There are so many important tools that I feel compelled to give my children while they are growing up, and having confidence and self-esteem are two of the more top-priority ones. With that, it seems that you can overcome or get through most anything.
Nick sometimes decides if it will be a “good day” or a “bad day” based on what is going to happen that day. If he has a class at school he likes. If friends are coming over. If we have fun plans. And I’m working on that with him. Because having a good day can’t be always tied to specific things. Having a good day can sometimes be about doing a whole lot of nothing, but doing it with people you love, you know? Heck, having a good day can be tied to being able to finish a sentence without a little one interrupting your voice.
Last week, The Ex changed the day he was going to see the kids because he had to work late. Nick said something about “darn, now it’s not going to be a good day.” And that’s when we talked about it. I told him that Daddy is not in charge of if Nick is going to have a good day or not. It’s nice that he’s coming to see him, but even if he doesn’t, Nick can still have a good day.
“YOU are in charge of if your day is going to be good or not. When you wake up, you can decide how your day is going to go. How much you will let bad things affect you. How much control you give bad things over your day and your life.”
He listened and nodded. He gets it. I know he does, but he’s still only 8 years old. Hey, at 40 years old, it’s a lesson I need to remember myself sometimes.
I refuse to let negative actions and thoughts define the type of day I have. I deal with it and move on. At least that’s my intention. Some days, and I’m sure you agree, it’s easier to let things go than others. But as a few dear friends know, our mantra is always “be like a duck and let it roll off you.” QUACK!
Confidence and self-esteem … such huge lessons to impart on our littles, isn’t it? My daughter, who won’t let me brush her hair in the morning and doesn’t mind getting dirty. I tell her, with her electric-shock hair, that she’s pretty every day. That she’s a smarty pants. Because she is. I want her to feel that. And to know that. To have enough confidence and self-esteem that, while she cares what other people think, it doesn’t define who she is. That she gets enough love, encouragement and support from those who love her … and that that’s enough. That it’s nearly everything.
When one of Nick’s friends, at age 8, is plucking her eyebrows because she’s worried about having a unibrow… that I know a 12-year-old on a diet because a friend said she’s fat … that kids quickly resort to calling each other “weirdo” and it rolls off their tongue as quick as saying “hi” does … filling our kids with confidence and self-esteem helps them combat the daily twists and turns of childhood and school.
Nick tends to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to art. While I love that he adores art so much, I don’t love when he beats himself up about it. I explain that with art, there are no rules. It just is. And it’s enough. It’s always enough. Whether the color isn’t right, or a line isn’t straight, it’s all good because his passion and creativity shine through while doing something he loves. And his confidence in that is supremely important.
Two of my weekly Zumba classes have quite a few young girls in it. Girls that are super thin, but think they aren’t. I worry about them. Exercise is good. Taking it too far because being a size 4 isn’t enough isn’t. The instructor in the class started using “Just the Way You Are” as one of the cool-down songs over the past few weeks, and I love that because I think it’s an amazing message to drive home. For the girls trying to look like the latest issue of Glamour magazine. For our kids. For all of us.
Her eyes, her eyes
make the stars look like they’re not shining
Her hair, her hair
falls perfectly without her trying
She’s so beautiful
And I tell her everyday (yeahh)
I know, I know
When I compliment her she won’t believe me
And it’s so, it’s so
Sad to think that she don’t see what I see
But every time she asks me “Do I look okay?”
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are
What a great reminder and message about how amazing we all are, and speaking of confidence and self-esteem… it couldn’t drive it home better.
December 20, 2010, Photos #309-314
When I switched Nick from private to public school this year, I was afraid I would miss the Christmas concert. While I don’t miss sitting in hard seats for two hours, I was going to miss the kids singing Christmas music. Nothing gives me goosebumps quite like an entire school singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing or Joy to the World (two of my favorites). While his school doesn’t do a Christmas concert or show, luckily his CCD class does, and we were treated to a handful of Christmas songs tonight, including my two favorites. The concert was only thirty minutes long – like a concert express – but just enough to drive home a little bit of holiday spirit.