Keeping the Beaker Half-Full!

In this modern world where social media is king,we are constantly bombarded with life-affirming posts and messages to live in the now and not sweat the small stuff. As a society, and as parents, we need these little reminders from time to time; unfortunately, it seems somewhat inevitable that our children will need these reminders a lot more.

Insecurity in children is a horrible thing to see. Even the most bright and confident children have some things that make them doubt themselves. It is a very, very unfortunate part of human nature. If you follow my blog or have read a few of my posts, you probably know that I don’t tend to shy away from disciplining my children or putting manners on them for that matter. However, the balance of that is that I endeavour to be as positive about everything they do no matter how big or small an acheivement it is. In fact, I really don’t think you can ever reinforce their ideals and self-belief too much.

My daughter is 7 going on 17, in the midst of her first crush, constantly checking her reflection in the mirror and striking poses at any given opportunity… which I thought was all very cute in its own way until she told me the other day how she wasn’t pretty. Obviously to my eyes she is drop dead gorgeous, a fact she herself had taken as read until last week. Apparently though she is just ‘TOO brown, brown hair, brown eyes’, all in all too brown!?! My thoughts spiralled, ‘why would she think that? ‘is she being bullied?’, ‘how dare anyone say that to her!’ I got myself into a right state, then I copped myself on; unless it has arisen as a result of being bullied, it really doesn’t matter where her thought process came from – the fact is that self-doubt will creep in, she (in spite of her beauty) is human. So what to do about it? At the time, I told her that when she was a baby, people used to stop us in the street to look into her beautiful brown eyes. Totally true btw! I said I thought she was extremely beautiful inside and out, and anyway it is who you are not how you look that matters etc. She listened patiently, and at the end said, ‘ok Mum, but I am not pretty’.

20130420_163712

Too Brown!

That was last week and, who knows, maybe this week she again thinks she is beautiful, but no matter as next week she will be too fat or too skinny – it will just happen. What I am working towards is that although she will most likely have these moments of self-doubt, the positivity she receives at home will hopefully make these moments fleeting and she (and her siblings for that matter) will have at her core a very strong sense of self. So what do I mean about being positive? I certainly don’t mean saying ‘Oh, of course darling, feel free to throw your toys around the floor and colour in the wallpaper you are just expressing yourself’? Nope, I mean celebrating the small stuff, for example:

‘A picture of a house? Oh yes, look at all the windows and colours, I would love to live there!’ as opposed to ‘Are you drawing houses again?’

Or

‘You came last in the race? Wow, you actually ran a race and made it to the finish line, well done, let’s go get an ice cream!’ instead of ‘ You came last in the race? Well try a bit harder next time,won’t you?’

Or

‘What did I think of your Irish Dancing? It made me wish I was your age so that I could dance my socks off like that’ rather than ‘What did I think of your Irish Dancing? ‘Don’t worry you have plenty of time to improve before the big show!’

I know this may read as being saccharine sweet and never saying ‘No’, but believe me that is definitely not the case in our house. The world will take our children, chew them up and spit them out, so let us do everything in our power to give them the self-belief and self confidence to dust themselves off, get up and enter the fray again!!

Thanks for reading

Aisling

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elizabeth MacDonnell
    May 25, 2014 @ 07:26:14

    My 7 yr old daughter is going through a very similar phase, we get the ‘I’m not pretty’ comments and continually bolster her by telling her that beauty comes from the inside out, if you are a beautiful person then that shines out of you, some times she gets it and sometimes she chooses not to believe it. All we can do is surround them with a positive bubble and although the negative will poke through we can only hope it doesn’t burst it.

    Reply

  2. BabySteps
    May 25, 2014 @ 08:28:44

    I am heartened to hear it is not just my 7 yr old! Absolutely, cushion them with positivity and hopefully that will give them the confidence to deal with all the negativity in our world!

    Reply

  3. BabySteps
    Feb 05, 2015 @ 12:13:08

    Reblogged this on BabySteps and commented:

    One from the archives, I can say that now my blog is a year old! Positivity is such an important parenting tool.

    Reply

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