Do you tell your children that you're beautiful?
That's not a typo.
Really, do you ever say to your kids, "I think I'm beautiful" or "I love myself" or "I'm smart"? (And not sarcastically, either.)
We all tell our children "You're beautiful!"; of course we do. It's natural, it flows, and of course, they ARE beautiful --- they're our kids. We probably even say it often (maybe more often, even, than they like to hear). But, do your children know that you think YOU are awesome, too? How often do you say it?
If you're like me (prior to me reading this post, anyhow) it probably isn't very often. In fact, though I do love myself, I'm not sure I've told my kids that. I'm not sure they really KNOW that.
I don't know. Maybe it's just kind of weird, right? It's a strange feeling to say, "I'm Beautiful". It feels, somehow… self-absorbed? Silly? Disingenuous?
I think we're taught as women, that we're supposed to LOOK beautiful, but, to praise ourselves… that's a no, no. And then, even when we do look beautiful, I'm not sure we - any of us - really believe we're beautiful. And, I don't mean only how we physically look; I mean how we feel: that we're comfortable in our skin, that we love who we are - who we've become, that we enjoy being with ourselves. That we believe we ARE beautiful - in and out.
We want our children to have a good, strong sense of self-worth. We think simply telling them, "you're smart" or "you're talented" or "you're beautiful" is the way to do this. Lots of praise, and they're good, right? Well, while it feels good to say those things, and while they're true, still, it's an outsider's point of view. Our opinion of our children… it's still someone else's opinion. What they BELIEVE about themselves is what's most important.
And how do they learn what to believe? It isn't so much about what we TELL them about themselves (though, that's important, too!). It's what they see, watching us. Listening to us. Our children watch our every move: how we act, how we say what we say. They're paying attention to everything: how we look at ourselves critically in the mirror, maybe how we frown at the scale or sigh when we try to button our jeans - and they're learning how to feel about themselves by watching how we feel about ourselves.
Our children may know from our words that we love them, but how do they know it's okay to really love themselves, if they never hear nor see us loving ourselves?
So, back to my original question: Do you tell your children that you're beautiful? I haven't, really. But from now on, I'm making it a point to let my kids know I not only think they're awesome, but that I think I'M awesome, too.
Thank you to Wendy Irene @ Give Love Create Happiness for the inspiration for this post.
Image sources: Pinterest