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Thursday, August 18, 2011

What I Want My Kids to Know

A few years ago I watched a talk show that had a great impact on my life.  There was a mother and daughter on the show. The mom was extremely self-conscious about her appearance and her weight.

The mom constantly berated herself;  although, she was just the opposite with her daughter.  The woman would tell her daughter how beautiful she was.  The mom would go on and on about how she would love to have her daughter's figure.  She really heaped on the praise. 

The well-meaning Mom was then surprised that her daughter didn't believe a word of that praise.  Instead, she took on her mother's insecurities, even developing an eating disorder.

 I think about that show a lot.  I have plenty of insecurities.  I believe there are certain times to share some of those struggles with my kids.  Still, I want my children to know me as someone who focuses on my strengths, not my weaknesses.

I want my kids to know I am:

Completely addicted to ice cream.  Attempting to eat more fruit.

Craft impaired.  Able to make the cutest origami paper cranes.

Always fearful about shaking when I speak in public.  Still making myself speak in public and even enjoying it...occasionally

Intimidated by certain people. Loving the new friendships I'm making.

Often struggling to remember things.  Able to recite all 50 states in alphabetical order.

Thinking I look several years beyond my age. Looking ravishing with my new haircut.

Frustrated by my cleaning inadequacies. Impressed that I can see glimpses of the laundry room floor.

Very guilty about not being the best Mom.  So sincerely grateful for my life as their mother.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of a Lifetime:  Remember to focus on my children's strengths, and my own.

Labels: , ,

48 Comments:

At August 18, 2011 at 7:53 AM , Blogger tessica said...

Tha is an impressive list! And the goal is a sentiment we could all take care to remember more often!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:09 AM , Anonymous Christina said...

LOVE this! I really need to work on my self perception before Mia starts understanding (fully) what I am saying and learning from me. I am SO hard on myself, talk about various physical attributes that I hate about myself, etc. I never really took the time to stop and think, "You have a daughter! She is going to be listening to, and taking in everything you say about yourself and it could affect how she feels about herself! STOP IT!!!!" Thanks for the reminder! :)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:12 AM , Blogger mom2kiddos said...

Love this. That's what my kids are for - to help me focus on my strengths and make me a better person.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:15 AM , Anonymous Amanda @ Gratefully Growing in Grace said...

That is very interesting about the praise and the daughter not believing it.
One of my newest goals is to give specific praise. I want to say, "You used good problem solving to figured out how to share with your sister" instead of "good job". I think it will help my children better recognize their strengths.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:20 AM , Blogger Laura@livingabigstory said...

WOW! I need to think about this post some more .... I'm always worrying about what I may be doing to my kids -- but I never thought about this.

BTW, pics of new hair -- when did you get it cut?!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:24 AM , Blogger Crystal Jeffers said...

I must say that I think the best thing we can teach our children is how to love ourselves. despite my lack of fitness I still love me. I take time for me and that shows that I value who I am. Yes its important to love our family, and to love others but its also important to love ourselves. when we devalue ourselves and berate ourselves we show our children that we do not count. This is something they then take on as well. They then do not value themselves and they will take on our insecurities.

I love that you focus on your strengths. Just do not do it at the cost of not showing you are vulnerable and human. Showing children that its ok to make mistakes even as an adult has value too. :)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:34 AM , Blogger heather said...

So true. Thanks for the reminder! Also, you're being featured tomorrow on Blossoming Bloggers. Thought I'd let you know. ;)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:53 AM , Blogger Greta said...

This is a great reminder. Kids pick up even the smallest cues, so when we're not even saying certain things, they see it. We have to change our attitudes, too, don't we?!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:55 AM , Blogger Johanson Family said...

Gosh, I think about this a lot too. My hubs and I are always saying things to each other about how much we hate our jobs and how fat we feel or complaining about something and the kids pick up on that. I remember my mother battling her weight and making comments about things that totally had an impact on me. Ya wanna be real but also still be the one they admire.. its not an easy job!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:56 AM , Blogger ladydazy said...

Luv this!! It's so true!!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 9:00 AM , Blogger Brittney said...

I soo need to work on this! I am so hard on myself and I dont even realize how much I do it in front of my son until he told me he was fat... hes 4! So ive been really working on being positive!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM , Blogger Natalie said...

Oh I need to work on this too! Sometimes we don't realize that things we do affect our kids!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 9:56 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

After I had my 2nd child I talked a lot about losing weight. My daughter then started to focus on how much she weighed and made comments that she should go on a diet. Right then I stopped talking about my weight and started working on portraying a positive image about myself so that my daughter would do the same.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 10:29 AM , Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Loving the glass half full approach :-)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 10:37 AM , Blogger Kathy said...

Great post!! My mother was/is always critical of herself, so even though she may head the praise on me it is hard to hear. I love your resoultions, I think your children are so lucky to have such a great mom!!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

Isn't it amazing how we as moms do that?? It seemed so obvious what that mom was doing, yet we can't see it in ourselves. Here's to NOT beating ourselves up!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 11:14 AM , Blogger Mikailah said...

That is a great list... Sounds like a good idea. :)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Jen said...

Awesome goal to have!! I am going to write this one down and hang it on my fridge...thank you for the reminder.
P.S. I am a lot of those things on your list too :)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM , Blogger Amiee said...

I totally need to work on being a better "example" to my girls. Thanks for that reminder :)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM , Blogger mrsmarkdave said...

I'm impressed that you can do all 50 states in alphabetical order. I think I could get them all named - but I would need AMPLE time.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 1:20 PM , Blogger Mom of 12 said...

I'm sure you are a great mom! My laundry room has no floor...
Sandy

 
At August 18, 2011 at 2:19 PM , Anonymous Babblin' Brooke said...

Apparently I don't know how to leave a comment. I had one written and somehow it didn't save... Let's try this again.

I am guilty of this! I will now try harder to focus on my strengths. Also, it's good to hear that I'm not the only one that looks in the mirror every day and thinks she looks much older than she is. However, I don't think you look old at all... judging from pics of course.

Love your posts!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 2:21 PM , Blogger 1HecticMommy said...

It is so hard, but so important to teach our children to be secure, and the best way to do that is through example, which is tough.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 3:37 PM , Blogger Kim @ Mamas Monologues said...

I talk about my insecurities a lot. I've noticed that my oldest is starting to pick up on it and I have since learned to portray a positive self image. I've also stopped openly talking about my insecurities.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 3:44 PM , Blogger jmnstars said...

I think that's wonderful. :) My mom was always lifting us up but battling with depression and her self image I know was always bringing her down. But she did her best to not let us see that all the time. Now that I'm 30, she's been opening up to me about how hard it was to stay positive with all the negative in her head, but she knew how important it was that I grow up with a positive self image.

You are doing an awesome job. :)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 3:45 PM , Blogger Mercedes said...

Thank you for this post. I didn't think about how I protray my self image can affect my children. Important thing to keep in mind.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM , Blogger Valerie said...

Sounds familiar. I am afaid it's too late for me to change. :( My girls have heard me way too many times cry about my body image. Sure hope some of the things I do okay can help. But not really sure about that.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 4:48 PM , Blogger Mommy LaDy Club said...

This is such a good reminder and lesson. I have my step-daughter #3 in law school coming tomorrow for a visit with a broken heart, and I've been thinking about what I should say to keep her comforted, but to help her move on too. I'm sure she'll be down on herself already, so I'll remember to be very positive;)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 5:58 PM , Blogger By Word of Mouth Musings said...

We are always so quick to put ourselves down ... somehow i don't think that men do that. We point out our flaws to our friends and our children - i do it all the time!
Yes, love this reminder!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 6:03 PM , Blogger Sandy -- As Told By Mommy said...

Such a good point and such a good thing to do!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 6:23 PM , Blogger Brandi said...

Everyone should remember this! It is the way we treat ourselves and what we say and do that impacts our kids, not necessarily how we treat them...if that makes sense the way I meant it to. :)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 6:27 PM , Blogger Shell said...

Love it! I definitely focus on my negative. I need to quit that, too.

 
At August 18, 2011 at 7:21 PM , Blogger Gigi said...

Such a great point....the first thing that comes to mind is this; where was blogging when I was raising a small one???? Posts like this would have opened my eyes!

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:28 PM , Blogger Chell said...

Love it - always trying to stay positive :)

 
At August 18, 2011 at 8:48 PM , Blogger Mrs E said...

fantastic post.
I give you props for doing that - its so hard to put a positive spin for personal things we find as "insecurities" "flaws" or just "not good enoughs".

 
At August 18, 2011 at 10:13 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh I love this!!

 
At August 19, 2011 at 12:30 AM , Blogger GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

FYI: You are the best mom!! Truly amazing. You inspire me!! I'm sure there aren't people that intimidate you.... You rock!!! Great idea to be more positive... I think I'll work on that one with you!!

 
At August 19, 2011 at 5:07 AM , Blogger KERRY said...

Great/funny post as usual. As far as I can tell, you have plenty of strengths. 1 being you recognise what you could change, 2 that you're able to admit to your ice-cream addiction, 3 that you want healthy, happy kids, and 4 that you manage 38+ comments on a single post ;)
From your kids point of view, I am positive, you are perfect just the way you are...

 
At August 19, 2011 at 9:50 AM , Blogger blueviolet said...

They can see right through our words, can't they? That public speaking thing...oh how I struggle with that!

 
At August 19, 2011 at 12:01 PM , Blogger An Irish Italian Blessing said...

I LOVE this post, it's soooo true that we need to focus on the positive and teach our children there will always be things we want to change but we need to be thankful for what we have!

 
At August 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM , Blogger Donna said...

I've missed your blog. You are so easy to relate to, and so honest. I'm going to read the rest of your posts I've missed and catch up!

 
At August 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM , Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love this post! I so want JDaniel to hear my words and believe they carry truth.

 
At August 19, 2011 at 3:38 PM , Blogger Melanie said...

So true. I believe that's why the Lord has not blessed me with girls yet. I think he has been waiting for me to mature a little more and get over some of my insecurities so I didn't pass them all on to them. My boys will fare okay, I think.

thanks for the words of wisdom. :)

Love your list BTW!

 
At August 19, 2011 at 8:18 PM , Blogger Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

I've tried to change my body image and the way I talk about myself so much since having a daughter for completely these reasons!! We have to be a good model for our children. This is so true!

 
At August 19, 2011 at 10:23 PM , Blogger We 2 Bees said...

Wonderful list! Very well written. It's great that you are remembering the important things and being a great model for your children. And I think it's good for them to see we aren't perfect and we don't need to be!

 
At August 20, 2011 at 8:59 AM , Blogger Am I Really Grown Up? said...

The hardest part of being a mother, for me, is loving myself as much as I love my daughter. She is perfect and I am too, in her eyes. I just need to see myself like she does.

 
At August 22, 2011 at 1:58 PM , Blogger Ginger said...

Such a great post! You just hit the nail on the head... I need to be better about not sharing my insecurities so much with my kids.

PS - I found you on Laura's link up at Living a Big Story. :)

 
At August 22, 2011 at 11:19 PM , Blogger Laura@livingabigstory said...

Love ya, girl! I already read this post, but I still love it! Thx for linking up ... hopefully you will again?

 

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