To My Strong-willed Daughter: Don’t Forget the Value of Being Gentle, Too

don't forget

You’re a force to be reckoned with, baby girl.

Strong-willed. Not easily overlooked or forgotten. You feel big emotions, and you have no problem making sure everyone knows where you stand.

You leave nothing to chance. You’re a go-getter, and you don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way.

In some ways, your spunk and your fierce independence are my favorite of all your qualities.

I know you won’t be pushed around. I know you’ll make sure your voice is always heard and your feelings are always respected. I know you’ll fight for anything and anyone you’re passionate about, and that you won’t let adversity hold you back.

I admire your determination and your zeal. And I’d be lying if I said you won’t need those qualities to make it through this world – especially as a woman.

don't forget

But in a culture that tells you the only way to be heard is to scream louder, I hope you’ll remember this: Sometimes it takes more strength to be gentle than it does to be fierce.

So, shatter glass ceilings, but don’t forget to stay humble.

Make your voice known, but don’t forget to listen.

Stand up for what’s right, but don’t forget to be respectful.

Be confident in your own abilities, but don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.

Because you see, sweet girl, there’s nothing wrong with being a force. Our world needs women like you; to speak up, to fight for good, to break down barriers and stand out in crowds.

But don’t forget the value of a gentle spirit.

Don’t forget the power of a kind word.

Don’t forget the impact of a selfless gesture.

Be you, baby. Set the world ablaze with your fire. But don’t ever feel weak if you’re not a “boss” or a “queen” or whatever they’re calling strong women these days.

Because there’s a fine line between being a boss and being bossy, and there’s something to be said for being sweet.

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This piece originally appeared at Daylight to Dark, published with permission.


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Kendra Barnes
Kendra is the co-founder of Daylight to Dark, a lifestyle blog. She is a fun-loving wife and momma to a spirited blue-eyed girl and a particularly jolly baby boy. She's an expert at holding down the fort, abandoning her coffee, and making circles wider, not smaller, so more women feel included and encouraged. You can follow Daylight to Dark on Facebook and Instagram.