My daughter is only two, but let me tell you she gives us glimpses of her teenage self daily. Every time she gives us that oh so blatant look of fiery attitude we see a glimpse of her future. How can a soon to be three year old give so much attitude with one quick glance you wonder? Well the answer is simple – she is her mother’s daughter.
Each time she does something sarcastic, silly or full of attitude my parents are quick to point out how alike we are. “Oh my, she is just like you,” my mom says with a smile each time she babysits. My husband is also quick to tell me how her stubborn, strong willed, yet lovable and witty nature is due to my genetics somehow. He assures me the world is not ready for two of us, as he winks at me like it’s intended as a compliment. This got me thinking of my past teenage years and all my struggles with insecurity. I hope to give her wisdom someday and help her avoid some of the mistakes I made along my journey to who I am today. You may think this is a bit early on to be thinking of my two year old daughter’s teenage years, but trust me in the blink of an eye my feisty little toddler will be entering her teenage years and I can already tell you I’m not ready.
Dear Future Teenage Daughter,
Some day my dear daughter you will probably despise me. If only for a little while, you will find my very presence annoying beyond comprehension. It’s probably from a mixture of hormones and a slight appetite for rebellion, but trust me this is a normal part of adolescence. We all go through this phase and it will pass, thank goodness. I’m quite sure that eventually you will cherish your parents as I have learned to cherish mine. I’m very hopeful that you and I will someday be best friends like we were when you were little. I promise you will eventually value my role in your life. You better.
Wait for the right guy.
You may be tempted to fall in love with the first boy you meet, but trust me when I tell you that is usually a big mistake. I got married young and it’s actually been a wonderful scenario for me, but that’s because I waited for the nice guy to come along. I dated a couple of jerks before him who were a complete waste of time and self esteem, until I met your dad who made me feel like a queen. Your father gave me confidence, encouraged me to be myself and to this day always loves me unconditionally – I pray you wait for the one who builds you up and believes in you the same way.
Don’t worry about other’s opinions.
Even though you are clearly going to be a stunning woman, you may still struggle with self esteem like I did. When I was your age I had a bad habit of only focusing on my flaws, but oh how I wish I was just content in my own skin. Life would have been so much better if I accepted the way God made me and learned to be content. Looks may seem so important right now, but trust me when I tell you that true beauty comes from the state of your heart not the latest hair trend. Learn to only worry about God’s opinion not the opinion of others. There will always be someone willing to criticize and put you down sweet girl of mine, don’t let them get to you. You are worth more than you can possibly fathom, never let anyone let you think otherwise.
Forgive, over and over.
To truly be happy in this life you need to be willing to forgive others. Forgive people over and over again, as many times as it takes for you to be at peace. Resentment and anger only fester inside of you and cause you to lose joy. Forgiveness is actually more for you than the person you are mad at. That being said – don’t let people walk all over you either, if friends consistently treat you poorly it may be time to distance yourself from that friendship for awhile.
Value your God given purpose.
Learn to value your purpose. This took me a long time to figure out. I was always searching for my role in the world, unsure why I felt this slight void in my life. Then one day God opened my eyes to my greater purpose and my life has never been the same. My purpose came through my role as a mom, I pray you find yours someday and inspire others the way I hope to. When you wake up each morning determined to fulfill God’s greater purpose for your life, it has the power to transform your days into something more beautiful – and much more meaningful.
Don’t follow the crowd.
This world will work hard to tell you that your views are not valid. Learn to think for yourself. Follow your gut, your conscience and your faith, don’t just blindly follow everyone else. Society is quick to tell us how to think, make sure your opinion is actually your opinion and not just one you’ve been bullied into thinking.
Follow that feisty heart of yours.
My final bit of advice for you is simple. Take that feisty, fiery personality of yours and run with it. As long as you are kind, compassionate and willing to admit your faults when you make mistakes – that strong willed nature of yours can come in quite handy in this world. It will help you accomplish your goals, lead your family and fight for the things that you want. God gave you that feisty heart and I know you can do great, wonderful things with it. I love you baby girl and I will always be here to build you up when you need it, pick you up when you fall and love you with every part of my soul.