even a grown woman), that there is absolutely nothing wrong with raising the baby/babies on her own, without the father. i don't want her to ever make the mistake i did by marrying the father, simply because i was taught that's the right thing to do and not because i loved him or actually wanted to marry him. God forbid she ever finds herself in that situation BUT if she does, I want her to know she can do it all, on her own, without any help from the father (if that's how the situation does play out).

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    1. amen to that! I had my daughter when I was 21 and was not married. My parents insisted we get married but I knew it wasn't what was right for us. We never did get married and ended up breaking up finally when my daughter was 2. Thankful I waited because I went on to meet a really great man and am happily married instead of being with someone just to be married. I will never encourage it but I will definitely be there to support my daughter whatever the case may be a lot better than my parents did.

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  59. I couldn't agree with this article anymore!Fantastic!I have a 4 year old daughter and its definitely not too young to instill these things.

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  60. • Teach your daughter to respect her elders, not just "Yes Ma'am" and "Yes Sir," but real respect.
    • Teach your daughter that she has the power to change the world and she should never be afraid to try.
    • Teach your daughter NOT to hate and not to judge. Respect all colors and religions, classes and creeds, even if she doesn't choose those beliefs for herself. Also allow her to choose those beliefs for herself when she's old enough to do so.

    My mom passed along some incredible advice to me when I was younger that her father passed on to her..."Don't ever write anything unless you want the whole world to read it." All this to say..

    TEACH YOUR DAUGHTER TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA RESPONSIBLY. Don't over-share, post incriminating photos, excessive swearing or harsh opinions. The whole world can see that stuff and they can (and will) use it against you.

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    1. I agree on that last part, Corie. There has been many times I have sent messages to my nieces about watching what they post on FB, that potential employers will see it.

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  61. This is just absolutely fantastic. I am struggling so much with the boy things versus girl things. She won't do or play with certain things because they're "for boys". Any suggestions?!

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  62. As a Hooters Girl I just want to say that there are many perceptions that just aren't true. I have a bachelor's degree, I'm working on my paralegal degree, I work full time as a preschool teacher, and I have a 7 yr old. I work at Hooters on the weekends when my daughter is at her dads house. I am 32 and love working there. I don't feel degraded - we wear shorts and a tank top. I've seen people wearing less just out and about.

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  63. Basically teach your daughters self-respect. If they don't have self respect and show it, they can't really expect to be treated with respect. Don't be a doormat. Don't accept double standards. Treat people the way you want to be treated and don't keep people around that don't treat you with the same level of respect they expect you to give to them.

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  64. My 9 year old daughter told me:
    "I like being different. Why would I want to be like everybody else? There's only going to be one me in this world. I better make her a really good one!"

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  65. My husband gave this advice to a friend who had a baby girl: Be careful how you treat your wife. Every minute of every day you are showing your daughter how she deserves to be treated when she grows up. What a guy! But it is true for both parents of any child. How you treat your spouse and how your spouse treats you, shows your child much more than you could ever tell them.

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  66. I'll add:
    Teach her she can be both brainy and slutty. "Slutty" is an external definition applied by others to demonize, shame or control a woman's behavior when it doesn't fit the norm for the person saying "slut". informed sexual decisions are also very powerful decisions.

    Teach her "Sure, you can work at Hooter's or Twin Peaks no matter what type of degree you do or don't have. Just know what you're getting into and know enough feminist theory to know that you're playing the game and using your appearance to make money in a sexualized work environment." (The short version is "Teach her to not take a job at any restaurant or bar which requires an "audition" and considers the job a "role"; if she's a direct employee, teach her labor law so she can outsmart the cheap sexist environment and be paid fairly via contract.") It's my job to teach and to give her the tools she needs, and it's her job to make the best decisions she can once she's an adult.

    Teach her that math is cool and increases her earning potential (and really is needed every day.)

    Finally, in addition to "trust your gut", I teach mine "Check your motives. Don't hide a bad motive under a seemingly good one."

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  67. As it turns out I guess my mother was an olympic parent! This is exactly how I was raised. It worked so well that now, at the age of 38, after a lifetime of 1. confidence despite not being a classic beauty 2. ability to take care of myself (I moved out of my mother's home at age 17 and worked myself through a private college… without scholarships) and 3. independence to the point that a lot of people are surprised when I tell then I'm not gay, I realize I forgot about grabbing myself a suitable partner in life so that children would be financially, etc. doable. What is fucking hysterical is all the former 'skanks' (now soccer moms) who wouldn't have thought twice about stealing their best friends' boyfriends back in the day who have posted this blog to their Facebook pages with an “I love it” comment. For real? Whatever. It's good for you that they're spreading the word.
    Good work, lady. Keep it up. Hopefully your parenting guide will result in the creation of a generation of strong women who won’t compromise themselves...that I can relate to. Maybe I don’t need to bear children after all.

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  68. I plan to teach my daughter that if she grows up and gets married, that's OK. But, it's also OK to be single. So many of my adult friends feel that they have to have a boyfriend or husband at EVERY SINGLE minute of their life or something must be wrong with them. It's OK, and even good sometimes, to be alone.

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  69. Teach your daughter that it's okay to be different from the crowd. Peer pressure is one of the biggest conduits into drinking and alcohol, and if your child is well aware that she doesn't have to "roll with the crowd" then she will have an advantage over the others when she's confronted with such pressure.

    In the case of my daughter, I have bi-polar and am a very different thinker. I say all the time (in joking) that I'm weird and crazy. My kids say it to me as well. My reply is "Thank you." I teach my kids to say the same when confronted with the same type of "name calling" in school or amongst friends. The offenders don't know how to react to a friendly, "Thank you," when they mean to hurt. It's a great way to promote self-confidence as well!

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  70. How about teach your daughters be be compassionate and respectful? To not abuse people, boys or other girls? Why are you saying to teach your daughters to "beat boys at their own games"? Would you recommend teaching your sons to do the same? Why is it ok to teach girls to act in ways that are rude, disrespectful and one-upping? What about teaching girls to treat others the way she'd like to be treated?

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    1. Laurie, I totally agree! My son is on an all-boys middle school soccer team. Occasionally, they will play against a team that has a few girls on it. The girls' parents are always yelling things like, "Beat the boys!" You can take him!" "He's got nothing on you!" I would be deemed crazy if I yelled things like that to my son to "Beat the girls!" I also don't want my son to play as rough against a girl as he would a boy because you can only imagine of something happened...

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    2. She is not saying these to be abusive towards men/boys. She wants girls to realize that they can do ANYTHING that boys/men do. Unfortunately girls tend to lag behind men in certain areas--Math and Science in particular. Plus it is still true that men earn more than women who are doing the exact same job. Girls are still outnumbered in the tech world--think about it the names of CEO's of the major computer/websites are all male--Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg. Hell we haven't even had a woman president or vice president.

      I want my daughter to strive to be the best and even if she is interested in a "male" job then I will support her in accomplishing that. Yes, compassion and respect are necessary but having a sense of wanting to "beat the person on top" whether male or female is a good goal--particularly when one enters the "real world".

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    3. f9dd2f18-3d6b-11e1-b736-000f20980440

      What do you want the parents to yell?

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    4. I suppose they can yell whatever they want. It just seems like it's okay for girls to be aggressive toward boys, but not vise versa. I try to teach my son to treat girls with respect. And I know he doesn't feel comfortable roughing up a girl on the soccer field. I know I'm just using an example of the experience we've had with soccer. Maybe it shouldn't matter...

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    5. That's funny. My nieces played coed soccer. They would get so frustrated when the boys wouldn't take them seriously since they were there to PLAY. When they got hurt they never blamed it on the player, it was all about the game and the team. Your son shouldn't worry, I am pretty sure that they girls would be the first to tell them to play! Besides, aggressive play is different than dirty play.

      Maybe you can find one of the girl's mom that you can share your concerns with, get her thoughts. They will probably make you feel better.

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  71. Teach your daughter that respect is something that is earned - for herself and toward others. Teach her how to take a compliment with grace. Teach her that men are not the enemy but they are also not your sovereign savior. Teach her that it's never too late to do what you want to do.

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  72. Wow...you and I are thinking along the same lines! My latest blog post is very similar, though it focuses on my anger about that senior yearbook photo that looks like it belongs in Playboy and the MOM SUPPORTS HER DAUGHTER! Talk about dropping the ball on parenting! I totally agree (though I married young, but we waited awhile to have kids and we both have our degrees)! I wrote this post 2 days ago about "Be the Parent, Not the BFF": http://unseasonably.blogspot.com/2012/01/i-try-to-keep-my-blog-light-and.html

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  73. How about teaching your daughter not to use words like slutty & skanky to describe other women & girls, even if they think it is true.

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  74. DO NOT teach your daughter that she needs to "marry up" in order to live a lifestyle she prefers. SHE can support herself any damn way she wants.

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  75. Teach your daughters (& sons) the value of conscientious money management, and to learn to do without sometimes for future rewards, like not drowning in debt, and actually owning something that's got value.

    Also, teach them that, when dating, no matter how much you don't want to hurt someone, it's always better to get out of a relationship that's not working, because they're setting themselves up for commitment when they should be seeking the right person.

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  76. Teach your daughter to hook up and work electronics (computers, audio, etc.).

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  77. Spectacular! There will always be more to add, but frankly, I think you've summed it up spectacularly.

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  78. Teach us that if someone tries to make us think we're not good enough, we should accomplish something amazing to prove them wrong.

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  79. From a father of twin 6 year old girls. Teach them how to throw a punch. Then teach her to only do it when it's necessary. If nothing else, it'll make the boys think twice before doing anything stupid.

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    1. Amen to that! There are more men that will find that sexy than not I bet ;)

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    2. Haha!!! I love that for my two daughters. However, I also have two sons. There are girls that are waaayyyy too advanced for their age. I guess I need to teach my sons how to "throw a punch"! "to make the girls think twice before doing anything stupid"

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    3. Oh....and would women find that "sexy"???? :)

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  80. Wonderful. There are so many more. The only thing in the world that can make me rant like a Conservative is the sexualization of young girls that is happening more and more all the time. Way to go!

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  81. Teach your girls to say what they mean and mean what they say! Perhaps, it's a cultural thing here in the South, but I swear a lot of women I know, never come right out and say what they want or mean. It's like a game of verbal badminton and it drives me insane!

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  82. As a mother of 3 girls I love this. I am always horrified at some of the fashion choices when trying to shop for my 7 yr old, and my toddler does not need low rider skinny jeans!

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  83. Teach you daughter how to maintain and repair on her own vehicles.

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  84. My 3 year old daughter plopped on the couch next to me as I was reading this post and the picture for #18 happened to be on the screen. She started laughing hysterically and said, "Mommy LOOK! Butt-boobies!" LOL

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  85. I don't have daughters, but I raised my two nephews and I will give a girl the same advice I gave my boys-don't conform or back down from doing what you know is right. If someone else doesn't like it that's their issue, not yours. Do not turn a blind eye to bullying at school. If you don't want to get involved at least let an adult know it's going on.
    Of course the boys usually went in swinging, but I don't think a girl should do that. Cat fights are so unladylike.

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  86. God, why didn't people write these kinds of things when I was growing up? My parents could have used a few of these lessons.

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  87. My HUGE pet peeve is girls who go barefoot at dances, proms, weddings, etc..I'm ok w/ a change to flats, but if you can't wear those stilettos all night, you don't deserve to wear them,(.)!!!

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  88. I loved this post, however was pretty upset by "don't encourage your daughter to marry young." I think "encourage your daughter to marry the RIGHT person at the RIGHT time" is a MUCH better lesson then defining age as an appropriate limit to love or marriage. There are a lot of people out there who marry young and succeed and a lot of people out there who wait and don't.

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  89. Is it irony that there was a Zulily ad right smack in the middle of all the Urban Dictionary douche canoe definitions when I clicked on the link? It was like "YOU, mother of cute little girls who wear appropriate dresses like this, keep them away from the douche canoes!!"

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  90. the difference between raising boys vs raising girls: when you have a boy, you only have to worry about one penis. when you have a girl, you have to worry about ALL of them.

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  91. Great post! And if you run out of ideas for things to teach, here's an awesome book that can help you think of a few more: "50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School" by Charles Sykes.

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  92. I may be wrong to say this about the little girl in the Hooters T-shirt, but I was once a Hooters girl and no I do not wish it upon my daughter (someday) to become one because like all jobs, it had its ups and downs; but before you dis it, try it. The restaurant itself is not all that bad. Just saying.

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  93. I would add let your daughter know marriage is an option, not a requirement or goal. It's okay to commit yourself to someone without getting married.

    And despite Jerry McGuire a man does not complete her. She should be a full and complete women on her own. Her partner should compliment who she is.

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  94. with the hooters comment i just have to say that its ok to aspire to work at hooters. There is nothing wrong with a woman making her own money but whatever means she wants. As long as its what she wants and she values her self it doesnt matter if shes working in an office or working a pole. Class and self confidence is what she needs. Just because she takes her clothes off for a living does not mean she is a slut. There are dancers out there that dance for a living put their clothes on and leave. As long as she has morals and values set in the right place she can do whatever be whatever she wants. My daughter is 4 months old now and although I hope she goes on to university and gets her self a job that pays her well and that she can keep her clothes on doing if she wanted to dance when she is old enough and only danced not gave it up after work I wouldnt mind one bit.

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    1. yeah...no. While taking your clothes off for a living does not mean you are a slut, it does mean that you contribute to women being objectified and that is not classy and very rarely does it lead to true self confidence. Logic like that is how we got to toddler skinny pants.

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  95. These are excellent, good job!

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  96. This touches on things that are already said in the original list of 25, but my mom always told me to "never write anything down that you wouldn't feel comfortable publishing in the newspaper for all to read." This goes along with never-sending-naked-pictures one above.

    Additionally, daughters need to be taught that in order to be great in a relationship and maintain healthy relationships, they have to be okay being on their own. You want to find the person that complements who they are in life, not find the person that forces them to be somebody else or try to be somebody else for another person.

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  97. I loved the one you did for mothers of boys (and am implementing the ones I needed to hear with my son), but I am blown away by this one! These are definitely excellent rules for parents of girls. Thank you.

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  98. Just a head's up. I'd go lightly on the "don't let your daughter....." The truth is, after they can drive, you only have "influence", and you had better save your "don't lets" for the really big things, like drug/alchohol interventions and abusive boyfriends....that said, from 0-16, you have more influence than anyone else EVER WILL!

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  99. Yes! It's a hard knock life for a mother of a daughter -- wading past all of the crap and trying to teach her self-respect. Can I just raise her in a bubble? No?

    P.S. I LOVE it when a fellow Kansas City blogger hits it big! Go you!

    P.P.S. Boulevard beer all the way!

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  100. Love this list! Also love seeing a fellow blogger go viral!!

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  101. she most certainly can use the mens restroom. i sure as hell do. i'm not waiting in line for a bunch of idiots who need to use the bathroom together... if you don't know how to wipe your own junk, stay home! when i was pregnant... i couldn't wait in line... so i started using the men's room. no line, no wait... the men were fine with it.

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  102. Love number 19! Coming from a married at 19, divorced at 23 year old person. I'm now almost 30 and know what I want (and don't) in a relationship. Wish my parents would have been very firm about that when I was marrying my high school sweet heart.

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  103. In principal I like this article, but I would have written it differently, it kind of comes from the perspective you “own” your daughter, when you say “don’t LET her Marry young” that’s not really a parent’s choice to make. AND never disown them! You can parent in a way to instill values, offer input, lead by example, but ultimately I think it comes down to helping our girls figure out how to make... good decisions for themselves (and by the way that starts way before tween hood). The truth is you aren’t going to be with your kids when they are making these super tough choices in life about drugs, boys, and social situations-- so what’s most important is helping them develop a frame work in which to make choices from.... and that starts years before these choices are gonna be made by talking to them, non-judgmentally about stuff, having an open and honest relationship and respect for them, and leading by example. AND from a therapist's perspective !!let them have feelings!! and help them learn how to express those feelings!!! What a gift you'll give them-- for life.

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  104. I like the advice and positive feedback here... I am three weeks from the birth of my first child, boy or girl - I can share this information and help them through this world. Mostly women have posted here, please pass this along to your sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers. Thanking them where appropriiate, and guiding them where needed, for information not shared is useless.

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  105. I would just add "learn to drive a stick shift car". Case in point, my one date with a "douche canoe" (love that btw), ended me up alone at a party with people I didn't know and keys to said canoe's new Mustang 5.0. Yep, I drove myself home (after a short little cruise) and left the keys under the mat w/a note saying "thanks for the ride a-hole". If I wasn't able to drive that car (like I stole it, Heehee), I would still be at that party!

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  106. Oh, but you CAN use the men's restroom, especially at a concert, if the stupid building designers didn't put in enough women's restrooms. Great tips, too. I was just having the "writing on the ass" discussion with my girls yesterday. They're only 6 & 8, but those days are fast approaching.

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  107. Being 18 doesn't make you a grown-up, it just makes you older. When you demonstrate knowledge of all of the above rules, you are officially an adult. Welcome to the club, it's shrinking.

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  108. oh, and in the same category, having a baby doesn't make you a grown up either.

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  109. (For dads)Teach your daughter what kind of guy she should marry someday by BEING that kind of guy in front of her. Love her mother WELL and if you can't do that (because of divorce as in my own situation) live your life the way you hope the man she will one day marry is living his right now. Be a strong man. Be godly. Be GOOD. Be the standard she holds every suitor to. Date your daughter when she's little and she'll date someone like you when she's grown. Brainwash her...because if you don't MTV and Teen magazines and Lady GaGa will be glad to.

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  110. Freakin' AWESOME!!!!! Hooters in Training....Are you kidding me?!?!?!?! Never wear words on your a$s period, not someone's name or some Juicy brand name. Seriously, I LOVE your BLOG!!!! YOU ROCK!!! Keep up the amazing work!!!!

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  111. You are awesome.

    Only thing I'd add is about MONEY. Even in this day & age, there are people out there teaching their daughters that instead of supporting themselves, they can just marry and be "taken care of." Ugh. Use your brain. Have a career. Be responsible.

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  112. Being a daughter, and now an expectant mom, I can definitely identify with most of these. The only two I don't agree with are 19 and 24.
    I married relatively young, at 22 (and don't judge me I don't appreciate it), and I know full well that even if my parents had tried to talk me out of it, that would've just made me more bent on marrying my husband, even if that meant running away and eloping.
    As for number 24, I went with my mom to get my first tattoo when I was 17. It was a great experience for both of us, and again it's something I would do again in a heartbeat if given the choice. But also this is one of those things where if my mom had warned me against it, and forbid me to do it, I would've found a way around it.
    And I'm not a rebellious kid by nature, either. I was always on the honor roll, never did drugs, drank or partied like a crazy person in High School, or even college really. But, if you try to tell me what to do in an overbearing and pushy fashion, I will not do it, just to because you keep pushing me to do it. And while I was lucky enough to not have to find away my parents rules or any pushy expectations for me, I had plenty of friends in high school weren't so lucky, and did go and get tattoos or body piercings behind their parents' backs. So I think its something worth keeping in mind.

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  113. Build your daughters confidence by helping her set and achieve goals not by telling her she's pretty.

    Also, when in a relationship, if no one (family/best friends) likes the person you are with there is probably a good reason. Trust that they have your best interests in mind and look at that person with a critical eye. On a similar note: Don't be afraid to tell your friend your honest opinion about the person they are dating. It may hurt their feelings at the time, but in the end could save them the pain of an unhealthy relationship.

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  114. I feel as though my parents instilled all of these things in me and I turned out to be a pretty well-adjusted (though some may say FIERCELY confident and independent) young lady! The one exception being that, given the perfect storm of circumstances and a trustworthy guy friend to watch the door, I've been known to use the men's room in an emergency! I don't have kids, but I love your blog and think you're absolutely hysterical. Keep up the good work!

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  115. Never become dependent financially on anyone. Always have a way to stay/get on your feet if your partner is gone tomorrow. Keep your jobs skills current, learn a trade and become proficient at it, learn to program, be educated. Have options. Even if you are with someone you truly love and believe will always be there.

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  116. How about "Behaving like a bitch, and being strong and confidant are NOT the same thing"

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  117. I love all these comments. I have two girls and these are things I need to make sure they know. My addition would be: Teach your children (this can go for boys too) that not everyone they meet at a friend's party is also a friend. Some of these people will drug you so they can take advantage of you. Others will offer you 'candy' that could kill you - yes, even 'just once'. In order to be strong enough to say NO and to be aware of what you're drinking, self esteem and seeing outside yourself must be strong. If you're not sure - don't go. There'll always be another party to go to.

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  118. Teach your daughter not to hit, punch, kick, poke or commit any violence towards others except in self-defense. Women are abusers, too, despite what much of the mainstream media may tell you. Don't be one of them.

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  119. Teach your daughter that kindness does not equal weakness.

    Teach her to be gentle and considerate, but not a doormat or a punching bag. All too often, the value of kindness gets lost amid all the "respect yourself" messages.

    While a girl should most definitely respect herself, she should do it without putting down those around her.

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  120. Teach your daughter (or son, for that matter) to admit when they are wrong and learn to apologize if needed. Confident Humility is a great quality to have; I've been working on it for about 20 years now.

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  121. This is awesome!! My girls are 19 and 23 and could still learn from this LOL

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  122. Teach our daughters. Don't be a women that needs a man. Be a women that a man needs. Respect your self, because most people won't

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  123. Tell your daughters not to constantly giggle and shrug and giggle and shrug and giggle and shrug when they are at a loss for words. Tell them to find SOMETHING to say and not act like a Hooters bimbo on Jay Leno's Dopewalk. Ignorance is NOT cute.

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  124. I loved everything about this piece with on tiny exception: the use of the word "skank." While clearly the author did not intend this, the word conjures the "slut shaming" that is so prevalent in our culture and makes women fear and loathe their own sexuality.

    Thanks, though, for the essay and I look forward to sharing it with my daughter.
    In solidarity,
    tc

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  125. edit to #25: if your daughter is transgender, and wants to be your son, love him no matter what, teach him that people should respect him no matter what his gender is, teach him how to advocate for himself (and advocate for him with your friends and family) work through your own stuff without making him carry the weight of your emotional process (because it's hard no matter how much you love your kids). and let him use whatever bathroom he wants. :) the same goes if your son wants to be your daughter. love her. she needs you. we need and want our parents fully in our lives.

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    Replies
    1. I wish there were a "love this" button.

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  126. Teach your daughter that having an affair with a married man is NEVER ok, and that she's worth more than that. Tell her P.S. he's never going to leave his wife, your just free sex and an escape from being a REAL man.

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  127. Men and women are different; EQUAL but different. Do not try to be what you are not. Your children will need to be nurtured and loved so let mother nature take over (who has been doing this longer and smarter than any of us) lead the way...not any blogger.

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  128. Marry for love and you will never, ever regret the decision.

    Results may vary, but never the decision.

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  129. Do not overuse the word 'I' when writing. It's indicative of self centered thought and alienates the audience.

    People will find it hard to accept you as open to the feeling's and opinions of others.

    For example, 'I' is used three times in a single sentence not one, but twice in this short blog!

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