My daughter Bri is almost 8 years old and in the second grade. Since birth she has marched to the beat of her own drum. It’s something that I have always admired most about her. Her confidence has always been through the roof, she has never met a mirror she didn’t love.
Raising a little girl I dreaded the day where her self image could become a problem.
Yesterday as she was getting dressed for school I heard her say “Mom, these clothes make me look ugly”. Now these are clothes she hand picked herself a few weeks ago. No more days of mommy picking and buying, its all about her style.
I thought I heard her wrong so I asked to repeat herself. Again she said her clothes were ugly.
She went on to tell me that the girls in school had beautiful clothes, not like hers. I was floored!
It took me right back to my own self image issues as a little girl. I just don’t remember it happening so early on. I remember I was entering the seventh grade and all I wanted was a name brand backpack. My mom told me that I couldn’t have it because it’s not about keeping up with what’s popular. Obviously something I get now, but to a 12 year old girl it felt like the end of the world.
As much as I wanted to take that self image issue away and take her shopping right then and there, my mom’s lesson was right.
- My husband and I have always told her she is beautiful.
- We have always praised her.
- We have always encouraged her for having her own personality.
- We have always explained to her she is special because there is no one else out there like you.
- We talked about all of these things as we went through our morning off to school. I explained her clothes did not make her beautiful, she does.
I want her to understand there is going to be pressure as she gets older. She may feel the need to change who she is to feel like she has to fit in. Keeping true to herself should never change for anyone and to believe in yourself.
Self image is a tough lesson growing up as kids come into their own. I hope that this small talk and what my husband and I have told her sticks with her for life.
Bri – be the best you can be there is no one else like you and by trying to be someone else you will never learn who you truly are.
Can you remember a time with your children that self image was an issue? How did you handle it?
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