How I learned to teach my children about having a positive body image

Recently, I was staring at my extra armpit, an area that has been bothering me for some time now.  I proceeded to snap some pics of my armpits because I was thinking of documenting some exercises I am trying to reduce them in size.  Without realizing it I said out loud that I thought that area of my body was UGLY.  My son who is three was sitting next to me and my daughter was playing on the floor as these words spilled out of my mouth.  I didn’t realize he had heard what I said until he responded with “No its NOT mommy”.   My daughter is too young to respond but she was still there when I said it.

His response made me think long and hard about how I viewed myself and how I talk about myself.  He didn’t see my flaws the way I saw them, in his eyes I was beautiful so why didn’t I see the same thing?  It’s very important that both of my children know their worth and that image does not define us.  How was I going to convey the right message to my kids?  I thought about my journey before and drew from those lessons.

In the past few years I felt like I had lost sight of my “beauty” because I didn’t always dislike how I looked.  Before I became pregnant with my son I was really happy with my body image and didn’t think I would struggle with teaching either my son or daughter about body positivity.  Growing up I have always been petite and skinny in nature but that didn’t stop me from not like my thin body.  Believe it or not skinny girls have body image issues too.  I was made fun of in school, clothes never fit right and gaining weight was a struggle.  My mom made it worse because she didn’t seem to see that I was petite in turn always purchasing oversized clothes for me, it made me feel like I needed to hide my body.  There was a point in my life when I embraced being thin learned how to sew and alter my clothes that I bought so they would fit me better.  The up and down struggle with how I looked, felt, and thought about myself continued well into adulthood.  I became fed up with my own struggle of trying to gain weight, to fit in to societal standards so I sought out something that would help me grow from the inside.  That’s about the same time I began doing yoga which taught me to love my body for what it was.  It was then that I saw how strong I was and my ability to transform my body so that I loved it even more.  That was when I stopped doubting the body god me, then I was able to get pregnant and grow my babies.

Since that day I have been more aware of what I say about myself around my kids and how I speak to me kids about themselves.  I have moments when I will slip up but I now I use that opportunity to explain to my children what I truly meant with my words.  I am showing them how much I love this body of mine.  We are practicing yoga together and I see now how they both observe and mimic me.  I know that they are listening, watching and learning so as a parent it is so important to me to teach my children the skills they need to always feel worthy and beautiful.

 

How do you teach your children they are strong, beautiful, and worthy beings on this earth?  What skills are you sharing with them so they can stay positive?

 

Thank you for reading!

 

xo

Cindy

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