I always knew that I would have a daughter one day, until I had one, and lost her. When my water broke at just 18 weeks I knew it was the end of my pregnancy. And when I had a baby 5 days later, a little girl, I was heartbroken. I had wanted a little girl SO badly. When we lost Elena I feared that she would be the only daughter I ever had.
When I got pregnant again I was certain that I would have a little boy. Until the day before my NT scan when I had a dream that they told me it was a girl. Then I had hope. Sure enough they took a guess and said “girl”. Most (that’s a story for another day) ultrasounds said girl again and when she was born we confirmed for the final time that she was in fact a girl!
B wasn’t as happy to have a little girl. And before you think he’s a horrible person, let me explain. He loves his daughter fiercely which is exactly what he was afraid of all the things that come with having a little girl. Like boys. That’s his job to worry about things like boys. As her mother though I have different worries. How can I teach her self worth? How can I help build her self esteem? How do help her develop self confidence? How do I teach her how to be a good person? The how is easier said than done at times. Because you have to SHOW them. It starts with you. So where do you start? I’m glad you asked!
One of the most important things you can teach your child is how to be kind. This can be especially true with girls. Girls can be mean especially in the school years. However by teaching kindness through example (Charity work is a great example) you will instill in them a sense of servitude and gratitude for what they have.
Take Pride in How You Look
“When you look good, you feel good”. While that may not always be the case it absolutely has some truth to it. I don’t now about you but when I get up in the morning and get myself looking presentable I feel better. Show her how to take care of herself. This can be especially difficult at times if you’re a SAHM, trust me, I know. It’s so easy to stay in sweat pants all day long or PJ bottoms. And I want to be very clear about something. I don’t mean get up in the morning put on a ton of make up a dress and heels. I just mean invest in yourself. Make yourself look and feel good, splurge on clothes for you, not just the kids. Spend time on yourself. You’re important too.
Do What You Love and Teach Her
Everyone has something they love to do (like baking) or a talent or skill (like sewing). As your kids continue to grow continue to do what you love and where applicable teach your children how to do it as well. Let them explore the things they love and let them teach you.
I’m not talking about exercising to get skinny (although that is a nice perk). I’m talking about being active in general. Being healthy. Walk places, take the stairs. Invite your children to work out with you. Have it be a part of your bonding time.
Have them grow up seeing you take care of your body so they’re inspired to do the same. Right now I’m doing a work out program and I always ask Mason if he wants to join he doesn’t always but when does it’s adorable and most importantly he sees ME doing it. I’m leading by example.
Stop Calling Yourself Fat
Or talking about how big your nose is. Or how flabby your stomach is. Or how you wish you were a little bit taller or a little bit smarter. Even if you think those things sometimes don’t say them out loud not only for your own benefit but for your children as well. This circles right back to my first point. Be Kind. Not just to others but to yourself as well.
Build Them Up
Start by saying something special about yourself. Ask them what they think makes them special and then tell them what you think makes them special. Encourage them. And most of all follow your own dreams so that they can see it can happen.
All of those sound easy enough and I’m sure there are many we are all following but I for one know I don’t do them all. Especially taking care of myself. But the bottom line is they see that and they are a reflection of us. Making sure that we, as mothers and eventually *fingers crossed* grandmothers, lead by example by loving and appreciating ourselves and others is the best thing that we can do for our little girls (and our sons for that matter).
What things do you do to lead by example?
This post was made possible by Kellogg’s who is sharing #GreatStarts tips! For more tips visit Kelloggs.com/greatstartstips.
Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips
Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.