By Jill Hope
Do your kids struggle with friendships? Do they speak negatively about themselves? Do you carry guilt from something you did or said?
These are all examples of a lack of self-love. When you or your kids suffer in relationships or talk down about yourself, you are likely not giving yourself an appropriate level of self-care.
Here is a truth: The more you love yourself, the more people can love you.
And the exciting news is when you can love yourself, truly love yourself, the opinions of others don’t matter so much. So, how can you model self-love for your kids? Here are my favorite tips:
1) Watch your speech.
When you say, “How could I do that?” or “I can’t believe I did that” or “I am so mad at myself” you are not treating yourself with the care and love that you deserve. We ALL make mistakes, that is part of being human! It is okay to feel regret, to realize you made a mistake, and to learn from it. But, when you let the negative feelings linger, when you start feeling guilty, you harm yourself. You are not forgiving yourself and letting go. It is so important that you are conscious of what you are saying around your kids. They absorb your every word and action. When you model negative language aimed at yourself, you show them that it is okay to speak badly about themselves and to carry guilt.
2) Give yourself “quiet time”.
We’ve all heard about the concept of “quiet time” for our kids. It’s that time when our kids spend time reading a book or otherwise doing a quiet, peaceful activity. But have you ever thought of the benefit of taking quiet time for yourself? Kids hear you say “it’s quiet time now”, but if they don’t see you take that time for yourself, they may think it is something just for kids. We all need quiet time! Every day! Time to release our thoughts, time to just “be”. When you join your child in quiet time, you show her that everybody needs quiet time, not just kids. Think about what you could do to take a quiet time with your child. Maybe you could journal together or listen to a guided visualization. Anything that quiets your mind and helps you to be really present with yourself is what you are looking for.
3) Think about all of the things you love and appreciate about yourself.
Sit down, give everyone a sheet of paper, and make a list with your kids of all of the things you love about yourself, and all of the ways you can show appreciation to yourself. Save these lists so that when you or one of your children is feeling down, you can look at your list of the things you love about yourself. Make a plan of how you can do the things on your list that give you a sense of self-appreciation. This can be a wonderful activity you can do as a family, increasing everyone’s sense of self-love and appreciation.
So, think about how much love you give to yourself, and how much you model self-love for your kids. Doing these 3 simple activities can teach your kids that they are worthy of their own love, decrease their reliance on what others think about them, and open the door to be loved and appreciated even more by others.