Thursday, May 31, 2012

girl talk

{little girls in pretty boxes}

Tonight as Violet stood up in the bath to get out she looked at me and said, "I have a big fat belly". She didn't appear to be bothered by the size of her middle, rather she was simply stating a fact. She smiled sweetly as I wrapped her in a towel. I paused, quickly wracking my brain, is this a self-esteem thing? Did someone call her fat? I could feel my heart in my chest. She is half-a-step past being a baby,  I said to myself, there is no way she is cognizant of her weight. I am totally reading into this, deep breath. I gave her an extra big squeeze and told her she was strong and beautiful. She smiled and said, "I know". Maybe I needn't have worried about her self-esteem.

Remember when I said how fun it was to have a daughter...this is the not so fun part (although I know boy's can have issues with weight too). It is hard finding a balance between promoting healthy living (eating well and moving around) and allowing a kid to be a kid (moon mist ice-cream comes to mind). It is especially difficult because I am torn between the two myself; doesn't everyone want to be healthy and enjoy their life too? Just because I am a mum doesn't mean I am not susceptible to pressures about appearance. It is hard to teach someone about having good body image when you feel pressure in that area yourself. I doubt I am alone here.

Even though I am pretty sure Violet's comment was totally benign it made me feel so protective of her. I don't want her to have to care or even know about things like her weight. I want her to love herself and be proud of her accomplishments. I try to compliment her on things other than her appearance, but I catch myself saying, "you are so cute" or "don't you look pretty".

Maybe all I can do is to try to show Violet that I love myself, and that I am proud of my accomplishments. Kids are pretty smart though. I think they can tell if you are being honest, which is too bad really because actually loving yourself and really being proud of your accomplishments is sometimes hard -- even if you are amazing!



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