Life with Kids

To My Daughter As You Begin High School…

Sweet Girl –

In a few more days you will begin what I hope will be an experience full of fun, friendship, learning, and growth.  I want to tell you some things that I hope you will carry with you in the days and years to come. Of course I want you to pray.  Everyday and always.  I want you to maintain your purity and to stay far far away from alcohol and drugs.  But that all goes without saying. Well, that’s not true.  It has been said.  And you can bet it will be said over and over for the next four years until you go to college. Then I will say it all again. But this is not that discussion.  Instead, this is some advice that I think will make these next few go much more smoothly – for both of us.

1.  You will never regret NOT gossiping or saying unkind things about someone else.  It is so easy to get caught up in the chatter, the back-biting, the cattiness.  But nothing, I mean nothing, good ever comes from bad mouthing another person.  At best, it is unkind.  At worst you could damage another person’s reputation and wound her deeply.  And once something is said, you can never really take it back.

2.  It doesn’t matter who is right.  It only matters who is is in charge.  Of course this does not apply when moral issues are at stake.  But the fact is you are not going to like every teacher or coach.  Some will make mistakes.  Some will be unfair.  Some might even be rude.  None of this gives you the right to be disrespectful.  If you buck a teacher, the teacher will alway win.

3.  Take Spanish – all four years!

4.  The most attractive girl in any room is the one with confidence.  Stand up straight. I cannot overstate this.  Your posture communicates volumes about you and how you see yourself.  Know you are something special.

5.  Never underestimate the profound impact of even the smallest kindness.  A smile, a compliment, a little conversation, might just make the day of a kid less fortunate than you.  For some, yours might be the only smile or attention they receive all day.

6.  Some things are still personal.   Boys (and teachers) don’t want to see you put on your deodorant, watch you pick your teeth, or hear about your period.  Be a lady.

7. Try to cut way back on the use of the work “like.”  Like waaaayyyyy back.

8.  Almost all time spent with a boyfriend in high school is wasted time.  That might sound radical, but hear me out.  You are probably not going to meet your future husband in high school.  And when you do meet your husband, you will not want to spend time reminiscing with or about your old boyfriend.  Someday you will want to sit down with you girlfriends, have a glass of wine, and talk about the good ol’ days.  That’s only fun if you spent the good ol’ days with your girlfriends.   Date.  Have fun.  But remember, Sisters before Misters really is a good slogan.  Those are really the only high school memories worth making.

9.  Your friends and boyfriends are always welcome in our home, but we won’t treat your boyfriend like “one of the family.”    We will want to get to know any boy you are spending time with.  But he wont’ be going on vacation with our family  or hunting trips with your dad.  That is a recipe for heartache.  For you.  For him.  For us.

10.  That said, go to prom with a boy.  He doesn’t have to be your boyfriend.  You don’t have to be in love with him. Go with other couples if you want to.   But the times in your life when you get to wear a fancy dress and go someplace with a young man are so few.  Don’t miss that chance.

11.  Learn to properly load the dishwasher.  Okay.  That has nothing to do with high school, but I just really really want you to you know this.

12.  Mortal sin is NEVER romantic.  I know I said that was another conversation, but you knew I would have to mention sex at least once.  Books, songs, and movies all make young love, forbidden love, first-time love look so sweet and so innocent.  But sex outside of marriage is not sweet and it certainly isn’t innocent.  It is a grave sin – and there’s nothing romantic about that.

13.  Don’t be hot.  Be beautiful.  Commodities are hot.  Commodities are to be used and discarded.   But if something is beautiful it is valued and treasured.  You are beautiful.  Don’t trade your beauty in for the attention of boys.  If hotness is what a boy values in you, he’s not for you.  You want a boy who sees your beauty – which is so much more than how you look.

I wish I could say this was the definitive list of high school advice.  I’m sure you wish this was all I had to say too.  But no way.  There’s so much more I will want to tell you in the next four years.   Sometimes you won’t want to hear it.  You’ll think I’m old fashion or out of touch.  Maybe even a nag.  You will want me to butt out and leave you alone.  Sorry.  That won’t happen.

High school it great, but it is by no means the greatest time in your whole life.  It gets so much better.   Still, I can’t wait to see what fun the next four years will bring you.  I will be praying for you constantly.

I’m proud of you.  I have faith in you.  I love you.  Make good choices!  I’m here for you no matter what.



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7 thoughts on “To My Daughter As You Begin High School…

  1. Awesome list! One more to add: High school isn’t your whole life. When you’e there, it sees like it is. But at age 20, I still kept in touch with maybe 4 people from my high school. At 30, it was down to two. I’m 36 and I keep in touch with only 1 person from my whole school. So think long and hard about how much effort you want to put into impressing and pleasing people that you will never see again once high school ends. And think long and hard before fretting over what THEY think of YOU.

    1. Well said. High school is fun, but so is college. So are your 20s and 30’s and so far, the 40’s too. 🙂 We live in the same small town I grew up in, so I see a lot of my high school friends on a daily basis. I like that, but that’s another good argument for making good choices in high school.

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