Happy Tiny Tuesday, loves! Are you guys all ready for Valentine's Day? What do you do for your little ones? I talked yesterday about some of our Valentine's Day traditions, but I think my favorite part is watching the girls get showered with love and treats. And I can guarantee they like the treats part better. Actually, I know they like the treats better because I recently took sugar and processed foods out of their diet. (You can read more about the new diet I've implemented here and here). So, since I'm allowing sugar for the sake of celebration this week, it's like Christmas at our house, haha.
To continue our Valentine's Day celebration this week, the girls are going on a Father/Daughter date tonight to get ice cream. To say they are beyond pumped would be an understatement. They picked out their date night dresses last night so they will be all ready to go when daddy gets home. It feels like each time a holiday or situation like this comes up where my girls are picking out an outfit, I am reminded how fragile their little minds are. I am reminded of the massive impact I have on them and their body image by the words I choose and the actions I take. I am reminded that the world will preach comparison and that they are not enough. While they make be too young to fully understand what the world teaches, they are not too young to start forming opinions about their bodies.
So much of how our children will perceive the world stems from their early childhood years. I want my girls to see themselves as I see them - beautiful, vibrant, confident, and treasured children of the most high God. This won't come without work though. I know that modeling body positivity and teaching them to love their bodies will be a conscious effort on my part. Every little word I say, action I take, and look I give will effect how they view their bodies.
Last night as I sat thinking about body image and how I can model body positivity, I was kind of amazed at all the ways we can influence our daughters. I feel so strongly about this subject, that I want to share with you a little of what I do. Hopefully you'll share with me what you do as well to teach your daughter to love the skin she's in.
MODELING BODY POSITIVITY FOR YOUR DAUGHTER:
- Talk positively about your own body - your girls are watching your every move, so be careful with the words you use to describe your own body. This is hard because we don't often notice how much we are picking apart our bodies or tearing ourselves down (I need to take my own medicine). Phrases like "ugh, my love handles," "if only I could lose 10 bls," "I feel so fat today," "or ew, I look so gross in this outfit." Our girls are listening...intently. So, use positive words when talking about your body, and try not to pick yourself apart.
- talk positively about other women - this is one I realized only recently. I remember talking about a woman at the Grammy's and saying she was too skinny and looked gross. That's two tear downs in one phrase. It's hardly uplifting and is teaching my girls to not only point out flaws, but that it's okay to tear down others. Be careful here because it's hard, but has a big impact.
- watch what you let them watch - this one will only get harder as our daughters get older I'm sure. For me, I'm learning that everything my girls see impacts them in some way. For example, Emma Grace and I love watching the red carpet because she loves to talk about the "design" of the dresses and to see all the jewels. It's made me really conscious of the language I use when describing dresses and often we mute the TV and talk about them on our own. We keep it strictly about the creativity of creating dresses versus saying things like "she's the prettiest," etc.
- Choose your words wisely when you talk to your daughter - are you careful with the words you use to describe your daughter? This one is hard because saying "you're so pretty" or "you're beautiful" comes naturally. And while those words are good for your kids to hear, I would argue that it's more beneficial to comment on the color or how something fits their personality. If you're drilling in their head that they get affirmation only when they look the best, that will be what they come to expect and strive for.
- Watch how you Watch yourself in the mirror - the mirror is a tricky topic. I try to avoid it if at all possible when I'm around my girls. But, that can be hard when you're getting ready in the morning. So, I try to just glance at myself and how my outfit fits and move on. This is a change from what I used to do - look at myself and point out the things that look bad. So, watch how you look at yourself because your daughter is watching.
- let your daughters help define what they love about themselves - this is so fun because every child is different. We let the girls define what they like and how it makes them feel. For example, Emma Grace loves dressing girly and loves wearing jewelry. Abigail on the other hand, loves leggings and anything with pockets. It's so fun! So, we let them pick what they want to wear and what makes them feel like them as opposed to me forcing them to wear what I want them to wear.
- praise their character - I probably should have put this at the top because it's so important. Instead of giving compliments like "you're gorgeous" or "you're so pretty," praise their character. Praise things like "I love how tender hearted you are" or "I love how you are always thinking of your friends first."
- remind them that beauty is fleeting but inner beauty lasts - we so often tell our girls that while we think they are pretty on the outside God values what's on the inside. He doesn't see our outward appearance when he looks at us. Instead, he finds us beautiful just as we are. He defines beauty by how we love and treat those around us.
Outfits were received from I Love Plum. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support Fleurdille.