Happy Tiny Tuesday! Does any other mom out there find it so terrifying the impact we have on our children? From what we eat to how we talk to other people, kids pick up on everything and the truth is it effects them now and later. Lately, body image has been on the forefront of my mind with Emma Grace.
I'll admit that I didn't give much thought to body image and what I do and don't do, say and don't say, until rather recently. I started clueing in on the impact I was having when I noticed Emma Grace was chewing her fingernails. At first, I thought she might be nervous about something, but quickly realized what was happening. I bite my nails - all the time. I started noticing her watching me in the rearview mirror in my car and realized most of the time I'm driving I'm also biting my nails. Wow. Eye opener, right?
I probably need to clear up one thing before I go on. I won't say this is the elephant in the room, but I'm sure some of you are thinking "well, you're a fashion blogger so of course your daughter is going to have a skewed view of clothing." I get that thought because I think it all the time and try my hardest to combat it. In regards to my blog, I try to make it a non-issue as much as I can. For example, if I receive packages, I simply pick them up and put them in our office and close the door. I don't open my clothing packages in front of her. I also don't try on my outfits in front of her. I also sell my clothes a lot both on Poshmark and an online yardsale to show that I don't find my value in my possessions.
Now, I am no expert of body image or child psychology, but am trying to be very cognizant of how I'm treating and talking about body image and wanted to share with you all some of the things I'm doing and hopefully get some tips from you all!
Tips for Creating a Positive Body Image:
- True beauty is found in Christ. - This is the biggest one for our family. It's okay if it's not in yours, but in our house we believe and tell Emma Grace constantly that our identity is found in Christ and Christ alone, not what we wear or own. We talk about how Christ loves our heart, the way we treat people, the kindness we show, and does not care about our outward appearance.
- Compliment her character. - This is huge to us. Instead of constantly saying "you're so pretty Emma Grace," which we of course do some of the time, we attempt to make our compliments mainly about her character. For example, we say things like "we love hearing you sing," "we love your desire to color," "we admire how hard you worked on that activity and never gave up," " we love the way you are constantly complimenting people and the kindness you show others," etc.
- Don't stand in front of the mirror. - More specifically, don't stand in front of the mirror and tear yourself down. It's so easy for me to stand in front of the mirror and touch my love handles or my back fat, but guess what, Emma Grace is watching. The last thing I want is for her to start picking herself a part and tearing herself down.
- Don't be perfect. - This is a big one in our house because Emma Grace is a perfectionist in most of the things she does. So with her, I intentionally wear a wrinkled top, something that doesn't match, or shorts (she hates shorts) to show that we don't have to be put together all the time.
- Compliment other women. - This has been huge. I want Emma Grace to find beauty in every woman, not just what my body or her body looks like. We constantly look at other women - different sizes and different races - in magazines and in real life and I intentionally compliment them about one specific thing.
- Exercise. - No, nothing insane at this age, but we try to make being active fun! Whether it's walking, playing soccer in the backyard, or doing kids yoga, we try to make exercising seem fun and not like a chore.
- Show her you love your body. - Our culture has seemed to develop in women this crazy ability to tear ourselves down if we don't look like the rail thin model on TV or in our magazines. Instead, celebrate what makes your body different - your curves, your bum, you name it. Make your "problem areas" something to be accepted and celebrated.
Alright mammas, that's all I got for now. What are your suggestions or thoughts? I would love any and all feedback on this!