30 Things Every Mom Should Do with Her Daughter Before She Starts High School
Your baby girl is growing up faster than should be allowed. And you seem to be sinking to the bottom of a priority list crowded with friends, homework, crushes and most definitely her phone. But here’s the truth: Just as she will always be your baby (even while screaming at you in a food court), you will always be her first love. Here are 30 ways to build—and keep rebuilding—your bond.
1. Go for tea at a fancy hotel. And wear the gloves.
2. Have a major blowout fight where you both slam doors. Then show her what it means to apologize.
3. Have an honest, open talk about sex. In a way that acknowledges she may actually want to have it one day.
4. Get a mani/pedi together. Let her pick your colors.
5. Look in the mirror together and say something positive about your appearance. As Naomi Wolf once said: “A mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem.”
6. Spend a weekend away together. Footloose and phone-free.
7. Have a book club for two. The Baby-Sitters Club still rules. There. We said it.
8. Screen all your favorite movie musicals for her. Quick! Before she gets too big to pretend Annie isn’t amazing.
9. Make every drive to school, the dentist and soccer practice Carpool Karaoke. Sing Kelly Clarkson like no one’s watching.
10. Encourage—and do your damndest to fund—her most wholesome hobbies. From homemade slime to horses.
11. Own up to a mistake you made. And tell her how you did your best to fix it.
12. Take her shopping for school clothes. And tell her how incredible she looks in everything.
13. Teach her how to cook herself a simple meal. Spaghetti and salad counts.
14. Get her a diary. May she journal before she tweets.
15. Plant something green together. Cherry tomato vine-meets-fairy garden, anyone?
16. Hang out together with your mom. Want to look at your relationship through a crystal ball? It's called the way you interact with her grandma.
17. Break a sweat together. Trampoline Park Dance Cardio = all the endorphins.
18. Bring her to your office. Show her her hero in action. And not just on “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” either.
19. Write each other letters. From camp or from the next room. They’ll turn into treasures. Trust us.
20. Go see a play or concert together. Memories, thy name is Ed Sheeran.
21. Take pictures together. And get IN those photos—hideous hair and under-eye luggage be damned.
22. Teach her to meditate. Life skills, people.
23. Learn something new together. Finally conquer knitting.
24. Show her your heirlooms. Jewelry, your childhood photos, books her dad gave you when he was your boyfriend. Your history is hers, too.
25. Hold her while her heart breaks. Friend drama, rejection, cruel kids—they are all, sadly, a hallmark of adolescence. Your support is everything.
26. Listen to an audiobook together. She may not always feel like talking. So don’t.
27. Read the newspaper while she hangs out. Like the actual, black and white, finger-staining kind. Curiosity about the world is contagious.
28. Tell her what you’re doing on your phone. Even if it’s as mundane as “I’m texting Dad to ask him to bring home pizza.” Because digital mentor is on your résumé now, too.
29. Eat healthy around her. But always say yes to dessert.
30. Teach her the art of saying “No.”