They're listening. The little ones who whine that they want a snack, need help going potty, want you to pick them up...put them down....The little ones whos tears can break your heart and smiles lift you to the moon. They're listening...to every word you say.
Have you ever listened to a group of women talking over lunch? Guaranteed someone will make a comment about their weight or that they don't like how their hips, stomach, buns, arms, etc look. How they need to lose weight, tone up, exercise more, eat less, eat better, drink more water, drink less alcohol, etc. The list of complaints goes on. I don't think I've ever over heard a group of women saying how proud they are of their weight, their abs, their arms or legs. There is always a self criticism.
Thing is, our little ones are listening. They hear our criticisms. They hear our unhappiness with our bodies. And they repeat the process.
Our little ones want to be just like us, their moms. The people who they turn to for comfort, to kiss their boo-boos, to dry their tears, to lift them up to see over the crowd, to cheer them on, to help them navigate the world around them. We are their cheerleaders, their nurses, their drivers, their comfortgivers, their chefs, their safe place to fall. We are their teachers.
So teach them to love themselves. To find wonder and thanks in what their body can accomplish. How can you best do this? Speak of yourself the same way. Don't criticise your body. Celebrate what it can do!
"Did you see how many push-ups mommy just did?! Boy am I strong!" Because you are strong!
"Isn't it great that mommy can run and play with you at the park? Mommy's really healthy." And you are!
"This looks really good or this looks really yummy." Celebrate the positives and forget the negatives! What you focus on you give power to. So focus on the positives. Your children will too!
WE have the ability to shape how our children will see themselves and how we see ourselves. Not the media, not TV, not a photograph or advertising. We do! We mothers do!
Speak kindly of yourself, of your body or the changes you're making and your children will too. Its not about ignoring the things you'd like to work on. We all, everyone one of us, has things we'd like to change about our body image, but we can CHOOSE to focus on the positive. Our strength, our health, the efforts we're currently putting in, etc.
Your children are listening....and learning from YOU! Teach them how wonderful, powerful, strong, healthy their bodies are by doing the same for yourself!