I love hanging out with you. You are funny, sweet, and smart. Your hugs and your smile fill the room with joy. We talk all the time and you go almost everywhere with me. But you are not my friend. You are my daughter and I have a huge responsibility to guide you to your best. I will not encourage you to do things that aren’t in your best interest. I won’t expect you to tell me everything that goes on in your life, and I won’t look to you when I need deep emotional support. Here is what I will do:
I will teach you to view yourself with the same love and compassion that I do. I will teach you this by having love and compassion for myself.
I will teach you to forgive mistakes made by you or others. I will do this by being honest about my own mistakes, apologizing when I need to, and doing my best to fix the situation. I will also listen to and accept apologies from people in my life.
I will take you to church and share my views on the bible stories. I will point out the lessons of love in our religion. I will teach you about other religions, and we will respect the views of others. I will never use religion as an excuse to treat others badly.
I will teach you to love your body. I will give you opportunities to experience the pure joy of running wild, having crazy dance parties in your pajamas, and playing whatever sport you choose. I will be an example of seeing people, not bodies. I will not judge myself based on my appearance or the scale.
I will teach you by example how to balance hard work and enjoyment. You will do your homework, have chores, and spend time with your family and friends.
Your father and I will demonstrate a healthy relationship. We will have disagreements, but you will see us respectfully and lovingly come to agreements. You will see us handle life’s difficulties as a team. You will see us express our love through word and actions.
There are so many things I can’t plan for. I will do my best to give you tools to handle whatever situation you find yourself in. I won’t be perfect, but I will do my best. No matter what you are going through, I will be here, and my arms will always be a safe spot for you.
I love you.
Inspiration for the post came from Brene Brown's Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto which can be found here.