What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see an amazing human being, perfect, whole, and complete just the way you are? Or, like so many of us — including me — do you see the 10 pounds you need to lose, the wrinkles around the eyes, and the arms that desperately need to be toned?
I’ll let you in on a secret. Your children are watching and observing you every minute of the day. If you want your children to like themselves, you have to show them the way. Being mindful is all about accepting and loving yourself exactly the way you are. No judgment allowed. Self-acceptance and self-love are keys to living a joyful, peaceful life.
One important mindful concept is that you cannot love others more than you love yourself. So go ahead, dare yourself to love yourself exactly the way you are. Look in the mirror and say the words out loud. “I am perfect, whole, and complete exactly the way I am, and I love me!”
Here are two other ways to help instill self-confidence in your kids.
1. Put sticky notes on the mirror.
Write uplifting words and phrases, such as “I am amazing,” “I love the way I look,” “I am beautiful.” Be specific: “I love my big brown eyes.” Once you have practiced this, do it with your child. Look in the mirror together and tell them wonderful things about themselves. Write these thoughts on sticky notes and tell them, “I love your beautiful red curls.” Your child will begin to take in the words that you say to them. Just like Billy Joel’s song says, “I love you just the way you are.” You can even play the song when you look in the mirror together. Every time your child hears it, even years down the road, they will smile and remember that they were loved exactly as they are.
2. Play an upbeat and positive song.
Practice once a week with your kids. Play the song; tell them you love them just the way they are; and then have them say that to themselves. It is amazing what this consistent practice will do for you and your child. If someone makes fun of one of them at school, your child will remember who they really are: a perfect, beautiful, amazing human being that is loved.
What we focus on grows. Shedding light on the positive aspects of your child continues for many years to come. Believe in them even when they don’t believe in themselves. When you wake up in the morning, before the day gets hectic, spend a moment visualizing your child. Picture them surrounded by light and go to your heart and send them love. You can visualize the color around them changing as you send them love.
I do this even now, and my children are in their 20s. But I know they feel it. By focusing on this powerful practice, you will be surprised by how much your child grows.