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A few days ago, my three year old daughter looked at herself in the mirror, smiled and said, “I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful.”
Of course, I’ve always thought she was beautiful, but my first thought was, I wonder at what age she would no longer look at herself in the mirror and see herself as beautiful.
It’s a sad thought that as girls (and boys) grow up, they start to focus more on the negatives of their appearance and fail to see the positives.
I remember when I was a child, and it was like it was considered wrong to look at yourself and like what you saw. And whenever anyone would make a negative comment about my appearance, I would take it to heart. I began to believe the negative things people told me.
And then that was all I heard.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had looked at myself in the mirror and thought to myself, “I look beautiful today.”
I always notice what looks wrong or the things I don’t like. My hair is too frizzy today, my skin is too blotchy, and wow, my stomach looks huge.
Occasionally I might think, I don’t look too bad today.
But I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought that I looked beautiful.
Negative Self Talk After Having Kids
So, now that I have two young kids, my perception has changed a bit.
Before kids, I never let people see me without make-up, even if it was just a bit of tinted moisturiser. I rarely wear it at all now. Mostly because since having a baby there were more important things to focus on and my appearance was not high on the list of priorities. And I got used to not wearing it.
I used to have my hair cover my face as much as possible so people couldn’t see me and I could try and hide.
Over the years, I have slowly gained more confidence and while I still can’t look at myself and see myself as beautiful, I don’t cringe and try to hide as much as I used to.
Habits are hard to break. Especially ones you have spent your entire life forming.
A Child’s Inner Voice
Since becoming a mother, I am increasingly aware of young eyes and minds and the influence we have when we think they’re not watching or paying attention to our every move.
The way we see ourselves can become they way they see themselves.
I don’t want my kids to look at themselves in the mirror and see themselves the way I have seen myself for years.
I want my daughter to look at herself in the mirror and tell herself she’s beautiful, like she did the other day.
I want my kids to be positive about life and not dwell on all the thing that have gone wrong.
I don’t want them to see me pulling faces at myself in the mirror. Picking myself apart and highlighting all my flaws and having them think that this is normal. That it’s right.
Because it’s not.
Would I want my kids saying to themselves the things that I had been saying to myself every day?
Of course I wouldn’t. So why do I feel like it’s okay to say it to myself?
Some days it’s still hard when looking at the mirror and seeing all my flaws and I want to vocalise all the things I don’t like about myself.
But I don’t.
Because you never know who’s watching.
It Affects How Children See Themselves
Kids are more intuitive than we realise.
It’s amazing what they hear, what they pick up and how they process things.
How you speak to yourself becomes your child’s inner voice.
They are always listening, even if you don’t think they are.
The things you say without thinking, they notice.
They see you, they hear you. They believe you.
They become you.
Children often treat themselves the way we treat ourselves.
Years of criticising yourself can be passed onto your child without even realising.
How often does your child hear you say something nice about yourself? Something you love about yourself?
How are they supposed to love themselves when all they hear are the negatives you see when you look at yourself?
It becomes harder for them to see the good things in themselves because it has been ingrained in them to see the negatives. It’s the first thing they think of. And then they believe it.
What we say to kids matters more than we think. So does what we say about ourselves. It shapes their personalities and affects the relationships they have with others.
Even from a young age, children form opinions about their appearance, which often comes from what they hear or what others tell them. They may start to believe something because of a comment someone may have told them, even if it was said as a joke.
Kids need to learn to love themselves for who they are. They need to build their self-esteem, their self worth.
We need to set the example.
What do we gain by being down on ourselves?
What does a child learn from that? What message are they getting from it?
Do they think, ‘what do you see when you look at me?’
I’m a lot more cautious these days when I look at myself in the mirror. I try to see the things I like and try not to focus on the things I don’t.
Because you never know who’s watching.
Love Yourself Quotes
Loving yourself starts with liking yourself, which starts with respecting yourself, which starts with thinking of yourself in positive ways. – Jerry Corsten
Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that’s when you’re most beautiful. – Zoe Kravitz
Love yourself. Forgive Yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you. – Steve Maraboli
You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise L. Hay
Be Yourself Quotes
Society sets us up to be everything but ourselves, but I want to take a moment and say to people, love yourself. Find your purpose. You are unique, and that makes you great. – Karen Civil
Encourage yourself, believe in yourself, and love yourself. Never doubt who you are. – Stephanie Lahart
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. – Lao Tzu
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Happiness in Yourself Quotes
Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. – Helen Keller
There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place, except what you bring to it yourself. -Henry David Throreau
At the end of the day, you are in control of your happiness. Life is going to happen, whether you overthink it, overstress it or not. Just experience life and be happy along the way. You can’t control everything in your life, but you can control your happiness. – Holly Holm
Are you overly critical of yourself? Do you find negative self talk has been affecting your children?