These are the things I want to teach my two daughters. I am convinced these are the things necessary to counteract all the other crap they hear elsewhere.
1. Family is forever
I want her to know that I will always love her mother. Her family will always be here as a complete unit for her to depend upon. I will model the loving marriage I want her to have.
2. She is beautiful just the way she is
I will tell her this regularly to affirm her belief in it. I will let her know that her natural beauty is all the attractiveness she will ever need and that I love her just the way she is.
3. She is enough and capable of anything
I will reassure her regularly that she has all the intelligence, confidence and capability she needs to conquer anything she wants to do in life. She is more than enough!
4. How to say “no” and mean it
Over the years, her girlfriends and boyfriends are going to ask her to do things that aren’t good for her. I will teach her it is okay to say “no” and stick to it. Practice makes perfect!
5. What I believe is right and wrong
Where else are our daughters going to get moral clarity? We must teach them what we believe is ethical and right so they have a measure to live by.
Yes, I want my daughter to be confident and independent, but I also want her to respect others and to treat everyone with dignity. I want her to give due regard to those in authority such as teachers, public servants and her parents!
7. How to eat to remain healthy
I want my daughter to have a healthy view of food. I don’t want her to overindulge, but I also don’t want her to be obsessed with dieting. Modeling a healthy diet and lifestyle are vital.
8. Men should treat her with gentleness and respect
She will learn this by observing the way I treat her and her mother. I will teach her that she should refuse to accept anything less.
It is much more attractive to create a modest and authentic look. Young women that wear clothes that are revealing are crying out for attention. I will teach my daughter that there are boundaries to what is acceptable.
10. Relationships and family matter most in life
I will teach her that most of her joy and fulfillment in life will come from the relationships she builds. It is of the utmost importance that she chooses and acts wisely.
11. Not to drink too much and to stay away from drugs
Alcohol consumption in excess is dangerous and impairs judgement. Alcohol before she is an adult is especially harmful. Educating her on the perils and providing firm supervision is paramount.
12. Her father will always defend her
She needs to know that if someone wrongs her, that I will defend her. I will be her champion and hero. She will never need to look elsewhere to find protection.
13. How to manage her money
I will teach her that debt is dangerous and that thrift and frugality are wise. I will show her how to budget her money and ways to save. I will involve her so she can learn from an early age.
14. The value of honesty and integrity
I want my daughter to understand that you are only as good as your reputation. If you lie or cheat, word will spread and you will be discredited. It is always better to tell the truth.
Wait. Wait to have sex. Wait until you find the right man. Wait so you can finish college. Wait so you can travel. Be patient. There is no need to rush into things.
16. Keep things simple
You will never regret keeping your life simple. Complexity is burdensome. It is tiring. The simpler the solution, the more eloquent it is. Keep your life simple!
17. Put God first
God is your compass. He will show you the way. I will live so she knows what God means to me and that I have a relationship with Him. He will never fail her.
18. How to pray
Lift up all your concerns and thanksgiving to God! It will help you to always remain humble and grateful. You are blessed!
19. We have more than enough
Be content. Don’t fall victim to hyper-consumerism. It will put you in a hole that you won’t like. Recognize when you have enough. Give generously.
20. Appreciate nature
A good deal of the wonder and beauty in life is found in nature. Spend time outdoors. Take care of the environment. Take time to appreciate all nature has to offer.
21. Be persistent
Perseverance is one of the key characteristics of the successful. Don’t give up too easily. Stick with things until you conquer them. Try and try again.
22. Be practical and pragmatic
Stay grounded. Look for solutions that work. Solve problems for people and they will appreciate you. Keep your head about you. Be logical.
23. She alone has authority over her body and life
Don’t let people push you around. It is okay to be nice, but you also have to know when to put your foot down. Draw the line when it is necessary.
24. Ask yourself, “So, what can I do about it?”
This goes along with being practical. Follow the wisdom in the Serenity Prayer. It will decrease the stress in your life and increase your effectiveness.
25. Your father will always, always, always love you!
I want her to know above all else that my love is unconditional. I may not always like her behavior, but I will always love her. She needs to understand this separation.
This is a big job, but I’m up for it because my daughters matter
I’m not going to kid you. Raising a daughter in today’s culture is a big job. The stakes are high. The opposition is fierce.
However, I will not give in. I am drawing a line in the sand today. I will be a father to my daughters. I will fight for them. I will live as an example. This world and our society will not claim them as victims.
Time is wasting. I’d better get busy!
What did I leave out?
What else do we need to be teaching our daughters?