Dear daughter,

Be the girl who reaches behind and pulls the next person up to where you are at in life. Do this because you know that success isn’t finite and there’s enough room at the top for everyone.

Be the girl who waits at the finish line until the rest of the team crosses. Recognize their effort, not what place they earned. People will always remember how you made them feel, not where you finished.

Be the first to congratulate someone when they get what you want. Try to be happy for them even when your heart is breaking.

Be the girl who gently tells another woman that she has food in her teeth or a tag on her shirt or toilet paper on her shoe. Mocking someone else’s misfortune isn’t cool.

Be the girl who has a firm handshake and looks people in the eye. Remember that a simple hello and smile can change someone’s day.

Be the girl who doesn’t seek approval from others. It never feels as good as when you are happy with yourself.

Be the girl who knows that not everyone will like her, no matter how hard you try. You can be the juiciest, ripest peach in the bushel, but some people just don’t like peaches.

Be the girl who sets goals and works hard to achieve them. Encourage your friends to chase their dreams, too, and then support each other every step of the way.

Be the girl who tells another girl that there’s always room for one more. Remember that life is not an exclusive club.

Be the girl who says no: no to dangerous situations, to doing things before you are ready, to decisions that you can’t take back. You shouldn’t have to put yourself in jeopardy to get someone else to like you.

Be the girl who loves herself, because what’s not to love?

Dear daughter, be the girl, become the woman, you were born to be.

Because for you sweet girl, the only thing we truly want you to be is happy.

It can be hard raising a girl. Here's 10 life tips for a teenage daughter.

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a communications consultant, and blogger. She tries to dispel the myth of being a typical suburban mom although she is often driving her minivan to soccer practices and attending PTA meetings. She writes about parenting, relationships, and w(h)ine on her blog Playdates on Fridays.