A Letter to my Daughter: Fight or Flight

posted in: Parenting | 26
Do you ever have one of those parenting “a-ha” moments; where you have a thought or realization that you know you’ll want to share with your kids one day or incorporate into your parenting soon? A trick that I like to use is to write my children a note for the future. The note is really more of a reminder for me, but addressing it to my children somehow helps me to organize my thoughts a little more. For example, here’s a note a wrote to my daughter about quitting.
Today my best friend told me that she is probably getting a divorce. Probably and divorce don’t really belong in the same sentence. Unless you’re saying something like, “I’m getting a divorce and I’m probably going to move to Paris.” What happens after the divorce can be up in the air but the divorce part you should be sure about, ya know? 
So, maybe she’s divorced right now and you’ve never met her husband or maybe you see him at every BBQ and they’re happily married. Which ever is fine with me because I’ll know that whatever decision she made was what was best best for her and her family.
I’ve told you before about my amazing ability to quit things at lightning speed and there’s a part of me that so desperately wants to teach you to do just the opposite. To finish everything you start and to almost have a hatred for quitting. There’s a big chance that I made you think that quitting and failing are one and the same.
I need to know that you know that it’s okay to quit sometimes. That its okay to walk away from situations that aren’t good or right for you. That’s not failing. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Being smart enough to know when it’s time to give up and being brave enough to do it are such beautiful attributes. 
As much as I want you to stick things out and have a never quit spirit, I want you to be happy more. I thought I needed to teach you to never quit but maybe it’s more important that I teach you to know if what you’re fighting for is worth it. If it’ll make your life better. If it’ll make you better.
There’s such a small difference between quitting and choosing yourself. It’s so small that often times you’re the only person who can tell the difference. I hope you learned the difference. I hope I was able to distinguish the differences while raising you. But mainly I hope wherever you are in life, that you’re happy.
I once heard a quote that said, “People come into our lives for a reason and a season” and I believe that applies for all things. I hope you never stayed in a relationship or a situation longer than it was healthy too. It’s hard to know when to let a friendship go or when to move on to new goal, but these things must be done. It’s even more difficult to realize when you’re fighting a losing battle or when giving up and walking away are the best options. Again, these things must be done.
People always say that life is too short to be unhappy. But I say it’s too important. Your life and your happiness are too important to waste on things that don’t bring you pleasure. So dump that boy that you always fight with and the friend who only calls you when she needs something. Get a bad grade on a test just because you’d rather go to a concert than study. ( well a last minute concert. Not a concert you’ve known about for months. that’s just poor planning.) Do great things, take big risks, and do what makes you happy…. always. 



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26 Responses

  1. Well I was blessed with a baby boy one year ago. But as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I thought of all the things you want to make sure he or she needs to know as they grow into a adult. Even though I have a son, I want to teach him many of the things you listed above. Including everything happens in life for a reason.

  2. I love this letter! It reads so perfectly. My oldest daughter, I’ve never let her quit anything – I’m talking dance, cheer, etc. She’ll be 18 now, and I’ll be honest, I should have taught her differently. I taught her that quitting is bad. Always finish what you started. When she was 16, she was in the worst relationship with a controlling A**hole! I told her a million times why she should break up with him. Why he was ruining her from the inside out, but she wouldn’t break up with him. I think, after reading this…it was my fault. I taught her not to quit. She was trying so hard to make things work, to make him change. I finally had to twist the lesson and teach her that you can’t change people. I’m definitely teaching my youngest daughter that quitting is ok.

  3. How sweet to write letters to her. One day when you are gone I’m sure she will read these and cherish all the wise wisdom. I always wanted to do something like this but forget and now my kids are older and I wonder is it too late to start?

  4. What a great letter! I am sure your daughter will really appreciate this one day! I agree with so many of your sentiments!

  5. This was lovely. yes, I don’t want my child to just quit because something is “too hard” to not put in her full effort and just give up, but I do want her to know when something just isn’t right for her. I think that is a thin line that can easily be crossed.

  6. My mom told me that she did this a little while ago, I am so looking forward to reading them someday and it makes me want to do the same for my kids.

  7. I need this letter today. For far too long I stayed in a “relationship”, not personal, because I was too attached. It’s hard to take that step back and realize you’re fighting a losing battle. Your daughter is a lucky girl for you to take the time to write letters like this and pretty therapeutic for you as well, I’d imagine.

  8. Good advice, momma! I believe in finishing what you started, but that’s because I believe you only start something that is truly important to you, you’ve done the required research and you are confident that it is going to be in your best interest. That being said, things happen. I also say to cut your losses and don’t stay in something because you have given it all this time. Don’t give it any more!

  9. This is a great letter. I have different feelings on this, but I definitely respect yours!

  10. I think the best thing you can do for your kids is live a happy full life. Don’t depend on any man or a child to make you complete.

  11. I like this idea of writing the kiddos letters for the future. It’s cool to think just how much might or not have changed until the time they read the letters you write them. I agree that quitting is not the same as choosing yourself. In fact that should be a quote on a mug. Can I have it? 🙂

  12. As the mom to a 15 year old and an 11 year old I can tell you that each day is a lesson in learning to hold them tight but not too tight- to let go and let them struggle and try your best not to interfere with the lessons they need to learn on their own. Love this letter!!

  13. I love this so much! It is so important to create happiness for ourselves within our lives, even if that means letting some things go.

  14. That’s such a beautiful and touching letter. For everyone! It’s ever so important to choose yourself especially when IN a relationship because that’s what attracted the other person to you in the first place. YOU. x

  15. This was such a great letter. There are so many life lessons that are best shared such as these. Thank you for sharing. It was wonderful!

  16. Great advice to your little one! I am sure it is hard (I don’t have children so I can’t fully relate) but it sounds like you’re doing an incredible job raising your little one. XOXO

  17. What a beautiful letter! I love the idea of writing letters to your kids too. Such a great way to teach them what they need to know.

  18. This is a sweet letter. She will appreciate this when she gets older trust me and cherish it.

  19. As a military wife who could barely handle her busy schedule I am truly glad I came across your post. I totally agree with you that you have to know where to fight and don’t quit, and to let go or walk away. Choose your battles, the worthy battles that can lead to happiness.

  20. I love this letter, it’s beautiful and such important lessons. I agree giving up and walking away from something not right are often complicated with each other. Giving up may be construed as failure and sometimes rightfully so but leaving a unhealthy relationship or putting yourself first is far from failure it’s one of the bravest things anyone can do

  21. This letter is so perfect. I know that she will really love this when she is able to understand it more.

  22. Krystle Cook

    Making sure that you choose your battles wisely is so important. There are just some times where you need to let go and then live again.

  23. What a lovely letter. I think letters like these are so super sweet and I wish I had written more to my kids over the years.

  24. As parents, it’s our responsibility to impart these lessons to our children as they get older. I hope my sons will also continue to have these candid conversations with me into adulthood.

  25. CourtneyLynne

    Omg what a sweet letter!!! I’m sure one day when your daughter is older, she will love these letters!

  26. This is such a great way to share with her how you are feeling in the moment and your experience!

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