A mother has penned a powerful open letter aiming to fill her daughter with the unapologetic confidence all girls deserve.
In a Facebook post, writer Toni Hammer challenges our use of traditional manners, suggesting that teaching our kids to say “sorry” too much may put them at danger of apologizing for who they are.
Addressing her kindergartener daughter, Hammers offers 13 different things she hopes she will never do to put other peoples’ happiness above her own.
“Don’t apologize when someone else bumps into you,” she begins.
“Don’t say ‘sorry to be such a pain.’ You’re not a pain. You’re a person with thoughts and feelings who deserves respect.”
Speaking into her child’s future, Hammer makes points that many adults could benefit from.
“Don’t make up reasons as to why you can’t go out with a guy you don’t wanna go out with,” she writes. “You don’t owe anyone an explanation. A simple ‘no thanks’ should be acceptable.”
“Don’t overthink what you eat in front of people,” she continues. “If you’re hungry, eat, and eat what you want. If you want pizza, don’t get a salad just because other people are around. Order the damn pizza.”
Hammer also has advice that’ll resonate with parents of young girls.
She writes, “Don’t keep your hair long to make someone else happy … Don’t wear a dress if you don’t want to.”
“Don’t smile because someone told you to.
“Don’t be afraid to laugh at your own jokes.
“Don’t say “yes” to be polite. Say “no” because it’s your life.”
But not all parents agree with Hammer’s list of don’ts. Some commenters argue that the list teaches your child to be rude and that it’s OK to say “no” to life’s obligations.
“Good luck saying NO to the police officer just because you don’t want to do that thing,” one person wrote.
Another added: “Our world is already full of people who could care less about others feelings. I don’t agree with this at all. You bump someone say sorry … You don’t have to be a doormat to be strong and independent. But you can first be KIND. In our effort to make strong women we forgot all about making nice people.”
Others enjoyed the sentiment behind Hammer’s advice.
“When I was young, my dad was always telling me to stop apologizing so much…and now I think I’m finally starting to understand. To be more confident, to own who I am and what I feel…I need to teach this to my girls–and keep teaching it to myself!” wrote an onlooker.
In her effort to raise her child a free-thinker, Hammer lovingly encourages thoughts her daughter may not have even formed yet. “Don’t hide your opinions. Speak up and speak loudly. You should be heard.”
Her list is summed up with a simple message: “Don’t apologize for being who you are. Be brave and bold and beautiful. Be unapologetically you.”