Two years ago I wrote a post titled 10 Things I will Teach my Daughter and in the time that has passed I’ve learned and experienced a few things I want her to know when she becomes a young lady. Over the past year I have the fortunate opportunity to spend most of my time with her and my son. As they grow I can see some of the things I teach them finally cementing into who they are. The journey has been crazy but worth it.
Cutting right to the chase, here are ten new things I will teach my daughter.
1. Be Direct and Honest
There is a lot of sugarcoating in the world. A lot of political correctness that hides the truth. Many people are afraid to speak their minds and say what they really want to say. I want my daughter to not hide her truth and the realness of her feelings and opinions. If there is something bothering her, I want her to say so and not hide around metaphors or hidden messages. Just be direct and be honest and confront the fears of doing so. Too many people lie to others about what they are thinking or feeling and try to hide it behind a mask, a cloak, or propaganda. Be direct. Be honest.
2. Keep your friends close
There is nothing more important to the success and happiness to both men and women than good friendships. As she grows she will undoubtedly move from friendship to friendship but it’s important to keep your friends close. As she gets older and moves onto a career and family, I want her to know the importance of having good friends and being with them regularly.
3. Treat Food As An Energy Source
Developing a good relationship with sound nutrition is something to embrace. During the childhood years it’s easy to wants cookies, ice cream, chips, and all kinds of junk foods and candies. While your body may be able to handle it when you are young, you will come to a point where it doesn’t. Developing a good relationship with food will help you stay healthy, active, and happy. Poor nutrition will lead to problems that can be prevented with a good diet. Treat food as an energy source for your livelihood.
4. It’s Okay to Not Fit In
As a coach I’ve seen my share of women who have problems with their body image. In fact, we all do and if you say you don’t, you’re a liar. But, part of the problem of poor esteem and self-beliefs about our body image is created by society, media, and expectations of those around us. You want to be healthy and that is all that matters. A tummy tuck, a crash diet, purple lipstick, the latest fashion trends do not. These messages that we are bombarded with daily are not positive messages and you’d be best to ignore them. It’s okay to not fit in to society’s expectations. Be the real woman you are, no matter what “they” may say.
5. Learn the Real Story
As you grow through the years and you continue to learn in schools or wherever you choose, learn to be objective and to question what you’re learning. There is always the story and then the real story. It’s okay to stand up and question the truth of the story you are learning. The facts matter more than the opinions. If the real facts don’t match what you’re learning, find out why. Even if you get sent to the office.
6. Practice Self-Defense and Martial Arts
And not just to be able to fight if needed. Practice martial arts because of the lessons it will teach you about life. Practice martial arts for the education you will receive in your strengths and weaknesses. Practice martial arts to help you find a clearer path to the real you.
7. There is a Difference Between Men and Boys
If I could go back to the day I asked my wife to marry me I’d tell her to say no. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t a man. I was a little boy, scared of the real world, of real responsibility, and I hadn’t taken my bumps and bruises fully yet. I was learning but nowhere near ready to take her hand in marriage. If my daughter decides to marry a man one day I want her to be sure that he has passed the stage of boyhood and developed into a man. A real man and not a broken child. This is going to be hard. There are many problems with the raising of boys today and if it continues the way it has for years, boys may never become real men.
8. Don’t Be Afraid of Failure.. or trying.
You know what stops most people from living their life activated? Fear.
Fear of failure and fear of the unknown stop us from ever getting to where we want to go. I want my daughter to know that we all fail and there is nothing wrong with failing. Don’t ever be so afraid to try that you don’t DO. Act and if you fail, dust yourself off and TRY again.
9. Be “Outdoorsy”
There is nothing finer than fresh air and being outside in nature. As the technological advances in society continue to change the way we live, remember that you are an animal and your real habitat is outside, under the sun, in the grass, in the river, up the tree, wherever the dirt and trees grow. Fishing is fun and relaxing. Camping is quiet, peaceful, and rejuvenating. Floating down the river in a tub is refreshing. Do it often.
10. Learn to Listen
Yeah I know you’re young now and don’t listen to anything I tell you, but what I’m talking about is learning to listen to other people when they talk to you. Listen to your friends, their problems, their dreams and share your own. Listen to the weatherman. Listen to your father when he tells you to pack extra clothes. Listen to your teacher when she tells you to try harder. Listen to your mother when she tells you women things. Listen to your doctor when they advise you. Listen to your coaches, they’ll help make you better. Advice, education, and information will come from every direction. Some of it is wise and some of it isn’t. Listen to it but the most important thing to listen to is your heart. It won’t lie to you.