4.10.2014

Am I doing it right?


There are so many things I want to teach Madison; how to be happy with yourself, how to live an active and healthy life, and how to be respectful of others - these would be the top of my list.
So many life lessons happening right now - like how to twist the hair towel on your head. 
Or how to clasp your own necklace. Important stuff for a girl.

I've noticed lately there are MANY things she's picking up from her environment.
While planning her birthday party I asked her who she wanted to invite and she specifically told me to invite one girl from her class, but not another because they would play together and leave her out. I was really surprised that girls already feel excluded at 5 years old!  



She's also told me several times that she doesn't want me breastfeeding in public, Mommy Milk is for at home she says. Where in the world would she learn that? We've always been very open with how babies are fed so I was pretty shocked she would be embarrassed to have me whip out my boob in public!  


I also read an article recently that talked about how kids by age 5 already have body image ideas, that fat is considered bad and skinny is good.  As much as I try to show her a positive body image at home, she's still picking this stuff up and it worries me that she's feeling it so young! The earliest I remember being unhappy with my body was middle school. I don't know why this is surprising to me as I have numerous comments about her weight from grown adults. People who KNOW better than to comment negatively on a child's weight.


The older she gets the more stressful it is for me to feel secure in my parenting. It's hard to know that I'm making the right choices. I want to protect her from so much, but I can't. I never want her to feel left out or insecure with herself, but that's part of life and we all have to go through it.
God Bless, I may have a nervous break down when she's a teenager - I'm not ready for this!

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42 comments :

  1. I honestly worry about the all of this with Harper and she is only 2! I know that kids (girls/women) can be really mean, and I want to protect her. I know we can't shield them from everything, but you never want them to have to worry with that stuff or be bothered by it. The plus is that you have Aiden for round two of the teen years. I hear boys are pretty much a breeze as teenagers!

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  2. She is such a beautiful little girl! And adults that makes comments about her are just assholes. Plain & simple. You are doing a FINE job! I remember having body issues when I was in pre-school, probably around 5 years old. A little boy called me, "fat" and I have never forgotten it. I remember his name, face, where we were when he said- the whole 9 yards. I was always a "big kid" and it followed me into my adult life. You are teaching her and guiding her the best way you know how and never doubt what you are doing, based on the opinions of others. Someone will always have something to say about anything & everything. Keep on keeping on! Kudos to you for all the great things you are teaching her!!

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  3. I have a girl and worry about the same exact things! Like even if we promote "healthy living" instead of "skinny or fat", well someone out there in the world is still going to put "skinny or fat" in her head instead of healthy. It makes me so scared for her to grow up b/c I don't want her feeling bad about herself and I know at some point someone is going to do that to her. :(

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  4. I have two daughter (6 and 4) and I constantly worry about shielding them from the harshness of the world and especially the harshness of other girls/women! It is so hard to be a girl in the society that we live in! I started following you when I began trying to lose weight and you are by far my favorite instagrammer! From what I can tell you are an awesome mom so keep on doing what you're doing!!

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  5. Oh the joys of being a parent! I have two boys, last year my oldest (5 at the time) told me that he "looked fat" in a certain shirt. That blew my mind! I was sad and wondered what would make him think this, is it me? Where is it coming from? I've tried my hardest to always have positive reinforcement...it's not easy. As a parent all we want is our child to be happy, healthy and for them to have the best. My oldest also struggles in school and it breaks my heart, I will go to the ends of the earth to help him. I've learned that babies may seem difficult at the time, along with terrible 2's and 3's but school age is by far the hardest and I'm only dealing with 1st grade. SO much stuff to deal when it comes to education and the environment. There is so much pressure on our little ones, and yet...they are so little.

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  6. It is so hard! My daughter is in Kindergarten and I see these things coming up all the time! Dance class is the worst sometimes! You are doing a wonderful job! She seems so able to express herself in great ways. She seem creative and happy! We promote being healthy, not the skinny or fat talk!. My hubby struggles with his weight and we have to be very careful how we talk about it because the kids pick it up so easily! Love your blog and what you represent!

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  7. You just described why I was terrified to have a girl and was relieved when I found out Jake was a boy. But I feel you on how teenager-hood will go. It terrifies me. I am barely handling a 5yo for God's sake.

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  8. A couple of the 4 year old girls have completely excluded my two year old son after story time while they play with toys and the look on his face broke my heart. You could tell he felt like he wasn't allowed to touch any of the toys and go near them. They also called him a baby which, I mean he's two he is still actually a baby of sorts but he mentally and physically can keep up with their age group better than his own. I hate that he feels out of place in situations like that. Anyways Madison is gorgeous in and out. She has a gymnasts body, at five no child should know what fat or skinny is, and no child should feel so excluded that they can't invite both of the girls to the party. As for the breastfeeding in public I can almost guarantee that some parents have said something and out of the mouth of babes their kids spit it back out to your daughter...I say even though she's not the most comfortable with you doing it don't stop feeding in public altogether because she needs to know it is perfectly natural and feel comfortable herself one day. xoxo

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  9. My niece is 9 and I know they go through it all the time about the friend thing and fat thing. I was shocked the first time I heard it! Scares me for when I have kids!

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  10. Well this is somewhat comforting! I have a 2 year old girl and I get psycho thinking about all the stuff I don't want people to tell her. I get so worried about her growing up with all the insecurities I grew up with. Being a girl is scary and the thought of my baby girl being out there is even scarier. I feel that I all I can do is be honest with her and share what I've learned over the years.

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  11. You are a great Mom and are doing a wonderful job! Madison is beautiful and so is Aiden! I think that the best Mom's worry the most about doing things right for their kids..........that is what makes them such great parents! Anyone who makes negative comments about Madison's weight is an idiot and I can only imagine the type of parent they are and how they make their own children feel.

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  12. Parenting is so hard! The whole 'being made fun of' and 'being excluded' thing is so hurtful and unfortunately I think girls have to deal with it much more than boys do. I wish I had some great advice for you. I was picked on as a kid and I was a skinny toothpick - you can't win no matter what size, shape, color you are! Just give her all the love you can at home so she has a safe, secure place to go to every single day. You're doing great as a mom! You are teaching her right from wrong and instilling good life lessons in her. keep it up!

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  13. I worry about the same things with my boy. I'm always afraid I'm going to "break" him - I only have 1 shot to get it right! Scary stuff!

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  14. I think as mothers of little girls, we all feel this way. The whole skinny/fat thing tears me apart. I try every single day to make sure my girls know how beautiful they are and that what others think of them really doesn't matter. It also breaks my heart that my girls have been the victims of bullying at school. I've instilled in them that we are all different and that is ok because otherwise it'd be a very boring world. They know to be nice to everyone even if they aren't being nice back. Such a hard thing being a parent!!! But I think you're doing an amazing job!!! Twilight Sparkle is quite awesome and I'm sure Aiden is going to be just as awesome!!

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  15. It hearts my heart to see how our world puts negative thoughts and body images into children at such a young age. I was made fun of in 2nd grade for being chubby and it has stuck with me my whole life. It brought lots of tears and hurt growing up. I think as a mom you do a wonderful job showing her how to live a healthy balanced life. Nobody can steal that away from her.

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  16. I'm raising the last of 4 girls and my last is turning 15 this summer. My oldest just turned 31. I guess nothing ever changes. I had the same worries. All 4 of my daughters have turned grown up healthy and happy. The two oldest are married and I have 5 grandchildren already. The two youngest are 19 and 14. They 19 year old works out at the gym daily I think. The youngest plays soccer and is hoping to make varsity next year. The oldest danced from the age of 2 until college and was drill team captain her senior year in high school. My second daughter was cheerleader all 4 years in high school. Although all 4 of them have been active throughout their lives the two oldest after having children are working hard to lose the weight like most all of us. My advice in raising daughters is to communicate, communicate, communicate every day. Give tons of love to them and let them know how much you care. I liked to always throw out there "well what if that girl was you, how would you feel? what would you say to her? how do you think you should handle this?" Make them think and not just see things from one point of view. Good luck and don't forget to enjoy the ride!

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  17. I am not a perfect parent by any standards, but I have always felt that if I teach my daughter how to laugh at herself, then that will go a long ways towards her self image. My daughter isn't skinny by any means - she is a typical 9 year old child. She is aware that people come in all shapes and sizes and colours - and she is fine with that. In fact, one mean little girl at school told her that she was ugly. My child responded with "duh, I have a mirror and I know that I am beautiful". My heart swelled with pride at that comeback. Let's hope she carries that into her teen years.

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  18. I remember being really conscious and aware of my body in 4th grade.

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  19. My daughter is 6 years old (turned 6 in January) and she's not a bean pole, but neither am I....I have always been "bigger" and have really struggled as I have gotten older. My daughter is very active, plays sports, and I try to monitor what she's eating to try and keep her from having to fight the battles I have fought and still fight. She said something to me the other night about how fat she was and how kids at school and even church told her that she was fat. I have tried to avoid that word in our family because I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that comment and I never wanted to hear Jayden say that to someone else. I have tried my hardest to make sure that what Jayden is seeing in people is what's inside, it doesn't matter if they are heavier or bean pole skinny....that they are a person and should be loved. It breaks my heart that at 6 years old I have a daughter who thinks she's "fat".

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  20. I have tried to preach "healthy" not skinny vs fat to my daughter but those body image things just creep in from everywhere. We were at the grocery story the other day and I told her no to something she wanted to take for school lunches. I said it wasn't healthy and she responded with "Well, Janie So and So has them every day and she's still skinny"....ugh! So we had another long talk about healthy not skinny. And just being honest, girls are mean. I hope I was never the mean girl in school but gosh there are many of them. There's nothing that sucks more than your kid crying because her best friends are mad at her. Luckily, since they are all girls, they were bff like a day later, lol. Ugh. The drama!

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  21. The fact that you're aware of how she feels, and you're taking the time to think about it and what it means...means you're doing it right. For sure. When I become a mom, I'm definitely taking a page from the Skinny Meg parenting handbook. :)

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  23. <3 the fact that you even think of it, consider it so heavily, says you are doing a good job, Mama.

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  24. Love this post! I have a 5 year old daughter and too and it is tough! :)

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  25. My girls have soooo much drama at school. girls are so mean!!! it makes me sad. I swear it's worse now than it was when we were young.

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  26. I feel the same way with my 5 year old. We really try to teach love and respect for ourselves and others. We aren't perfect parents, but we LOVE our child and want to do right by her. It's hard to do when there are other parents that aren't teaching their children the same. I think you are a wonderful mother. You obviously love your children. I believe that everything starts at home, so keep doing what you are doing. She knows she's loved and cared for. :)

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  27. Just from what I read about you and your family online you come across so sweet and genuine and I can clearly see you love those sweet babies whole heartedly. It seems to me you are doing a great job to raise her right and teach her the best you can especially in the world we live in today. Keep up the good work!!!!

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  28. Speaking as a high school teacher, just keep loving her and supporting her -- and vocalizing that love and support to her -- forever and ever. It makes me so, so sad to hear some of my kids' stories, but simply because Madison is so very loved by her mama and dad, she is already a step ahead of many kiddos.

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  29. Even though I am not a mom, one of my fears when I become a mom is having a girl and having to help her fight what I went through. Losing my self confidence in high school and giving up everything I loved doing because I kept gaining weight from a health condition no one knew about really. I think you are doing great. She isn't fat. She is active. She looks amazingly happy. All you can do is keep teaching her to love her body, to take care of herself in a healthy manner and to not listen to the negative comments around her!!! :)

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  30. You won't be able to control anything that anybody says to her or about her. You can't protect her from it . The only thing you can do is teach her how to deal with it. How to deal with emotions and feelings. How to be her own person. And you do that by example. Teach her to want to do better and be better .

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  31. I've been reading your blog for a long time, but never commented before. I'm 61 and am still dealing with body image issues because my mother was anorexic and constantly criticized my weight (even though all photos show I was normal weight, or even skinny). Although I do remember wanting to look like Twiggy (you are so young, so you probably don't even know who she was), I think I would have been fine about my weight if my mom had a healthy attitude about weight.

    I encourage you to keep doing what you're doing, which is loving your daughter, not talking about her weight, etc. You are modeling a healthy attitude, and although she may be exposed to some bad ideas from friends and media, you are her strongest influence. So what will stick with her is what she learns from you.

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  32. First and foremost, how dare anyone say anything to you about her weight. She is a beautiful 5 YEAR OLD little girl. Kids say mean things and sometimes mimic what they hear others saying but fully grown adults should have more tact than that not to mention your Twilight Sparkle (haha, I have a Rainbow Dash here at my house) is a beautiful growing little girl who looks healthy and happy which is all that matters.

    I completely agree with you that as mamas we have to really think about the things our kids see, hear, and experience when they aren't with us because they are so impressionable and it is so hard to hear things coming from them that we haven't taught them (such as being embarrassed about nursing in public) I do know though that as much as it feels obligatory to help your girl accept herself and accept others and put more emphasis on health vs fat and skinny etc, I think the more focus we give to the topic makes them think about it more which makes them even more susceptible to preconceived prejudice and judgmental thinking of other people and it potentionally rubbing off on or adversely affecting them... JMO of course.

    I myself was a very chunky little girl and have been overweight my entire life so I know how difficult it is to not only be the mom of a little girl (I actually have 2) but to be that little girl who is confused and feeling self conscious and left out and all that awful stuff we go through as kids.

    The great thing though is that you are on top of it. You are there for her. You are guiding her and that is really all we can do ... the best we know how and pray that we impart self acceptance and self respect as well as acceptance and respect of others on our little divas...(ponies?) haha

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  33. I hate to hear that she's dealing with this already. Mine was 5 when she first made the comment (when asked if she was ready to eat) that she didn't need to eat because her belly was too fat. Now (3rd grade) we are dealing with a girl in her class that is making fun of her, telling her she's dumb, etc. I'm so over this already!!!!

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  34. I have a boy who is 3 1/2 and I would like to say it is easier, but it isn't. I don't want him to be that boy who calls a girl fat or bullies other kids. So I work HARD to make sure he is loving to EVERYONE. But it isn't easy. And I can tell by previous posts and this one that you work hard to keep her happy and healthy (mentally and physically). that is all we can do. I also think on the breast feeding in public, if she you being strong and holding up your values she will be a better person for it down the road. There were things that I was embarrassed by when I was younger, but now I am SO happy that my parents stuck to their guns and did things any ways, it made me a better person. She will understand as she gets older. Don't you wish these children came with their own instruction manual. LOL Each child is so different, that I think they need their own personal one. Good luck and honestly I don't think Aiden will be any easer because I have just as many concerns and worries for my son as you do for your daughter. Good luck!

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  35. Awwww I feel so weirdly protective of your little girl because shes EXACTLY like my daughter (who is now 7). I have heard comment on her weight...and she notices now too. And it kills me. So I know what you're going through. I dont remember having any body issues until well into high school. It makes me so mad! I wish I could post a pic here so you can see what I mean about our daughters looking alike! I might have some on my blog....maybe...I'm not sure because I'm just starting it and I havent done much with it! http://shrinkingashlee.blogspot.com/

    Anyway...you're doing a great job! We do what we can as parents, and we hope for the best when we send them out into the world!

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  36. Ahh! I am going through the same things with my son. And now I have an 8 week old daughter. Parenting is so hard and emotional! I think you are doing awesome though!

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  37. I teach middle school, and many of the girls will not eat lunch, or bring something and eat next to nothing and throw it away! Several have admitted to doing this since third or fourth grade when the comments got bad!!!! When I confronted one mother about her daughter not eating, the mother responded with, "She could stand to lose a few pounds." Remember , parents are the first teacher!!! They model hateful behavior, racism, political hatred, and of course body image issues!!!! It starts very early. Girls have been mean to my girls since kindergarten!!! My girl's are adopted, and the comments from parents and students have been shocking!!!!

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  38. My daughter began mentioning these things very early too. Hold onto the fact that you are an amazing example to her, and she will follow that example. My Madison is sixteen and is now one of the most confident, well-adjusted, balanced people I know, young or old. Yours will be as well. =D

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  39. Oh gosh, I don't envy you. Even though I originally was hoping for baby #3 to be a girl, deep down I knew I was terrified of it being a girl and not being able to be a good mom to a girl in this day and age. I know I had my own "girl issues" with self esteem and body image growing up and didn't know if I would be able to keep that from my own daughter. I have to say it was with a sigh of relief we found out baby #3 was another BOY and so I've been able to bypass the whole worry all together. I am, however, EXTREMELY careful of what I do and say in front of my boys when it comes to my body image, health, exercise, how to treat people. I try to instill in them a sense of equalness and to not think of people as fat or skinny (in fact I don't allow the word "fat" in the house). I don't EVER say I'm trying to lose weight but that "mommy is trying to be healthy". I hope I can be a good example. With that said though, raising boys is very different than girls and I know from experience the woes that come with trying to cope with body image in today's world. YOU are doing an amazing job and Madison is SUCH a blessed little girl for having a mommy like you. Even on days when you probably feel like you are doing your worst, you are still doing a hundred times better than so many out there. So chin up - you are awesome.

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  40. As someone who struggles with being critical on my own body, it is SO important to me not to instill that in my daughter. I can't believe any adult finds it appropriate to ridicule a small child's weight. They should be ashamed!!

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  41. As someone who struggles with being critical on my own body, it is SO important to me not to instill that in my daughter. I can't believe any adult finds it appropriate to ridicule a small child's weight. They should be ashamed!!

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