Rules for My Daughters

Aaron Conrad posted a great compilation of quotes from Walker Lamond’s book “Rules for My Unborn Son.” As a father of two daughters, this list didn’t really speak to me, though it was full of great insight. So, I set out to build my own list of rules for my daughters. As I searched and gathered, I found some quotes were inspiring and poignant, but most bordered on “mansplaining.” I went back to the source and found that Walker Lamond wrote “Rules for my Newborn Daughter,” of which, I present 40 of my favorites:

My Rules for My Daughters

  1. If you can follow a recipe, you can build a table.
  2. Dance with your dad. And not just on your wedding day.
  3. On a first date, order the steak.
  4. Never trust a profile pic. Not even your own.
  5. There’s nothing cooler than a girl who can change a tire.
  6. You can enter a beauty pageant… as soon as you earn your engineering degree.
  7. If a boy says something that isn’t funny, you don’t have to laugh.
  8. Never let him win.
  9. Introduce yourself.
  10. It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going that counts.
  11. Put your camera away and enjoy the moment.
  12. Beauty is mostly attitude. The rest is good lighting.
  13. I will never tell you whom to love. But I reserve the right to show him or her pictures of you from middle school.
  14. Dads can brush hair, too.
  15. The best cheerleaders are not on the sidelines, they’re on the field.
  16. Don’t age gracefully. Age defiantly.
  17. They’ll remember the thank-you note longer than you’ll remember the gift.
  18. If you are the smartest girl in your group of friends, maybe it’s time for some new friends.
  19. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  20. There’s not a man on the planet who hasn’t deserved to have a drink thrown in his face.
  21. If you like someone, ask them out.
  22. Master a second language. Preferably math.
  23. If you cooked, they clean, and vice versa.
  24. If your date doesn’t meet you at the door, don’t even bother opening it.
  25. Don’t apologize for your opinion before you’ve given it.
  26. Keep promises. Especially the ones to yourself.
  27. If you think you deserve a raise, ask for one.
  28. I’d rather see you finish a hard task than master an easy one.
  29. Be skeptical. But always leave room for a little magic.
  30. No matter where you are, I will always come get you.
  31. Don’t try to sweet talk the teacher.
  32. If you can still read a magazine, you’re not really exercising.
  33. Let your work speak for itself.
  34. Your reputation is in the hands of those who know you the least.
  35. You are only as nice as you are to strangers.
  36. The moment you lose your temper, you’ve lost.
  37. Learn to take a compliment.
  38. The internet never forgets: practice safe selfies.
  39. A little self-deprecation goes a long way.
  40. Practice is about building up your tolerance to failure.

For my eldest daughter, I add this rule: “Don’t just watch the band. Join it.” who, at 4 years old, aspires to be a Rockstar Princess!


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