I met my wife in college. We had been dating a few weeks when she told me her car was making noises that didn’t sound right. With my very limited understanding of car stuff, I popped the hood and checked the dipstick. She had zero oil in her car and hadn’t gotten an oil change in over a year.
I took care of it for her, but I made a commitment that day that if I ever had a daughter, I was going to make sure she learned some important things so that by the time she grew up, she could take care of herself. Here are 5 things to teach your daughter before she becomes an adult.
1. The Value of Hard Work
As a girl dad, I often find myself wanting to work hard for my daughter and do things for her. In attempting to protect her from hard work or hard situations, I tend to do stuff myself that she should be able to do. We must show our daughters the value of hard work by our own actions but not miss the opportunity to let them work hard. The first time my daughter pulled weeds out of the flower beds, she was a hot mess and complained the whole time. But later that day, she asked if she could take a picture of the yard and send it to Grandma because she was so proud of her hard work. The value of hard work translates into all aspects of her life, and it is vital for our girls to grasp its importance.
2. Car Stuff
This may seem silly in 2020. If a daughter’s car breaks down, there are apps that can take care of everything (including summoning people who can top the air off in your tires or tow your car). Still, it is important to teach our girls the basics of car maintenance and technology. They may never need to change a tire, but I want my daughter at least to know how. When you are getting ready to give your daughter keys to a car, make it a point to teach her the ins and outs of that car.
3. Fighting Back
You do not want to raise a bully or a pushover, but teaching your daughter to respond to conflict in a healthy way will set her up for success in many areas of her life. Fighting back is not throwing punches (although we can teach her that). It’s more about teaching her who she is and how and why to stand up for herself. We want to raise fighters who fight the right battles.
4. Creating a Budget
Money is not everything, but it is important. Take the time to teach your daughters about delayed gratification, savings accounts, and budgeting. Before she is living on her own, put her on a budget, and have her keep to it. This allows her to learn with a “safety net” instead of making major money mistakes that may live with her for the rest of her life.
5. People Come FirstIf we teach our daughters to care about people first, they will be successful no matter what they do.
In a world that is self-centered and self-serving, it is important for us to teach our daughters that people come first. If our daughters become CEOs we want them to care about the janitorial staff just as much as they care about the clients. If they become teachers, we want them to care about the students more than the curriculum. I believe if we teach our daughters to care about people first, they will be successful no matter what they do.
Earn some points: Are you married? If so, share this iMOM article with your wife: 8 Things to Teach Your Daughter About True Womanhood.
Sound off: What would you add to this list?