I can say 1000% without a doubt, having my daughter is the reason I started trying to start living a life full of joy. And I know that to do this I would have to improve myself. And by improve, I mean finding my inner strength and happiness. After all, you can’t teach someone to use a hammer if you don’t know how to use one. It’s the same with teaching our children to love themselves and have self-confidence.
While my son absolutely made me a mother, it wasn’t until I looked down at my sweet baby girl and thought to myself; I don’t want her to go through all the self-destructive behaviors I did. While at this point I had grown a lot, there were still significant issues I was struggling with. One of those was the recurring thought that I wasn’t good enough or deserving. And this thought process made me act in ways that no longer served me.
It wasn’t overnight, and I am still evolving, but I started with baby steps. I looked around at the things that weren’t making me happy. One of those was my job. I had worked in an insurance agency for five years and decided to make a change and started working for my mom’s insurance company as an underwriting manager. I thought the move would make be the change I needed. I thought because it was more money, owner options, etc. it would make me happier. However, like a lot of things in life, it wasn’t what it should have been.
After about a year, other than the salary, everything else was seemingly false promises. So I begin looking for an out. I knew that ultimately I wanted to work for myself. I considered starting my own agency, but I didn’t think insurance was what I wanted to do any longer. So I begin to look at things I had always loved, and one of those things was taking pictures. I taught myself to use the digital camera my husband had gotten me the previous Mother’s Day. I started taking photos of everything; I mean everything. And it transformed me. It satisfied a yearning I had to be doing something meaningful. It made me take the first steps to fix what was broken inside of me. What does this have to do with boosting my daughter’s self-confidence? Everything.
By watching me do things that I love, she learns to do the same. By doing things even when I am scared, she learns to do the same. By wearing the bikini and splashing around, she learns to do the same. By being my own biggest fan, she learns to do the same.
Kids learn by watching, and they are always watching. If we can’t love ourselves, how will we ever teach our daughters to love themselves?
Never do these things in front of your daughter if you want to model self-confidence
- Look in the mirror and critique yourself
- Weigh yourself obsessively and scoff
- Talk negatively about other women
- Watch trash reality tv
- Focus on the appearances of others good or bad
Lastly, remember that encouragement empowers. Both you and your daughter. Be the voice of reason, but also be the voice that says “you can do it.”
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