“High self esteem is our passport to happiness in adult life.” ~ Smiley Coach Lisa Parkes
How we see ourselves pretty much influences our whole lives:
- our relationships & how we treat other people
- our emotional well-being
- our mental health
- our perception of the world
- what we wear
- how long it takes us to get ready for the day
- our levels of self care
- out body language and how we carry ourselves
- our confidence levels
- our self belief
- our children
Love who you are, not what you look like
Although in a world where the media pressurise women to constantly look good, it is no wonder that some of us feel that we are distinctly lacking in that department. Our sense of self is precariously balanced on how white our teeth are or the colour of our hair. Whether we are having a fat day or a spotty day. However you cut it, it’s very much tied up in our physical appearance.
Help your child recognise & appreciate true beauty
The celebrity world seems to lack positive role models for young girls who are growing up in an era where Miley Cyrus and twerking are hitting the headlines. As your daughter moves from Disney Princesses to buying her first bra, getting her first crush and starting to become self conscious of her appearance, how do you ensure that she feels her full beauty and in not influenced by the shallow trappings of the media world?
“She was beautiful, not like those girls in magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought. She was beautiful for that sparkle in her eye when she spoke about something she loved. She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile even when she was sad. No, she was not beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.” F Scott Fitzgerald
On the TV, in magazines and watching movies we see ‘beautiful’ women everywhere. Judi Craddock, an experienced Body Confidence Coach has recently pulled apart that definition of beauty and has re-written one of her own. She writes: “You do not become beautiful by trying to be beautiful, but by finding the beauty that is already within you, and allowing that beauty to emerge.” You can read her inspiring blog post in full here
I whole-heartedly agree with her view that our bodies are miracles and how a negative body image is lacking in gratitude for all that your body is capable of. Judi points out that every day your body serves you by allowing you to walk, breathe, feel, create or whatever you ask of it. It is our physical shell for holding all that we are.
Here are some ways you can help your child like what she sees when she looks in the mirror:
1. Help your daughter celebrate her uniqueness – help her discover what her loving qualities are: her kindness, her smile, her thoughtfulness, her intelligence. Whatever it is that you find beautiful about her soul. Tell her this and tell her often. Tell her she is beautiful because she is her – unique – one of a kind. There is nobody else the whole world over like her and that is why she is lovely just as she is.
2. Watch yourself – notice the way you talk about your body. Make a promise that you will choose to use positive language and not put yourself down. Children don’t always listen but they are always watching. Practise self care and show your daughter how putting her needs first is not selfish but an act of loving kindness. In a plane crash, you have to put the oxygen mask over yourself so that you can help other people. Gently correct her if she is judgemental about herself or others’ physical appearance.
3. Help your daughter find a positive role model that is aligned with her values and qualities. I love Miranda Hart because I think she is a funny, intelligent and successful woman. Granted she is not a stereotypical beauty but that is according to whom?
“Don’t believe the narrow definition of beauty sold to you by the media. To confine beauty to purely physical properties means missing out on the great beauty that is all around us if we only seek it out.”~ Judi Craddock, Peppermint Style
4. Remember that you are your child’s mirror and you reflect back to them who they are. I cannot emphasise enough that listening, empathising and validating her feelings as often as you can will play a huge part in how she feels about herself.
5. Help you daughter to appreciate the miracle of her body – the way it magically works to support her every day when she gets the right sleep, fuels it with the right foods and treats it with tending loving care.
All of us are GORGEOUS just as we are.