So I'm already preparing the advice I'll give Melissa as soon as she's old enough to understand. Here's what I've got so far:
Don't Feel Guilty About What Someone's Done To You
Sure it sucks when someone's mean, but we (and when I say we, I mean I) have the tendency to think we're worth less because of it. Like, "I must have deserved it because I'm not pretty/cool/you name it enough". I want to teach Melissa that NOTHING is an excuse for rudeness. Even if you're not perfect, it's still not an excuse for someone to treat you wrong, so they should be the ones to feel bad about it, not you.
Don't Date Someone You Don't Trust
I'll spare you the details of how I've come up with this one :). But another way of explaining it to her could be, would you be okay if your daughter dated this kind of person? If not, then you shouldn't either. 'Cause if you end up marrying them, that's likely the kind of guy she'll look for. And would you like to have a son one day that turned out like him? I know you don't marry every guy you date, but you definitely date every guy you marry! (hopefully just one :)
You Have The God-Given Right to Feel Pretty
When I was younger, I had the misconception that if I believed I was pretty, I was being cocky. So I thought the humble thing to do was to focus on my flaws and point them out whenever someone complimented me. I confess I still catch myself doing that - but hey, I want her to be better than me.
It's Not What You Feel, It's What You Do
Everyone feels angry/hateful/ungrateful/grumpy/tempted to do the worst from time to time. But I hope to teach her that our feelings aren't always wrong, since we often can't help them, but it's what you do with them that counts. Like, she has the right to be upset with something I do, but she does not have the right to disrespect me for it. Sounds simple, but I bet it will be such a complicated fine line to explain!
What about you, what would you (or do you) like to teach your kid(s)?