The Priceless Gift I’m Giving My 10-Year-Old Daughter


Dear Ten-Year-Old Daughter of Mine,

You do not know it is a gift – but I am telling you – it IS.

My daughter,  I’m giving you free thought.

I’m removing a tiny bit of peer pressure.

I’m not giving you a phone.

And I’m not granting you access to Instagram or Facebook or whatever new social snap chat IM kik app that exists.

You aren’t even going to speak that language.  


Not yet.

I don’t need your thanks now.

I’m not asking for it.

But it’s a gift nonetheless.

The days of comparing body types and body images and self-loathing or self-loving are not in your immediate future.

You will have time enough to struggle down those paths.

Time enough.

Right now here’s what I want you to think about your body –

Are my legs fast?

You bet.

Awesome.  Go run.

I love that you only brush your hair when I require it.


You are ten.

And that’s what ten year olds should do.

Some broken aspect of society has altered our ten year old daughters into thinking that they should be pretty at ten.


My goodness – you should be fast and you should be hungry and you should be tired from swinging on a rope all day and you should be curious about what happens to Sara at the end of The Little Princess novel

but you should NOT think about your hair or if your outfit shows off your trim figure.


For the love – you shouldn’t even know what one is.

You are TEN.

I want your world to be made up of laughter and sunshine and inside jokes with your siblings – of learning how to bake and learning how to care for the pets in your yard and learning how to pursue a craft or a hobby or a sport that you show promise in.

That’s ten.

And I am convinced that refraining from the gift of a personal iPhone or an ipad or a TV in your room or unlimited and unrestricted computer time is the best way I know how to guarantee you see yourself as a ten year old for the entire time you are one.


This article originally appeared at

10 Reasons Middle Schoolers Don’t Need Social Media


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Lacey Keigley
A mother and a writer, a tea drinker and a furniture rearranger, Lacey Eibert Keigley works by day as an educator to her half a dozen kids and works by night as a writer and editor at both and If life was measured by drives to the dentist and papers graded, she'd be a thousand years old already. As it is, she's a pretty normal age and is grateful for the journey she's taken to get to the Plan A life she's living, even when it's looked an awful lot like Plan B.