How Will My Negative Self-Talk Impact My Son’s Self-Esteem?
Recently I posted on my blog my attempt at putting a stop to self-loathing and negative self-talk. I shared that I wanted to do this now more than ever because I have a daughter. It wasn’t until a few days later (because I’m quick like that) that it donned on me… What about my son?!?
Why didn’t I think of him?
For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with self-esteem and body image issues. I spent far too much time and energy feeling bad about myself instead of just living my life comfortable in my own skin. It has taken a great deal of growing up, the love and endless support of a wonderful man, a healthy dose of therapy, and two beautiful babies, for me to start coming around.
Now that I’m a mom I want to be a good example of self-confidence for my daughter because I don’t want her to waste the same time and energy that I did. I know realistically I can’t control whether or not her fate will be similar to mine, but I can at least make a genuine effort to lead by example.
I have a bevy of ideas in my head as to how I will go about doing this for my daughter and a hopeful heart that it will actually work. But there’s that question again… What about my son?
I was shocked at myself for not even considering him regarding this topic. I guess I just automatically assumed self-confidence issues are strictly “girl problems.” But is that really the case? I’m sure there are a number of boys, young men, and even grown men that struggle with self-esteem and body image issues as much as women but they probably don’t talk about it as much. Or did I just make yet one more generalization?
My point is that I also want to be a good role model for my son. I want him to have self-confidence just as much as my daughter. I know from experience how I can positively impact my girl because I was once myself a young impressionable girl growing up. But with my son it’s a bit different. I don’t know what it’s like to walk in guys’ shoes.
Furthermore I wonder if my son will even look to me as a role model for this type of thing or if he will innately look to his father?
Regardless I just want my kids to be able to put positive energy toward things that really matter in their lives and not turn focus on a society-driven definition of who they are “supposed” to be and what they are “supposed” to look like. I don’t intend to hammer this into them and may I remind everyone my kids are 2 years old and 6 months old respectively. So we are currently focusing on potty training and introducing solids… respectively. But seeing that this topic is one that is very near and dear to my heart it is for sure something I think about often.
So what are your thoughts? How can I be a good role model for both my son and my daughter when it comes to self-esteem and body image? Boy moms out there, do you think about being this type of role model for your son or do you think dad will handle this one?
Thank you in advance for your thoughts. I guess if I get really lost I can always refer to my parenting handbook. I swear I ordered it months ago… must be lost in the mail.
Kendra is a full-time working mom to a precocious two-year old boy and six month old baby girl and wife to her long-time sweetheart. At “My Full-Thyme Life” (http://myfullthymelife.blogspot.com) she writes about how she attempts to balance her cherished roles as wife, mom and key employee.