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10 Things I Wish My 10-year-old Daughter Knew

Things are awfully exciting in our house these days. Such is the case, I suppose, when you have an 11-month-old baby and three 4-year-olds. Put simply, we’re smack dab in the middle of the “milestone wheelhouse,” if you will. Whether it’s Luke pulling himself up or the triplets learning how to ride a bike (video evidence of that forthcoming, by the way), it seems like every time Caroline and I turn around, one of our children is learning something new.

With the exception of Alli, our oldest, that is. Not that she doesn’t continue to learn every day. She does. It’s just that at age 10, she’s long left the “milestone wheelhouse.” And I gotta tell you, it’s so nice to have at least one child who doesn’t need our help 24-7. Who’s capable of great independence. And who’s such a good kid to boot.

That said, she, like many a 10-year-old, is entering the stage in which she thinks she knows it all. And it turns out that there are many things she doesn’t know. Here are 10 I wish she did.


  • Cool and uncool 1 of 10
    Cool and uncool
    The world has more than just two categories, which means that not everything can be aptly described as "cool" or "uncool."
    Photo Credit: Flickr users 20945041@N06 and steve_lodefink
  • Failure is NOT uncool 2 of 10
    Failure is NOT uncool
    Sometimes our daughter seems hesitant to give 100% effort in activities of which she's unsure and I think it's because she she's self-conscious of failure and is worried that coming up short would make her uncool in the eyes of her peers. But failure doesn't make any of us uncool. It makes us human. What's more, it's a stepping stone to success and there's nothing uncool about that.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user daveschappell
  • Being true to herself 3 of 10
    Being true to herself
    The sooner she can distinguish between her real opinion and the prevalent/popular opinion she sometimes feels compelled to espouse, the sooner she'll be able to be herself which is the coolest thing she could ever possibly be.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user fotologic
  • Taylor vs. Ke$ha 4 of 10
    Taylor vs. Ke$ha
    Taylor Swift gets a bad rap and regardless of what anyone might think of her music, she's a much better musician than, say, Ke$ha. And yes, I totally get the irony of this one coming on the heels of me wanting my daughter to form her own opinions. But c'mon people. I never claimed to be perfect. Just a parent. Plus, you gotta admit, Ke$ha's many things (like, um, gross), but "Great Musician" is NOT one of them.
    Photo Credit: Flickr users wezl and 63365715@N05
  • Rules 5 of 10
    Rules
    Her mom and I don't make the rules to be mean. We make rules to keep her safe. And we don't enforce those rules to break her spirit. We enforce them in an effort to steer that spirit in the direction we genuinely believe will best serve her in the years to come.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user bike
  • I’m vested 6 of 10
    I'm vested
    There's a reason why I know all of her friends so well and, while they're all delightful, it's not because I'm emotionally vested in their lives. It's because I'm emotionally vested in hers.
    Photo Credit: JCO
  • Respect 7 of 10
    Respect
    Getting into the habit of saying "sir" and "ma'am" at an early age will help her learn the concept of respect, both for her elders and for herself.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user kkimpel
  • Privilege vs. entitlement 8 of 10
    Privilege vs. entitlement
    There's a big difference between being privileged and acting entitled, and while I may not be able to help the former, I'm going to fight tooth and nail to prevent the latter.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user kkimpel
  • She’s allowed to love me, too, if she wants 9 of 10
    She's allowed to love me, too, if she wants
    Loving me does not in any way, shape or form diminish, impede upon or threaten the love she has for her biological father a love that I vow to always be mindful and respectful of.
    Photo Credit: JCO
  • Just how much 10 of 10
    Just how much
    And the tenth thing I wish my 10-year-old daughter knew is just how much I love her. I tell her all the time, but to her, they're just words sounding in her ear, not emotion ringing in her heart. Such a proclamation is usually greeted with an eye roll. But that's okay. Because I have a plan that will enable her, one day, to feel exactly how much I love her. And that plan is for her to fall madly in love with a good person who is also madly in love with her, marry that person, then have -- or possibly adopt -- a child with that person; a child who will be as wonderful as she is. That ought to do the trick. However, for all that to happen, she'll need to be a happy, healthy, confident, well-adjusted, grounded and productive adult who puts herself in positive situations thanks to making many more good decisions than bad ones. And for that to happen, she'll need a lot of help and direction, which, ironically, is the very intent of my love for her the love that her 10-year-old mind doesn't quite yet comprehend or appreciate. But one day, I'm hopeful that she will. And till then? I'm happy to wait.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user kkimpel

Read more of JCO Multiplied:
Dogs vs. Infants
15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know

The 7 Deadly Sins of Fatherhood
8 Reasons Family Road Trips Kill Your Soul Dead
Raising Pretty Girls
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter
Read me on YahooShine and AimingLow
Check out my personal blog over at JohnCaveOsborne(dot)com

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