To My Darling Daughter: I want you to know these things before you become a teenager

One mum shares her powerful wishes and advice for her daughter who's turning thirteeen in this letter

My dear daughter,
You will never know how deeply, purely and completely I love you. You have turned out to be nothing like I thought you'd be. Instead, you've turned out to be so much more. You are amazing.
Thank you for letting me see the world through your eyes for the past 12 years. It is more fabulous than I could have ever imagined.
next week you turn 13 and before you are overcome by the friends at your party and the presents and fun, please take a moment to read this letter which outlines the things I'd like you to know.
I have written them down hoping that you will keep and refer to them throughout your life. These following wishes and advice for you come straight from my heart.
I love you- because who you are - you!
 
The size of your jeans will never determine the size of your heart. You are so loving.
Be yourself. March to the beat of your own drum. It’s better to feel happy and content in a small group or sometimes even alone than it is to feel empty and lonely in a large, noisy one.
Beauty should be about what you feel about yourself, not what you see in the mirror.
You were born with dignity – so no one can ever take that away from you. It belongs to you and you own it.
As your turn 13, I will say no a lot more, so that you can say yes to so many wonderful things in the future. There are rules because I love you - they are there to keep you safe.
I value your opinion- I will listen to you and hear what you have to say. I may not always agree with you but I will always hear you out before coming to any conclusions.
Never be afraid to say no to someone. People will appreciate your honesty - even if they don't like what they hear. They'd rather a “no” than a "yes" that you have to renege on.
Friendship and popularity are not the same things.
The internet is forever. Trust me. Every word, image, thought, comment, joke, opinion or video posted to the internet is forever.
It can never be retrieved, deleted for good, forgotten, reversed, forgiven, altered or diminished. Nobody is anonymous and the repercussions can be very serious. It will haunt you forever and forever is a very long time. Think before you post.
A positive attitude is infectious. Positivity breeds positivity. Try to always keep your chin up, no matter what.
Have fun - and a lot of it. Belly laugh if something is funny. See the world. Be spontaneous!
 
Please don’t be envious of others- it’s counterproductive. Someone is always going to have more than you. Modesty is a very attractive quality as is being humble. These qualities will draw others to you and make you stand out more than any material items.
It is usually not about you. As you get older, don't worry so much about sucking your tummy in, or making sure you have perfect hair. Believe it or not, there’s generally no one looking. We like to think everyone is focused on us but, in reality, people are more focused on themselves.
There will always be mean girls. I know you don’t deserve their meanness nor do you have to put up with it but try to always remember there is more to life than wasting your time or your energy on mean-spirited girls. Ignore them and surround yourself with people you like and who like you.
No matter how mad you are at times or how sad you feel, it will pass. I promise.
Try not to hold a grudge. Life's way too short to constantly be mad at someone. Everyone makes mistakes. Let things go. Be forgiving. It will come back in your favour.
My darling, I am trying my best. 
I know I'm not perfect. I am impatient and I raise my voice.  I am sorry.  I love you and I always wish I could be the best mother for you.  I'll admit I don't always love your own behavior, and I'm quick to tell you that. 
But every single day, I love you with every inch of my body.  No matter what. So come out of your room and see me every once in a while- don’t lock yourself away from me.
Don’t forget, mistakes are okay, as long as you learn from them. And please do something every day that makes you happy!
 
Love Mam x
 
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