How often do we look back and say, “I wish I knew then what I know now?” Because hindsight is 20/20, this viral Reddit thread is highlighting all the things girls should know in life, but aren’t always taught.
Some responses are eye-opening and some are excellent reminders for not just the young girls in our lives, but for ourselves as well. From how to change a tire to knowing when it’s okay to put emotional boundaries in place for self-protection, these answers will have you nodding along and taking notes. Especially if you’re raising daughters.
Here are some of the most popular answers from the viral Reddit thread.
1. Financial independence
“As a guy, this is sh*t for sure I’ll teach my future daughters, especially the financial one. It’s not ‘boy stuff’ it’s ‘sophisticated member of society’ stuff.” –AweDaw76
“There is a great podcast I love called ‘she’s on the money.’ Older episodes explain in easy to understand feminist millennial lingo about stocks and shares and mortgages and all the stuff.” – MrsRobertshaw
2. Tips for menstruation
“Magnesium helps with period cramps when taken as a daily vitamin. Has saved my life on many occasions lol.” – mdaws7
“It’s pretty normal to have some level of diarrhea/weird poops when you’re on your period. Sorry it’s a thing, but if you’re reading this I’m glad you don’t need to get to like 30 before finding out it isn’t just you like I did.” – InannasPocket
3. Pregnancy scares
“There is no shame in doing a pregnancy test. In fact, if something is weird with your hormones/body that you haven’t experienced much before, it’s always better to do a test just to be sure. Even if it’s unlikely you are pregnant, if there is any likelihood at all just do the test and be sure. I heard of it so many times at this point that even fully grown women hesitate (sometimes for weeks!) to do a test and it can land you in hot waters. Besides, it is agony to have that creeping doubt. Every contraceptive can fail and it’s much better to know early and have all the options. On that same note: Cheap pregnancy tests work exactly the same and are just as effective as expensive pregnancy tests. I keep a multipack of cheap stick tests just to be sure.” – Oookulele
“I live in a household of girls, we keep a Costco pack under one of the bathroom sinks like we do tampons and toilet paper. It happens. Rather us be prepared with a stick then have to go run and grab one in the moment. Also: you can get plan B on doordash/Uber eats if available in your state.” – EnvironmentalDesk181
4. How and why to advocate for yourself at the doctor’s office
“Ladies when you go for a smear test (or pap smear for my American gals) they “guess” the size of the instrument, the speculum, they need to use on you based on your height. It’s shouldn’t be painful, you can ask for a smaller one if it hurts. They just don’t offer that info out!” – smileylinzi
“For years, they had trouble finding my right ovary in ultrasounds. When I finally found a doctor to believe me (in my 20s), he immediately recommended a laparoscopy to check things out. Turns out, my right ovary was attached to my back because of the endometriosis.” – bedsheetssmelllikeu
5. Sewing skills
“Honestly, sewing and altering clothes- not for gendered reasons, but because our clothes often times fit irregularly. A size 12 in one brand will fit completely differently from a size 12 in a different brand. Also, you can learn to sew larger pockets into your pants.” – plvmeria
“This is a good skill for anyone of any gender or sex to learn. I’m a man and my grandma taught me basic sewing as a kid. It’s saved me so much money.” – like5or6
Related: How to raise girls who lead
6. Proper genital hygiene
“How to wash genitals. Many women have gotten infections due to not knowing how to wash themselves. Like fragrant soaps or douching is obviously bad but not taught very often.” – Lavenderdeodorant
“I’ll also recommend against using typical soaps or shower gels with strong fragrances or dyes, as that can cause irritation. A gentle soap like Dove or Ivory, the classics lol but classic for a reason, or Vanicream has a great gentle and fragrance-free body wash.” – troglodata
“Wash around the labia and the clitoral hood with water and only very occasionally an unscented gentle soap. Never wash inside the vaginal canal (where a tampon goes) although you could douche with a saline solution (boiled and cooled water) very occasionally if you really wanted to, perhaps after a heavy period or before receiving oral sex though it’s really not necessary. Oh and always pee after sex, helps prevent UTIs.” – the_seraphim
7. Respect and listen to your instincts
“Take action and yourself at first priority. If your gut is telling you that a guy/a group is making you uncomfortable, excuse yourself accordingly and don’t underestimate your gut. If you think your period has started and/or leaked, don’t wait and check. Road trip and need to use the restroom? Due to our lack of water pistols, please stop at a gas station. Also just a note, your tummy will look different throughout the day. Usually it gets larger and smaller post-meal and from varying gas amounts. It’s OK. They’re made to protect organs, anyway, they don’t have to be as flat as a door.” – introverted-void
“It can be scary dismissing yourself if you lack confidence, you don’t want to offend them or trigger them. USE GOING TO THE BATHROOM as an excuse to remove yourself from the situation and collect yourself.” – KeberUggles
8. It’s OK to say “no”
I”f you’re getting to know someone, say No to something. Like if they suggest a date to get together say ‘I’m sorry, I have a commitment that day, but I’m free X.’ Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. You’re looking for their reaction. A green flag is if they immediately agree, or apologize and suggest a new date like it’s no big deal. A red flag would be if they get mad or offended that you told them no. Most people are obvious about this, so you know to get out of the situation asap and block them. The dangerous ones are the subtle ones. The ones who act like they are OK with the change, but there’s an underlying attitude of “How dare u?” and then they try to manipulate you so you change your no to a yes. Treat these people like the predators they are and GTFO. Be rude if necessary. Because these people will try to enmesh themselves into your life, and then start abusing you.” – Lizzibabe
“Self-love is WILD. I’m still learning but it’s something I’ve been working with a therapist on and it’s pretty incredible. It’s so much easier to stand up for myself and establish boundaries now that I think I’m worth defending/protecting. I’m not worthless, and it’s cool to actually sort of believe that.” – in-site
9. The truth about mainstream pornography
“Porn often depicts very unrealistic scenarios when it comes to women. The boys you’re growing up with are watching porn and might be developing some unhealthy ideas as to how to treat women when being sexual together. So when you start having sex, just remember that you don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with just because someone wants you to.” – erinnsong
“Vulvas and breasts come in a wide variety of configurations. The range of “normal” is huge, please do not rely on porn or any pop-culture depictions to decide if what you’ve got is ‘normal’ or ‘ok.'” – InannasPocket
10. How to change a tire
“Step 1: Pull over to to safe place where it is flat, not to rocky, and put on your hazard lights. Also put the parking brake on and if you have anything to use as a chock for the other tires, put that into place.
Step 2: Locate your spare tire, most are located underneath the floor of the trunk. Some SUVs through will have the tire on the exterior of the trunk door or underneath the carriage. They are generally secured into place using some form of screw cap.
Step 3: use the jack and wrench provided to lift up the vehicle. Most are diamond jack as they are the most space efficient. Key thing is placement of the jack. You want to avoid soft ground like grass, and also soft spots in the car body which can collapse or sink. If you have a piece of wood you can put that underneath the jack to help prevent sinking if you can’t avoid soft ground. You also want the section of the jack that has the spot for the wrench poking out.
Step 4: Start turning the wrench so that the jack is starting to take some of the weight of the car, but do not go all the way off as you need the tire on the ground to help prevebt the wheel moving when loosening the nuts plus its safer.
Step 5: Lefty Loosey, Righty tighty. Remove the nuts in a alternating star pattern. They may be tough, if they aren’t coming off, find something to lengthen the wrench handle to increase the torque on the nuts.
Step 6: Once the nuts are off, start lifting the car using the jack completely to get the wheel just off the ground.
Step 7: Do not lift, wiggle the wheel off the hub and roll it aside. Roll and wiggle the spare tire onto the hub and reverse the steps of tightening. If the spare tire is a bit smaller than the main tire, you may need to lower the car very slightly so that you can place the wheel in place without lifting
Step 8: Double check the wheel is in place tightly and lower the car and remove the jack. Slap the tire and say “That’s not going anywhere” and admire.” – diggeriodo