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50 Rules for Daughters

April 12, 2012

Last May I posted “50 Rules for Sons” in anticipation of Stephen’s graduation from high school. This year I am posting my “50 Rules for Daughters” for Sophie, 17 years old, and Hallie, 13 years old. There is only one rule which is a duplicate. One of the best things about my post from last year was the responses I received from you with your own rules. If you have any you would like to share, please send them to me. Thank you.

50 Rules for Daughters

1. The world is starving for strong female leaders. Be one.

2. You may have to work twice as hard as your male contemporaries just to stay even with them. Thankfully this will not be a problem.

3. Beware the boyfriend who criticizes you in front of others.

4. Zero tolerance for the boyfriend or husband who is physically, mentally or emotionally abusive.

5. Those who gossip to you gossip about you.

6. You will be judged by the company you keep.

7. Ninety nine percent of all men have two primary obsessions until the age of 35- sports and sex. Indulge the former, not the latter.

8. If you worship physical beauty, you will never be pretty enough.

9. If you worship money, you will never be rich enough.

10. Spend time alone with God in quiet meditation.

11. Do not ever accept an unsolicited drink.

12. Cultivate and celebrate your femininity but don’t manipulate others with it.

13. Do not make your life a permanent electronic billboard.

14. Live the life that is right in front of you.

15. Do not second guess a thoughtful decision to start a family.

16. Do not subjugate your hopes and dreams to those of your boyfriend or husband.

17. Develop your vocabulary. Refrain from using slang, fad or lazy expressions such as “like” or “awesome” or “absolutely.”

18. You have an intuition. As a man I’m not sure how it works, but it does. Trust it.

19. Do not allow your education to separate you from doing what you love.

20. Cultivate a diverse social network. This will lead to opportunities.

21. For maximum creativity, collaborate with others.

22. Be concise. Be precise.

23. There are always strings attached.

24. No elective plastic surgery. Ever.

25. The most important decision you will make each day is where you will focus your energy and attention.

26. You will always learn more by talking less. You will often say more by talking less.

27. Avoid petty disputes and jealousies. You are above that.

28. A broken heart is the burden you will sometimes bear for the beautiful gift of the capacity to love.

29. Don’t get involved in something unless there’s a way you can make it better.

30. Find mentors early. Be one later.

31. Ask first.  This does not mean get permission. This means be the first to ask.

32. You will not be your ideal you. This means you will just be you-which is even better.

33. Just because someone chooses you does not mean you have to choose them back.

34. You are the only person who should dictate how far you will go.

35. Gracefully accept chivalry.

36. Until they make them as easy to change as shoes, do not get a tattoo.

37. Today’s misfortune will likely turn out to be tomorrow’s blessing.

38.  Making the correct small decisions on a daily basis will allow you to make the correct big decisions.

39. Pause and collect your thoughts before you answer an important question. And try to answer every question in 60 seconds or less.

40. Avoid smoking, cursing and tube tops, especially all three at the same time.

41. Guilt is an unsuitable motivator.

42. If you can make your adversary laugh you will go a long way toward winning them over.

43. When asked your name, state it with confidence. You’ll probably even have to spell it. Likewise, when addressing others, state their name with confidence.

44. Avoid the “opportunity” that is endorsed by a sports metaphor. (i.e. slam dunk, home run, can’t lose).

45. Your body is sacred. Don’t abuse it and don’t let anyone else use it.

46. There are going to be occasions when you are going to have to be a walleyed bitch. Choose them wisely and rarely.

47. Even if it seems as though something goes without saying, if it is important to you, say it anyway.

48. Reinforce success.

49. Everyone else has the same fears you have.  What will separate you is the courage to overcome yours.

50. No matter what is in front of you, walk toward it with confidence.

(c) April 2012 by Tim Hoch

26 Comments leave one →
  1. Valerie permalink
    April 26, 2012 3:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing this list. I loved reading both this one and the one you wrote for your son. I noticed that at least five of your rules for your daughters (including two within the top 5) are in relation to how they should/should not be treated by men, but there is not mention in your list to your son about how he should treat a woman. I’m curious as to your thoughts on this.

    • April 26, 2012 3:44 pm

      Wow. Great comment. I really had not thought about that. Thank you for pointing that out. By all means, I need to add a couple more to my “50 Rules for Sons.”

  2. Erica permalink
    April 26, 2012 4:24 pm

    I love your list and hope to one day share it with my daughter. I have a long time to go though, she’s only 4 months old. Based on my experience, I would add a couple other things:

    1. Learn to drive standard. It is an invaluable skill to have, especially if your husband/boyfriend’s car is standard or your dad’s classic car is. Also, understand the importance of car maintenance.
    2. If you can tell you are wearing makeup, you’re wearing too much. Let natural beauty shine through.
    3. Exude confidence. It is one of a woman’s greatest assets.
    4. Learn how to use basic tools such as a hammer, screwdriver, and drill and be able to assemble furniture or make basic repairs on your own. (I rent to college students and am frequently asked how to change a light bulb.)
    5. Never take photos you don’t want anyone else to see. More times than not, they’ll end up out in the open.

    • April 26, 2012 6:41 pm

      I love your additions. Thank you for sending those. Sounds like you have a very lucky daughter!

  3. Sam permalink
    April 27, 2012 2:18 am

    #29 – I “think” would be better as “….make it better or learn to be better for it.” Sometimes just being on the team can allow you pick up new skills/knowledge & allow new people to see you shine.
    Regardless, very good list. I already did some of these & didn’t even realize it… guess I learned the hard way. Your kids are blessed to have a Dad like you.

    • April 27, 2012 2:38 am

      Thank you. I like your suggestion. Very often we don’t know until we get involved whether we an make a difference. I really appreciate your comments.

  4. Eugénie permalink
    April 27, 2012 3:53 am

    Very, very good list!! I’m 22 and I really feel like they apply for me as well! I’m definitly keeping this list! ;) Bravo

  5. Birinder permalink
    April 27, 2012 12:38 pm

    Thank you! I have a 2 yr old daughter and 3 1/2 year old son. Excellent awareness for parents, sad thing is most parents don’t concern with the topic.

  6. April 27, 2012 12:58 pm

    Reblogged this on debsimms and commented:
    This is a Guest Posting by Lawyer/Father Tim Hoch. It is for all the Fatherless/under-fathered girls and women out there with no Dad to speak of to give you advice. Men are really at their best when they thoughtfully advise daughters. Sophie, and Hallie, I am borrowing your Dad’s wisdom for a moment. Hope you don’t mind. Click link for the rules from a Dad…

  7. Erin permalink
    April 27, 2012 2:32 pm

    One aspect that confuses me about your list. You advise your daughters to avoid cursing, and then advise them that they will occasionally have to be a “walleyed bitch”.

    Is your suggestion that it’s unbecoming of women only to curse? Or that you should choose the times that you curse wisely and rarely?

    • April 27, 2012 2:36 pm

      Good point Erin. It does seem a bit of a contradiction. Unfortunately I tend to curse. And I do think there are even occasions that call for it. I just think it is a poor reflection when people curse too frequently.

  8. Isabel Suarez Castaño permalink
    April 27, 2012 3:10 pm

    How wise this list is. I have no daughters, but I see myself in it. i would only add:
    -Do not allow anybody try to change the way you are, unless it is for better
    -Tips for having kids: Deepest love and rules are not a contradiction. Teach them how to fly and then be brave and allow them to.
    What I miss in your rules is some advice about how to deal with other walleyed bitches (there´s a whole legion out there).
    BTW, I do curse when I need it of feel is the right thing to do (not frequently, but sometimes)
    Is @thoch your Twitter handle?
    Thank you for sharing this list. It´s been a long time since I read something that makes so much sense and is so much fun at the same time. I´ll be a follower of your blog from now on

    • April 27, 2012 3:23 pm

      Thank you for your comments. Yes my twitter is @thoch. What is yours?

      • Isabel Suarez Castaño permalink
        May 22, 2012 1:29 pm

        Sorry, I missed your reply, mine is @I_Suarez :-)

  9. Tiffany permalink
    April 28, 2012 12:38 am

    I love your list. I’m 21 and most of the things on your list I have only just gathered from experience not long ago. If your daughters can grasp this when they are only 17, will definitely save many nights of unnecessary worrying. They are very lucky to have such a wise father.

    I particularly enjoyed number 8,9 and 49. Will definitely keep this lists. Although I do find that trying to adopt what you read as your mentality is easier said than done! :p

  10. April 29, 2012 6:37 pm

    One I may add, Tim (especially for your high school graduate) is utilize college as a time to learn more than just your “major”. It’s the well-rounded people who learn beyond the scope of their field that’ll get fair. And ohh! Learn to be okay to change with changing your majors, some of us (or many of us) aren’t as fortunate to pinpoint it when we first entered college. I have friends who come close to graduate and learn that they don’t care for what they study, at that point.. they often just graduate.

    Learn to be adaptive in the given situation. Some of us (not me) are fortunate that parents can help them out in college. Great! Some of us don’t get that opportunity. Great! Make the most of it, I think it helps in the business world (like product managing) to take a look at your constraints and go from there.

    I’ll look you up on twitter, if you don’t mind.

    • April 29, 2012 8:16 pm

      Thank you Shirley. Excellent points. That is one reason I put in the rule about not allowing our education to separate us from doing what we love. I agree that too often we pick a major and stick to it when it’s not what we really want. My twitter is @thoch. I’ll follow back.

  11. May 1, 2012 1:52 pm

    I like number 5 & 6. Very true.

  12. Kim Darnell permalink
    May 22, 2012 3:29 am

    Thank you for sharing, I am getting ready to send my oldest daughter off to college and I am putting together letters, quotes and words of wisdom from all the people who have touched her life. I have been procrastinating …(my middle name.) After reading your list I may be up all night trying to edit it all together! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Isabel Suarez Castaño permalink
      May 22, 2012 1:37 pm

      What a sweet idea putting together letters, quotes and words of wisdom from all of you! I will copy it, if you don´t mind, before my son goes to college next year. I will also collect some of our favourite pictures so he can take them with him. Are you in Twitter or in Facebook? Mine is @I_Suarez and https://www.facebook.com/isabel.suarezcastano

  13. June 9, 2012 12:25 am

    Oh, gosh, Tim, what a thoughtful and wise list. Your lucky daughters! I’m going to keep this one bookmarked as I think there’s an awful lot to remember here. Thank you. xo

  14. April 30, 2012 1:56 pm

    Thank you!

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  1. “A broken heart is the burden you will sometimes bear for the beautiful gift of the capacity to love.” « Sink or Swim, Captain.

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