80 Things I Will Tell My Teenage Daughter

Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights

1. You will make some of the best money of your life baby-sitting. Save it.

2. Laugh with your friends as often as possible.

3. Fight with your friends as often as possible—you will learn some of your greatest lessons hashing it out with the people you love the most while the stakes are fairly minimal.

4. You are not fat.

5. If you are overweight, you can make healthy choices to not be that way but know that no matter what you are, you’re okay.

6. All healthy/happy mediums will be figured out with age.

7. Never ever drink and drive.

8. Don’t steal.

9. Don’t cheat.

10. When I say something’s too mature for you, please believe me.

11. The “bad kids” aren’t always “bad kids” but that doesn’t mean you need to spend all your time proving that.

12. Hit your pits with a bar of soap daily.

13. People feel invincible, almost drunk, over text or Instant Messenger. Do not take the things they say too seriously.

14. Honey, your boyfriend is gay.

15. Finish what you start, especially team sports.

16. You don’t need to know everything but I’ll get over it if you act like you do.

17. A little bit of bullying is probably good for you.

18. Congrats on having curly hair—supposedly people pay millions for it. Use a wide-tooth comb and don’t skimp on conditioners.

19. Whatever figure is in vogue now will not always be the figure you want—stay away from surgery and harsh self-judgements.

20. Being born does not mean you are entitled to A) a designer wardrobe, B) the newest electronics, C) any sort of vehicle.

21. Crushes feel like murder, I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do.

22. A bartender asking you if you need a glass of water isn’t an insult.

23. Show the popular girls compassion.

24. Aim to impress yourself.

25. If anyone ever ACTUALLY murders you, I will murder them back. But worse.

26. Treat getting ready for school like you’re going into battle, not a fashion show that also happens to be a battle.

27. Never let a man speak to you that way.

28. Never let a friend speak to you that way.

29. Never let anyone speak to you that way.

30. If anyone speaks to you that way, I’ll kill them.

31. Don’t expect me to really kill anybody—your battles are yours to fight and I not only expect you to act appropriately, but I hold you accountable to your behavior in these situations.

32. You aren’t just a juggalette, I allow you to be a juggalette.

33. You are my Juggalo Family

34. I am your best friend, but I am not your BEEEEESSTTT FRI-ENNNNNDD!!! <3

35. I trust you
36. Causing harm to yourself or others is never the answer.

37. The biggest dork out of all of your friends? That’s the one you’re going to hold on to for life.

38. Never ask me for money unless you need to ask me for money.

39. I will never talk about anything you ask me to never talk about, within reason.

40. And I will do everything I can to make it so we never have to hide anything from your father.

40. Never take a nude photo. Especially if you plan to put your face in it.

41. Read.

42. Talk all the shit you can and learn your lessons.

43. You will not marry your high school boyfriend.

44. Gay men are some of the best friends you could ever have in your life.

45. Anyone who will accept you for exactly who you are are the best friends you’ll ever have, really.

46. Allow yourself to be “that girl” once or twice, just enough to know what it is, and then learn your lesson because you’re my daughter, not “that girl."

47. Know that even if you were “that girl”, you’d still be my daughter.

48. If you make a decision you know I won’t be proud of, call anyway.

49. You will know when the bullying has stopped being good for you at some point and then, make sure you say something.

50. The way you learn is sacred and will not be judged, only facilitated.

51. I promise not to ask embarrassing personal questions in front of your friends.

52. You will grow apart from the best friends you had in your teen years. That is normal and does not make you a bad person.

53. Your sexual experience does not define you.

54. Sex is something you do with someone you love. Eventually you may try it with people you don’t love, but at first, it should be with someone you love.

55. Use protection

56. Speaking of protection, have I told you about SPF?

57. Moisturize your neck and décolletage. It’s beautiful and deserves preservation.

58. Brush & floss your teeth morning and night.

59. This is the only time in your life you can pull off glitter eye make-up. Wear it often.

60. Anything that you want in life is yours as long as you are willing to earn it

61. Don’t ruin your hair with heat

62. Don’t pick at your skin

63. Don’t believe the hype re: beauty products. All of the serums in the world won’t duplicate the wonders of time and keeping your fingers off your face.

64. Don’t over indulge your friends in drama

65. Don’t make your friendships about you.

67. There’s nothing wrong with sinking your teen years into an excellent TV series.

68. If you insist on ordering, order from the top shelf.

69. Wait until it’s on sale.

70. Don’t hesitate to look ridiculous.

71. I don’t care if you get a tattoo, but butterflies, hearts, men’s names and expressions in other languages will not mean much to you in a few short years.

72. Sign your work.

73. Before you get married or have a family, you WILL have a career. That’s not a demand from me, it’s just the way the world is. Plan for that. Dream about that.

74. Sometimes everybody is going to be wrong and you’ll have to deal with it.

75. You are in no rush to graduate, get married or have babies.

76. Prom will be the least important thing that will happen to you ever—in many ways, so will be your wedding day—that said, it’s your right to go crazy.

77. You know how you feel now about the boys you liked back in middle school? You will feel just like that about the boys you’re currently crushing on when you go to college.

78. And if it’s girls you prefer, great!

79. When I tell you which of your friends I don’t care for, know that I’m doing it a lot more discerningly than you assume.

80. Eat all the ice cream, cheeseburgers and pizza you can get your hands on. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Molly McAleer lives in Los Angeles with her chihuahua and can be found on Twitter (@molls) and on Instagram (@itsmolls). Her writing has appeared on your television, your Internet and the bathroom walls of your favorite cyber cafes.

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