I am in the dressing rooms at stores A LOT trying on clothes. I often have Aria with me and I see and hear other moms with their daughters in their dressing room. You can hear these women tell their daughters they hate this about themselves, or you can hear them say out loud how disgusted they are with their bodies. I wish women would see the true beauty of their bodies. They housed and nourished a life, or they are simply just a living, breathing, human being that deserves to just love the body she has.
I know I have no room to talk, I don’t say it in front of Aria but my face does. My body changed after having her, and yes I am not always happy with it. I work out, I eat a decent diet…things just change.
This is where confidence is born. A daughter watching a mother. It is not conceded to think highly of yourself and to be happy in your skin. It is only as such, when you make others feel bad because they may not look or feel the same.
As daughters, we may see out moms in a different way. If my mom said something that day about her hair or her shape, as a kid I remember loving my mom for who she was. She would write little notes and put a treat under my pillow time and time again, she would make sure I ate, and my clothes were clean. I love my mom for the things she did, and not what she thought she looked like. She was always beautiful to me.
“A mother who radiates self love and self acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter from low self esteem” – Naomi Wolf
Over the years I have learned some helpful hints from books, blogs, and other parents. I know Aria is very young but I want to start now so she has a positive image already burned into her brain. She will tell herself how she feels about her body instead of listening to the world’s perception.
As I write this, I reflect back on a day I took Aria shopping to my friends Lularoe shop. I put a dress on her and she walked over to the mirror. She walked in front of the mirror opened her mouth and covered it with her hands in awe. My friend told her she looked beautiful and Aria replied “Yes, I do!” That made me want to cry and hug her at the same time. Please Aria keep this attitude about yourself…PLEASE.
Now lets get on with the tips and tricks I learned that help.
Start Everyday Positive
When I see Aria waking up on the monitor I always open her door with a smile on my face. I walk over to her drapes and tell her it’s a beautiful day outside and good morning. She gets a big hug, and I tell her how much I missed her. Always say you love them, who doesn’t want to start their day out knowing they are loved.
Let them watch you get ready
Aria will put on makeup next to me. Sometimes she will pretend other times she will have eye shadow all over her face. I tell her over and over makeup is used to enhance our beauty, we are already beautiful.
“Your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you”
The flaws you may think you need to cover up or hide, may be the thing(s) others love most about you.
Tell her she is beautfiul
Every time I am brushing Aria’s hair I remind her how beautiful she is. Repetition is so important with kids. If they hear it over and over they will believe it.
Let her pick out her outfit now and again
Kids want to be “independent” it builds up their confidence. Now and again I will let Aria have free reign of her closet. Sometimes she will pick out really cute outfits, sometimes she wants to wear leopard print with purple polka dots. If she wants to rock that look I will let her. Let them explore.
Give them Consequences
Kids need to know boundaries, they need to know what is right and wrong..not some blurry line in between. It needs to be consistent to avoid confusion. If they write on the wall they clean it up every time. Take a step back when your mad, give yourself time to calm down. Teach them what they did wrong and what the right choice was instead. This helps take away any confusion they have. If they think everything they do is wrong that is a huge confidence killer.
Let them fail
Learning to fail is key in building confidence, and this may sound silly but it is really crucial. When Aria was really little I was watching her fit shapes into a ball. She would get so frustrated and say I can’t do it mom. Keep telling them to try again, it’s ok to not get it the first time around. They need to know they can do something on their own, even if it means failing and having to start over. The end result is a boost in confidence that they problem solved and figured out how to do it. Never give up even if the world tells you that you should.
Don’t allow them to say negative things about themselves
My nephew would often call himself stupid because he couldn’t figure something out, or he felt different from the other kids. My mom would look at him, and make eye contact and say, “You are not stupid, you learn things in a different way and you are so smart and so creative! I do not want to hear you talk like that about yourself okay?”
Show them examples of healthy relationships
Don’t be afraid to let your kids see you kiss. Let them see that you love each other as well as hear you say it to one another. If your divorced keep it neutral, you may or may not hate each other but never speak unkindly about each other to your kids. It may be difficult but do not ruin that special relationship they need with each parent. They need all the love and respect they can get as kids, so they need to be taught this. Teaching them to respect women will show them how to be a respectful woman, or how to treat one in a relationship. Same goes for dad, they need to be shown how to respect dad in turn showing them how to treat their significant other or how they should be treated by their significant other.
Of course there will always be a dead beat parent here and there. That will happen and it breaks my heart.
Keep in mind when your a parent out dating kids have to be around healthy relationships, this is one of the hugest components for self esteem and confidence. This sets the foundation for their dating lives and what they think is “normal” in a relationship.
I hope this tips will help you like they have helped me. Aria is only 3 but they have worked out so well for us.
Do you have any other tips on instilling confidence in your kids?