What I Want my Daughter to Know

For many years, I chose not to have a voice.  I held my opinions within. Through my teen years, I wasn’t always treated with respect, and I didn’t realize I held the key to demand respect. I started off my tender teen years as a victim survivor of a sexual assault and it shaped my perspective on what it is to be a woman in a different way. In a way, that I wasn’t ready for. I feel like I’ve overcome the shame and the pain that is carried over from my past…along with other traumas that I will never share here.

And then,

out of nowhere,

it rears it’s ugly head…

starting out so innocently at first,

but inwardly spiralling out of control.

So, how do I teach my daughter what it is to love and respect herself so much that she treasures the woman she is and accepts nothing less? How do I convey to her the importance of living life authentically where she is true to who she is within and isn’t afraid to let her light shine?  How do I explain the life lessons I learned the hard way and will she listen?  I am passionate about helping women move forward for a reason, and it’s very close to my heart.  I want to scream it from the roof tops now all that I’ve learned, and I’m so thankful for continuing to learn from some pretty amazingly strong women in my life. Thank you all you strong women with a powerful voice!

I’m also sick-to-death of the stereotype of strong women as “feminists”, like it’s a foul word. We are all just people. Equally deserving of respect.

Ok, I got off track! My daughter is not a teenager yet, so thankfully I have some time to teach and build on all I wish for her to know. But in thinking about it today, this is what I want my daughter to know.

~You teach people how to treat you.

~Stand up for what you believe in with passion and speak from your heart.

~If you are respectful, kind, supportive, accepting, and giving…it will come back to you ten-fold and you have every right to demand what you freely give to others.

~Give yourself permission to honour the path that is right for you.  It may not be a path that is right for someone else, but if it’s right for you…continue on it and make no apologies for it.

~Forgiveness is a choice.

~You ARE enough. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and believe in you.

~Shoulders back, head held high.

~Committ yourself to life-long learning. We are never done learning. There is no finish line. Just more life to be lived, and more amazing life lessons to be learned.

~Pass on what you’ve learned, don’t keep it in. If you can share and help someone move forward then do it, but do so with respect because belief systems are sacred to another.  Don’t push your beliefs on another person. Just live out your reality.

~People know authenticity when they see it. When you share in an authentic way, you will attract like-minded people into your life, and that’s a blessing!

~Never ever give up your power to another person (there are not too many “never ever’s” in this world, but I believe this is one of them!)

~Don’t silence your strengths for the benefit of another’s weaknesses.

~Just because you have other roles “Mom, Wife, Business Women, insert role here” doesn’t mean you have to lose who you are.  It’s OK to be carefree, to have fun, to take time for yourself. Your needs are not last.  To be a good Mom, you need to have a life aside from your children to grow as a woman. Your children are watching you.

~You are the property of no one.

~You are not defined by what you look like, the clothes you wear, or the shape and size of your body.

~Smile often.

~Love others. Love yourself just as much.

~Mean girls are also filled with jealousy and insecurity. Just smile and move on.

~Invest in your future, find a career you love. Because when you love what you do, it just doesn’t feel like work.

~You will make mistakes, everyone does. Just be sure to learn from each mistake you make and move forward.

~It’s OK to show weakness. You don’t have to be strong all the time.

~Sincere appreciation. It’s a gift you can give to others.

~You are stronger than you even realize.

~Do not forget the things that fuel your passion. Don’t give those up for anyone.

My extraordinary daughter, I will always attempt to teach you all that I’ve learned, but I know that many things you need to learn for yourself. If you learn anything from something that once caused me pain, then there is purpose to it. All I can hope for is that you feel comfortable to talk to me about anything. I hope you realize what an amazing gift you are, how loved and cherished you are, and that you are worthy. Life is meant to be lived with passion. Live it with pride, because you my darling daughter are simply amazing just the way you are.

And when you do find someone to give your heart to, may they also realize just how amazing you are.

From my heart to your heart,

Mom

10 thoughts on “What I Want my Daughter to Know

  1. Okay. So, I had a trying day, no lie. This is beautiful for your daughter, and friend, you are so wise for all daughters. I am a daughter too. And I am crying because your words are what I need to hear right now. So, thank you. And thank you for all your other wise words today.
    I am especially a fan of ~Don’t silence your strengths for the benefit of another’s weaknesses and ~ …Your children are watching you. I also have to message you something 🙂
    Thanks Christine!

    • I’m so happy to hear that something in that post touched your heart. There are so many times in my life when someone has said *just* the right thing to me at a time when I needed to hear it. Support is a true gift. Thank YOU for your gift of friendship as well. xoxo
      P.S. I love you!

  2. I saved this post to read until I was done all my other work for the day because I had a feeling it would make me cry… And I was right. You have a way with words, my friend, and the fact that you have articulated these lessons so well tells me that they are deeply ingrained and that T will learn through watching you. Probably more than she will through your words. xoxo.

  3. Hi Christine

    I am in South Africa, also a photographer and mother to two daughters. My teenage daughter has just had her heart broken for the first time, and I was trying to find the right words to encourage and build her up. So (as you do) I googled “what I want my daughter to know”….and landed up here. I love what you have written to your daughter, and it completely captures what I was trying to put into words. So thank you! I will be passing this on to both my daughters (and probably all my facebook friends too!).

    Kerry

    • Thank you so much for your comment Kerry! I love it when people from all over the world find their way to my little blog on the big wide internet. Awwww, teenage heartbreak is so tough. You only wish you could show them that down the road it’s merely a little blip on the radar of life, but it hurts all the same. So Kerry’s daughters, if you are reading this, YOU ARE AMAZING! Life is good, there are so many wonderful life moments you will get to experience in your bright future. Stay strong, hold your head up high. We are all perfectly imperfect. 🙂

  4. Beautiful Christine with 3 daughters of my own I always struggled with this and realized I can only give my love and support to be the best that “THEY” can be and not what others expect of them.

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