I love my kids so much. There isn’t one thing in this world I will not do for them. I will kiss their boo boo’s and wipe their tears. I will help them get dressed, teach them to do their chores, and feed them healthy foods. Lay with them at night, read to them, and sing silly songs. I will protect them and fight for them and give up my life for them. As they grow, I know it will only get harder to keep them inside my cozy little rainbow-filled bubble of happiness. Since Ella started kindergarten this year and I can already feel her slipping outside my bubble, I’ve devised a list of things I want her to know as she begins her journey to independence:
1. Enjoy the innocence of your childhood.
In a world full of superficial values, peer pressure, and bullying, as well as a pop culture that pushes materialism and consumerism – you are being leapfrogged through your childhood. There is a constant pressure for you to grow up way too fast. I mean, when did 5 become the new 10, anyway?
2. Smart is the new cool.
Never be ashamed of being smart or nerdy, having freckles or glasses, or loving science and math. Smart never goes out of style, it stays with you as you grow, and it will lead you down the most successful paths.
3. No matter how many times you hear it, “Diamonds are NOT a girl’s best friend.”
Friends are invaluable. They are trusting and loyal. They stick with you through good times and bad, happy or sad. Some will come and go, but your true friends will be with you always.
Friends forever, through whatever.
4. Go for it, get dirty! It’s good for you.
Besides the fact that getting dirty actually does help support your immunity, it’s also a great way to express creativity! Sculpt, draw, and stomp. Better yet, go “classic” and make some mud pies.
5. Beat the boys at their own games.
Football, baseball, hockey or golf, never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you’re a girl. So go ahead, build the tallest tower of legos, kick butt on Xbox, and bust out your light saber.
6. Be spiritual.
Find the desire to understand the universe and your place in it. Take the time to notice the earth and all of its beauty. Give thanks to God.
7. See the world.
Experience new cultures, religions, people, and places. Open your heart and mind to the tremendous benefits of studying and visiting domestic and foreign lands.
8. A strong hand shake leaves a lasting impression.
It represents self-confidence and ambition. A strong hand shake and eye contact exemplifies a mutual respect for one another and is a sign that you are friendly, trustworthy, and honest.
9. Choose your role models carefully.
Even though you are only 5, I am so glad that right now you have absolutely no idea who Hannah Montanna is.
10. Read something every single day.
From the Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss to Junie B Jones, reading is exercise for your brain. It expands knowledge and vocabulary- and lets your imagination run wild.
11. When it comes to wearing make-up, there’s a general rule of thumb that applies – LESS is MORE.
12. When it comes to fashion, shorter does not always equal better. Fashion trends come and go and not all of it is fabulous. Half tops and mini skirts are great for an 85 degree day at the beach or if you’re a Miami Dolphins cheerleader, but not for your high school yearbook photo.
13. Please, please, please do not allow yourself to become someone else’s property. Why this is trendy, I will never figure out. If you want to make a statement about yourself on clothing, at least let it describe an aspect of who YOU are.
I just don’t get it.
14. Speaking of trends, I hope that by the time you are allowed to date, guys don’t wear their pants hanging half way down their ass like they do now. I really feel like this has been pretty popular for quite some time and I am praying that it finally goes away by 2022. Also, I will flip my lid if you become this guy’s property! (see #13)
15. Being an angel should not and does not mean wearing only your bra, underwear, and a set of wings for everyone to see.
16. Since you’re growing up in the technological age of iPad, iPod, iPhone, and texting, I have to address the horrendous lack of writing skills being used by today’s youth. This phenomenon of truant letters may very well be the Death of English (LOL). Bottom line, don’t use text lingo in your thesis.
What does this even say?
17. Speaking of text lingo, verbal slang is just as unprofessional. Reminds me of Alicia Silverstone from Clueless. OMG, ROFL, BFF, TMI, FYI, IDK….As If.
18. Don’t let pop culture define you.
I don’t know why, but today we let pop culture manipulate our youth and it’s killing them emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. From the early on fascination with princesses, to the ‘need’ for a boyfriend and big boobs, popularity, teen moms, and all the other garbage being thrown in their face – be confident going against the grain.
19. Accept yourself for who you are.
You’re one-of-a-kind and that’s what makes you beautiful. Tall, short, big, small, blonde, brunette, redhead, white, brown, blue, pink, yellow – we are all DIFFERENT.
20. Mainstream your health.
It’s life’s greatest asset. A positive approach to health encompasses physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well being. Healthy lifestyle choices in your youth will help lay a strong foundation for continued wellness throughout your adult life. Diet, exercise, stress management, chiropractic, self motivation, positiveness, and meditation, as well as a number of other approaches are guaranteed to make a huge impact on your quality of life, health, and happiness.
21. Have confidence in yourself.
A positive self-image assures power, strength, ability, and value. It will enable you to conquer your goals and allow you to fearlessly pursue your biggest dreams.
22. Be a sister. Be a friend. Be a protector.
23. Love with all your heart.
For where there is love there is life. Love is universal and felt by all living things. So strong is the feeling of love that it is said it makes the world go round.
24. Never be afraid to laugh at yourself.
Laughter is humbling. It inspires and motivates.
25. Wherever you are in life, you can come home. I will be here – always.
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