20 things I want to teach my daughter

20 things I want to teach my daughter

The day I found out I was expecting a daughter, I was excited but extremely nervous. I wasn’t sure if I could be the type of mother my mom was to me. It seemed like so much pressure on me. Growing up a daughter in the scary world we live in can be daunting.

Dear Kitana, today there are 20 things I want to teach you.

Hopefully, one day when you bigger, you will read this and appreciate everything I did for you.

1. Save and Invest

I want you to remember, Mommy always tries her best to give you the best she can. Sometimes I may say no, but there’s a reason behind that… I may not be able to afford to give you everything right now, but I’m saving so one day you have more than I did. I’m trying to teach you the importance of budgeting so one day when you on your own, you won’t struggle to make ends meet. It’s important to invest in the right places. Ask your father, he’s a pro at this.

SA mom blogger

2. No is not a bad word

Sometimes I will say no when you ask me for something, but remember that I’m trying to protect you from pain and I will always be here to kiss your bruises better. You should learn to say no to certain things and certain people — you can’t please everyone. Life is full of tough decisions.

3. Educate yourself

Remember, people can take everything away from you except your brains. Read as many books as you can. Learn hard, work hard and follow your dreams.

4. Appreciate

Take as many selfies as you want but first stop to stare and appreciate what’s around you. Find the beauty in everything.

5. Smile

A smile can say more than words. Sometimes its okay to smile at a stranger on the road.

6. Love

Fall in love with food, travel and that special someone. Love yourself before you love others and love your body before you judge others.

Couple kissing

7. It’s OK to make Mistakes

No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. It’s OK to make one but it’s even better if you learn from it. It’s OK to fail, get yourself up and move along.

8. Beware of the fake World

You’re beautiful with or without makeup. Don’t lose yourself in the plastic world; be true to who you are. Dress the way you want; don’t let a magazine decide your outfit for the day.

9. Sex

Don’t be afraid to talk to me about this, even though you would most probably hate it. Remember sex is a symbol of love, don’t abuse the meaning and always wear protection.

10. Happiness

Happiness is the key to a beautiful life. Make sure you always comfortable with what you doing. If you’re having second thoughts, it might not be worth it. Make sure your life is exactly like the pictures you post on instagram.

11. Real life is better than Facebook

Don’t hide behind the computer; go out and make friends. Attend concerts and party your heart’s content. Remember, quality is better than quantity when it comes to friends.

12. Pamper yourself

We all need some “me time”. Don’t overwork yourself. Go for treatments; it’s important to take care of yourself, it automatically makes you feel refreshed.

13. Bullying

Don’t let anyone push you around or try to abuse you. Stand up for what you think is right and develop a voice to shout it out. Learn self-defence to protect yourself from the cruel world around you.

14. Experience

Experience life. Try something new like swimming with the dolphins, go bungee jumping and camp at least once in your life. These are adventures you will treasure forever.

Life is a journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn but most of all, experiences to enjoy“. Unknown.

15. Not everyone is your friend

People are always there to judge; don’t let negativity get to you. Fight back with a positive attitude.

16. Learn the art of cooking

I wish I learnt cooking from an early age, maybe you would have had a variety at home. Learn about different cuisines and remember: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

indian food

17. It’s OK to cry

Don’t try to be strong; it’s OK to show emotions. Let it all out until you feel better.

18. Be independent

Don’t rely on your husband for everything. Work and earn your own money. Learn to drive and get your own car.

19. Respect

Respect your elders, your boss, the people around you and your partner. They will treat you the way you treat them. Learn to greet someone on the street and say goodbye to someone at work every day.

20. Compassion

I’ve always tried to give back and I’m hoping one day you would do the same. Before you throw that slice of bread away, think about the man on the street who is craving for a piece.

Remember you’re beautiful and you will always be my baby. I love you more than you will ever know, the bond we share can never be replaced.


21. Introduce any potential boyfriends to your father for interrogation…

This article was featured on Huffington Post.

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. 2014-10-31 / 08:30

    I really love this. I like the idea of loving yourself before you love others and also the part about saving/educating yourself. Actually, I liked it all.

    • Shan
      2014-10-31 / 08:48

      Thanks for reading 🙂 I appreciate your feedback.

  2. 2014-10-31 / 08:39

    Lol, love it – especially the last one, my husband and i are already practicing the scene from “Bad Boys II” – on a more serious note, if only there was a way to make them understand before they have to really test us! I don’t mind Kivi and Thavina learning from mistakes, I can only hope I raise them in a way where those mistakes aren’t life long. Right now though, I have a 4 year old that questions everything that comes out of my mouth!!! Maybe we should come up with a list of things we’d like our sons to learn. # 1 A man may be the head of a household, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn that head anyway she likes 🙂

    • Shan
      2014-10-31 / 08:47

      LOL Did you watch my pregnancy video? My husband added a scene from bad boys! It was hilarious. Maybe you can write a list for me and guest blog? 😉 Thanks for reading doll.

      • 2014-10-31 / 09:30

        1stly…nope… i dont know how 😛 – direct me 🙂 2ndly…. I would love to, i was toying with the idea of blogging (i loooooove talking about me and mine) but it scares me….

  3. 2014-10-31 / 10:38

    This is a beautiful post! Every item on this list is important that every daughter should know and most importantly, do. Start ’em young and values will be instilled in them.

  4. 2014-10-31 / 12:33

    These are all so precious and things I guide my daughter with.

  5. Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    2014-10-31 / 13:40

    Those are all wonderful things to teach your kids. I love the one about it being ok to make mistakes.

  6. Fi Ní Neachtáin
    2014-10-31 / 14:00

    Save and invest is such a great lesson. I wish I had been taught this as a child and that my money had been saved for me because I could do with it now. Smile is also another great lesson to teach. Great list!

  7. 2014-10-31 / 14:04

    We always push my doughter to be independent and to push for better without holding back. This are great things to teach her and yes, I agree on the last one!

  8. 2014-10-31 / 15:34

    Love the last one about boyfriends. That’s what my husband worries about too!

  9. 2014-10-31 / 15:56

    This is truly a great list! I think I have already taught my daughter to save her pennies as she loves putting any money she gets in her bank!! 🙂 That is a lesson that will stick with her for years to come.

  10. 2014-10-31 / 16:18

    I like the save and invest advice! I already tell my tween daughters to do that. When my husband was in graduate school, we had to live with my mother in law for four years. Not easy. Had I saved my money when I was in my early 20s, we probably could have afforded a small condo! Big mistake to have blown that money on clothes, traveling, etc.

  11. 2014-10-31 / 16:28

    Those are some great things to teach your daughter. My daughter is 2 and I try to teach her something everyday.

  12. 2014-10-31 / 16:46

    This is very sweet and filled with beautiful advice and tips for your daughter, and anyone. Beautiful!

  13. 2014-10-31 / 17:45

    Wow. I am speechless – I do believe these are great things that any mom can and should teach their daughters.

  14. 2014-10-31 / 17:50

    You had me at the title! As a mother with two girls I want to follow in your footsteps and teach them these things too!

  15. 2014-10-31 / 18:32

    I’ll be printing this out and will post this to my working area.. and will definitely make it as a guide in rearing/raising my girls.. 🙂

  16. 2014-10-31 / 19:44

    So cute! Thanks for sharing!

  17. 2014-10-31 / 20:02

    These are fantastic. I love to print these types of lists out and paste them in my daughter’s Mama & Me Journal. Great advice.

  18. 2014-10-31 / 20:10

    Awwww this is such a special post and it makes me want to teach all of this to my own 3 year old daughter.

  19. 2014-10-31 / 22:28

    These are some awesome words for your daughter! I need to have mine read this. This is in her tween years now.

  20. 2014-10-31 / 22:48

    That was beautiful! I hope it’s shared around the web. Pinning it now =)

  21. 2014-10-31 / 23:16

    Real life is definitely better than Facebook. There’s nothing to talk about online if you don’t live life anyhow. Love how you ended it. 😉

  22. 2014-10-31 / 23:28

    An incredibly beautiful list!! As the mom of three daughters, 1 is angel now, that is a perfect list and I’m sure your love is felt by your family.

    • 2014-11-09 / 22:59

      Thank you for the lovely comment, I actually wanted to cry while typing this out… lol was kinda emotional for me. Thanks for reading, hope you visit again soon! 🙂

      • 2014-11-12 / 18:02

        I will visit and share with others. It is an enchanting blog!

  23. 2014-11-01 / 00:04

    This is a great list! Most of them would apply for sons as well 🙂

  24. Elizabeth O.
    2014-11-01 / 01:43

    Great tips. I’m keeping this post for future reference.

  25. Mrs. Mashed Up
    2014-11-01 / 02:40

    I love the thought that there is nothing wrong with the word “no”. Sometimes girls are taught that they should be complacent, and go with the flow. But really, they need to know that it is OK to say ‘no’.

  26. 2014-11-01 / 02:56

    I would say all of these things should be something your daughter would learn or know and i’m sure by that time she will be able to appreciate why would you want her to be educated about certain values.

  27. michele d
    2014-11-01 / 03:15

    I am sure coming from her mom she will learn all the above. Great way to education.

  28. 2014-11-01 / 04:19

    lol @ #21! This is such a special post…and it seems to cover all bases. I don’t think you left anything out, and it’s such a touching tribute to a mother-daughter relationship.

  29. 2014-11-01 / 11:10

    oh wow this is so beautiful such great teachings my favourite is 21 this made me giggle

  30. 2014-11-01 / 14:09

    I love this! I love that you added fall in love with food, travel! To experience the world is one of the most important things for my children.

  31. mommyinsports
    2014-11-01 / 14:59

    AMEN! Love saying no!

  32. 2014-11-01 / 16:22

    This was great to read! With raising two girls there was so much that I have thought about in there. This is a great article to bookmark and go back to numerous times. Great read.

  33. 2014-11-01 / 16:39

    This is a beautiful list of things to teach a girl! I agree, having a girl can be intimidating, sometimes I wonder just how my mom did it.

  34. 2014-11-01 / 20:08

    This is a great list indeed and I do hope you print it out for her when she is old enough. Thanks for sharing.

  35. 2014-11-01 / 22:58

    This is really sweet. Such great lessons to pass on to your baby girl! Totally print this out and put it in her room. 🙂

    • 2014-11-10 / 15:38

      Thank you for the lovely comment, that’s so sweet!

  36. 2014-11-02 / 00:45

    I thing it’s a great post!
    We don’t have kids yest but I’d definitely like to teach mine the same things

  37. 2014-11-02 / 01:24

    I laughed at the last one. My husband is the softie around here, which is so so so surprising to me still because he’s not soft with most things!! You just never know. 😉 I like your list.

  38. 2014-11-02 / 03:17

    These are wonderful things to teach children. Also, teaching her to educate herself, and to appreciate things is a wonderful idea.

  39. 2014-11-02 / 03:20

    Great list. And very wise advice. My favorite was the learn to cook. Important for both boys and girls.

  40. 2014-11-02 / 19:21

    Why does Dad have to be the interrogator? All of your lessons are very important and should be taught to all children!

  41. Melissa Smith
    2014-11-02 / 19:59

    That is a great list! I’m glad to say that I’m currently working on most of those with my daughters, especially my oldest.

  42. 2014-11-02 / 23:23

    Amen to ALL of these. What a wonderful list.

  43. 2014-11-03 / 04:56

    This has to be the tenth time I’ve seen this styled post in the past month. And yet each time there are so many different things on each list

  44. 2014-11-03 / 05:32

    I really liked this post! I only have a son now, but this all applies to boys too I think. I’m can’t wait to teach him how to cook so he can make us meals some day haha.

  45. 2014-11-03 / 08:17

    These are all great tips, and I think they can apply to boys as well. I have two of them. 🙂

  46. Haha 21 is great! Unfortunately my boy will be the one being questioned! Hehe This is a really good list that covers a great bit of ground!

  47. 2014-11-03 / 09:07

    Sometimes I think it’s so hard for us to remember that not everyone is going to be our friend. We females are so emotional. When I found out I was finally having a girl after five sons, I also made a list of things I desperately want to talk to her about

  48. Lucia
    2014-11-04 / 09:01

    I love this post so much. This is something every little girl needs to know.

    • 2014-11-09 / 22:57

      Thank you for the lovely comment! I really appreciate it :). Thanks for reading, please visit again soon :D!

  49. 2014-11-13 / 09:17

    I am printing this and putting it in my daughter’s memory book that i am making for her. Very true.

  50. lameez
    2015-03-23 / 14:06

    Love this Beautifull post 🙂

  51. nimisha
    2015-07-14 / 21:05

    This is a great post and i have been teaching my daughter this for a while now as best as i can she is only 9 years old but i really worry about her growing up as she doesn’t see the world in the way we do as adults and she is so non interested or bothered about life around her. I just hope that everything i want for her is what she will get as she grows older .

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