My youngest daughter turns 12 today… a “tweener” as she is known as. I sit here, thinking of all the things I wish her and her almost 15 year old sister should know as they grow and mature. I thought I would share all the “If I knew then, what I know now” advice.
Body Image and Looks
Please do not judge how you are suppose to look by magazines, TV and stores. You are the prettiest when you are comfortable with who YOU are. Sure, makeup is fun, but LESS is more. Change the color of your hair – that is fun too – but listen to the professionals! Size 2 is not the norm. Curves ARE beautiful. If you want to wear something that doesn’t match and is silly – wear it, hold your head up high and ROCK IT! If you feel good in it and confident in it – THAT is what’s important! Be healthy and take care of yourself…that is what is important. Doritos ARE yummy…but handful vs. whole bag is best 🙂 Living off celery and water ruins your body. Diet food is gross and usually tastes bad. Everything in moderation. Plastic surgery is NOT an answer. Embrace wrinkles when you get them-it is the way the world knows you laugh.. a lot! Remember it takes more muscles to frown than smile!
Brand name products DO NOT make you cool or a sign of success. If you find a brand of something you like – stick with it. Why over pay for a tag, label or status symbol?? I begged for Jordache jeans when I was your age and guess what? I never got them and I turned out just fine!! People should like you for who YOU are not WHAT you have. You do not always need the newer, bigger or better version of something you already have to prove who you are. Hey – look at the crappy TV we watch 90% of our shows on vs. the big TV in the basement!?!
I know, I know…I swear. I swear when I am mad. Is it right? No. Does it make me feel better when I stub my toe and yell “SON OF A BITCH” – sometimes. When I stub my toe or spill something and yell “SON OF A NUTCRACKER” you girls laugh and then I end up laughing. It doesn’t sound cool when you swear. Even if “everyone on the bus or school does”. It makes you sound dumb.
I know right now you do not love going to school and all the work that comes with it. I didn’t either. I liked school for the social aspect of it – that is probably why I took Algebra 3 times before passing it!! I didn’t finish college. Looking back I wish I would have worked harder and finished college. It is always good to learn new things. Read. Ask questions. Learn about things you know nothing about. Do a crossword puzzle – try it in pen vs. pencil and rock it! Travel when you can. Learn about other cultures. Education is the key!
Where to even begin!!! Boys ARE good. They mature slower than girls – that is key to trying to understand them. Don’t date someone just because he asks or is Mr. Popular. You date some one who treats you and your heart like a piece of fine china. Someone that has manners and morals. If a person doesn’t make you feel safe and loved – then that person is not the one for you. Trust me when I say: SEXUAL activity does NOT make you popular and does NOT make a person love you more. You save that until you are completely in love with a person. A person you want to commit yourself to. When that time does come, we will talk more! (yes, we will whether you like it or not!)
I love social media as much as you girls. A couple things… The number of followers, online friends and likes you get on something does NOT determine how good a person you are. Most of those people don’t know who you are as a person – but only as the stuff you post. Every time you post a photo, comment or status update, it is there for EVERYONE to see FOREVER. If someone is mean to you on any social media – drop them or block them. I WILL always check your accounts – with no warning. You cannot determine someone’s mood, attitude or tone of voice thru a type written message. ALWAYS talk in person to people who matter and with topics that are important. I am guilty of this just as much as any teen…PUT DOWN THE PHONE and live life. Life goes by too fast – you need to enjoy it. If you are struggling with friends, boys, health, family – DO NOT post it all over Facebook or other media outlets. All that does is give you fake attention. You talk to the people that are close to you and keep it private. Again, having a million people comment doesn’t mean that all those people care – it’s just an automatic response. Social media can also be a wonderful platform to help others and to share wonderful things – find the balance! Also – I am definitely the pot/kettle with this one: USE A PASSCODE! Think of Robert and all the times he has hacked me! ha ha
Manners and Morals
I cannot stress this enough – and I also can learn from what I am about to say…. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Remember if someone is acting out and being mean – it isn’t right, but you also may not know what they might be battling in their life. Always try and give someone the benefit of the doubt. Speak nicely. Speak loudly. Be kind. Race, culture, income level, sexual orientation, looks, language DOES NOT determine how you should treat a person. We as human beings are ALL EQUAL. Just because it isn’t the same as you, does NOT make it wrong. Use your manners. Chew with your mouth closed. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Say Thank you, please and you are welcome. Say I’m sorry first. Forgive. Don’t go back to the past and dwell on something that happened a long time ago and get mad all over again (Maddie – that means the chicken sandwich story! ha ha). Be grateful. If someone gives you a gift – even if its wrapped up dog crap – you smile and say thank you (that is Holly’s advice). Help people in need. Appreciate things without judging. Love. Hug. Smile.
Cleaning, Chores and more
You have chores at home not to be punished, but to learn. All the things I ask you to do and expect you to do are things you need to know how to do when you are out on your own. So next time you are about to roll your eyes and say “ugggghhhh” remember that. You need to know how to cook, clean a toilet, sort and do laundry, make a bed WITH hospital corners, read expiration dates on food, dust (and not just because company is coming over), pick out good produce, change a light bulb, shovel snow and mow a lawn. They are things you might not enjoy doing, but they are important and make you independent and strong. Work hard – it will prove beneficial later in life. Know that if you haven’t used something in over a year – get rid of it. While we enjoy watching a good episode of Hoarders…I never want to see you on that show!
God and You
Trust that God WILL take care of you and lead your life. It may not always be the life you planned, but when you look back you will have learned from it. Think of our family as an example! When life gets hard and you feel like giving up – talk to God and trust in him.
Most importantly, BE YOU because everyone else it taken!