Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Negative Body Talk In Front of Our Daughters

As a mo of two girls I always try to avoid talking about my appearance or things that are wrong with it. We all have our imperfections and things we want to change or work on! I sure know I do! But I am always conscious about how I word things so my daughters won't hear me talking negative or being unhappy that way I am. We are constantly telling them they are beautiful the way they are and don't need to change. But if we are doing it they receive mixed signals. I know it is hard, especially when you haven't had much interaction lately with another adult, or while out the subject comes up, or someone makes a comment. We all have our struggles and don't need to be judged by others, we should support one another and encourage to be happier and healthier.  And we should set positive examples while discussing our images when our girls are within ear shot. I never really understood the importance until the other week after swimming lessons we went to the girls bathroom and changing area where there were about 5-6 girls and some moms. The one girl, I would guess around 9 or 10,  I overheard telling her friend that she needs to go on a diet. Her friend asked her what she was talking about. A kid told her she was fat and said she always hears her mom saying she is fat and looks bad and needs to go on a diet so she should as well. And also hearing the mom say maybe i should skip some meals altogether so I can look good in a bathing suit. Listening to this broke my heart-she feels she is not good enough and recalls hearing what her mother says and do was her example and wanted to follow her lead. Mind you she was not overweight, she did have some chubbiness here or there but I thought she still looked great.

I was thinking to have that much stress about her body at such a young age was horrifying. She should not have to think badly of herself and want to change. I would hope more she would be healthy and positive. Maybe hearing her mom say I don't feel as good as I should so I am going to exercise and eat healthier. Those are great way to word it and talk about how you will do that, even turning it into family activities where you can have fun and exercise. The emphasis should be on how we can feel better and not just look better.

Having 2 daughters only 17 months apart will bring on some interesting issues...hope I am prepared!!!