Ten Commandments of Raising a Proper Southern Darlin’

I never really realized how different it was growing up in the South until I ventured to the West Coast for college. I became close friends with people from all over the country, and it’s been interesting watching how we all raise our children so differently. To those who aren’t from the South, heed my words…

Ten Commandments of Raising a Proper Southern Darlin’

  1. Thou shall monogram anything that doesn’t move. If it’s not monogrammed, is it really even yours? Can one even swim in a bathing suit that isn’t monogrammed? I think not.
  2. Thou shall have a smocked outfit for every single holiday on the calendar {I’m looking at you, Columbus Day!}. And a matching bow. The bigger the bow, the closer to God.
  3. Thou shall ensure that your child owns a pair of boots before they can walk, and in every shoe size there after.
  4. Thou shall enjoy children wearing short sleeves and shorts well into November. Heavy jackets are wasteful and just take up room in the closet.
  5. Thou shall teach proper southern manners. Saying “please and thank you,” as well as “yes ma’am and no sir” must be part of your child’s everyday vocabulary. And moms of boys… A real southern gentleman always opens the door for a lady…as soon as he is tall enough to reach the door handle, of course!
  6. Family, faith, and values are learned not just by teaching, but also through osmosis in every aspect of life in the South. They also double as home decor, FYI.
  7. Thou shall not break tradition. Traditions are strictly adhered to. Whether it be football on Friday nights, Sunday family barbeques, or holidays at Grandma’s, children should know that traditions are sacred.
  8. Thou shall appreciate and share your rich heritage. Not one, but two grade levels in school are solely devoted to teaching Texas history. Be sure your children know where they came from, and appreciate where they are headed as a Southerner.
  9. No holiday is complete without a pecan pie. No questions asked.
  10. Thou shall not correct proper southern grammar, including “y’all”, “ain’t”, and “fixin”.

Are you making sure you’re raising a proper Southern darlin’? What would you add to the list?

Proper Southern Darlin

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Jill is a former elementary school teacher, University of Arizona graduate {Bear Down!}, and mom to Talya {September 2012}, but not necessarily in that order. She has always had a passion for writing and really took it to the next level after her daughter was born. It didn't take long for her to realize it was just the outlet she needed. As a first-time-mom, she is constantly searching for balance in her life, whether it's work and family, marriage and kids, or a sense of normalcy and complete craziness. She has, for the most part, managed to maintain her sanity {depending on who you ask}. Jill's writing aims to portray an honest viewpoint on parenting. Sometimes it's what nobody else is willing to say that inspires Jill to speak up on certain topics! She is a regular contributor to sites such as The Huffington Post, LeanIn.org, and localhoustonmagazine.com. She and her husband Sam reside in the Bellaire area with their daughter, Talya.


  1. True! We moved here last year from the east coast, and all of these things were totally foreign to me. My girls had never owned anything smocked or monogrammed, and even though I’ve always taught them to say “please” and “thank you,” I felt like they seemed downright rude compared to their little Texas friends who say, “Yes, maam” and “Thank you so much for having me.” You forgot about the bows! My girls didn’t own one hair bow, and I had to run out and get some within a week of moving here or else I was afraid we’d be tossed out. 🙂 I do love the Southern charm, though. Happy to be a new Texan!

  2. I love this so!! We just moved from the West Coast to Charelston, SC and huge differences all around!! It’s funny how much being here for only six months I feel the need for monogrammed EVERYTHING!! I love it and my nine year old daughter loves it too! Wish we had moved here sooner! Thank you for this article! I had to share it on my fb! “The bigger the bow the closer to God!” ?


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