1. You are unique in all the world. There is only one you.
2. Be a leader, not a follower.
3. Be Kind. Always.
4. Love yourself first.
5. Be yourself. Love what you love. Do what you want to do. Don’t tolerate any judgment.
6. Everyone has flaws. No one is perfect. Not even your parents.
7. The number on the scale you step on is not a reflection of your integrity.
8. Carbs are not your enemy. Like everything else in life use moderation.
9. Find at least three or four vegetables you can tolerate. Lettuce cannot be one of them.
10. The point of exercising is to be healthy. That’s it. So do it often. You do not have to be good at it or even like it.
11. Wear sunscreen, even in the winter. Skin cancer is not a fashion trend.
12. Read. A lot. No matter what genre.
13. Do not take medical advice from the Internet.
14. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.
15. There is no shame in waiting for love, no matter what age you are.
16. Never chase after a partner who does not love you. You cannot force them to do so.
17. Your heart will be broken. That does not mean you are broken beyond repair.
18. No one has the right to touch you without your permission. Regardless of whether you are dating them or are married to them. They need your consent first. And if someone touches you inappropriately, hit them. You have my permission.
19. We will have the sex talk. Multiple times. And it will be in the car, with the doors locked and you cannot run away from me. Please just listen. Don’t be embarrassed. This is important.
20. You do not have to go to college right after you graduate high school. Take a gap year and explore the real world.
21. Also, you don’t have to know what you want to do with your life when you enter college. College is the time to explore and figure it out.
22. Chase your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you they are not worth it or you can’t achieve them.
23. When you have an opinion, always have a reason for it. “Because” is not one.
24. Put thought into all gifts.
25. Try on red lipstick, no matter what the assistant at the counter says about your “coloring.”
Dr. Paula Dhanda is a practicing physician in Kelseyville. She is the founder of Worldwide Healing Hands. She may be reached at 279-8733 or visit http://drspecialtycare.com/ or http://www.worldwidehealinghands.org/.
Published in the Lake County Record Bee: 25 things I tell my precious daughter — For parents and girls