As a woman, I learned a few life lessons as I became older and wiser. I wish that I could have done things differently if someone had told me about them earlier. So, I decided that I would pass on my wisdom to my daughter so that she could live a happy life and brave the tough situations with resilience.
Here are ten pieces of advice I believe parents should give their daughters:
1. You are Enough
There is no need to seek external validation from others. You are worthy and deserving. You are capable enough to achieve what you want. You are magical and can reach for stars even if others let or pull you down.
Don’t allow others to think less of you. Believe in yourself. Be confident in what you do.
2. Kindness Above People-Pleasing
There is no better thing than serving humanity. Be good to people because they will always remember your compassionate nature. Lend a helping hand whenever you can.
However, kindness shouldn’t make you a people-pleaser. Kindness makes you happy while making others happy. People pleasing makes you compromise your happiness and respect to fulfil other people’s expectations. So, be kind to yourself, too.
3. Give Respect to Earn Respect
You can’t expect others to respect you if you don’t give it to them. Respect everyone equally, irrespective of their age, gender, income level, occupation, etc. The true test of a respectful attitude lies in the way you treat household staff, servers at the restaurant, beggars on the street or underprivileged people.
4. Worship Your Body
Your body is your temple and you should worship it. Take out time for physical exercise at least a few times a week. Take necessary breaks for mental health and don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you feel anxious or depressed. Never ignore your body’s signals and get health checkups done at regular intervals.
5. Be Financially Independent
Financial independence will give you the freedom to make life choices on your own terms. It will boost your self-esteem. You will not have to depend on someone to ask for money. It will give you an identity beyond a wife, mother, daughter-in-law or any other social role. Financial independence will be your safe space if at all you fall victim to an abusive relationship.
6. Manage Your Money
Financial independence is not enough. You should also manage your money yourself instead of letting your parents, partner or in-laws control it. Invest your time in acquiring financial literacy. It is okay to consult others while investing your money, but do it yourself. Putting someone else in charge of money is like giving away your financial freedom.
7. Develop a Hobby
Learn a hobby that you are passionate about. It can help you relax and be with yourself. Try to deep dive into the hobby as much as possible. You may be able to monetise this hobby in the future when you want to quit your job or start your own business.
8. Explore the World
Travel is the best teacher in life. It opens up your perspectives and horizons. You can make new friends and learn about new cultures. It gives you a confidence boost. It will push you out of your comfort zone.
9. Build Your Village
You can’t live your life in isolation. You need a safe community to support you. Build a circle of family or friends to hold your hands through life’s ups and downs, and smile and cry with you.
10. Your Parents are Always There for You
The doors of your parents’ home will always be open for you. We will always have your back. Whether you are 20 or 50 years old, we will always welcome you with open arms.
What piece of advice you would like to give to your daughters?