Parenting Blog Post

As a psychologist and mother of three children of different ages, I am frequently asked about parenting. Like any parent, I have moments of brilliance when everything I say comes out sounding perfectly, and other moments where my less than higher self emerges and my kids end up rolling their eyes at me. What I have learned about parenting these past 18+ years, is that we all could use a bit of support every now and then. It is in that vein that I would like to share an excerpt from a letter that I wrote to my oldest daughter as she was leaving for college. She is my first child to move away and I wanted to give her some last minute advice/words of wisdom. Please feel free to borrow whatever you would like, modify them or better yet create your own list.

  1. Wear color. I know that almost every woman that you meet will be wearing black. It is okay to wear color.
  2. Let guys take you out on dates. I know that many people in your generation will insist that dating does not happen. That is not true. The more efforts the guy is making, the more invested he will be in the relationship.  Dating is about making memories and getting to know someone in many different situations.
  3. You will meet thousands of people in your life. Not everyone is supposed to be a “forever friend”. It is okay to drop relationships where you don’t feel valued. I promise you, there will always be new ones to replace them.
  4. When a family member needs you, no matter how far away they are, you go.
  5. Loyalty matters.
  6. Anything worth having requires hard work.
  7. Whatever you are doing, do it with heart.
  8. Find friends that make you laugh so hard that your eyes crinkle up and no sound comes out.
  9. 90% of life is just showing up. Show up for everything.
  10. Don’t miss classes in college. You never know who you will meet there.
  11. Not everything will work out in life the way you want it to, that is okay. Most of life is just adjusting to things that are outside of our control.
  12. As they say in the great tango scene of the classic movie Scent of a Woman, “If you get tangoed up tango on”.
  13. Stand up straight, look people in the eyes and let your spirit shine.
  14. Not everyone you meet will “get you”. That is okay. Find the ones that do and hold on tightly.
  15. You don’t have to be perfect. Perfect is overrated. Sometimes good enough is sufficient.
  16. Always remember that you are loved, deeply, completely to the core of your being.