Last week’s post about parents who give their kids a hard time in jest got me thinking in general about how parents can be a positive influence in their kids’ lives.
Our words about our kids’ actions isn’t the only way we can spew negativity into their lives. It is just as easy, probably easier, to speak negatively about ourselves around our kids. Moms all too often name themselves as overweight, ugly, clumsy, what-have-you, in a joking tone, though I believe the jokes are ringing true to what Mom hears in her own personal dialogue. Moms, be nice to yourself!
What does this teach our kids? Are we showing them how to love ourselves? Are we showing them what it means to be content with what Allah has gifted us with? Are we grateful for two eyes, ears, working skin, and hands? Or are we showing a more shallow side that is unhappy at any weight because there’s always something that’s imperfect?
I’m definitely guilty of negative self-talk, but as hypocritical as it is, I don’t let Care Bear talk about herself that way. I don’t want her being her own worst enemy, or holding herself to unattainable standards. I also don’t think it’s fair to bring others down or fish for compliments through negative self-talk. Still, it’s a bad habit I need to learn to curb. When trying to be a good example, I have to show her how to be good to oneself as well as good to others, in sha Allah.
Habits are hard to break, and especially when it has to do with attitude. How do we learn that we are good enough? That our body is just as perfect as it is supposed to be? That we are smart, even though we make mistakes? As corny as it sounds, it really starts with affirmations and positive reminders. Remember that Allah created us in the best of molds, and created each of us exactly as we are supposed to be – both physically and mentally. Whether that means we have struggles that make us who we are, or we have ease that we must learn to be humble about, everything is a lesson.