18 Life Lessons I Want My Daughters to Hear.

Via Rebecca Lammersen
on May 11, 2012
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I’d like to give a gift to my daughters.

I want to give them 18 little light bulbs to illuminate their journey…

1. Don’t strive to be popular, settle for being yourself, settle into yourself .

Over the years, I’ve learned that the popular people are the most insecure. The popular girl or boy surround him or herself with others to hide from their own insecurities. When you settle for yourself, you will never settle for anyone who is not themselves.

2. Eat your dessert every day.

Every day, have a treat. Not as a reward, but as a privilege. It is an honor to taste, to enjoy, to salivate and dance with sweetness. Don’t deny yourself this privilege. You have a mouth, you have taste buds—use them.

3. Say No at least once a day.

Don’t be a people pleaser. You can’t do everything and you can’t please everyone, so say, No. By saying no, you are respecting yourself and your energy. Trust me, people will respect you more because when you do say yes, you will mean it. No one will ever question your presence or intention.

4. Never feel guilty for moving away from me, for traveling or going on an adventure.

I want you to leave me, to travel far away and only send a post card once in a while.  I didn’t birth you to burden you. I birthed you to release you.  My love is here whether you are two feet from me, or 20,000 miles away, go be you.

5. Know that you are absolutely right when you think that the calculus class you are taking is boring…and is information you will never use in real life.

You are right, yet understand that the patience you cultivate when sitting through the class, and the discipline you strengthen to solve the problem, will be the foundation that will allow you to persevere through every challenge and experience in life.

6. Please don’t wait until marriage to have sex.

Just wait until you meet someone who makes you smile, makes you laugh, respects you (as your father does), holds your hand and isn’t afraid to cry in front of you.

7. If you go shopping and you like something, don’t buy it right then.

Put it on hold. Go about your day, go to sleep, and the next day if you are still thinking of it, buy it.

8. Choose something to have faith in.

If you have faith, you have hope, and when you have hope you always see a way. When you see a way, you never give up.

9. Listen to the whisper, the churn in your belly and the goosebumps on your arms.

Those sensations are not sensations at all, they are you speaking. Don’t listen to the second voice, that is just doubt, and definitely don’t listen to the third voice, that is just someone else’s opinion. Always and only trust yourself.

My girls. Photo: Kevin Sutton

10. Cut your hair short at least once, it will free you.

11. Find Your Yoga.

I don’t care if you ever do a down dog in your entire life, just find something that calms your mind, and devote yourself to it. Find something that keeps your mind and body connected, healthy and working together, because in the times when everything else seems disconnected, it will keep you centered and grounded.

12. Acknowledge your gift.

God put you on this Earth with a legacy, you just have to see it. How do you see it? See this life as a journey. Learn as much as you can, read as much as you can, dance as much as you can, speak as much as you can, listen as much as you can, do as much as you can, travel as much as you can because that’s how you will see it. It’s already inside of you, you just need to spark it, so ignite as many flames as you can, and notice which one keeps burning. That goes for your life partner and your friends too.

Say hello to strangers, smile at the person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, or the person behind you at the grocery store. You never know, not only could they be your everlasting flame, but they could help reveal your gift. Your gift is your legacy, the legacy that will help serve the world.

13. Look around you and see the world, as you do now.

Point and rejoice as you see a bird fly by. Stand with your nose pressed to the glass as the rain pours down. Pick up a leaf or a flower and hold it as you would a piece of gold. Put it on your nightstand and cherish it. If you do this, you will take care of our earth and you may even heal it.

14. Always cheer for the underdog

…because they have courage to stand up to the top dog.

15. Check in with yourself when you leave someone’s presence.

Ask yourself,  Do I feel uplifted and happy? Or, do I feel depleted and lethargic? If you feel uplifted, the person you were just with is a supporter, keep them around. If you feel depleted, the person you were with is an enemy to your heart, don’t associate with them and make no apologies.

16. Write.

Your thoughts are precious and important. The best guidance you will get, is from yourself. Write them down and read them.

17. Clean your room.

How you keep your space, is how you keep your mind. When things are neat, clarity will walk with ease.

18. If you only remember one thing, remember this: You are the most important person in the whole world.

You determine your own direction, and if you trust your own compass, you will always remain on your path.

Emma and Ruby,

Thank you for making me a mother.

I love you,


Bonus: Three things I wish I knew when I was 22:


Editor: Brianna Bemel

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About Rebecca Lammersen

Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, an intimate, boutique style yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. I love being alive. I love being a mother. I love teaching yoga. I love to write. I love to know. I love to not know. I love to learn. I love to listen. I love to read. I love to swim. I love to travel. I love to dance. I love to help. I love to serve. That pretty much sums me up. For daily inspirations, check out Rebecca's website. Visit her yoga studio website and peruse her articles at The Huffington Post. You can also find her on Facebook. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!


125 Responses to “18 Life Lessons I Want My Daughters to Hear.”

  1. Love this, Rebecca.

    Posted it all over the place.


  2. @BextahWah says:

    This is possibly the best thing I have read in ages

  3. EmmaRubyDad says:

    Those are some lucky girls!!! 🙂

  4. […] these 18 life lessons & want to give especially this one to “my” children too: Never feel guilty for […]

  5. […] My daughter is a good mother as well. A natural. Watching her give birth to two children without drugs and with tremendous dignity was one astounding experience. I have always said that giving birth has been the foremost important learning experience of my life. It takes you so far beyond what you think you are capable of. […]

  6. Absolutely moving–I am not (yet) a mother, but this piece speaks to the mother in me and reminds me how lucky I am to have the women who raised me in my life. Thank you and many blessings

  7. Allison says:

    I just wanted to tell you– You are such a good person! Thank you for writing and sharing this.

  8. corinne says:

    Great list. I have two girls, and I’d like to remember to take some of this good advice myself, as well as pass it along to them.

  9. […] friend linked me to this list on Elephant Journal, 18 simple life lessons written by Rebecca Lammersen for her […]

  10. smitha says:

    Beautiful…uplifted me & my day…thanks

  11. samantha says:

    someone posted this on facebook, and it found it’s way to me. i’m 25 and i just had to end a friendship that had become toxic & was “an enemy to my heart” – i’m so glad that i read this today! thankyou!

  12. Sarah says:

    This is absolutely wonderful, and has made me cry and made my day. Thank you.

  13. Margaret says:

    this is just utterly beautiful. And good advice for me to follow, myself, as well…

    Thank you!

  14. Rajni Tripathi says:

    love this. beautiful reminders for ourselves too

  15. Tracie says:

    As the mother of two girls, I thank you for this. I will absolutely be printing this out and giving it to them. I whole-heartedly agree!

  16. Paul Miller says:

    Thanks for this great list of positive suggestions.

    As a dad, I’m tempted to hold off on discussing #6 until she’s 35 or 40.

  17. kitonlove says:

    I adore you for #6 alone. It's a brave stance to take on a blog, but I'm glad you are taking it.

  18. Hey thanks 🙂 Just being realistic! Thanks for taking the time to read and share…Happy night, Rebecca

  19. Denise says:

    Wonderful! But, I will say I disagree with #6. I believe chastity is a wonderful thing. Waiting for love and a commitment (preferably marriage) is best. While you may be acting realistic, sometimes as mothers we need to set a high standard for our daughters. If my daughter asks if I was chaste, I will be honest and say no, that I regret not waiting for the right one. However, after my mistakes in my 20s, I did wait until I met her father and until our wedding night. That the wait was worth it. Anyhow, that is just my 2 cents on that issue. 😉

    • Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts Denise. The beauty of childrearing is, there is no rule book. Make your own rules and I bet your daughters will appreciate the love and thought you dedicated to them:) Happy Belated Mother's Day!

    • Guest says:

      I see your point of view, but from another perspective your mistakes probably helped make you realize what a catch your husband was. So in a way your mistakes led to a good thing. Sometimes it takes kissing a few frogs to find your prince!

      I would change #6 to "wait until the time is right for you. Don't give into pressure from friends or the guy. If he loves you, he will wait until you're ready. " and/or "never settle, don't have regrets, but learn from your mistakes and heartbreaks."

    • James says:

      Besides 6 it's a good list.

    • Jojo says:

      I think some level of commitment. E.g. We are aerious about this relationship is fine, but you don't need to wait till marriage.

    • guest says:

      I agree. Chastity is a gift you give to one another. It is not about incompatibility, it is about the journey that you share with one another that does not have a "comparison" factor to it. You learn to love with each other. It is a place of trust that is held in the highest regard.

  20. Amy says:

    Denise, I agree with you wholeheartedly. #6 is not good advice. Sleeping around damages your soul. The rest of the article was beautiful.

    • Molly says:

      It did not say to sleep around. It said wait until you meet someone who makes you smile, makes you laugh, respects you (as your father does), holds your hand and isn’t afraid to cry in front of you.

    • Heather says:

      That doesn't say sleep around……..really? Sex is so important and now you want these kids to find out a life of differences sexually "after" they're married? Yipes! When my husband and I ,after 7 kids have a problem, sex is often the one thing that brings us closer, reminds us physically, spiritually and emotionally of the bond we share. We love, laugh and then work on our problem, once again united as a couple. Marriage is a biblical thing so women wouldn't end up alone, unable to care for their children. Allow couples to learn and grow before making a commitment that may not be mutually satisfactory before the children and other caring people are involved.

  21. Ujjwala says:

    Loved it…beautiful one. Especially loved "i did'nt birth you to burden you". Will always remember that.

  22. chezwalton says:

    I am a mom of two sons and let me tell you this will work for my boys as well as all the daughters out there.

  23. Krista says:

    Love this, especially about not feeling guilty about leaving. I have friends who ask how I could “let” my daughters go away to college so far from home and travel all over the world. They currently live in VT, CO, and SC. They constantly tell me how much they appreciate how I support them in all they do. They are all smart, giving, beautiful women. What more could I want. I know they have so much to offer the world and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold!

    • Thank you for sharing this Krista:) You are living it and that is something I admire and aspire to as my girls grow. I have a hunch your girls are BLESSED to have you.

  24. Kimstetz says:

    I read this a few days ago and am reading again. So happy to have met you.

  25. sheri says:

    so brilliant. your daughters will cherish this gift you gave them.

  26. Deborah says:

    Every one of these spoke to me . . . as if myself as Mother was speaking to myself as child. It's a whole new Truth to realize that we birth our children to release them into the world!

    And, I do hope I instilled most of these life lessons to my own daughter and that she can do the same with her children.

  27. RFMullane says:

    OMG, thank you for this! These are the same lessons I would like to impart to my children… <3

  28. gypsee says:

    beautiful. period.

  29. Alex says:

    It was great reading this! I'm thirty and still learning my way in life… Some of the the lessons I've been through, some I'm still learning and getting better at… Really wonderful words! Thanks!
    PS: I cleaned my room after I read that lesson. 🙂

  30. Karen says:

    This is fabulous…. would you mind if I took these sentiments to share with my daughter and my son as they grow???? I AM glad for no.6, when the time is right with the right person and the right level of understanding about relationships then sex is an important part of life…… nowhere in you elaboration did you advocate sleeping around and that is the difference! Thank you x

  31. Mariana Wirth says:

    Tank you for this meaningful page! I shared it with my two daughters (28 and 26) because you have put into words thaughts and attitudes I have tried to teach them in the everyday life, but never SAID. Wonderful, thanks!

  32. Suezelle says:

    A lovely read, and one of the most beautiful messages I've ever read.

  33. […] Also by Rebecca: 18 Life Lessons I want my Daughters to Hear. […]

  34. B says:

    Wonderful list you posted. While I disagree with #6 entirely I understand your choice. I waited for the right man & am still married to him 20 yr later. The issue this can bring is the unplanned pregnancy. While procautions may have been used finding out later the man who fathered your child is not the right man for you. Anyway I plan to share this list however will state I am not fond of one she will know which one that is. I will see it on her face when she gets to it #6…

  35. Tanya says:

    Generally lovely, but #5 pissed me off. Why pick on math specifically? Some girls are great at math. I kicked ass in calculus and loved it, and I wish someone had taken the time to explain to me that I could have gone into engineering or physics. Could have gotten the same point across saying “That class that’s boring you…” And I would have inserted “History” and it would have been just as meaningful. Support your math loving girls!

  36. Adit Gupta says:

    Loved this article. sweet and simple.

  37. Shilpa says:

    Rebecca, lesson 7 made me cry and then the tears wouldn’t stop. Why? I am not a mom, intend to be one soon. I have learned most of these lessons on my own. Yet, I find myself so lost, still looking for myself, wondering what I did wrong, what my mom did wrong. Thanks for the beautiful post.

  38. This post is awesome! Each point is so very powerful all by itself and all 18 can change the world! Giving this message to the young woman of the world is a special gift. Thank you!

  39. AnneJChris says:

    loved this on all levels.. wondering if you’ve seen documentary Miss Representation? I think you’d appreciate it (and might be inspired to host a viewing at your studio.)

    Lastly, I’ve had the opportunity to take your yoga class, ages ago — wonderful energy.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Anne, Thank you for reading. I appreciate the kind compliment and the movie recommendation. I will watch it!! If you are in the area, come on back to class…:) Have a beautiful day, Rebecca

  40. meaghan says:

    I'm glad there are other moms of girls out there who have the same views about sex! If my daughter finds someone who respects her and loves her for who she is and she is ready, I think she needs those experiences before she settles down for someone who may not really make her happy. I also hope my daughter lives with her fiance at least so she can know how life will really be and doesn't make a mistake that she will regret her entire life.

  41. Ricardo says:

    I Agree with all but # 6, keep yourself for that spouse and give him/her the greatest gift, your ultimate intimacy

    • Jojo says:

      Your virginity or having sex with someone is not your greatest gift…. You the whole person are. What need to stop relating a woman's whole worth to her sex life. And what if one finds out they are totally sexually incompatible with their spouse. What happens then?

  42. […] Through experience, I’ve learned what I am willing to accept and what I’m not. […]

  43. […] she won’t need hers either, and maybe she will learn earlier than I did: blankie or no blankie, she is all she will ever need, just her and her freedom of […]

  44. […] This article is worth reposting and worth the time to read it. […]

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