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. thank you. period. 🙂

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. 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

  4. Thank you Alex:) We will all be learning our way through life until the day we die…always in progress. I love a clean room. Enjoy it!! Happy Night, Rebecca

  5. Hi Karen, these words ARE your words:) I am honored they speak to your heart. Thank you for sharing. Have a lovely evening, Rebecca

  6. 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!

  7. Suezelle says:

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

  8. You are so very welcome Mariana:) You have lived it, I just said it! Action is the most powerful Word there is…Happy Day, Rebecca

  9. Thank you! I am touched by your words:) ~Rebecca

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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!

  13. Thanks for reading! I appreciate the support 🙂

  14. Tanya, I would be pissed off too if I were a lover of the numbers. Here's to all the math loving girls out there!!! Thank you for sharing your opinion 🙂

  15. Thank you B:) If I may suggest, make it your own, write your own #6 and present that list to your daughter… Have a wonderful evening, Rebecca

  16. Adit Gupta says:

    Loved this article. sweet and simple.

  17. Thank you Adit 🙂

  18. 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.

  19. You are welcome:) Thank you for expressing yourself so openly…Rebecca

  20. 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!

  21. Thank you so much Wendy. Honored by your comment 🙂 Happy Saturday, Rebecca

  22. 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."

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. Meaghan, thank you for sharing your perspective!:-) Have a great day, Rebecca

  27. Ricardo says:

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

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

  29. […] 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 […]

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

  31. Christine says:

    Rebecca, this is so incredibly beautiful and it has sent tears streaming down my face. Thank you and thank you to all the mothers of the world. This could be the most inspiring piece I've read on ej. Your daughters are truly blessed.

  32. Petra glinski says:

    Beautiful and inspiring! Most definitely sharing with my daughter! Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!

  33. Stephanie says:


    The best article I already read here! Especially number 4 and 11. These are two things that I want do say for my children, when I have one.

    (Sorry about my english, I'm from Brazil)

  34. Jane says:

    I have just sent this to my 16 year-old daughter, tellign her I couldn’t have put it better myself.

    Thank You

  35. James says:

    Besides 6 it's a good list.

  36. Amy says:

    Calc class is boring. You will learn patience and never need the math skills, because you are a girl and girls don't do math. You'll never be an engineer or a doctor or any type of scientist because that's boy stuff. Stick to being a nurturer.

  37. 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.

  38. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your

    next write ups thank you once again.

  39. CJinSD says:

    #5 REALLY upsets me. Calculus does, as a matter of fact, have plenty of real-life applications and I use it frequently to this day. And the fact that this list is aimed specifically at girls makes it even more enraging.

    Math class is not 'a waste of time except to teach you patience and perseverance' (yes, I know, every good girl must be patient, boys not so much, because boys will be boys, right?).

    Calculus may not be *your* thing, but it is not, in absolute "right or wrong" terms, "boring". That's your opinion, not a fact. And girls have hard enough a time as it is being taken seriously when they do have an interest in math and science, so let's not hammer into them that it's yawn-inducing and useless except to teach them to "endure"–that age-old BS "feminine" trait.

    End rant.

  40. Claire says:

    Yes, I'll be running right out to tell my daughter not to wait till marriage to have sex. Because that's what good mothers do. "Go ahead, honey, if he's cute and you like him, by all means, sleep with him. What's that? You like 15 cute guys? Well, hop in the sack with them all, STDs be damned!" I'll probably go ahead and teach my daughter not to be cheap and easy but thanks anyway. 🙁

  41. annie says:

    Loved all but #6! And because of #6, I cannot share with my teenage daughters and their friends! How many times in our young years do we think that a young man loves and respects us?And that we love and respect them? I would like for my daughters to make the decision about having sex until they are more mature and understand the consequences. Sex changes relationships particularly in a young girl's heart. My advice to my daughters ~ Believe in yourself, educate yourself and find your way in the world! Think about sex later!!!

  42. KLyn says:

    Most of these don't sit well with me and wouldn't be what I would want to instill in my daughter. Some other ideas… 1. Don’t strive to be popular, settle for being yourself, settle into yourself . (Popular doesn't have to be strived for and it's not a bad thing. Be true to yourself, always)
    2. Eat your dessert every day. (Eat a bit dessert when you want dessert)
    3. Say No at least once a day. (Say yes even more — but most importantly be true to your word and always to yourself. If you cannot commit, be honest and decline).
    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. (Unnecessary)
    6. Please don’t wait until marriage to have sex.(Wait for love, a best friend, someone who truly knows you. Agree that an arbitrary rule or milestone isn't necessary but "makes ya laugh?" — a bit flimsy.
    7. If you go shopping and you like something, don’t buy it right then. (Why? What if you return the next day, you find the sale is over, the item is gone and you wish you had bought it. Decisions like this depend on several factors).
    11. Find Your Yoga. (or nature or your sweat doing something you enjoy)
    14. Always cheer for the underdog… (How about just "cheer"?… The top dog deserves love too for all of their hard work)
    18. If you only remember one thing, remember this: You are the most important person in the whole world. (You must always care for yourself first but be a person that cares for, gives to and has compassion for others)

  43. Joyce says:


  44. Amy W says:

    I've always said – "Your job as a Mother is to make your children NOT need you!" It is your job to train them to stand on their own and them give them the approval to go out and do it.

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