A little over four years ago my world was changed forever with the birth of my baby girl, Lady M. As most parents can attest, she immediately became my world and it was clear that my most important job would be to raise her to be a wonderful woman. Two and a half years after that, my second daughter, Lady A, joined the family, and I was instantly the proud mum of two little ladies.
Since then, I find that my desire to ensure they are well-adjusted girls has become even stronger, and there are so many elements that contribute to my success with that task. When I sat down to think about the 14 lessons I believe mothers should teach their daughters, the ideas flowed so rapidly out of my mind. I guess that means that I’ve given this a lot of thought in recent years, and I hope that if you’re lucky enough to have a daughter in your life you feel these are important lessons too. There are more, of course, but let’s start with the 14 that I feel are essential. I couldn’t possibly rank them by importance, so we’ll just go alphabetically!
  1. Be both polite and sassy: I think all women should strike a healthy balance between these two characteristics. Being polite is essential, but augmenting that skill with a little bit of sass will ensure you’re never taken advantage of, and may develop a wonderful sense of humour along the way.
  2. Be yourself: There is nobody in the world quite like you, and that is a wonderful thing. If we can teach our daughters to love themselves and never try to be like someone else, then I think we as mums are doing a great job.
  3. Compassion: I believe this is a skill that must be demonstrated to our children. Show them great compassion, and they will learn to share it with others.
  4. Confidence: If I had to rank each of these lessons, this one would absolutely be near the top. I was always taught to be confident, even when I didn’t feel it. If we can teach our girls genuine confidence, I think we can set them up for tremendous success in life.
  5. Don’t be afraid to fail: I strongly believe it would be healthy if more people could understand this. Of course I don’t like to fail at anything, but despite that, I can understand that failing can build great character and light a fire within a person that may lead them to even greater things than they could have imagined in the first place.
  6. Dream: Eleanor Roosevelt once said “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams“, and I couldn’t agree more. We must teach our girls to dream, dream big, and never stop dreaming. It’s our job to make them realize that they can achieve anything if only they can envision and want it. I wish for my daughters to have incredible dreams…
  7. Educate yourself: As an educator and lifelong learner, this is a crucial lesson in my opinion. And perhaps the most important thing here is to realize that only a small piece of education happens in the classroom, there is so much more beyond those walls. Let’s encourage our girls to explore beyond those barriers and seek learning in the people they meet, places they go, books they read, and adventures they embark upon.
  8. Follow your passion: Everyone has passion, but not everyone is encouraged to follow it. I plan to encourage the passions of my children, and create an environment where they feel they can find opportunity and support to follow them at every turn.
  9. Health: Promoting good health is absolutely essential. Encourage your girls to be active, eat well and live in the best way possible. Many of these other lessons will contribute to their emotional health, but let’s be sure to encourage their physical health too. When both the physical and emotional well-being are well looked after, our girls have every opportunity available to them.
  10. Pride: Let’s ensure our daughters are proud, first and foremost, of themselves. Proud women are beautiful inside and out. Instill in them pride in their family, history, home, choices and self.
  11. Smile: This is another one that I consider essential. Simply put, a smile is the most attractive accessory a person can wear.
  12. Surround yourself with amazing people: Whether it’s a small or large group of friends and family, let’s encourage our daughters to surround themselves with only the finest. People who love them, care about them and have the ability to make them better people in a myriad of ways. Of course, our daughters should do the same for the people around them. When you’re surrounded by caring people, life is just so much sweeter.
  13. Travel: Please encourage your girls to travel! Whether it’s within your own country, or internationally, the opportunity to travel creates growth and development that staying close to home cannot always offer. Travel allows people to spread their wings, leave their comfort area and expand their horizons in ways that can be life-altering in the most positive manner. Let’s allow our girls to learn about the world first hand; it will be immensely beneficial, I promise.
  14. Try everything once: Have you ever wanted to try something, but for some reason you held back? It may be a person, a fear or uncertainty, but we should encourage our girls to try everything once. Rich experiences make for rich women, rich in character.

There are so many responsibilities that come along with raising children, and for some reason that responsibility seems even greater with girls. So most importantly, we have to model these characteristics for them so they develop into confident, well-adjusted, loving women. What other lessons do you feel are essential for your daughter?