Teaching kids they are beautiful inside and out is a beautiful guest post from Suzy Lyons.
I was a young girl once and I know how hard growing up can be and learning to appreciate you are beautiful inside and out. Magazines and the media have always tried to show us how we should look. Now social media and selfies everywhere you scroll gives us a constant feeling of what we are missing out on or how we should be looking.
I now have children of my own and on the weekend devices are scattered through the house. Video clips might be on the television on Saturday morning, the 5-year-old is watching makeup tutorials on the iPad. My 8-year-old is building a fort on Minecraft and my husband and I are scrolling Instagram in between the news. We are constantly being drawn in to “beautiful” images, glossy high coloured photos and perfect bodies. How does one teach that beauty comes from within when these images are shoved in our face all the time?
A glamourous girl is waltzing around on the television and my daughter doesn’t ask me if she has a positive body image. It is not in her mind to think anything of the sort. I want to tell her that she probably doesn’t. She is subjected to the strains and pressures of the world we live in and the critique and scrutiny of her fans and the media.
Tips for Teaching Kids About Beauty
What is beauty?
I want my children to understand and learn that beauty comes from within. Not just what is presented on the outside.
True beauty is about how we treat others and how we behave.
That is how we should be judging and assessing what beauty is. My daughter recently started putting on some makeup with me and she made the comment “So now I am beautiful” and it really got me thinking. I need to start being more aware of what I show her is beautiful. I need to be telling and showing her to focus on beauty inside.
We don’t all of a sudden become beautiful by putting on makeup or having photoshop make us looker glossier and bronzed. We need to set a good example by not focussing too much time in the mirror.
We should focus and tell our children about how amazing our bodies are!
When I start to explain all the amazing things our bodies can do, the muscles, the organs, the nerves, creating life. All these things show us that we are far more than what is on the outside.
It is important that we as women are positive about our own bodies.
We need to instill in our boys and girls a positive body image.
We need to show them that how someone carries themselves, their morals and values are more important.
You won’t know how beautiful someone is until you know them.
It is how someone holds themselves and how you are seen to hold yourself. Of course, it is important to look after our bodies on the outside as well. I teach my children about exercise and a healthy diet. I teach them the importance of fuelling our bodies with good things and looking after our bodies. But that doesn’t mean they have to be a size 6 bikini.
Fit and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. I recently wrote about these issues and the importance of healthy living through focussing on our health and not on our weight
I want them to be empowered for who they are as people.
It is important to show our children magazines and images across the ages.
The concept of what is beautiful has varied over time and what was perceived as beautiful 50 years ago is very different to what the media tells us is beautiful now.
I want her to appreciate that age does not mean you are not beautiful anymore.
My children and I were watching Survivor the other night and I asked them both who they liked on the show. My daughter said “Shane Gould”. I asked her why and she said “because she is beautiful”. I was so proud because Shane is beautiful. It came from a place of respect and admiration for who she was as a person and not just what she looked like in her swimming costume on the beach.
This is the essence of beauty inside. She can see that true beauty is from within.
In order for our children that know they are beautiful inside and out, I need to show praise and communicate with them when they show, compassion, empathy, love and when they are a good friend.
I say out loud the things that I love them for.
If they stick up for their friends, or when they say sorry for something they did wrong. I need to tell them how proud I am for their achievements or just simply that I am proud for how caring and compassionate they are.
Telling and showing our children we are proud of them as people, instills confidence in who they are as people. I need to tell them they are unique and special and that is because of their beautiful personal traits and qualities.
The media will always be there.
Selfies that are photoshopped will probably be around for a while yet, as will social media.
But we can try to educate them and empower them with the knowledge that beauty comes from within.
Next time we ask our kids what is beauty, we want them to put their hand on their heart and tell us that it comes from in there.
That is true beauty.
About the Author
Suzy is a busy mum of 2 cheeky monkeys, a husband, a cheeky French bulldog, 6 chickens, 3 geese and 1 duck. Currently residing in Sydney, they have just moved to a rural community and currently betting on how long it takes to convince hubby to buy some more farm animals and a pony.
Suzy and the family are committed to a healthy and active lifestyle and loves to help other families learn and create overall family well-being. Life is about a positive attitude and balance so when she isn’t working you can find her with friends or soaking up the sunshine in the paddocks with her family.
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How do you teach kids they are beautiful?