Despite all the progress women are part of girls of today are still lacking in self-esteem, confidence, and principles. It’s alarming but I know that this can only be remedied if we start at home. It’s not enough to tell our daughters that they should respect and believe in themselves we have respect and believe in ourselves. I know the basics: as a parent I need to be responsive, be a positive mirror, spend time with my daughters, encourage their talents, set them up to succeed and let them express their feelings.
I hope that by putting these basics into practice consistently I’ll aid in developing their sense of self that will help them establish the foundation for future success and happiness. I know we are always being watched. I also hope that by sharing our beliefs and expectations they’ll develop a moral compass that will help guide their decisions through the years. To help me along my path I’m sharing a list. I’ll strive to teach through actions and reinforce these statements as often as possible with real life examples. The list of things I hope my girls learn is really immense so I’ll make it bite size for all. This will be the first of many I anticipate sharing with you.
The list for my daughters
- You are both amazing. Each of you is a beautiful gift of God. You are loved. Respected. Admired.
- Respect, love and understand yourself if you want others to do the same.
- Never doubt your strength. You are stronger than you think and can endure despite any circumstances as long as you stay true to who you are. In Madeline’s wise words, “[You] can do anything.”
- Never miss an opportunity to learn. To read. To laugh.
- Become bilingual or multilingual. Language is a gift we can give you if you choose to accept it and spend the rest of your lives learning as many and/or as much as you both can.
- Embrace your roots. Yes, you are American by birth but your blood belongs to a golden race with a rich history. Don’t dilute it or ignore it. Learn about it and make it part of you.
- You are stronger united. Be each other’s support. Divided you fall!
- Find your relationship with God.
- Your papi and I will ALWAYS be there. Regardless of anything else that might be going on in your lives you can count on us.
- You will not understand the depth of our love for you until you become mothers too. Know that we act out of love with the best intentions for each of you.
- Strive to be good people
- Volunteer and help those who have less than you… there is always someone with less even if you don’t have much. Sometimes it’s material but many times it’s emotional/social.
- Get to know us (your parents) and your grandparents. We will be gone one day and you will wish for more time, more stories, and more opportunities to feel our love. Remember that we’ll stay alive in your memory and in how you share our stories.
- Allow your dreams and ideas to take flight.
- Be honest. Be kind. Be patient. (All of these are easier said than done)
- LOVE. Really love with abandon and despite the risk of heartbreak.
- Garden. Plant seeds and watch them grow and learn to care for nature.
- Be confident but not self-absorbed.
- Be grateful. Take time to reflect and really be grateful.
- TRAVEL! It helps you grow and it’s so much fun to live an adventure.
Reading material to further explore. These are on my list to read or finish reading.
- Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World
- 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter
- Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know (because dad is the stay at home parent)
- 52 Things Kids Need from a Mom: What Mothers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference