When my daughter, Jaclyn, was born in April 1986, I was overjoyed. My son, Michael, who was nine at the time, wasn’t thrilled to have a new sibling, but he learned to accept and love her. He was very independent and didn’t want a little sister cramping his style. As they have gotten older, they have grown closer than ever. It makes this mom’s heart swell to know they love each other.
Jaclyn was definitely my shadow. She wanted to do things with her mom, be like her mom, and learn from her mom. We became a pair – always going places together, whether to the beach, to school events, or even to eat – sometimes fair food was all it took to make an outing something we delighted in! We still enjoy cooking and eating different types of food to this day.
Several years ago, Jaclyn decided she wanted to be a Texas State Trooper. I told her to go for it. She was smart, headstrong, confident, and ready. In 2019, she did what she set out to do. She is now a trooper in Del Rio, Texas, working in patrol and aircraft. She absolutely has thrived in her environment and loves her job, her friends, and where she lives.
So how did this young woman I love so much become so independent? Well, she was raised to be exactly that – strong! Here are a few things we did throughout her life to help her reach her goals:
1. Be kind but don’t take any crap from others.
Kindness can completely transform someone’s day, month, or even entire life. But you have to know where to draw the line and recognize when people are not treating you as well as you should be treated. Be nice, but know who to be nice to. All people are not nice for reasons we may not understand at the time but become apparent later on. Some people want to use you for their own gains. Learn to recognize the difference.
2. Forgiveness is important.
Teach your daughter when it is okay to say she is sorry. Sometimes our feelings are hurt, and we may want to hurt in return. Words and actions can cause lots of problems. Learn to forgive and forget, not hold grudges. Let things go. Don’t hold on to hate and leave the past behind.
3. Don’t sweat the competition.
I have never concentrated on my competition in any business I have opened. If you are focused too much on the competition, you aren’t concentrating on yourself enough. Stay focused on your goals, and you can attain your dreams.
4. Love and respect your body.
I have had a love/hate relationship with my body most of my life. I was so skinny as a teenager and young adult that everyone thought I was anorexic. It made me very clumsy, and I felt like I was not worthy of anyone’s attention. As I got older, I realized that we are the worst critics of our bodies. You should love your body for what it is, and if not, do something about it. Those who know me know I’ve started walking recently, and I feel better. Jaclyn has been my “personal trainer” through text messages. She is actually a personal trainer for DPS and knows what I need to be doing. She is my encourager.
5. It’s okay to end bad relationships.
One of the most important lessons our daughters can learn is it is okay to stop being friends with people who aren’t really friends. To break up with a guy who isn’t treating them well. To walk away from any situation they aren’t comfortable with. And have the confidence to pave their way through life on their own if they have to.
6. Always hold her head up high.
Our daughters need to learn to be confident and stand up proudly. Walk in a room so that everyone there stops and looks. Know your worth.
7. Make goals and stay focused on them.
It is important to have goals to work towards. Goals that are lofty and hard to reach. Goals that require much hard work, patience, and determination. Stay focused.
8. Anything is possible.
Make sure your daughters know that any dream or ambition is not impossible. If you stay focused, you can do anything with your life – as long as you want it enough.
The women in this month’s issue have accomplished so much. True to the advice above, they have nurtured each other, and both the mothers and their daughters are strong women. I am so happy to share them with you.
May God bless you and yours,