– Photo by Jonathan Borba –

This year my Saydi will be turning 12 and I wonder where did the time go. I wonder how the girl playing with my mascara actually wants to wear it for real? How are her feet bigger than mine? How do I just have one year before the four-letter word “teen” follows the numbers of her next 7 birthdays? How? When? WOW! I wonder if my mama felt and had these same questions.

( My mom and I, many, many  years ago )

Inspired by all these thoughts I’m writing late at night 12 things to tell our daughters before 13, and perhaps reminders for ourselves for the rest of our lives.

 

1

I love YOU.

{ Free Printable HERE }

When we mean it the words I LOVE YOU have to be the most powerful sentence in the world.

“YOU” is the key to it.

Every girl deserves to be loved.

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 picture source

EVERY SINGLE GIRL should know that her parents cherish her.

The shy girl, the funny girl, the high-and-low-school-grades girl, the special needs girl, the curvy girl, the thin one, the short one, the tall one. That girl, the one that belongs to you, to me,  deserves to hear and feel the words,

I love YOU as YOU are!

2

The size of your pants will never determine the size of your heart.

picture source

We live in a time where images are everything. We have the power to alter any picture in a second.

” Making the good look bad and the bad look good. “

More than ever I think we need to teach our girls that the size of our hearts will always be far more important than the size of their pants. More than ever I believe we should use adjectives as strong, smart, wise, powerful, beautiful, kind instead of skinny, cute, perfect, big, small, to build their character.

3

“You were born with your own dignity therefore  

no one can take it away from you.”

My mom used to tell me this from a very young age.

I remember one time someone on my island made up a huge terrible lie about me. It was a hard time, I felt ridiculed, betrayed, and sad. These words of my mom came into my mind: “No one could take away from me my dignity.”

 It belonged to me. I owned it. I had the right to defend it and I did. My life was affected by the outcome of these simple words greatly.

Every girl deserves to grow with such confidence.

4

“Keep your panties on at all times.”

This was my brother’s advice!

I wonder if he even remembers when he told me this, but I am telling you I have never forgotten.

5

Don’t do DRUGS.

They will…

D: Destroy you.

R: Ruin your youth and maybe your life.

U: Unhappiness will be around you.

G: Grief and S: sorrow will follow them.

When I was 15 my mama took me to a rehabilitation center full of good people suffering from a serious addiction to drugs. For about 6 weeks we went to help these people to get better. Some of them were really young, some terribly ill, other ones were terribly sad, some were ashamed, alone and lost.

This was a wake-up moment for me. My mother didn’t have to tell me not to take drugs, she taught a far greater lesson when she took me to see the consequences of it. Later, when the time came and drugs were offered to me I knew what to say: NO

6

Remember who you are.

{ Free Printable HERE }

I tell this to my children often. Kids don’t need to know perfectly who they are yet, they are evolving, reinventing, and getting to know themselves every day. I believe they just need to remember the value of their souls. Children can even remind us of who we are. My kids are my heroes. I wish I could love as unconditionally as they love. I wish I could forgive as they do it. I wish I could be as willing to learn as they are.

The best way to remember anything is repetition.

We need to tell our daughters often how amazing they are.

We must repeat it time after time.

We need to recognize their talents and spend our lives trying to build them up. I promise you they will remember who they are if their parents and loved ones tell them often.

7

As your parent, I will say no, because I know you can say yes to wonderful things.

{ DIY Sign Tutorial HERE }

That’s right!

Yes to your dreams. Yes to education. Yes to experiences that will make your heart full. Yes to a future.

NO is all about YES!

8

I know you may hate our rules but our rules love you.

Would you ever ask a policeman if you could go 100 miles an hour in a school zone? Would you ever ask a dentist to do brain surgery? Would you ever ask your mother-in-law to love you as much as she loves her son?

No?

Why?

Because we know the rules. Because we understand the consequences. Because we want to be safe. Because you know better than to mess with your mother-in-law!

 { I love mine }

We need to create for our daughters a set of a few clear fair rules that they will know that we won’t compromise. In order for this to work, we must explain that the reasons why we won’t compromise have nothing to do with pride or power but with love and safety. Be CLEAR to the point.

9

I value your opinion.

Our daughters most of the time will know what is the right thing to do. Instead of saying NO right away, I believe we should ask what do you think you should do?

This will teach them to make the right decisions based on wise judgments instead of emotions. I think it is important to listen to them, to value what they have to say and to share with them personal experiences that validate our point.

10

Friendship and popularity are not the same things.

picture source

I think this is a serious struggle for those sweet 12 years old girls. They want to be accepted, they want to be liked. It is our responsibility as parents to know our kid’s friends.

My mama was a wise woman. My home was always open to my friends, she knew them well, she even took the time to get to know their parents. She was ahead of the game and everyone loved her.

11

Have fun!

This is perhaps one of my favorite things.

My husband and I have spent a good amount of time and energy trying to show our children with actions what fun is. We are kids at heart, especially Matt can get wild as soon as he sees water, snow, sand, board games. It is our calling to teach our girls all things even how to have a blast.

12

Yes, you can!

Free Printables and Inspirational Quotes at the36thavenue.com These are super cute and fun!

{ Free Printable HERE }

We should be the biggest fans our daughters would ever have. We should encourage them to believe they can do anything. The world will tell them they can’t quite often. I hope we are the ones to say YOU CAN all the time!

12 + 1 = 13

READ!

{ Free Printable HERE }

One of the most beautiful habits we can pass to our girls is the gift of reading. There is a good chance that they will read if we read. One of my personal traditions with my kids is that I read to them. The books now are more intense than before, but when I don’t read they complain. I really think they will remember this tradition forever.

…..

I’m not an expert when it comes to parenting.

I was just lucky enough to be a 12-year-old girl that had a mother that loved her for who she was.

Thank you, mama!

Read this post next… You’ll love it!

10 Things Children Will Always Remember

Happy Day My Friends!

Besos

Desirée