Our children hear what we say about ourselves, especially as mothers! As much as we tell our daughters how beautiful they are and how their smile and laughter brighten the room, we TEACH them to be critical of their body when they listen to us criticize ourselves. For example: you get your daughter up for school, put her in a pretty dress and tell her how beautiful she looks and she smiles. She looks at you and tells you that you’re beautiful too! Without hesitation, you say to your daughter that you are a mess. You continue complaining that your hair is stringy, you are fat and don’t look good in your clothes. Saying those things about yourself teaches your daughter to not be able to take a complement and to start looking for all the bad things or what she feels are bad things about herself.
It’s a vicious cycle that we have done for centuries between mothers and daughters. We are taught that we could never be pretty enough or our teeth won’t be straight enough or our hair is too curly or our legs are too fat because those are genetics and that’s what our mothers already think about themselves. It’s a horrible vicious cycle and one that can easily be broken. All it takes is for YOU to treat YOU the way that you treat your child. Tell yourself that you’re beautiful; tell your children that mommy has such pretty eyes and that theirs are just like yours! Say thank you when your child compliments you and compliment them back. TEACH them to love themselves by loving yourself. Stop giving voice to the things WE’VE been taught to think about ourselves and start giving voice to the things we want our daughters to love about themselves.