SevenOaks has partnered with AllMomDoes and CRISTA Media to sponsor this post and bring you this information about their event.
For me it started pretty young. I heard the same seemingly innocuous words over and over and now, looking back, it has become alarmingly obvious how it shaped me – my life, my self-esteem and more recently, how I parent. It has made me realize that no matter what they are even well-intentioned, well-meaning words shape our daughters more than we realize.
The words I heard: You are so small.
You think to yourselves, “Well, that isn’t so bad.” Maybe. Or maybe it affected me more than I even realized.
I have always been short, skinny – scrawny, really. I didn’t gain weight ever until I hit college and then I plateaued. Always shorter, always smaller than my friends. I often heard them say things like “Oh, it must be so nice to be so small. I hate you.”
Always, “I hate you.”
Always, “I’m jealous of you.”
<Insert any conversation about health/wellness/weight> and then “Well, you never have to deal with that so…” and immediately I’m pushed out of the conversation.
When I was pregnant it took me forever with the first to gain weight and then it came on fast. The second I gained much earlier. And, for the first time in my life I didn’t have to hear “You are so small.” There are moments that I wish for the struggle of being overweight instead of constantly apologizing for the way I was made.
I’m so sorry I’m small.
I started to think something must be wrong with me.
I never recognized this, but most of my life, people have projected their insecurities on me because they wanted to be what I was. And, I absorbed them as if they were my problem to solve.
Here are the words I wish I had heard:
You are beautiful.
You are so pretty.
I love your hair, your eyes, your <insert any nice compliment>.
I have never really felt like these things. I’ve always felt small. And, even in moments that I want to feel big and beautiful I feel small and want to hide.
I didn’t have some horrible, verbally abusive childhood. My parents loved me. They affirmed me. But still, all around me, I kept hearing “You are small” and it became every part of me. My personality became small. My dreams became small. My voice became small.
The simple words we choose to say to our daughters, our children, are VITAL to their development of self. As a mom, this encourages me to be very aware of the words I’m using. How am I building my children up? How am I encouraging them? How am I feeding into them? And, how am I teaching them about the world around them in a way that makes them confident in who they are?
Tough stuff, mommas. But, as you talk to your children, listen to the words you say. What impact are they having?
If you are in Canada, I encourage you to check out BeYouGirl to get a jump start. Have you heard about BeYouGirl? BeYouGirl is a national campaign created to increase self-esteem and empower young females across Canada. BeYouGirl takes the power of partnership by bringing awareness of this issue and giving young females better access to personal and professional development tools, while celebrating their growth, diversity and self-worth. With the help of Big Sisters in Abbotsford and The Sparkle Project BC, we are partnering together to increase awareness, raise funds for Big Sisters and help young girls with Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyle and Self Esteem.
On Saturday, September 17th from 11am – 4pm the Abbotsford Shopping Centre SevenOaks will be transformed into a tradeshow designed to emplower young girls age 9-16.
Enjoy a day of speakers, live entertainment, interactive stations, inspirational spaces and so much more! Plus a chance to win a $500 Gift Card by visiting various passport destinations!