After Aidann would create a picture, put on a new outfit, or finish at dance class she would sometimes say things like - "Do you like this, Mommy?" or "Daddy, do you think I did a great job?". As I said before, she obviously was saying this stuff out of an innocent heart & the thought of someone giving her a negative response would probably be the last thing she would ever expect. Unfortunately, we do live in a tough world & some people can be mean, especially kids. So, the next time she came up to me with a dress on that she had proudly selected from her closet all by herself & asked if I liked it, I decided to take that opportunity to explain some things to her.
M&M: Do you like your dress?
M&M: Are you proud of yourself for picking it out & putting it on all by yourself?
M&M: I do think it is beautiful too, but sometimes a person might say that they do not like something & that is their opinion (You might have to explain that word). What really matters is what you think. If you like something or if you think you did a great job at doing something (Your best!), then it does not matter what other people think.
You could tell Aidann was really taking all of this in & really processing the information. I then did some mock situations with her with her Polly Pocket dolls to help drive home what I was trying to teach her & to help her learn how to handle various situations. I did 1 where a kid said they did not think she did a good job on a picture & she told the kid that was not a very nice thing to say & in her opinion, it was a beautiful picture because she tried her best & that is what matters. I did a few other situations with her, even 1 where we pretended a kid was wearing a shirt Aidann did not really like & we discussed how "if you can't say something nice, do not say anything at all" (Lol, a line from the Disney movie "Bambi").
It would be unrealistic to say that our kids' feelings are never going to be hurt by another individual, but as parents, we need to equip them as best as we can ahead of time with tools to handle those situations with confidence. No doubt, some people are going to have a contrary opinion & that is okay. Raising kids who are strong enough to think for themselves & who don't always worry about what other people might think is definitely not the easiest thing to do in today's society, but it is also NOT impossible! I think Dr. Seuss said it so well when he stated, "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?". What is popular is not always what is right & when people say you are "different" it does not have to be a bad thing! I do not want my kids to make their decisions in life with their sole focus being whether or not it is going to "please" people, but instead to make each of their decisions based on the character, morals & values that have been instilled in them. I don't want them to always dress for what is popular at the time or pleasing to others, but rather to dress for what makes them feel good and/or what they think is "super cute" (Aidann's favorite phrase-lol).
Children are special lil individuals - they each have a unique combination of opinions, tastes and preferences. They must know that they are capable of making & entitled to having their own opinion, likes, and dislikes and that this is okay. And also that ultimately, this is what matters and what is most important as far as "pleasing". Naturally, our kids are going to tend to want to please us, but we must keep that in balance so they do not require the approval of others.
My kids are individuals. Each is her own special self! Each is so "different" - this is what I LOVE & CELEBRATE because in my eyes that means "special"!
|Doing Daddy's nails