One mum has impressed the internet by penning the one letter every little girl needs to read.
Working mum Toni Hammer was sick of finding lists of ‘don’ts’ for girls that included advice like not wearing too much make up, not swearing and not drinking too much.
So the savvy writer and mum of two decided to write and alternative list of ‘don’ts’ for her own daughter, one which invited to focus on her own satisfaction above all and not give too much weight to other peoples’ opinions.
‘Don’t apologize when someone else bumps into you,’ she urges her little girl, and ‘don’t wear a dress if you don’t want to.’
‘Don’t say ‘sorry to be such a pain.’ You’re not a pain. You’re a person with thoughts and feelings who deserves respect,’ she continues.
‘Don’t overthink what you eat in front of people. If you’re hungry, eat, and eat what you want. If you want pizza, don’t get a salad just because other people are around. Order the damn pizza.’
‘Don’t smile because someone told you to,’ and ‘Don’t be afraid to laugh at your own jokes.’
‘Don’t hide your opinions. Speak up and speak loudly. You should be heard.’
And importantly: ‘Don’t hold back your tears. Crying means you’re feeling something that needs to get out. It’s not a weakness. It’s being human.’
Over 1,000 people took to the comments when the post was shared on viral platform Love What Matters, with many pointing out that it’s advice that women of any age could benefit from following.
‘I love this and honestly I need these reminders myself,’ said one reader.
‘Parents know their kids!’ exclaimed another. ‘I was a VERY shy, ‘yes’, people pleaser, dreamer, in her shell, wouldn’t say boo kind of kid, so I definitely would have benefited from this advice!’
A third agreed: ‘You are teaching her valuable knowledge that will pave the way for her. More mom and dads need to do this for their daughters. Keep up the good work she will grow into a very smart woman.’
However, not everyone was so enamoured with the advice.
‘Don’t apologize for someone else bumping into you, but don’t rudely shout “EXCUSE YOU!” With every act you do, show compassion and mannors! You are a lady!’ argued one mum.
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‘I have too many “friends” who think being confident means everyone else is beneath them, and none should be treated as equal,’ said another. ‘And now passing it on to their children.’
‘In Canada we definitely say “sorry, excuse me” when we bump into or get bumped by people,’ one more declared. ‘It’s just polite, not subjugating yourself. Strong people both women and men can still have manners and be pleasant members of the society they live in.’