Day by day, as I watch my daughter grow, I can’t help but feel amazed. I have no idea how I created such a perfect little human being. Outside of her little toddler tantrums, she is becoming a lot like me. (Ok…Who am I kidding? I occasionally have tantrums.) Her mannerisms, attitude, and even her cute little sayings that she has picked up on. These have all been learned from myself and from the environment that I’ve created for her.
I know that as she gets older a great deal of who she becomes will be based on the way that carry myself personally and how I react to the world. And now that she has finally reached the “monkey see, monkey do phase” it’s really had me thinking…What type of role model do I want to be?
Being kind might seem like a given but I will also combine this with patience. Do you treat people with respect? The cashier at the market, bagging your groceries. The wait staff serving your family dinner. Do you smile and react with empathy and understanding when you meet? To the woman on the playground who’s always rude. Do you kill her with kindness? You should! Your child will notice your ability to rise above and in turn will react better to bad situations.
Do you consider yourself a charitable person? I know that as parents we want to wrap our kids in bubble wrap rather than expose them to how unfair the world really can be. In reality though, it’s important that children know that all that separates them from their current situation and those less fortunate is luck. By exposing them to charitable work it lets them see that we are all together in this life. I like to ask myself “What did I do today to make the world a better place?” It’s the world we’re going to pass on to our girls. Let’s make it the best that we possibly can.
3. Practice Self Love
In a world of unrealistic body standards, it’s our responsibility to teach our daughters to love the skin that they are in. This starts by loving ourselves and by eliminating negative self talk. Every woman goes through this. You’re standing in front of the mirror and wishing your thighs were slimmer or your lips were fuller. It can be hard not to analyze yourself in this way but you need to pay attention to who is watching. Your daughter will learn a lot about body confidence by watching your relationship with your own body. And it doesn’t stop there…This also extends to your talk about other women as well. If you find that you are verbally commenting on the appearance of other women, your little one is bound to notice and mimic your behavior. Just like your own mother said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.” Lets raise our Littles to build up others instead of tearing them down.
4. Stay Healthy
While self-love is important, this should also go hand in hand with being healthy. This means stop it with the crash diets and junk food spiral. Treat food as you should, the energy that fuels your amazing body. Your daughter will pay attention to your relationship with food and will create similar eating habits. Exercise regularly and make it as fun as you can. Find fun outdoor activities to do with your little and share the joy! Have dance parties for no reason at all. We all know proper diet, sleep and exercise elevates stress, wards off illness and disease and prolongs your life. If you enjoy staying active, your kids will too.
5. Focused on Learning
We know that teaching our children new skills is important to their growth. Shouldn’t we as parents be taking the time to grow as well? Even something as simple as taking the time to read a book or by taking a class here and there will be noticed by your child. I took the time to read several books over the summer and you know what? It created an interest within my daughter to do the same thing. She has had her nose in the books ever since. Look into free or paid online classes on Coursera or even sign your daughter and yourself up for a class in your area and learn something fun together.
Every time I take my daughter out of the house I tell her that we are going on an adventure. Let’s be honest, taking a toddler any where pretty much is one. But I like her to know that even though we might do some completely mundane tasks while we are out of the house that at the end we’ll be rewarded with something fun. Whether we are going to the park, the library, or just running around outside of our own home, I like to let her know that I am going to try to make it as fun as I possibly can. As she gets older I know that I’ll have to step my game up and increase the wonder. It’s actually something that I am really looking forward to. But I know that it is imperative that as time rolls on that I take chances and expose my child to new and exciting experiences. They don’t need to cost a fortune. Just getting out and exploring new territories is enough to keep our kids inquisitive.
Get your DIY on with your daughter! Not only is it fun but it helps develop important problem solving and cognitive skills with your little one. Have you ever taken your kid to the craft store? It’s pretty much the equivalent of Disney World in the mind of babes. They light up! Play with fabric, paper, paint, beads, anything you can find! If your low on cash work some up cycle magic on common items found around your house. (Pssst!….follow us on Pinterest for some awesome DIY up cycle projects pins!)
8. Hard Working
Finally, I think that the best example that you can set for your daughter is to be a hard-working adult. This does not necessarily mean going to work at a 9-5 or being a workaholic. (Obviously, life requires balance.) But even if you are a stay at home Mom, you can demonstrate to your kids that the key to living a better life lies in working hard. Do housework and yard work together. Make it fun by playing some music and reward yourself and your Little with a movie night when the work is done!
Overall I think that just being aware that our children are watching and learning from us is enough for us as parents to improve our behavior. What’s great is that by making these changes and tweaks to our life, routines and our behavior it ends up benefiting ourselves and the lives of our Littles! Hopefully by setting the best example that we possibly can for our daughters will transform them into incredible human beings. And that’s the end game, right? Until next time Kangas! Stay strong, radiate positivity and love fiercely!