THE BLOG
11/05/2014 08:26 am ET Updated Jan 05, 2015

21 Things I Want to Teach My Daughter

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The day I found out I was expecting a daughter, I was excited, but extremely nervous. I wasn't sure if I could be the type of mother my mom was to me. It seemed like so much pressure on me. Growing up a daughter in the scary world we live in can be daunting.

Dear Kitana,

Today, there's 20 things I want to teach you. Hopefully one day when you are bigger, you will read this and appreciate everything I did for you.

1. Save and invest

I want you to remember, Mommy always tries her best to give you the best she can. Sometimes I may say no, but there's a reason behind that... I may not be able to afford to give you everything right now, but I'm saving so one day you have more than I did. I'm trying to teach you the importance of budgeting so one day when you on your own, you won't struggle to make ends meet. It's important to invest in the right places. Ask your father, he's a pro at this.

2. "No" is not a bad word

Sometimes I will say no when you ask me for something, but remember that I'm trying to protect you from pain and I will always be here to kiss your bruises better. You should learn to say no to certain things and certain people -- you can't please everyone. Life is full of tough decisions.

3. Educate Yourself

Remember, people can take everything away from you except your brains. Read as many books as you can. Learn hard, work hard and follow your dreams.

4. Appreciate

Take as many selfies as you want, but first stop to stare and appreciate what's around you. Find the beauty in everything.

5. Smile

A smile can say more than words. Sometimes, its OK to smile at a stranger on the road.

6. Love

Fall in love with food, travel and that special someone. Love yourself before you love others and love your body before you judge other people's.

7. It's OK to make mistakes

No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. It's OK to make one, but it's even better if you learn from it. It's OK to fail; get yourself up and move along.

8. Beware of the fake world

You're beautiful with or without makeup. Don't lose yourself in the plastic world; be true to who you are. Dress the way you want; don't let a magazine decide your outfit for the day.

9. Sex

Don't be afraid to talk to me about this, even though you would most probably hate it. Remember, sex is a symbol of love; don't abuse the meaning and always wear protection.

10. Happiness

Happiness is the key to a beautiful life. Make sure you are always comfortable with what you're doing. If you're having second thoughts, it might not be worth it. Make sure your life is exactly like the pictures you post on Instagram.

11. Real life is better than Facebook

Don't hide behind the computer; go out and make friends. Attend concerts and party to your heart's content. Remember, quality is better than quantity when it comes to friends.

12. Pamper yourself

We all need some "me time." Don't overwork yourself. Go for treatments; it's important to take care of yourself. It automatically makes you feel refreshed.

13. Bullying

Don't let anyone push you around or try to abuse you. Stand up for what you think is right and develop a voice to shout it out. Learn self-defense to protect yourself from the cruel world around you.

14. Experience

Experience life. Try something new, like swimming with dolphins or bungee jumping, and camp at least once in your life. These are adventures you will treasure forever.

"Life is a journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn but most of all, experiences to enjoy." Unknown.

15. Not everyone is your friend

People are always there to judge; don't let negativity get to you. Fight back with a positive attitude.

16. Learn the art of cooking

I wish I learned cooking from an early age, maybe then you would have had a variety of dishes to eat at home. Learn about different cuisines and remember: the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

17. It's OK to cry

Don't try to be strong; it's OK to show emotion. Let it all out until you feel better.

18. Be independent

Don't rely on your husband for everything. Work and earn your own money. Learn to drive and get your own car. Men love passionate women who want to be successful in life.

19. Respect

Respect your elders, your boss, people around you and your partner. They will treat you the way you treat them. Learn to greet someone on the street and say goodbye to someone at work every day.

20. Compassion

I've always tried to give back and I'm hoping one day you will do the same. Before you throw that slice of bread away, think about the man on the street who is craving a piece.

Remember: You're beautiful and you will always be my baby. I love you more than you will ever know, and the bond we share can never be replaced.

21. Introduce any potential boyfriends to your father for interrogation