10 Promises I’ve Made to my Daughter

happy girl

My sweet daughter, I know you have only been on this planet six years, but I already feel the world trying to pull you from me, trying to yank your childhood out from under the both of us. In light of this, I make you these promises. 

1. I promise to encourage you to love your body. I promise you will never hear me utter the words “diet” or “fattening.” You will never hear me complain about my weight or my looks. (Even when you point out the lines around my eyes, I will always tell you they’re from laughing.) I won’t ever let you complain about your body, either. I will not have it. You are healthy. Nothing else matters. NOTHING.

2. I will never tell you that you can’t do something because you’re a girl. I’m so proud to see you stick with basketball. Even though you’re sometimes the only girl on the team and no one passes to you, I love to watch how ferociously you guard your opponent, and how fast you run the length of the court. When you scramble for the ball, my heart soars. I promise that I will always encourage that fire within you.

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3. I will never let you be the mean girl. I don’t EVER want to find out that you’ve purposefully excluded someone, or acted in a hurtful way to another person. This world is too harsh, particularly to little girls, and if you are participating in making another child feel inferior, I will make sure you never do it again. I am speaking from experience and love.

4. I will shield you from the misogynistic world of advertising as long as I can. I know I can’t keep you innocent forever, but for as long as I can, I will keep you away from magazines touting weight loss secrets and magic firming creams to maintain your youth. Your life will be spent dodging the media’s messages that you are not beautiful, so I will protect you as long as I can, until your skin is thick enough to deflect their vicious attacks.

5. I will always encourage you to live large and loudly. That does not mean you can be disrespectful, but I want your voice to be strong and confident- your words matter, make them heard! I don’t care how crazy your idea is- share it with passion and claim your place in this world.

6. I will never tell you to “put on a little lipstick”. I hope you never look at your beautiful face in the mirror and think it needs makeup. But if you do, it won’t be from my influence.

7. I will keep you a little girl as long as I can. Remember how mad I got when you attempted to twerk with that tiny heinie of yours? I don’t care that you learned it from the girl on the bus, it’s inappropriate.  Too many girls grow up too fast, too soon. You will never have this time again-  so take all the time in the world to play with dolls and dream of horses and sparkly fairy dust. Let the magic of your imagination sustain you as long as you can.

8. I promise to listen to you with an open mind. I want to hear your dreams, your opinions and your perspective on life. I love seeing the world through your eyes. It may not always be practical (or even sane), but I’m continuously amazed that I helped create a human being who has the capability for so much silliness, intensity and wisdom. I know we’re going to have some incredible debates over the next 50-odd years.

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9. I promise to love you no matter what. No matter how many times you tell me you hate me through your teen years, I will remember that you have raging hormones and that you have, unfortunately, inherited my temper. I can’t promise I will sit silently when you unleash your inner bitch, but I promise to hug you close every night and forgive you for your transgressions.

10. If you didn’t get the message already, I love you to the moon and back. I take my job as your mom seriously, and for that reason, I am putting these promises in writing and ask you to hold me accountable to each of them.

All my love,

Mom

About the writer

Brooke is a wife, mom and attorney. Her hobbies include over-caffeinating herself, cursing and decorating her pretend beach house on Pinterest. When she can remember, she tweets at @brookekravitz.

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Marty 5 months ago

These hit the nail on the head for how I am raising and want to raise my 6 year old daughter. As a single mom, I have by far the largest influence on her, and I have to take that very seriously. I can especially relate to the challenges of #7… My little girl LOVES Disney Jr. and My Little Pony, but the kids at her school that are her same age or younger tell her that those are “baby shows.” I just want to yell, “SHUT UP!’ at them because I LOVE that she still loves those things. I don’t need the teenage beach movies or whatever other stuff that is out there for tweens to invade her mind yet. Let her be little. Let her play with little sparkly ponies, and let her still find the magic in “silly little kid” shows. Let her be a sweet young girl for as long as she can. AND (at the same time) encourage her keep playing football even though she can’t catch or throw! :)

Mel 5 months ago

One of the greatest gifts I was ever given, was that I could stay little as long as I needed to. I played with toys and watched cartoons well into Jr high. Mom and Dad let ME grow up when I was ready. And the first time someone made a comment about a profession being “Not for girls” it was a shock. Didn’t stop me either, because I had such strong support behind me.

Erin 5 months ago

Every single one of these are lessons to teach our boys as well; if not for them, directly, then to influence how they think of and subsequently treat the women in their lives.

failure mom 2 years ago

ANd no matter how much you love them, when Sallie Mae is calling at all hours, you feel like a failure, regardless of the other million things you’ve done as supermom.

failure mom 2 years ago

OK and be careful with the promises to “help” pay back school loans, as years later, circumstances may change, but “promises” will be thrown back in your face.

Banana man 2 years ago

So you want her to be a nieve bitch

grownandflown 2 years ago

So great that you have this focus when your daughter is 6….things can get a bit rocky at 16 and beyond but a loving mother-daughter connection will see you through (said as a mom of an 18 yr old daughter leaving for college in the fall! )

Julie Warwick 2 years ago

Love it! My daughter is 17 and I have tried to live by these words. She is a very special girl.

activekath 2 years ago

Truly resonated with me as well as the Mama of two daughters. One has more confidence than some mountain tops, the other- has a hard time knowing that she has it. I expect it to bloom about 17 – 26. I am the biggest advocate of 2 and ferociously embrace 3 & 4. World needs compassion and an open mind. Thanks for sharing. I’m planning to copy it off twice, and put it in an envelope, in a box that I have filled with “great finds” and “great memories” – pictorial and written. I want them to have their box, of letters, birthday cards, memories of moments from their youth and other paraphernalia when they hit 20 – or when I’m not here anymore. I want them to know that Mama’s love is to the moon and back – and that it comes in more than hugs and kisses, but also the sharing of my values.

Catina 2 years ago

Love, love, love it! Thanks Brooke!

Christine Cappuccia 2 years ago

Good luck with numbers 1, 4, 6 and 7. I’ve got 3 daughters, two who are teenagers. #1 on the list is by far the toughest, because although I know I never complain about my body, they still have so many insecurities! Especially my 14-year old. Even if you succeed with #4 (keeping them away from the unrealistic advertising), they will still judge themselves harshly vs. their peers, no matter what you say. I have never told my daughters that they are anything less than beautiful, and I always support and encourage them in their goals. Yet the insecurities are still there. Is it a teenage thing? Probably … because teenagers know everything and don’t believe the things their parents tell them, LOL! I continue to reinforce the message of their beauty and intelligence and that there’s nothing they can’t do … I hope that once they’ve gotten past the teenage phase that message will once again be as well received as it currently is by my 7 year old daughter!

Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

This was perfection.

Debbie Bills 2 years ago

Great job here Brooke. Like them all put this one sticks out to me, “4. I will shield you from the misogynistic world of advertising as long as I can.” The advertising these days has lost it completely.
Your idea of letting her be a little girl is wonderful. Kids now days are having to grow up to fast.

I found that the hardest part was the letting go and than I learned that I did a good job, so let them make some mistakes, just be there if they need you.

By the way when they hit those teen years, don’t remind her she has harmony’s. She will use it on you every chance she gets.

If she tells you her behavior is harmony’s teach her that this can be controlled to a point. And if need be she can say nicely, “I am not feeling my best today, so I’ll get back with you later.”
have a great day and keep up the good work. Being nice to everyone stands out also, It is so important in today’s world.
Debbie

Jessica Culbertson 2 years ago

Love Love Love this! everything i have tried for my daughter as well

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