Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

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Self Esteem and the Preschooler

When I was a young girl I never remember my Mom talking about the way she looked or how she thought she looked. I never heard her ask if she looked fat or berated herself. I don't know if it was a conscious decision (or the fact that she was a toothpick ;D) on her part to keep those kinds of words out of our home.

Recently Brian said something (in front of the girls) about feeling fat. When we got a minute alone we had a conversation about how we want to present the idea of body image to our girls. Yes they are only preschoolers. Yes they have no concept of body image on the larger scale. That being said I believe this is when it begins. This is the age where girls start to idolize Barbie and Princesses and other images of "beauty" that promote an unrealistic body image. I feel like with so much bombardment by the media and the toy companies it is my job to wage war on that type of thinking.

So how do you raise self-loving girls in this kind of world? I can't say I have the answer with absolute certainty. For us I think it means showing the girls that we love ourselves and teaching them to love themselves. I think it means teaching them that God made them and He doesn't make mistakes. I think it means reminding them that every person is beautiful even if they don't fit in the "box" of what it means to be beautiful.

It seems so early to be thinking about these things but I don't want to miss the window. I don't want to overhear my eight year old or ten year old saying she needs to diet. I want them both to feel beautiful every day of their lives.

So the next time you pull up that zipper and the pants don't fit just right, before you speak, remember who might be listening. :D

6 comments:

Patty 8:30 AM  

Amen, Kristen. A very vivid memory of my brother singing the song "Fatty Patty 2x4 can't get through the kitchen door". It is no wonder I have had nothing to do with him as an adult. Those little comments in a child's life can have life long effects.

Kristen 10:49 AM  

Isn't it amazing. I know for myself that those negative comments have a way of sticking to you but somehow we often forget the compliments. Hoping I can break some of that chain with my girls.

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

good for you! we think about this alot with our preschooler. I'm very cognizant to talk in terms of health versus weight/size as well. I've also changed my make up habits. Now I only wear it when I'm going out somewhere special, versus every day like I used to, pre-daughter. My mom wore makeup everyday and in turn, I did. I always felt "chained" to wearing it and naked without it--it has been a difficult but free-ing transition to stop wearing it daily. I hope my daughter sees makeup as fun and optional versus necessary.

It's never too early to think about these things!

Kristen 12:43 PM  

Anon - It's funny you say that because I do the same thing with makeup very purposefully. I want the girls to feel like make up and overly polished hair is something they *can* spend time on but don't need to. They learn so much at such a young age these days!

Christina 7:58 PM  

I'm scared to death to raise my girls, them seeing what our society thinks is "skinny." It's tough, and I never ever talk about our weight, or theirs in front of them.
Great post! =)

Kristen 8:30 PM  

C - I just hope that I can temper what the media portrays as beautiful with how I feel. There is this line in an India Arie song that says "I know my creator didn't make no mistakes on me". That is exactly what I want to raise my girls to believe.

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Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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