The older I become the more I realize life is cyclical.
When I was younger I EXPECTED my body to perform on command—and usually it did.
These days when my bod complies I stop, take note and appreciate.
I *long* to pass this body confidence on to the Tornado and yet—while it’s a huge priority—I pretty much fly by the seat
pants fancy tights.
I strive each day to beat back the influence of peers/pop culture & model for her how to look inside herself for validation/approval.
It was easier when she was younger.
Yet the fact she still adores her body for the amazing vessel it is feels like a victory.
Youve emailed, facebooked, texted, tweeted, & direct messaged me for tips and, while Ive insisted I possess none, I shall share my Tips Which Really Arent.
All four of them.
My “pants flying praying for Tornado body confidence” distilled to four
confusing, muddled easy to grasp items:
Four tips for teaching children body confidence:
- Try new things with your body. When the Tornado was younger all she cared about was I’d play. She didnt notice how “good” or “bad” I was at our games. Now she notices and Ive harnessed this “noticing” to my advantage. She recognizes when Im exiting my comfort zone (hello SCOOTERING), she sees when I struggle & fail, she watches as I laugh/try again, and she encourages me to take on new challenges.
- Practice what you long to preach…and theres no need to say a word. This is the logical extension of the above yet took me YEARS to realize. Whether you think the little person OR BIG PERSON in your life notices model the behavior you wish them to mimic. Try new things & *loudly* acknowledge how fab they felt/what you learned about your body. Attend your first zumba class and realize you are INDEED as AWKWARD as you’d surmised? Seize the opportunity to share how youd always taken for granted how powerful & natural you feel when you run.
- Allow your child(ren) to struggle. This has been a challenge. I know, however, if I dont let her struggle she’ll never emerge the other side confident in what her body can do. Recently this has been with soccer (you can do it!! I know you can get the ball!!) & her pride after pushing herself/learning her body was stronger than she’d thought was palpable. Im aware these challenges will increase as she gets older & I know she needs to learn how powerful her body is now to get through. My telling her is merely hollow praise.
- SHED THE SCALE. Yes all caps. Yes I feel strongly about this. YES YES YES. I shed the scale 19 years ago & never returned. As with negative self-talk obsessive weighing is something kids see and emulate. Im aware this is a controversial tip (for many the scale is a healthy tool in the arsenal) yet if daily-weighing is part of your routine Id suggest doing so at the gym etc. Dont model frequent scale-checks for your child who may not yet be able to grasp the “just a tool” concept.
These tips are only whats worked for our misfit-trio (Im not sure you want to raise a child who believes tiny home scales are “steppers to the shower.” seriously. it’s a little weird).
whats your best tip for teaching/modeling body confidence to the little and big people in your life?