As moms, we all have one thing in common: We love our kids, and we will do everything to raise them the best we could. But raising little women presents a different set of challenges, whether we'd like to admit it or not. Those with daughters know they are growing up in a world where their gender often defines their options, a future where they are often put at a disadvantage.
Toni Hammer, mom and writer behind the blog Is It Bedtime Yet?, didn't want her daughter to go through her experience where she was picked on growing up and made to feel "less than." So she wrote her daughter, who was to start kindergarten, a letter with advice like, "Don't apologize when someone else bumps into you. Don't wear a dress if you don't want to," among others. Her post below resonated with a lot of mothers.
It also inspired moms like Rayzy Nufable, a Filipino instructional designer and mom of two, who came across an article that featured Tammy's post. On Facebook, Rayzy wrote she slightly disagreed with Toni's rules, explaining, "I think it fosters self-love but does not reinforce consideration."
"I understood where she was coming from, but I felt like the list did not match what I wanted for my children," she told SmartParenting.com.ph.
So Rayzy, who also has a background in human ecology and early childhood education, wrote her advice, reprinted here with permission, for her children, a son and a daughter. "These are just some of the things that I want my children to live by."
1. Love yourself but be considerate of other people's emotions. Learn to empathize. 2. Be confident in your own skin. People will tell you that you are "maitim," "payat," "mataba," "pandak," etc. The list goes on. These are their opinions. Say thank you and continue to be true to who you are. Bashers hate that. 3.Never rely on pretty. Learn as much as you can. Explore and experience as much as you can. Read. Eat. Travel. Smart people attract better relationships. 4.Be funny. Be silly but never at the expense of other people -- no matter how annoying they are. 5. Pray. When you can't find consolation or peace, always look up and ask for God's help.
6.Love your sibling. When your dad and I are long gone, your sibling should be your kakampi and confidant. Always be strong for each other. 7. Listen. Sometimes the most boring conversations can spark the best friendships or ideas. 8. Give people a second chance. If they betray you again, never look back. You do not deserve to be in that situation. Burn that bridge. Build a mall on top of it and never look back. 9. Be loyal to your friends. Loyalty is more important than forcing yourself to be like your friends. If they force you to do bad things or stuff that you don't like, lead them to do what is right. 10. Always be on time. Your time is not more important than other people. 'Wag kang pa-importante. 11. Learn to say no but always weigh your options. 12.Talk to us, your parents. We might be masungit (well, me lang, not your dad) sometimes, but we are here to support, love, advise, and guide you.
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The above is not a mom-versus-mom post. It just goes to show parenting styles are different, and rules on raising children are not always black and white. Sometimes it's all about trusting yourself that you know your children best.
As Rayzy writes, "People will always tell you how to raise your kids. Be confident that your love will guide you in what is best for them."