25 Life Lessons I Want My Daughter to Know

25 Life Lessons I Want My Daughter to Know
A while back, one of my now dear friends, Kari Kampakis, wrote an article called If I Die Young. The article, in a nutshell, is a list of life lessons addressed to her daughters in the event something ever happens to her. I love Kari and her writing, and that post really resonated with me. She also encouraged others to do the same. Although the task may seem daunting, here was her advice in doing so: “Should something happen to you or me, our families wouldn’t be looking for perfection. What they’d be looking for is anything that sounds like us and reflects our unique filter. What they’d want is a keepsake that keeps our memory alive as accurately and poignantly as possible.” Fast forward to almost a year after reading Kari’s piece, and I’m finally getting around to writing my own list. Because lately, everywhere I turn there is some form of heartache or illness that is plaguing people I know, young and old. Lives are taken too soon. I hope to spend a hundred years with my sweet baby girl, but our days on this earth are indeed limited. I definitely need my daughter to know these things should something ever happen to me and I am unable to share with her my advice about life. This isn’t a complete list, but it’s a starting point. Here are 25 life lessons I want my daughter to know, whether I am here to tell her or not. 
Pray about everything; worry about nothing. When your heart is anxious, pray without ceasing. And when you feel that God isn’t answering your prayers, know that He has three answers: yes, not yet, and I have something better in mind.
 
Learn to forgive. Forgiveness is the biggest form of grace that God gives. Take it. Forgive others to release you from a debt of bitterness. And most importantly, learn to forgive yourself. You’ll make many mistakes in your life, and so will others you love. Own your mistakes and learn from them. When you know better, you do better. Forgiveness will lead to a much happier life.
 
Don’t rush your life. There was a time in your mama’s life when I wanted to wish the days away just to get to the next big thing. But I learned that each day is a stepping stone with a lesson that God has specifically for you. Sweet baby girl, enjoy every day to its fullest. Even the bad days. Because it’s in those bad days that you’ll find the wisdom to love the better ones. Each day is getting you closer to the best life God has in store for you. You are exactly where you need to be. Enjoy it.
Get to know yourself and get to loving yourself. Continue to grow every day and be content with who God made you to be. Being comfortable in your own skin is so important. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Know that you simply can’t do it all, and perfection is unattainable. It’s okay. Do what you can when you can and with your whole heart. You are made in God’s image with His spirit, which means you are pretty spectacular. And by the way, when you love yourself, you’ll find it so much easier to love others. And one day, when God sends you that person He has designed just for you, he will love you effortlessly because of the love you have for yourself.
 
Be kind to everyone. My little love, this goes with the Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. You never know what someone is going through. A person with a smile on their face (or even a frown) could be going through one of their life’s most difficult trials. Be gentle and be kind. Show them your smile because it has always been able to light up the room.
Be generous. Be giving of your time and talents. Help others in need in any way you can, even if that means simply saying prayers for them. Lend a helping hand in whatever way you can.
 
Be thankful. Always have a grateful heart. Someone will always have it worse than you, and someone will always have more than you. Don’t compare. Be thankful for all of your blessings. They were given to you by God.
Communicate. People are not mind readers. Say what you feel and be confident in your decisions. Others will appreciate your honesty. Also know that communication is a two-way street. Listen to others when they’re speaking. Everyone has a story to tell, and everyone needs to know that they are heard. Even you, sweet girl.

Don’t second-guess yourself. There will be times when people question your beliefs and your values. Don’t let them sway you. Stand firm and keep your head held high. Avoid toxic people who try to steal your joy.
 
Value education. Never stop learning. Learn as much you can in school and in life, but always remember, sometimes life’s best teachers are the people God has put in your life.
Set goals and boundaries. Sometimes in setting goals and creating boundaries, you will have to say no to things and to people. This will require discipline. Pray for it. Also, don’t spend more than you have and always work hard to get what you want. This goes beyond just the material things, too.
 
Keep your standards high. Always aim to be the best that God has made you to be. Never settle for mediocrity. Be classy and a lady always.
 
Respect your elders. They carry around a ton of wisdom. Respect them and always be polite.
 
Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff, my dear. The long line at the check-out counter, the traffic on the freeway, the man chomping on his food so loudly at the table next to you in the restaurant…let it go. Learn to let go of all the things you can’t control. 
 
Have a good attitude. Live your life with so much passion that others want what you have, a life so positive that it can’t be mistaken for anything less than one of God’s miracles. That positive attitude will point them straight to Jesus.
 
Learn to get back up. Even Jesus fell that day in Calvary, but he got back up and carried out God’s will. Always get back up, my darling. You will fall, but it’s the getting back up that will define you.
Surround yourself with people who make you want to be better. Surround yourself with people who encourage you, who lift you up, and who reflect all that is good. When you surround yourself with positivity, you in turn will emit positivity.
 
Be courageous. Be cautious of fear. Always know when to trust your gut, but never let fear keep you from doing what you know in your heart to be God’s calling. The voice of truth will never lead you astray. Always have faith.
 
Always do the right thing. From time-to-time we all have to do things we don’t want to do or don’t enjoy doing, but do them anyway because it may be the right thing to do.
 
Travel. There’s a great big world out there, my love. Get to know God’s people, the world’s history, and God’s natural creations. There are some beautiful masterpieces out there.
 
Enjoy your favorite things. Sing at the top of your lungs, dance your heart out, run as fast you can, play in the rain, and eat the decadent dessert. Enjoy everything that you love. Never deprive yourself of life’s simple joys. Don’t forget to laugh, my dear. Sometimes laughter is the best medicine of all.
Never give up. There will be days when you want to throw in the towel because life seems a little too hard. Don’t give up. When you don’t know what to do, listen to God’s voice. He’ll always be there to help guide you if just let Him. If it’s then that He tells you to walk away, then listen.
 
Everything turns out all right in the end; if it’s not all right, then it’s not the end. You can make plans, but always know that God’s plan always prevails. And His plan is always greater than anything we could have come up with ourselves.
 
Love your family. Never forget the people who love you and would do anything for you. Give them the love that God has shown you.
 
Know that Jesus loves you UNCONDITIONALLY. And that my sweet darling is the greatest gift of all. There is nothing that you can do to make Him love you any less. You are a child of His and He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Love Him back with all your heart and always keep Him first in your life. Great things will happen because of that love.
***
Be brave, my sweet girl. Your mama loves you more than you’ll ever know.
What life lessons do you want your child(ren) to know? Maybe this list could be a starting point for you.
 

Has this post touched you today? Please feel free to share it on Pinterest, Facebook, or whatever social media you’d like. Just be sure to link back here. ;) Be blessed, friend!

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  • Anonymous

    Beautifully written, my love. Charlotte and I are so blessed to have you. TTG.

  • This is so beautiful!! Great minds think alike, I literally just a wrote a post similar to yours this morning. Crazy :)

    Yours is perfect. Your daughter is blessed to have such a wonderful mama!

    ~Jenna // A Mama Collective

    • Thank you so much, Jenna! I love your blog and can't wait to read what you've written. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  • Stopping by from the link up…. I have two daughters and these are exactly the lessons I would want them to learn. Thanks for this post.

    Come by and say hi
    http://www.itsagirlgirlworld.blogspot.com

  • I think my lessons would be different for each of my children. I wonder if this will change and if you will have things to add or rewrite as your daughter gets older. "Respect your elders, Don't sweat the small stuff." Two of my favorites. Good list!

    • Thanks so much! :) I'm sure I'll add plenty, but these are definitely things I want her to know. ;)

  • I loved this post! Just imagine how much pain will be spared if we all share these lessons with children. I am visiting from Wed. Prayer Girls & I do believe this is my first visit here. Enjoyed this post & the photos! Blessings!!

  • Beautiful advice and such a lovely (and slightly sad) idea to put this down on paper (or the internet). Your daughter will love reading it one day!

    The Joni Journey

  • I will definitely be taking from this! I think that's a great and thoughtful idea, to leave some words behind for our children. It's hard to imagine not being able to be here for them, but you are so right; our time is limited and only God knows what is in store for our futures. Thank you for sharing!
    Marifaith from Thee Angel Project
    http://pinklady08.wordpress.com/

  • Perfect post, I have been thinking about writing something like this for Scarlett for a while now! I'm going to share this on my friday favorites post tomorrow, if that's ok?! :)

    • Thanks, Tawnya! I'm sure your list for Scarlett would be beautiful! :) I would be so honored for you to share! Xoxo

  • This is beautiful. This week, I wrote the hardest post of my blog life to date (dear nina in a prom dress) about something awful that happened to me and…one of the reasons is because of young women, because of all my friends little baby girls.

    • Thanks, Nina! My daughter is definitely the inspiration behind most of my writing. Thanks for reading! :)

  • I have chills reading that! Such a beautiful, beautiful post. And that Mother Teresa quote is one of my favorite quotes ever. Thank you for sharing this! What a treasure for your daughter to have one day.

  • Great list Kristy. I am excited for you that as you and your daughter journey life, God willing, you will get to teach her and live out each of these truths with her. What beautiful pictures. This post will be a beautiful gift for your daughter one day. Stopping by from the Saturday Soiree Blog Party. Many blessings!

    • Thank you so much for that. I hope I get to teach her each of these and I hope to model them, too. In writing this, it definitely gave me fresh eyes of how I want to live and what I want her to learn from me. I hope I can give this to her one day on a special occasion when she can truly understand each one. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  • What an absolutely beautiful post. I would have to say "ditto" to your list.To every single item on it.

    What a blessed little girl to have such a wise and faithful mama.

    God bless you (and thanks for sharing at the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
    xoxo

    • Thank you so much for that, Jennifer! Your words are too kind. :) Hope your weekend was wonderful!

  • LOVE this post! Such a great list that you have put together, what a blessing! Thanks so much for linking up with us at Wine'd Down Wednesday! I am now following you, and looking forward to reading lots more good stuff! :-)
    Cathy @ three kids and a fish

    • Thanks so much, Cathy! And thank you so much for the linkup and the follow. I hope I can deliver. ;)

  • Amen! Great list. I think my favorite is Everything turns out all right in the end; if it’s not all right, then it’s not the end.
    Good job Mama!

    • It's one of my favorites too. It's actually a saying that I learned from my husband. :) Thanks for reading!

  • What a great list and a great idea to give your daughter someday! I'm visiting you from Thee Angel Project. Looking forward to reading your posts this month. I was just reading the one before this and I was surprised to see you mention Nashville. Got excited thinking you might be from here, but then you said you weren't! :)

    • Thanks so much! And yes, I am a Texan, but because of the blogging world, I have friends all over the country and world now. :) It's such a cool community. So glad you stopped by again. Thanks for reading!

  • This is so sweet Kristy. So many of those resonated with me for wishes I have with my girls. You have inspired me. I have always thought of writing 'in case something happens' letters to my family. I am once again motivated to get on this project.

  • WOW! These are great things for us to pass along to our kiddos. Love it. Also…love your graphic. So clean and neat. (that's random, but I notice stuff like that!) Thanks for sharing on What You Wish Wednesday. Please come on back tomorrow!

    • Thank you so much, Leslie! And thanks for noticing my graphic. I try to take my time with them. :) Thanks for the link up. As always, thanks so much for visiting and sharing sweet words. I appreciate it!

  • Great post, awesome insight, and what an adorable little princess you have! My favorite: "Everything turns out all right in the end; if it’s not all right, then it’s not the end."

    • Thanks so much, Tiffany! Can you tell how much I love my little princess?!
      And that's one of my favorite lines, too. My husband taught me that one. ;)

  • I love this list! My favorites are:

    Pray about everything; worry about nothing
    Don't rush your life
    Get to loving yourself
    Set boundaries
    Be courageous.

    These are al things I "learned the hard way" and hope to impart to my daughter as well :)
    I'm visiting from the Blogger's Digest, so thanks for linking up!

    • Thank you so much, Brittany! I learned most of these the hard way, too, which is why I definitely want to teach these things to my sweet baby as she grows up.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • I just wanted to let you know, I chose this post to be featured on the Turn It Up Tuesday! It's such a great post! I've been wanting to write something like this for my daughter and the points you touched on are perfect!!!

    I can't wait to follow along more! xoxo.

    mitchalycia.blogspot.ca

    • Thank you, Alycia! I so appreciate your support in featuring this post. It's one of my favorites I've written so far. :) I bet your list would be just wonderful, too.

      Thanks for following along and for the love! Many blessings!

  • Such a great list!! I love them all and now you have inspired me to write my own list. :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart with the Saturday Soiree Blog Party!

    • Thanks so much for that, Sarah Ann! I hope you get to writing that list. ;)
      I love sharing with your blog party! I hope to share more posts in the future.

  • SO lovely to come here and read your precious words, Kristy!! I would probably have the exact same list… your blog is beautiful and your message is absolutely wonderful. I really look forward to getting to know you and reading more of your gift here. :)

    Found you through the SHINE hop.

    • Thank you so much, Chris! I appreciate your kind words more than you know. :) Thanks for stopping by through the blog hop! It's one of my favorites.

  • You are a talented writer and you drew me in to this wonderfully penned message. I've sat looking at the computer screen for a few moments thinking about what I would (will) say in my own list.

    I found you via your link with the #SHINEBlogHop – thank you for linking up!

    • Wow, your words are too kind, Sarah! I appreciate that so much. I'm happy to have inspired a list of your own. :) Thank you so much for reading and stopping by through the linkup! Many blessings to you!

  • Aaw! This is wonderful :) I did a similar post couple weeks ago, so it was interesting to read yours!

  • What a great list!! I want to print it and read it everyday!!

  • What a fantastic list (just stopping by from #turnitupTuesdays)

  • I just love this… thank you.

  • I couldn't agree more with you!!Love your post!!!

  • What a sweet post! Great lessons here! #turnituptuesday

  • I love this share beautiful!!!

  • This is such a great list for all ages!

  • These are awesome lessons. I like the one about setting goals and boundaries. Sometimes children have problems setting boundaries, because they so want to be accepted and liked.

    • Thanks, Betty! I agree with you about the boundaries. That's why it's so important to me to teach my darling baby girl all about loving herself first. Such a daunting task, but I'm up for the challenge!

  • That is AMAZING! I Love your list! It says everything that I have wanted to say to my daughter. I hope I have said most of these things. She is now 16 and well….you'll find out when your own sweet daughter gets there. :) Wonderful words! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much, Rebecca. :) I hope I can instill these lessons as we do life together. And man, I can't even think about when she is 16. I wanted to cry today just thinking how big she's getting at 18 months! Thanks so much for the love. ;)

  • What a great list of principles, I really liked reading this.

    Jonathan

    • Thanks so much, Jonathan! I am so happy to see a dad (other than my husband) has enjoyed this list. Thanks for reading!

  • This is such a sweet list! Thank you for sharing your post with The Natural Homeschool and The Life of Jennifer Dawn Linky Party. :) See you next Wednesday! :)

  • Love everything about this, Kristy! I may have to do something in the journal I keep for my little man. You made some wonderful points and one day sweet little Charlotte will love your words. Thanks so much for sharing your list!

  • I love this so much. You are such a good mom and these are amazing life lessons.

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a long time but you pretty much summed it all up girl! You are an amazing mama.

  • Ugh, this post gets me everytime I read it lol. Soooo beautiful, your daughter will cherish this when she’s older and seeking some wisdom <3

  • I love this so much. You are such a good mom and these are amazing life lessons.

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! I've been wanting to do a post like this for a long time but you pretty much summed it all up girl! You are an amazing mama.

  • Ugh, this post gets me everytime I read it lol. Soooo beautiful, your daughter will cherish this when she's older and seeking some wisdom <3

  • Oh I love this!!!! First time in your blog and I love it! It is really fresh and inspiring! Your little girl is adorable and you are a great story teller! I will start thinking about the lessons I want my three girls to know! Nice meeting you….

  • Oh I love this!!!! First time in your blog and I love it! It is really fresh and inspiring! Your little girl is adorable and you are a great story teller! I will start thinking about the lessons I want my three girls to know! Nice meeting you….