My husband and I have started to foster a positive self-esteem, and we see the extreme importance of this at a young age. We want to accentuate positive qualities in our three girls on not only the outside, but inside characteristics as well: everything from how beautiful they are, their intelligence, their sense of humor, their pretty hair, when they are kind, when they share, etc... We want this kind of affirmation to start in the home so the girls are less likely to seek it out from others (aka boys) or at least this is our prayer.
This can actually be a challenge because we want the girls to feel/see how genuine we are when we give them a compliment, so we don't want to over exaggerate and praise them up and down every minute of the day. If there were constant praise, our fear would be that they would become numb to it and start to ignore the affirmation.
Ok yada yada, you get the picture.
So, yesterday I overheard a conversation Mariah was having with her cousin over the telephone. They were talking about eating lunch at school and Mariah mentioned how she gets breakfast at school too but she hasn't been eating it because she wants to be skinny like one of her classmates!! NO! Please no! Not my daughter. Not at such a young age. Please!
As my eyes start to fill with tears, I am a little beside myself because I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. I pray that it isn't true. Mariah is a very slender child and you can see all of her ribs already. I was speechless.
I hate that Mariah compares herself to other girls. Ok, insert here all the societal crap about being skinny and beautiful, five million different types of diets and workout programs, etc etc. I am all for a healthy lifestyle, but Mariah IS SIX.
It is times like these that I want to keep Mariah and the other girls in a bubble.
(Side note: a year ago Mariah cut her own hair because she wanted to look just like one of her classmates...thus began my eye opening experience of having a positive self-esteem at a young age.)