So the other night my 6 year old son comes up to me while I am making dinner to ask me a question. He says “mom, am I a regular kid? I try so hard to do nice things for the other kids at school all the time and all they do is ignore me. Am I weird or something?” My heart immediately sunk. It really hurts to see your child with these feelings of being different or maybe not measuring up to someone else’s expectations. Of course the response was “of course you are a regular kid, wait, no I take that back you are more than just a regular kid! You are an amazing boy and you need to just keep being you and keep doing your thing, no matter what!”. I may have also added in that some kids don’t recognize kindness because they have no manners.. but I’m sure that bit of information could have been left out.
This conversation got me thinking. As a mother, it hurts to see any of my children hurting. Whether it is emotionally, physically, mentally, hurting.. it is all the same. I never want my children to look at themselves and think of themselves as anything less than amazing, because that is the way I see and know they are. I instantly reassure them and make things better by telling them the real truth. Because at age 6 I still have the ability to make everything better with just my words and my love. At what point in our lives do we stop believing what those that truly love us and care about us say is true about ourselves? It’s like we grow up and all of a sudden they lose credibility because they are just our parents. Or because they love us so they are required to see the best in us. What if its all just some big game our mind is playing on us? That is exactly what it is.
I know many of you have seen all of the videos on the internet about how our own perceived view of ourselves is usually very skewed and far from reality. For example, the Dove commercials where an artist sketched first how we see ourselves and then next how a stranger sees us. I mean if a complete stranger is seeing you better than you see yourself, what does that say for those that truly love us? Listen to what they have to say to you, about you. Don’t take these kind words of affirmation lightly, because these words are the real deal. I already know whats to come as my children get older and enter the real word full of judgement and insecurities around every corner, and the best I can do to help prepare them for that is to show them that I believe first what they say about me is true (the good things of course, not the “mom is mean because she wouldn’t let me play xbox” hehe). I know from plenty of experience that confidence is such an easier part of your character to build when those around you are practicing what they preach. In other words, how can I build my children’s confidence when mine is lacking?
This is something that is definitely easier said than done at times. We all have times when confidence slips and that’s why we have our loved ones to remind us who we truly are.