I have been a daughter from before I was born, so I am fully empowered to write this post. A post full of perspective, which I write at 22 years old. Many things have happened since I can remember, and I would love to be able to make people happier, stronger, and kinder with a dozen recommendations for mothers, fathers, and children.
1. Show me who I am
Please show, don’t tell. Over time I have learned that people often say what they think has happened, not what happened actually. Images, sounds, videos, writings of memories without any bookmarks, or descriptions of facts and feelings. I still have doubts about who I am. I would have liked to have found a diary from my childhood written by the person who knows me best, the person to whom I have given birth. I also need to understand how difficult it is to be a mom and a dad to wake up from an egocentric dream, in which you often get lost, and from which you can not wake up, if you do not control yourself, or are discouraged.
2. Give me truth
I keep looking for it, but sometimes I lose it. It is not easy, to be honest, or to keep fighting for your ideals.
Show me. Teach me to be quiet, lower my head, and ask for forgiveness before telling a lie. If my mother and father do not teach me the value of truth, by example, how can I aspire to it and preach it with conviction?
Teach me every day that honesty, sincerity, and nobility are the three best qualities that a person can have, along with perseverance, respect, empathy, and courage. It does not matter if I am 5 years old, and you are divorced — you want me to have a good memory of you. With age, the memories return, and it comes to light, which everyone is. Don’t do that to me, don’t shock me into doubting the truth, even about myself.
No, do not start teaching me from childhood that it is best to get along with everyone, because you never know who you are going to need. You have no idea how grateful I am that my mother and father taught me, from a very young age, that I had to be honest, tell the truth, and speak my mind. The way enemies are made simple — it is enough to say what one thinks.
I made a list of good qualities to be an authentic, upright person, and fight daily to lead by example. This is my imprint. I don’t want to be the pretty girl with big eyes, the family engineer, or the one who always has a witty answer that pleases everyone; I want to be free without forgetting to respect others. The rest is for those who need it. Therefore, tell me about the fine line that separates sincerity from fakeness — the way to stay faithful to the truth itself.
3. A bike
Didn’t expect a gift like this? A bike is the best mode of transportation (the weight and moneywise) that you can provide as parents. You are speaking in physical terms, of course. You can’t even imagine the increase in self-esteem that a girl gets and the ability to be responsible for herself, with her body and with her mind. You can get to any place you want without having to spend money. You also respect the environment and make your schedule. With a couple of pedals, you can change the routine you don’t like and go for the one you want. But do it on your own, don’t wait for anyone to fix something that bothers you.
Learn how to ride a bike early and get one now on myrideontoy.com.
4. Bring a lucky dog to a family that loves him
From a very young age, we learn the value of life. That sounds very nice, but when it is a day-to-day thing, suddenly it loses all the romance. Building a link between your daughter and nature is one of the things that you should never give up in life. Teach us, instill love and respect for other living beings. Let your daughter understand the world as an ecosystem that consists of many parts.
5. Support — hugs, and kisses
Anything can happen — your daughter might have a cold personality without the need for affection, or she can be a teddy bear glowing with love. If you are a rational and calculating person and believe that their education should be oriented towards self-worth, you are surely right. But that does not compensate for the lack of warmth. When your kids turn sixteen, seventeen, or eighteen, you may regret that it was not you who gave them affection. Even General Sherman, the world’s most massive tree, needs roots, resources to help get on with life, with the daily struggle. Take care of the mental health of your close ones even more than the physical one. Much more.
Help us grow in an environment of calmness and tranquility. We do not want to be anxious or irritated. We need silence to develop internally and realize the reality that we are, and that surrounds us. Noise, wrong tone, and profanity affect us; in fact, studies are showing that a baby understands not the meaning, but the tone of the spoken words. Sometimes it makes a child suffer and even shapes his personality.
7. The value of things, and not their price
Help your daughter to build herself into a balanced person. Let her understand that there are shades to life. Nothing is absolute. Let her realize that life, people, projects, relationships are meaningful.
Educate me to think about the meaning of things and the people around me. Teach me that belongings don’t make you who you are. Teach me to share above all else, but show me how to receive, which is the most challenging thing.
8. Explain to me the opportunity cost from a very young age
Show me what the opportunity cost means. The price of being a mom or a dad, a grandmother, a teacher, being a janitor, an astronaut, a businesswoman, being blind… Show me that nothing is free or fortuitous in life, that everything has to be paid for, and has consequences. I want to know that I am not alone in this world, that my actions interact with other people’s self-esteem, health, and the way of being. Tell me nothing is easy — what is given to us was attained by the effort of others.
Show me what work is. I want to know from a very young age that for you to give me the Pokemon Red game for Christmas, you had to work. Let me choose my gift. Let me decide if a Pokemon is worth the effort and sacrifice of my family. Maybe I’d rather go to dinner together at McDonald’s and pay with my savings.
Help me to be aware of things, do not raise me in unconsciousness — make time to teach me about life. Don’t overdo it either, but under no circumstances promote ignorance. I will need to be mindful many times in my life. And if part of the work is done at home, it is much easier for the child to get any decision right, or at least know why something went wrong.
9. Show me the face and the burdens of life
The glowing prince on the white horse does not exist. If he doesn’t exist then how could there even be a princess? It’s okay to believe in love, but as it always goes — love is wonderful, people less. We are conflicting things with legs. A relationship is complicated and can take a toll if you are with the wrong person.
Also, teach me that sometimes you have to hold back information and not say what you know, because of malicious people. Show me that we are neither heroes nor villains. That we walk the fine line that separates them. And although nothing changes if nothing changes, almost everyone deserves a second chance. Emphasize that we are going to need it ourselves.
10. Teach me to persevere
Instill in me to finish what I have started, but also to give up if it means straying from my path. Show me that I can do anything and that doing is much more complicated than thinking because it takes time and effort.
Please teach me that life is a marathon. And that, unfortunately, we cannot let our guard down if we want to become, for example, the right person, a good daughter, a good woman, or a competent professional.
Teach us to enjoy the journey and the importance of committing to it. Because getting somewhere is as important as the destination itself.
11. Teach me that nothing is forever
Show me that hard knocks will come and that in life, you can lose the most precious people and things in an instant. And for that reason, you have to persevere every day; you have to take care and give love to those who deserve it, for there might not be a tomorrow.
12. Don’t boot me out to after-school activities, play with me
Stop lying that the little moments you spend with us is “quality” time. Quality applies to products and services. I want to see and feel that I have a mother and a father. I know very well that you fill my routine with stuff, so I don’t notice your emptiness. I don’t blame you, but I know. We all know it.
Take and make us take small steps, day by day, to become the people we want to be. The expectation must be as high as possible so that if we lower the bar, the result will not be too different from our dreams. Please take good care of us and make us take care of you.