#MomLife: Advice for my teenage daughter

Dear Cadence, 

I want to start this letter by telling you how much you mean to me and how proud I am of you. You are amazing and I think the world of you. You will always be my little girl no matter how old you are. But it won’t be long before you are ready to leave the nest and start your own journey. Before that happens, I want to give you some advice. 

1. Always believe in yourself

You are smart and capable of achieving great things as long as you believe in yourself. When things don’t go the way you expected them to, never stop believing in you. Listen to what others have to say, but always have the confidence to make up your own mind and express your own thoughts. Be true to yourself. 

2. Never become obsessed with your appearance

You are beautiful. But I don’t want you to become so self-absorbed that your looks are the only thing you care about. Although I would still like you to brush your hair before going out in public, I don’t want you to feel like you always have to be put together. Be confident in who you are and accept yourself. And contrary to what some may think, pajama pants are not appropriate attire to wear to school. 

3. If you need help, ask for it

No matter how big or small the problem is, if you need help, ask for it. Don’t be afraid to say the three little words no one likes to say: I need help. You are not alone; everyone needs help from time to time. If you don’t feel comfortable asking me then ask another family member or a friend or a trusted adult, someone will be there for you. 

4. Be happy and have fun

Don’t take life too seriously. Laugh. Be happy, have fun, and make memories that will last a lifetime. All I ask is that you make sure those memories are legal and appropriate. Have fun with your friends, get involved in activities that bring you joy and don’t wish your life away. Live in the moment. 

5. Please use your manners 

I know it sounds silly but manners are very important. You don’t want to come off as rude or make a bad impression. Always use eye contact when someone is talking to you and don’t mumble when they ask you a question. Say please and thank you and learn how to have a firm handshake. Be courteous and helpful to others. 

6.  Read more books

Don’t just read books for school, read for enjoyment. Get lost in the book world and use your imagination. You’ll never regret taking a break and reading a good book. 

7. Don’t believe everything you hear or see

People lie. Whether it’s big or small, the fact of the matter is not everyone will tell you the truth. Trust your instincts and do your research before automatically following the group. You may not want to believe it, but not everything you see online is true. Just because it’s on the internet, doesn’t mean that it is correct. The internet is huge so always do your research. 

8. I love you and will always be a call or text away

Call me day or night, I will not judge you and will always be here to answer your questions or just talk. I will always love you no matter what. I may not agree with all of your choices but I will listen and help you when you need it. Whatever happens in life, I will always be your mom and I am here for you.

I will end this letter with hope that you have taken the time to read and digest at least half of it. I will always be here for you and will help you in whatever way possible. I know there are times where you don’t want to look at my face let alone talk to me, but just know that I am your biggest cheerleader and will be by your side no matter what life throws at you. 



Steph Hightree is a hot mess mom who is fueled by stress and too much caffeine. She is a Three Rivers native who talks about the good, the bad, and well, everything else about parenthood. 

Any views or opinions expressed in “#MomLife” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.