Before having a child, I remember being told there’s no love like the love you have for a child. And they were right. I have never loved anything as much as I’ve loved my children. It was a bit of a bumpy start with both kids, but when my love for them began to grow. I just wanted the best for them. I wanted to love them. Protect them. And guide them. Children absorb everything we do and say. So it’s important we speak kindly to ourselves when in their presence. Demonstrate self-love. They don’t care about the way their body looks until someone points out something. No child sees too much or too little of something unless they are taught to see themselves this way. So, how do we role model self-love?
For How My Daughter Taught Me Self-Love read here.
Learning to Love My Body
I’ve always felt body conscious since I was a young girl and I’m my own worst critic. I can be really harsh to myself at times. But as I’m becoming more self-aware, I’m conscious of the choice of words I use when I speak about myself. I want to be a good role model for my children. Without self-love, children may fall into ‘People Pleasing’ habits like I did. And are more likely to put up with mistreatment and abuse from others. As parents, teaching self-love to your kids allows them to set their boundaries, fulfil their goals and create healthy relationships with the people around them.
How to Encourage Self-Love
The most important thing we can do as parents is to raise our children to be healthy and strong individuals. And nurture their self-love. So they can cope with everyday life and the challenges it brings. Here are a few things we can do to help with that.
For What Life Lessons from Childhood Do We Unlearn read here.
Don’t Speak Negatively in Front of Your Kids
The things you dislike about yourself will become the things they dislike about themselves. Don’t get me wrong, we are all going to have those moments when we look in the mirror and pick on our dark circles, our wobbly tummies and wrinkles. A bit of self-depreciation is normal, but just be aware little ears are nearby and copy everything you do and say. Children pick up on whatever behaviours they see their parents do and see it as being normal. We need to role model self-love so they learn it too.
Talk and Offer Support & Guidance
It’s important to figure out the ‘why’ behind a child’s insecurities. This way it can be dealt with and they don’t have to go through their whole adult life struggling as I did. Parents have the strongest influence on their children. If you can pinpoint the “why”, it will not only strengthen your relationship. It will allow you to help them work through life’s challenges. Then you can offer the appropriate guidance going forward.
For How to Improve the Mental Health of Children read here.
Focus on Health Not Weight
Children learn their eating behaviours from their parents. So, make sure you enjoy plenty of healthy nutritious food together as a family. Teach your children it is important to eat healthy nutritious foods to provide us with energy to lead an active, healthy life. Get them involved in preparing the food; in my experience, this also helps a fussy eater at meal times. Show that it is ok to have the occasional treat, but be careful not to label treats as ‘bad foods’.
Read Books and Watch Videos on Self-Esteem
Self-esteem and self-love books and videos are a great way to nurture confidence in a child. Some of the books I have read with my eldest child help with finding the courage to stand up to others, self-belief and our own unique abilities. Here are some of the books we have read together: I Am Enough by Grace Byers, Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and I Believe I Can by Grace Byers.
As lovely as it is to tell your children they are beautiful. It’s also great to give them praise for their other qualities. Praise them for their generosity, for having a kind heart, or any talents and skills they have. Let your children know that there is much more to them than physical appearance. Teach them to speak kindly to themselves and praise them when they have achieved something.
So don’t forget, you play a huge role in shaping how they think. Love yourself, and teach your little ones to do the same.
Meet the Blogger!
Jade is a Stay At Home Mum who lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two children. When Jade isn’t looking after her family, she enjoys running, yoga and updating her blog, www.mumlifeand.me
And running her twitter channel @MumLifeandMe_