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Sharing A Positive "I am" Message

Posted by on Aug. 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • 46 Replies

I can wallpaper her room with inspiring quotes, I can constantly emphasize healthy bodies in the media and be proactive when I talk about how I feel about my own body...yeah, I can do all of those things, but they are a bit overt and when my seven-year-old hits the teen years, I fear she may tune out a bit. 

One of the best pieces of advice I heard about teaching our girls to have a good healthy body image was a subtle one, a minor tweak to something that happens in conversation almost every day. It was this: whenever your child asks, "How do I look?", take a pause before you say anything. Instead of saying, "Oh you look great, honey!", you should say, "How do you think you look? How does you feel in that dress?". When she says, "I think I look great/pretty/like a princess!" then agree with her and affirm those confident feelings of herself.

I've done this tweak when chatting with my kiddo when she asks how she looks in whatever garb she's chosen for the day, and, I have to say, I think it works. I'm still saying she's pretty and giving my opinion, but in a way that buoys her own thoughts about herself. This little shift in answering her teaches her to trust her own feelings and to not rely on others' views on her looks to base her opinion.

But, this doesn't happen all of the time. So, what else can I do to keep surrounding my gal with good, positive thoughts without being totally freako mom and going overboard with "the message" (which totally backfires 99% of the time)?

I've also read that letting others do it for you is one key way. I've liked the Facebook pages of amightygirl.com and amysmartgirls.com (founded by Amy Poehler) that highlight great articles and ways to encourage our gals to be strong and confident beyond what they look like. They point out how we can opt for books with strong heroines like The Gallagher Girl series about a spy school for girls or Nancy Clancy, the older version of the Fancy Nancy series, as well as showing her flicks with tough little ladies doing amazing things, such as Akeelah and the Bee, Matilda, A League of Their Own, and Bend It like Beckham.

Share how you share a strong, positive attitude with your teens! 

©iStockphoto.com/Catherine Lane 

by on Aug. 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
jellyphish
by Silver Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 1:37 AM
No teens yet. On occasion I'll ask my girls to look in the mirror while I tell them how wonderful they are. Then I'll ask them to say "I love you" to the mirror.
I'll definitely be following this post for ideas.
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Saucy1
by Kristina on Aug. 20, 2014 at 6:27 AM

I don't have any teens yet. I forward to reading this post. I'm dreading the teenage years. Now a days they have more issues to deal with, then when I was a teenager. 

momofsixangels
by Platinum Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 7:03 AM

Teen years are tough! I have 3 teens now and 2 pre teens. My 15 year old dd is always saying she is ugly. She is so beautiful and so talented but she just doesnt see that. I try to reassure her everyday yet she still cant  see this.

cemcnair
by Silver Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 7:06 AM
No teens here yet.
brittany208
by Platinum Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 7:49 AM
That's a REALLY good tip. teaches kids to listen to their own inner voice instead of needing the approval of others
johnny4ever
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by Silver Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 7:55 AM

No teen yet but I have a pre-teen!I am kinda dreading when it hits teens.Hoping we can handle it.

mamamedic69
by Deanna on Aug. 20, 2014 at 8:51 AM
No teen here but I'll be taking notes for when she hits that age.
yvonne37
by Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM
I praise everything she does. She is 8 and i tell her how smart she is... i say: you are so smart and beautiful on top of that! . She needs to know that her being intelligent, kind and strong comes befor being pretty and sometime when she asks if she is fat.. yes she has asked and i know its because she is comparing to tv girls.. i tell her she is not and that her body is growing that she needs to be healthy and active and that she's just perfect.
conweis
by Platinum Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 9:37 AM

No teens yet and I have all boys. I am hoping they keep their positive personality through out their teen years.

LaniBee
by Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Since the day my girls were born I have told them "you are smart, beautiful and special"!  They are 18 & 13 now and I still tell them this on a regular basis. Some days are challenging, especially with my younger daughter right now, but we get through each day and look forward to the next! 

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