I am 33 years old and I struggle with my own confidence. However, what I don’t want is my own child to as he grows up.
The world we’re in is mean. It’s unforgiving. It is unfair to anyone who wants to and should love themselves for who they are and what they look like. To boot, we have social media that makes everything worse.
I want to teach my son everything I can about loving himself for who he is and what he looks like.
My husband and I have conversations constantly of how we want to raise him and what we can do to nurture him to be who he can be. Remember, we’re first-time parents and we don’t know much other than we want to raise a kind human who loves himself and others around him.
Children are the fastest learners and are sponges when it comes to what they see and hear. The struggle of ensuring that we are doing and what we are saying in front of him that harness what we want him to see is there every day. We both make comments on our own appearance and how we feel that we never realized before were so effective to how he perceives us.
I have had to change my own views of myself in the short 2 years that he has been here. My husband even corrected me recently on something I said out loud. In relation to the scale, but let me tell you how we help our son see himself as strong using that scale already.
We have a scale in our room we step on from time to time and our son does too. When he hops on it, I quickly ask him, “How strong are you today?!” It takes a moment to get him to uncover the weight since he thinks it’s cool to step on the light-up part. But that’s what I want him to know when we weigh ourselves, that it’s about our strength and not the actual weight.
That’s exactly what my husband told me recently when I stepped on the scale and wasn’t too happy about it. He reminded me by asking, “how strong are you today?” And I just smiled because he is right. How can we teach our kid that if we don’t believe it either?
Another story to add that he does what he sees us doing.
I started another workout program that I do in our basement. The other evening, he was full of energy and I was preparing to go downstairs and get my workout in. Most days I do it when he’s napping or too early that he’s not awake yet, but I was lazy this day, so the evening was the best time to get it in.
I invited him to join me and come workout with mama. In his little head, he hears time with me and quickly agrees, plus there are toys in the basement he doesn’t see as often as others he has upstairs!
We started the workout, and the warmup began. He watched me do a jump rope action as well as high knees and attempted both. I wish I had recorded it but the pure joy I got out of watching him try to jump and then step those tiny knees as high as he could was perfection. He was so proud of himself to keep up with me and what we were mimicking on the TV.
Of course, his attention went off to his toys most of the time during this workout and he got into other things. I would continue to invite him to join me on things I thought he may want to try. He in turn did join a few more times but not on most of it because toys are cooler than goofy moves with mom.
He gave push-ups a try, which that cute butt goes straight in the air as he tries. Then he did mountain climbers. That was easily my favorite one of the day. He ended up laying on the floor and kicking his feet like he was swimming. After each one we high fived and he would sometimes give me a “YEAH!” with his little fists in the air.
The point is that he followed mama trying to workout and keep her own confidence and health in check while we cheered one another on as we did it.
If it’s normal to them to treat themselves this way and see you do it too, they’re going to continue to build that confidence we all know we need.
Oh yeah, one more thing I did with him the other week that made me smile. He spotted himself in my full-length mirror and was smiling. I made sure to ask him to blow himself a kiss and say, “I love you!” and it came out, “lahh you!”
I was surprised he actually did it but man, did that make my heart explode. I need to do this too when I see myself in the mirror.
Again, not every day is this way that we instill the best ideas that come to mind. We’re human, we have bad days, he does too. I’m harder on myself than I ever should be, but I really hope as parents we can work on ourselves and teach him how great he is and how strong he is in every way.
Do what you can to help those little minds develop self confidence in any way you can.
Also, go to the mirror and blow yourself a kiss while saying, “I love you!” 😊 You deserve it.
I’m interested to know if you use any techniques, sayings, or routines of any kind to help instill confidence in yourself or your children! Please feel free to share in the comments so we can all learn and help our children grow with strong confidence in themselves.