As mothers, we have a lot of hard-earned life wisdom we want to pass along to our daughters. Some of our advice is welcomed by our girls and some is resisted. But some of our words will withstand the test of time—living on to become treasured nuggets of wisdom that our daughters will carry with them throughout their lives. Joyful Life’s Founder, Sandi Warner, put together this heartwarming list of “100 Things I Want My Daughter to Know” that she shares with her daughter, Suri, annually on her birthday.
We share this list with you here, with the hope that it will inspire you to bless your own daughter with your intentional words of wisdom as well. Print it out and present it to her as-is, or better yet, use it as the inspiration to create your own personal letter—it will be a gift that will help shape your daughter’s worldview and one she will treasure throughout her life.
To My Beautiful Suri,
1. Your true beauty resides within you and is found within the loveliness of your character and heart—not your appearance.
2. Do your best to always think the best of your friends and family—charitable grace is a gift to them and will be to you as well.
3. Choose your friends wisely and for God-glorifying reasons—throughout your life, they will be the background music to your every memory.
4. You’re always welcome to borrow my clothes.
5. Food is a joy—but don’t let it control you or rob you of a healthy body.
6. The mirror does not reflect your worth.
7. Your body is strong and capable of so much more than you can imagine.
8. Coffee is a love language.
9. Cook, decorate, clean, and organize because you love to—not because someone tells you you’re meant to.
10. Music makes everything more meaningful.
11. Dance often—it makes life more fun.
12. You’ll never be too old for me to hold you.
13. Nothing you tell me will ever make me want to stop hearing from you.
14. The world needs your unique point of view.
15. God will use you significantly in other people’s lives—some you will be close to and some you will never know personally.
16. No prayer request is ever too small or too big—pray about it all.
17. You really can tell me anything.
18. Drinking a lot of water regularly really is the best beauty secret.
19. A good movie can change how you understand others and how you view the world.
20. Words can build bridges between people—speak beautiful, kind words.
21. Home is not where we live but who we love.
22. Inevitably I will hurt you, but I will never mean to.
23. You are teaching me how to be a different kind of mom—a softer mom.
24. Staying up late to read a good book is never time wasted.
25. Good girls aren’t boring.
26. A great mascara is always worth the investment—and by the time you are old enough to wear it, my long suffering research should be complete.
27. The “Mommy Wars” are a myth; we’re all in this together.
28. Clean the kitchen every night and your mornings will always be more peaceful.
29. If I’m no longer here when you have your first child—I pray that somehow you will feel my entire love for you and that you’ll have the confidence to know that you are ready.
30. The best way never to worry about anyone gossiping about you is never to gossip about anyone.
31. Play in the dirt—you can always shower later.
32. Don’t be afraid to run against a boy—they aren’t as fast as they think they are.
33. Be as authentically kind and friendly as Daddy—what a gift you have been given to have that modeled for you so genuinely.
34. Learn to play an instrument well—your life will be richer for it.
35. Marry a man who makes your heart beat faster when he walks in the room.
36. Apologizing first is a sign of strength, not of weakness.
37. Apologize sincerely, often, and quickly when you know you are wrong—don’t linger in your pride.
38. Always say please and thank you—it’s so easy to do and it truly makes the world a better place.
39. I’m always on your side and always want the best for you—even and especially on the days when it doesn’t feel like it.
40. Your body is not just yours—it’s a gift for your husband. Save it for him.
41. Don’t settle for less than pure, true love from a godly man—you deserve a marriage rooted in Christ.
42. Marriage is a daily act of courage, commitment, and sacrifice. It should also be the most fun you’ll ever have with your best friend.
43. Always fight fair—but don’t be afraid to fight for what’s right.
44. Know this deeply: Words can destroy and can never be taken back. Be very slow to speak when you’re angry—it will save you from the deepest of regrets and save those you love from unnecessary pain.
45. God says He has made all things beautiful—and that includes you, my beautiful girl—no matter how you feel about yourself on any given day.
46. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
47. You’ve given me a reason to be better—I know that you will be watching me closely. I promise to always try to be worthy of your respect.
48. A good cry can wash away a multitude of hurt—don’t be afraid to release your emotions.
49. Bad hair days are inevitable—you will survive them.
50. Long hair requires a really good conditioner—and coconut oil will be your friend.
51. I promise to always let you lick the beaters.
52. A strong man is never threatened by a strong woman—but find your strength in Christ and look for a man who finds his strength in Christ as well.
53. Your grandpa and your daddy are the strongest men I know.
54. Your beautiful smile comes so easily—it will be a gift to others throughout your entire life. Give it freely and often.
55. JOY really is found in putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last…be JOY, my sweet girl.
56. Be exactly the kind of friend you wish you had.
57. Compliment others often—it’s a genuine expression of kindness—but, don’t flatter. Know the difference.
58. This is a fallen world; people will be mean to you—love them anyway.
59. Jesus loves you—this I know.
60. Someday, I hope to be your best friend, but I will always be your mother first.
61. Don’t smoke.
62. Make better choices than I did—be smarter, be wiser, be purer.
63. A husband needs a wife—not a mother.
64. Marry a man who you find joy in serving, and do it because you want to—not because you have to.
65. Childbirth pain really does go away immediately after birth.
66. Patience is never wasted.
67. Be present. Wherever you are—be in that moment.
68. I promise to teach you how to use a camera well—because life really is beautiful and worth documenting.
69. Your heart will be broken, but I promise it will also be mended.
70. “When Harry Met Sally” will help you through many of life’s trials.
71. You have one life—only one. Let the significance of that sink in and live with purpose.
72. Take walks often; learn to love the outdoors—God created this beautiful world for us to enjoy.
73. Girlfriends are the best kind of free therapy there is. Treasure them.
74. Don’t be afraid to be a complete goofball sometimes.
75. Real life is always better than online.
76. A good friend loves at all times. Period.
77. Read the Bible. Spend intentional time alone with God daily. He is your Lifeline and the true Lover of your soul.
78. There are things you will do as a teen that you will regret as an adult—I want to help you keep them to a minimum because I love you so much. Please trust me when I advise you.
79. Don’t ever let fear force you into a decision—you will almost always make the wrong choice under those circumstances. Pray, find your courage—then decide.
80. Your happiness is not nearly as important to me as your heart.
81. My arms will always be wide open to you when you are hurting.
82. For a time, I will pick you up when you fall—but as you grow, I will teach you how to stand back up in your own strength, dust yourself off, and press on.
83. If it makes you feel uncomfortable—don’t do it, wear it, or say it.
84. Don’t quit too early or too easily—but, know when it’s time to move on with grace.
85. We need each other.
86. All bad haircuts grow out eventually.
87. You’re the most brave when you’re the most scared and keep going anyway.
88. The painful truth is always easier to navigate than a messy lie.
89. Embrace femininity and womanhood—they are beautiful gifts from God and should be celebrated—not diminished, not avoided, and never used to manipulate.
90. Marry a godly man and let him lead—submission is a gift to both of you. The world will tell you otherwise, but the world is wrong. You don’t have to look far to see that.
91. Your daddy is a godly man—and a joy to follow. Heed his wisdom.
92. Approach the throne of grace boldly. Pray often and know fully that God is always listening to your precious heart. Learn to hear Him.
93. Study the richness of God’s Word. Theology matters. Don’t settle to know just the surface of Scripture—dive deeply and intentionally into the wealth of wisdom found there.
94. There’s no such thing as perfect—aside from Jesus. So don’t waste time striving for something that cannot be attained.
95. You can always come home—but, I will never enable you.
96. Nothing will make me love you less.
97. Nothing will make me love you more.
98. Your character is something that will define you to the world—make it a priority to develop character that points people to Jesus.
99. It is my great honor to be your mother.
100. You will always be my baby girl.
Love You Forever and Unconditionally,
100 Things I Want My Daughter to Know Printable
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While I agree with everything on this list, it’s incredibly important for the church to ALSO be giving little girls messages about singleness. For example: God gives marriage and singleness as good gifts. Embrace both equally.
I agree, Holly—I believe the church has been too quiet on the subject of singleness and I would love to see the church come alongside women (and men) in their singleness in a more significant way—encouraging them in the unique position that God has them in.
This is beautiful. I’m sharing this with my four grown daughters!
Thank you, Susan! I hope it inspires them to create a list of their own!
Tears are flowing down my cheeks reading your beautiful words! As I stand in a year between losing my own mother and welcoming my first granddaughter, this spoke deep into my soul. Thank you!
Oh wow, Lori—you truly are right in the valley between grief and joy. Isn’t God so kind to bring joy so quickly on the other side of grief? I’m so glad to know that this resonated with your heart today.
Many of the statements of love and life truths resinated with me and thank you for some forgotten reminders. I have 4 beautiful daughters now ages; 23, 27, 28, 31 Plus my mom of 83 years and my two granddaughters! I will be sharing many of these statements in the letters I write to them for their birthdays!