After starting this Words matter blog it’s been wonderful chatting with many people about their thoughts on what we say around children, and how they make sure they are conscious of allowing their kids to be themselves/ Of teaching them values, not pushing unnecessary views on them.
I’ve spoken with mothers who have made a conscious effort not to comment negatively on their bodies, as they don’t want their children to think there is anything wrong with the way they are. These same mothers have also gone on to make efforts to change the way they think about their bodies, wanting to love themselves to show positive body acceptance to their children.
What these and other conversations show is that the overwhelming majority of us don’t mean to give out a negative remark that may impact a child’s perception of their world and themselves. But sometimes, without realising it, we say negative things about ourselves or something a child does and it make the child feel it is wrong to look like they do, wear what they want or like what they do. We know the remark isn’t about the child, rather, it’s our own lack of self-confidence and belief in ourselves coming out. But we need to be conscious, such remarks can affect developing minds.
It’s OK to have these conversations with yourself, to feel down. But also, I urge you recognise your negative speak and then speak up to trusted friends or professionals, and take time to grow your self-confidence. You are enough and you deserve to be happy. The more you believe that, the more the children around you will see this and follow your lead.
We are all enough.
Last year I watched the amazing film Embrace, by Taryn Brumfitt of the Body Image Movement. It is a wonderful film. If you’re looking for a little push to help you embrace who you are, wholeheartedly, please watch this film. Watch it with your daughters, and your sons, and sit back and take in the wonder of diversity in the world.
You are enough and you are perfect as you are. Believe in yourself. If you want to change how you are, that’s OK, but do it for the right reasons. For health, for circumstances you are striving for, not because you’re worried about how the world views you. Because you are your harshest critic and those who matter will accept you for you, as long as you are being you. Focus on those who lift you up and support you for you and together build a dialogue that embraces uniqueness, embraces who we all are as individuals. Because words matter, and I want you to use your words to lift yourself and others up. These words will show the next generation that kindness, tolerance and acceptance help make a good life.
Sheena’s ‘Words Matter’ blog series looks at the power of what we say to children and young adults. It’s about the messages you give children when you tell them to conform to your ideals, and the messages you give when you tear yourself or others down in front of them.
Sheena is that girl who always has a smile on her face, she loves life and the diversity within. After a lightbulb went off when she hit 30, Sheena’s ‘f*** it 30 approach to life allowed her to embrace who she is and help others to do the same, free of judgement.
Her communications business, Specialists in Communications, encourages everyone and every business to use their uniqueness as a point of difference, as a positive that helps them connect with people.
Sheena is also founder and editor of The Local Look, an e-magazine and blog showcasing Canberra business by telling the stories of the people behind the brands. Storytelling has the power to really connect with people and through it, we can encourage people and influence change for the better.