Advice for My Tween Daughter

As I send my daughter to her first week of middle school, I think back on my own middle school years like it was yesterday.  I would love to give my own middle schooler a few pieces of advice as she starts her journey from my own experiences.

1.  These are NOT the best years of your life.  You are in transition, but so is everyone else.  You will be teased, picked on, and laughed at.  It's because everyone is insecure about their own selves that they are transferring those insecurities onto you.  It's ok.  This too shall pass.

2. Find inner confidence and self esteem.  Confidence isn't arrogance.  Confidence is believing in yourself and knowing you are capable of many great things.  Don't let anyone affect your self esteem.  No one can make you feel ugly - you let them make you feel that way.  Don't let them.

3. Makeup shouldn't cover up your inner beauty. Inner beauty comes from being nice and beautiful to all, regardless of how they treat you.  You never know how you could affect their day/month/year.  

4. Less is more. Makeup. Talking. Rumors.  Drama. But not clothing.  Makeup shouldn't be too heavy.  Listen twice as much as you talk.  Don't spread rumors.  Stay out of your friends' drama and arguments.  But cover-up your body - ladies never show too much skin.

5. You are still a child. Enjoy life!  Don't take yourself too seriously.  Don't be too eager to grow up.  This is the only time in your life, you have very few responsibilities and a lot of freedom.

6. There are bullies and mean people everywhere.  Life is full of people who are miserable and unhappy. Find the positive in every situation and give everyone a smile. Learn how to handle tough situations with grace.  It is never weak to see help.

7. Don't focus on boys. Boys are incapable of relationships until they are about...20.  Don't bother.  It isn't worth your time.  It isn't worth the pain and heartbreak.  Instead, focus on activities, school and friends.

8. If you fall, get back up, again and again. You will fall down.  This is a great time to learn how to fall down and get back up. High school counts. Middle school doesn't.  It's a great opportunity to learn adversity and perseverance.

9. Get involved and go to events. I wish I had gotten more involved in school activities.  It is where great memories are made and friendships are bonded.

10. Always, always, always... Be yourself. You will be pulled to fit in with others.  But you are such a bright soul and I've never met anyone like you.  Stay true to yourself, and others will like you even more.  I know I love you, just the way you are.

- With love.  Mom.

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