Whew, this is difficult to say to all you hardworking, dedicated parents out there but it’s true.
You are your child’s mirror. You are their beacon in this world. You are their example of what a human looks like.
What does this mean?
Simply that how you speak about yourself, look at yourself, act regarding yourself, is how your child will also act.
Let’s dig into that a bit more deeply…
We all know that our kiddos don’t “listen” to us in the conventional sense. At least, it appears they don’t by conventional standards (you know what I mean: the rebellion, etc…) BUT they are watching and taking copious mental notes on what you are doing, who you are, and how you move in this world.
Hate the way you look? Comment out loud about how fat you are? How you “shouldn’t be eating” this or that? Saying regularly how you need to lose weight?
Do you not eat certain foods? Don’t wear a bathing suit in public? Bitch out loud constantly about how people are against you, or how “things never go” your way?
Are you also struggling with your own self-esteem issues and dissatisfaction about your life in general?
Ehh hem. They are watching. They are listening and they are absorbing that shit.
Our children don’t always listen to our words but they sure as hell are watching what we’re doing.
How we treat ourselves is how they will treat themselves.
I imagine this feels simple to you or rudimentary, but honestly? Most parents don’t realize this on a conscious level and then they feel bewildered and upset when their child is presenting with anxiety, disordered eating, or low self-esteem.
Psst look in the mirror.
Duh?!! All the roads lead back to you, my love.
Harsh I know but y’all know me by now and you know I don’t pussyfoot around this stuff because you can handle it.
I want you to understand deeply that the story you tell about yourself, is the same one your child is going to tell themselves.
What to do when you are your child’s mirror
STOP SETTING A POOR EXAMPLE NOW.
Start doing your own work to heal and grow.
Keep those negative messages about your hips, your wrinkles, your scale, your anxiety TO YOURSELF; your child should not be the sponge to your issues.
Start showing yourself kindness and grace and start modeling for your child what that looks like.
Show them how to talk to yourself gently, how to build your self-esteem instead of berating yourself on the regular.
And for god’s sake, STOP showing your child how to hyper focus on what you eat, weigh, and look like.
Next time you go to say out loud that you can’t drink that cuz it’s loaded with sugar (Starbucks we see you), just keep those thoughts to yourself; make a choice that’s better for you without any outside conversation or comments. Remember, they’re listening.
We say all that AND acknowledge we know this is hard shit. It’s tough work to reprogram your own thoughts and actions but we are confident you can do this and guess what? We’re here to help you so if you’re stuck and feeling unsure about how to do this, we’ve got you!
You can check out our rock star therapists at all three of our locations (in the menu above) for a safe place where the magic happens and self-schedule here now. We’ll show you what connected therapy looks like! See you soon!