Into the Depths: Beautiful The Way You Are

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Beautiful The Way You Are

Yesterday I was putting a new shirt on my four year old niece. She looked down at it, rubbed her hand across the front and said "Does this make me look fat?" WHAT???? I am a little concerned of the damage I am doing. The six year old has asked me on several occasions if she is still skinny. (she is the tallest six year old I know, and a stick)

It terrifies me that no matter what I say to them about how precious they are, what I say to myself or about myself in their presence is what is really shaping their views of themselves. NOT GOOD. How does someone with a poor body image instill a healthy body image in a child?? How do you make them believe in the core of their being that they are in fact beautiful? Is it even possible. Can you instill in a child enough self confidence that later in adolescence, that self confidence will stand up. Is it realistic to believe that a healthy self image formed in childhood can carry someone on into adulthood. I mean, sure there will still be struggles in finding your identity, becoming your own person and knowing who you really are. However, is it necessary to go through a time of hating yourself. Of believing that you are ugly, fat, flawed, whatever. For not being a parent, this parenting thing sure is complicated for me.

Whenever I have the girls, I am pretty particular about how they dress, and they always have to have a bow in their hair. When the older one asks why she HAS to wear a bow, I say because it is cute!! So she then lets me know that it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside....OK, OK I know. However, you should care how you present yourself. Their mother does not have this issue, what I am referring to as "self respect." She figures that as long as you have clothes on, that is good enough. I beg to differ. That is why I buy all the girls clothes, it is the only way I can assure that they will look nice when I am not around to oversee their attire. Doesn't make you a better person to look nice, but certainly makes you feel better about yourself, right??? I don't know where the balance is. How do you teach them to have the self respect to care about how they present themselves, without making them think that how they present themselves is more important than who they are?? SO COMPLICATED. Maybe this is why I have no children. I would make them obsessive appearance freaks. I Ya Yi!!!!!!


Blogger heartsjoy said...

Lol, no, you would make a great Mom. I think parenting is a continual process of realizing more about ourselves than anything. I get aghast when I hear my kids saying things outloud such as ideas or just the way they relate and I totally hear myself. It is scary to realize in that moment what an impact you have on this future adult. We all have insecurities and issues. I guess my only comfort is that God is big enough to heal and help them through any damage I do. In the meantime, I am continually growing and changing to be like Him so maybe they may catch a glimpse of that as well. Okay, didn't really give an answer about the image thing but mainly because I don't know. I think loving them does more for self-esteem than just about anything!

May 08, 2006 10:51 PM  

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