In the midst of all the social media and environmental pressures kids are up against, I want mine to understand that it’s more important to be an individual than to fit a mold. Weight is just a number, not a defining characteristic. Confidence is infinitely more attractive than thigh gap (I mean, really!). Self worth is a far more apt measure of your future success than what brands you wear. Drive and determination are pillars of success, not lack of failure. That just means you might not be trying hard enough!
I was a tom-boy, when I was little I was daddy’s little helper, I chopped wood to get in shape for softball season, I climbed trees and built forts with my brothers. I wore a uniform until 8th grade and didn’t care much about fashion or trends. To this day I hate shopping for myself, “tall” and “long” sizes didn’t exist so I constantly waged a battle between baggy clothes or too-short pants and sleeves. If my nose wasn’t stuck in a book I was probably playing sports, tinkering with the computer or inventing a new adventure with my brothers. My parents managed to raise me in such a way that I never felt compelled to follow the crowd. I was OK with being a little different and even relished the fact. I had my ups and many, many downs just like any kid.
I’m petrified at the idea of raising two girls in this media centric world where the values that are held as the norm couldn’t be farther from the truth. I want to wrap them up and let them evolve free of unrealistic expectations (even my own?). But I realize that I can’t protect them from everything. Often times, their lives will be the richer for the things they experience outside the safe little bubble we try to build for them. One day, I might even learn to accept that fact.
Our mission, as I see it, is to give them the tools to achieve their dreams and to empower them to live happy, healthy and enriched lives whatever paths they choose. To do that we must bring to life those hopes we have for them and model those behaviors we feel are most essential. Live the characteristics you want to see in the world and you can’t help but raise self confident kids!
Inspired by family and friends, I finally feel like I’m actively working to embody those goals and I’m going to try my hardest to enable my kids to do the same. So here’s to pursuing your dreams, being an individual, finding your healthy and above all… being fulfilled and happy.