'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Thursday, 23 October 2008

For my daughter

Dear N,

You are a wonderful person and I think the world of you.  It won't be long before you leave home to make your way in the world.  You probably don't need it, but can I please give you some advice?  Here are some things that you should do.

1.  Think well of yourself.

You are great and capable of achieving great things so believe in yourself.  When things go badly never stop believing.  Some girls get depressed, blame themselves and lose self-esteem.  All sorts of problems can follow.

2.  Like how you look.

I think you look great.  Please be happy with the person you are and the body you have.  Eat sensibly, take exercise and be healthy.  Some girls become obsessed with losing weight or getting the perfect shape.  You look fine.

3.  Live within your means.

Throughout life try to keep your spending within your income and so save a little.  Avoid getting into debt if possible.  There are some exceptions - like getting a mortgage to buy a house - (wait and get the biggest deposit you can) - but generally if you can live within your means you will avoid all sorts of problems.

4.  Don't compromise your personal safety.

Never put yourself at serious risk.   This means that you cannot trust people until you really know them and that sometimes you have to avoid things that look like they might be fun.   Never get drunk or take drugs. Unfortunately there are some bad people out there and it is best not to take undue risks.

5.  Never get involved with a married man.

There are plenty of great single men out there.  Don’t get entangled with a married man no matter how attractive he is - it will end in your tears.

6.  Do your best.

I am very impressed at what you have accomplished so far at work.  You should be proud too.  Keep doing well.  Try hard at what you do in all areas.  No one can ask for more than that.

7.  Remember I love you.

Whatever happens in life, your family will still be your family.  Whatever difficulties you encounter you can always talk to me and I will try to help.  I am here for you.


  1. Great advice! your daughter should keep a copy of this list in her handbag or purse....
    can i add - learn to trust your instincts; if you feel warning bells inside listen to them - can be about a person or event; best of luck! xxV

  2. Oh, how I agree. Such good advice! (The one from Val, too). And may I also add one - be cheerful and enjoy the life you have! You will always attract good will and friendship by that, and be generous in returning it.

  3. Loving advice. But what is wrong with getting entangled with a married man? My wife gets entangled with one on a regular basis though sometimes she grumbles "Get off!" and then I am forced to read my book.

  4. I'm delighted you have added more! YP, you are a bit of a dag.


  5. http://www.thedeppeffect.com25.10.08

    Good advice!

    I agree with 'learn to trust your instincts' too.

    Trouble is, we always learn best by experience, don't we? And that means we sometimes ignore the good advice our parents give us. I know I did! LOL!

    I'm sure your daughter will be fine. She obviously has a very caring and loving mother, and I'm guessing you taught her well. I always said that my job was to bring them up to be 100% independent by the age of adulthood (eighteen here) and then I needed to trust them. ;)

  6. Thanks Mum!! (and her other helpers) lol