Recently, my 5-year-old daughter, Parker, asked if she was “fat”. I am not naive – I know she’s heard the word, and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t come from my mouth from time to time…I am my worst critic. I’ll look at myself in the mirror and ask my husband, “Does this outfit make me look fat?”
So horrible, I know…But…I’m not a perfect parent, and I’m not a perfect mom…And those words have totally come out of my mouth.
Parker is confident- So confident that sometimes I need to discuss modesty with her. She runs around the house in her underwear and wears sometimes too small clothes. My older daughter is the exact opposite. She needs complete privacy and is sometimes overly modest.
I asked Parker what made her think that she was “the F word”, and she said that she looks at her friends and her big sister, Peyton, and her tummy is bigger. Parker’s “tummy” is literally the cutest thing in the entire world…When I was pregnant with my youngest, Parker, would stick her tummy out and say that she had “baby Bella” in her tummy.
We are a healthy family. We eat healthy, for the most part. My girls are active in swim, gymnastics, and dance class year round. Parker has a “solid” and “athletic” build. Her older sister, Peyton, is taller, has ballerina long legs, and has a different shape.
As any mom would, I stressed to Parker that she is just perfect. She was easily appeased – until a few days later when she tried to squeeze into too small “skinny jeans”…eh…Why do we even have to call them “skinny” jeans?
The jeans were definitely a size too small, and her athletic gymnast legs had a hard time getting in them. I told Parker that she is growing big and strong, that’s why the pants didn’t fit…Thankfully, Parker IS confident. She threw the silly skinny jeans aside and rocked another super cool outfit…(I swear, this kid makes anything cool).
Boosting confidence in our children, and not just our daughters, but our sons too is SO important. At an early age, whether it be from television or conversation at school, our children are comparing themselves to others and trying to figure out life. It’s tough being a kid. It’s tough being a teenager, and we as parents need to encourage these beautiful children.
I completely dread the teenage years .I teach teenagers, and know how difficult it can be. For now, I will make sure Parker doesn’t lose an ounce of her confidence and spunk. That she she keeps her amazing, feisty, and adorable personality.
We will be mindful to use the words healthy, active, and making healthy choices in our house…And I promise to not use that “F” word in front of any of my daughters again.