The way women perceive and talk about themselves matters!
If you think kids learn by what is taught to them, then you need to get your facts right. Children learn by observing and irrespective of what or how you teach them, they will follow only what they see and hear.
Aptly said, a child is the reflection of his/her parents. If the parents are rude to strangers and do not respect each other, their children will learn the same, and no matter how well you train them on good manners and behavior or how well renowned the school they study in is, they will pick up habits from what they see happening around them. It is, hence, imperative that we choose our words carefully and act wisely.
Besides their behavior with others, how kids see themselves is also highly influenced with how their parents perceive themselves. If the mother is constantly conscious of her body weight or color, the children too will become conscious of their own body image and learn to despise or conceal their body in case of any imperfections (i.e. even a slight deviation from the perfections defined by the society). And that is extremely dangerous to their mental health. Kids learn by observing, and that's exactly what this mom's viral Facebook post talks about.
Please note: The images used here (except for those embedded from Facebook) are for illustration purposes only.
As per a study conducted by Dove, about 72% of daughters learn about beauty from their moms. It clearly states that how a woman talks about herself or perceives herself has a lasting impact on her kids. A mum shared a similar incident on Facebook where her daughter was closely following her behavior, and the post has gone viral for all the right reasons. It sends out a powerful message about the importance of building a positive body image in front of children.
Brittney Johnson had gone out with her daughter to a mall and observed something that made her realize her daughter says only what she hears. She shared the incident on her Facebook wall and it went viral in no time. Here's the opening excerpt of her post…
When we walked into the mall, my girl had her purse, her fancy shoes and her pretty dress on. "Don't forget my sunglasses! Oh, I gotta take my baby doll in with us!" So we did. All diva. All the time."
Ms Johnson adds that her daughter went on to strike a conversation with the guy at Starbucks despite being told that they are not Starburst and that they do not have candy. This was followed by dinner where her daughter not only used polite gestures like "please" and "thank you" to the lady who was serving them but also complimented her on her hair.
She adds, "She high-fived the attendant on her way off of the carousel and gave her two extra tokens to a little girl waiting on the side. We walked into Target, and she helped me pick out a few swimsuits. We picked out 11. Yeah. ELEVEN."
The mommy walked into a fitting room with her daughter and eleven swimsuits to try on. Her daughter started unhooking the swimsuits from the hangers and yelled, "I can see your butt!" Her voice was loud enough to attract the entire trial room vicinity. Kids, I tell you!
Ms Johnson started with her swimsuit trials one by one. "I snapped pictures of them to send to my girlfriends and say "yes or no?!" because girls are weird and that's just what we do... And then I snapped this one," she wrote.
The little girl you can see in the corner of the picture tried one of the bikini tops her mom had picked for herself. Ms Johnson paused for a second to check out her daughter's reaction when the little girl chirped, "Wow I just love cheetah print! I think I look beautiful! Do you think I look beautiful too?!"
While the daughter was beaming with joy trying the cheetah print bikini top, it dawned on Ms Johnson that, "She only says what she hears, what she sees."
Ms Johnson realized that her daughter has inadvertently been following her.
"I tell her that she is beautiful every single day. She is kind walking through the mall because I tell her she is kind everywhere else. She is polite at the order counter because she hears me when I'm polite to strangers everywhere. She gives compliments to people she doesn't know because she loves how it feels when she hears them," she mentioned.
The post further states, "And when we are in a dressing room, with swimsuits of all God forsaken things, there is a split moment when I have the power to say "wow I have really gotten fat this year" OR "wow I love this coral color on me!" And those are the words burned into my daughter's brain."
The mum concludes her inspiring post with simple yet strong words that will resonate in every mother's heart and mind for eons to come. Here's what she has to say while wrapping up the post.
"When it comes to manners, be an example.
When it comes to kindness, be an example.
And when it comes to body image, be an example. I am not a size zero. I never will be. I have big thighs and a huge rump, and for some reason, the middle of my body gets more tan than the rest? But this body made a whole other body. I am strong. I am able. And I am happy. I don't have to be beautiful like you because I am beautiful like me. And as my daughter gets older, and she faces judgement and criticism, I will always remind her that the girls who look the prettiest in a two piece, or a body suit, or a freaking Snuggie, are the ones who are happy. Because that's ALL that matters. And I want her to look at herself every single day and say "Oh wow! I think I look beautiful!" because EVERY girl deserves to feel that."
Her Facebook post amassed more than 331k likes and 167,961 shares (as on May 19, 2017) with beautiful comments pouring in. Sometimes, it just takes a simple sentence or action to make us realize the most valuable lessons of life, isn't it?