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Thursday, March 12, 2009

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Advice for a Teenage Daughter I Will Never Have

Even if you have just been shot with a tranquilizer dart for elephants, don't sleep in your makeup. Or contact lenses.

What separates a professional eyebrow arch from the amateurs is scissor-trimming. This is the least important item on this list, but It took me 38 years to find out, and I have to pass it onto somebody.

Wear the bikini every chance you can, and use the sunscreen.

Every year you can possibly delay having sex will ultimately make sex that much better. Think of it as the difference between spending every allowance on cheap shoes that don't last, or saving up for some really fabulous Jimmy Choos. Not that you have to go without even touching a pair of shoes in the meantime. Or marry your first pair of Jimmy Choos. Don't tell your mom I said that.

As long as you are in your teens, avoid dating anyone more than three years older than you. At your age, a romantic relationship with an older man is actually neither romantic or a relationship.

You look ugly when you gossip.

Throwing up drunk is not a good look for you.

Save this for later: the person you are now is not the way you behaved then.

Someday, a girl who is horrible to you now will request to be your Facebook friend. And though your cursor will linger a long and delicious moment above the "ignore" button, you will click on "accept" instead, and know that you have grown up.

Go to your prom. Wear the corsage. Stand under the arch. Get the pictures. Really.

Don't waste youth and resiliency. Have adventures. It will never be more appropriate for you to be inappropriate, and society will never be more forgiving. But avoid risks that will narrow your future. Skinny-dipping: yes. Filmed skinny-dipping: no.

Most importantly, hang around for womanhood. I promise, the best is yet to come.


Blogger Melissa said...

This is beautiful, and with your permission, I'm going to print two copies for my 2-year-old daughters' memory books. Thank you so much.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

Please do! Nothing would please me more. :-)

1:10 PM  
Blogger She She said...

My daughter is 5. I'm saving this. (Or memorizing it!) I wish someone had said this to me.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Pyron said...

This is wonderful. When Emily turns 13, I will gladly refer her to you as her tour guide through adolescence. These are also great words of wisdom at any age of womanhood, as I recently accepted a friend request from an old arch enemy!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

So true! I'll save this for my 10 month old. I finally got her after two boys and I'm going to teach her right!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Cid said...

I am also the mother of three boys and the list I am working on is one for my future mother-in-law self. Of course, I have already told my boys that one of them will have to marry an orphan so that I can be mother of the bride and groom. The list will include things like: be sure to spontaneously offer to babysit and never begin a sentence, "Well, I used to do it ..."

1:57 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

I'd like to save this for my daughter too. Although I'm going to replace the word "shoes" with "computers." And she needs to marry the first computer she logs on to. :)

2:04 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

That's hilarious! I love it. I feel like I'm getting a slew of virtual goddaughters. Or potential daughters-in-law? ;-)

2:06 PM  
Blogger Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

Spot on! Also printing this for my daughters - 3 and 8 (going on 14).

2:15 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

I hope I remember these truths when my daughter is a teenager!

2:26 PM  
Blogger S said...

my daughter is 17 years old and I am going to forward this to her. It's all so true. Made tears come to my eyes, really. Thanks!

3:26 PM  
Blogger Florinda said...

This is wonderful. I'm including it in my "links of the week" round-up post this weekend, with my 14-year-old stepdaughter in mind. Thank you!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I wish I had received this advice when I was a young girl. Could have spared me a few unnecessary skeletons in my closet. Although, "...the person you are now is not the way you behaved then." I'm 42 (the mother of three sons also) and I needed to hear that. Thank you.

5:50 PM  
Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

Beautifully said, and don't forget there will one day be a grandaughter to share this wisdom with....

6:04 PM  
Blogger said...

I love it!

p.s. Kyran, you are such an inspiration to me. I don't always comment, but I read every word. :)

6:38 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I came here through Casual Perfectionist's shared items.

Brilliant list! I will need this for my daughter in a few years.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Allison M. said...

My mom always shared a verbal list with me, especially when my friends would date older guys or she knew my friends were having sex.

our best conversations were at night.

2:15 PM  
Blogger slouching mom said...

Love the brow advice. Because I was 41 (uhh, two months ago) when I figured that out.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Candy said...

I have a twelve year old that thinks I am the worst person in the world most of the time. (I have been told this is a phase.) I think this advise would be great to pass on to her in the near future, if it is okay with you.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

How true! I so wish my mother had passed this wisdom on to me when I was a teenager. I'm now 38 and have two sons.. 12 and 8.

11:39 PM  
Blogger McIntosh2000 said...

Fantastic advice! I totally agree with the bikini advice. I remember as a teen being so consumed with trying to cover up this little tiny bulge under my belly button. 1 inch maybe? Now, two kids later, and a bazillion calories, I would LOVE to have that tiny belly to fret over! I would even say keep the pictures of yourself that you don't like, because 5 or 10 years down the road you may wish you looked that good!

11:47 PM  
Blogger Susan Walsh said...

Great post! I think my readers at (young women) will enjoy and benefit from this!

9:18 AM  
Blogger nkp said...

This list is wonderful and funny and absolutely spot-on. Thanks for sharing your fabulous writing! You have an exceptional talent.

I would like to post this on my blog. I'm actually a mother of three boys, but this is so witty and fun, it's a great read for all. And of course, I will link back to you. Thanks for sharing!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Pumpkin Petunia said...

Passing along to my niece, saving for my daughters. I may not have a clear perspective when they're ready for this. I need to have it in print.

3:04 PM  
Blogger lenniekat said...

Regarding prom, I would suggest that one never raise her arms on the dance floor while wearing a strapless dress with sweetheart front. Also, regarding 'shoes' - I would advise one not to continue wearing a size too small, even if they are jimmy choos. That was a great list, Kyran, I will definitely share with C when the time is right.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Joel Bittle said...

Great post, Kyran. I came across this on stumbleupon and not only loved the list, but the irony that I have three girls and a whole bucketload of advice for boys that'll go untold (unless I write a post like yours.) Great blog.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

Joel, you OWE me that post! Let me know when it's done! :-)

4:57 PM  
Blogger Baby Claire said...

that was awesome. srsly.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Schmutzie said...

Youth isn't wasted on the young, but it's definitely taken for granted.

Reading your list actually brought back some pretty good memories.

My mother's advice to me was not to marry before I was 25. She said that there were a lot of things I would be more likely to do on my own than when I was bound to another person. It was the one piece of her advice I followed.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

With two daughters (beautiful even) that are 16 and 18 - this rocks!! Do me a favour and send it to them on FB??? If I send it, it's just nagging. Ha!

10:01 PM  
Blogger lilmissknowitall said...

thank you so much for writing this blog im 14 yrs old and all the stuff u wrote in this blog is the things my mom has told me over the years its alot of help, im gunna b reading this over and over again to make sure im doing the things i wanna do in life. so thank u again
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

11:42 AM  
Blogger Smiling Mama said...

What a great list!!

9:27 AM  
Blogger rahilunpluged said...

Hey this are great examples to give to a daughter . My daughter is 2 months old i hope i don't have to give these examples to her.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Fred G. said...

Great advice. I will save these tips for my daughter.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

my daughter is almost 2, and it is bittersweet knowing that she's growing up so fast. If you don't mind, may I print this off so that I can put a copy in her baby book, and give a copy to her when she's older? I thought this was a fabulous list. Alot of it my mom always told me. I'd like to add your list to my mom's, and throw in some of the stuff I've thought of since she was born.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

I'm so thrilled that my hard won "wisdom" won't go to waste. Everyone, feel free to print, paste, cross-stitch, link, facebook, and forward for personal, individual reference among friends and family.

If you would like to distribute it beyond that scope (like your daughter's really progressive yearbook), please just drop me a line at kyranp (at) gmail (dot) com



10:42 PM  
Blogger witticism here said...

I just stumbled across your blog is incredible. Major kudos!

11:13 PM  
Blogger Mrs H said...

Some very true and good comments.

You know much of this advice doesn't apply to the rest of the world, as I am finding to my surprise on a daily basis.
Could I add one more?

Travel, watch, learn, be open and sensitive to other ways and cultures.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

This is wonderful. I work with teens and have for over 21 years, not including my kids. Have you ever thought about writing a book or commentary of lessons to learn? There are many parents who could use your input to validate what they are saying to their kids. Good for you.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great advice and something I wish my Mom would have shared with me. I think I did the opposite of half of your list, and in retrospect, now at 26, I would have listened to my gut instinct a little bit more,anyway, I can pass this to my daughter who is now 4 when she becomes a teenager. Thanks this was awesome!

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Makes me start to think of everything I want to tell my daughter.... she's 10 now so I better get started.
I am also linking to it through my blog - I hope you don't mind!

2:47 AM  
Blogger Dennis said...

Thank you. This is wonderful. As the 61 year of Father of 3 girls, 41, 37 and 9 we need more of this. Too late for the older ones. The 9 year old is the one to whom this will be most valuable. God Bless

1:03 PM  
Blogger jensushi said...

I just found this blog post and as a 19 year old teenager it is definitely the truth. Your sense of humor mixed with your serious tone was perfect. I loved it, job well done!

9:19 AM  
Blogger Mitch McDad said...

just stumbled here....great post. I have two young girls and I really think this is great advice.

12:53 AM  
Blogger MamaLlamaJr said...

My husband sent this to me to share with our 12 yr. old daughter. I love your sense of humor and the candor. I'm emailing to her today (complete with the Jimmy Choo comment because even as a faithful Christian I think she needs to know this!)

Check out my blog at:

I'm definitely gonna follow yours!

1:54 PM  
Blogger jen said...

I nearly cried when I read this. Very beautiful. I found it via stumbleupon and stumbled it. Great stuff.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Loren Christie said...

This is great. I love it!!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

That was great!

Isn't it funny how insecure we are as teens? I remember as a teen always asking myself, "does he like me? Does he really like me?". I knew I had grown up when I could finally ask, "Do I like him?".

Thanks for posting that!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

6:52 PM  
Blogger April said...

I couldn't think of anything I would want my daughter to think less.

8:34 PM  
Blogger S said...

I loved this so much when I read it in Good Housekeeping I had to hunt it down online and post on my Facebook page in order to make my own 14-YO daughter notice it. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Susanne said...

Dear Kyran,
I anticipated spending two and a half hours in the stuffy, boring car dealership waiting room this morning. But I came across this column in a not too badly mutilated copy of Good Housekeeping. I loved what you wrote so much that I copied it by hand, just in case I would not be able to track it down online. Our daughter is 16. Fiercly independent and incredibly smart...and very cute. Her boyfriend is 19. Nice, sweet, hardworking, adores her, but he is 19. I will hand them (and every one of their friends, if I may)a copy of what you wrote. I love it. And could not say it any better myself. Thank you.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Kyran,

This was beautiful. I am an aunt to almost forty-one nieces and nephews. My husband and I tried for years to get pregnant but it never worked. I write frequently about the kind of advice I would give them and often do.

Great advice! I'm glad I found your site.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Linnie said...


I'm 18, and living with my 26-year-old boyfriend. Neither of us care for romance, but:
- we split the cost of living evenly (staggering to account for his far greater income);
- we share household tasks. Even the boring, icky ones.; and
- we also share in each other's joy and pain, and are there for each other whenever the other needs us to be.

If that isn't a relationship, what is?

8:28 PM  

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