I don’t think it dawned on me how invincible and all powerful my child actually thought I was until she was 5 years old. Her expectations of me proved only that she was convinced I could work miracles and change the entire world if I willed it. I also started seeing things from her mimicking my interactions with others to gestures being duplicated from myself or her father. Like it or not we are their role models. We can preach all day long to them about “do as I say not as I do” but eventually they will do exactly as we do. With that being said we have to watch out for everything.
The way we treat our children, others and ourselves as well as the way we handle situations and interact with others is under the microscope when we have children; even if we think they are not looking.
If we settle for less they will learn to be comfortable with the same. I strive to reach far and challenge myself. While I won’t ever be CEO, I don’t have to settle for the slot I was handed. Hard work does pay off. Another thing I refuse to do is show her that it is acceptable for another person, especially my partner, to treat me with disrespect. With that being said there is a tasteful way to deal with everything. I am not perfect; I drop the ball on that one sometimes. We are human, but guess what, it’s only insanity if we continue to make the same mistake over and over again expecting different results. A lot of growth comes from our mistakes if we utilize them as a tool. Again, this is something we will pass on to our children.
One thing I think I am guilty of time and time again is being too self critical. I didn’t realize it until my 6-year-old said she was too fat. I failed to teach her that her self esteem is not in her weight or the shape of her nose, it is not in the way her jeans look or the brand of her shoes. Every time I was verbally critical of myself in front of my child I took something from her. I have stopped, and I am trying to influence her otherwise now. Still, over time the damage is done to some degree. We really have to be careful. I was not even thinking that I was influencing my child. Guess what, I was. #lessonlearned.
We have to learn the balance. While we do not need to be self critical, we also do not want to cross the lines of becoming superficial or conceited. Getting your nails done is great, but going for a walk can be even better.
If that isn’t enough I recently found out that emotional eating is another big one. This can give our children the false impression that food is a way to feel better. When Charliegh was little I was a stay home mom. I basically wrote for peanuts just to keep from having to put her in daycare. I was always at the computer and it seems I was always putting something in my mouth., While I do remember that, I certainly don’t ever remember being hungry. I also used food to soothe or entertain her. I am hoping that these behaviors were broken early enough not to affect her later on in life.
It seems our phone links us to the world we live in. We shop, look at news, socialize and check the weather etc. Did you know that too much talking or texting on our phone or computer can be harmful to our kids? We have to set healthy limits and boundaries on electronics and lead by example. Yes, this is another area I am having to implement into my own home. Being a writer, this one can get a little hairy, but having a 6-year-old that can stay on her tablet all day is a big deal. I want her feet planted in the physical realm.
Finally, me and her father are great at co-parenting when it comes to our daughter. When it comes to one another, well we are both head strong and opinionated. Sometimes we don’t agree. Charliegh is older now and picking up on things when we thought she wasn’t. We have to watch our tone and the things said even when we think she isn’t listening. The last thing either of us want is our negative interactions with one another to be mirrored in her future relationships with others or her personal health later on in life.
It truly is astonishing how many little things we may unconsciously do on a daily basis that could actually take a toll our children. When we catch ourselves we can’t ignore it. Mistakes can be moments used for great life lessons. You can even get your children involved by asking them to help you stop. They do love feeling like they have some control, and in the long run it will only lead to them being more self aware. ~ Spring
Do you have any ideas on how to support one another in making healthy choices, or advice on how to build happy, healthy children?
If so, please share in the comments section below!
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