My girl wants to be a little lady
It’s perfectly natural that kids want to imitate things they see adults doing, but in the end it’s us parents who must decide if that’s appropriate or not. Wearing makeup and getting into fashion and glamour are harmless when reduced to a few powders and garments, but it’s the messages our media and society attaches to these things that might be a problem. How young is too young?
And in this day and age, it’s not just girls – boys are prone to all the same body image and confidence issues too.
Find out what’s behind your child’s interest
One of the most important things to find out is why your daughter or son wants to pay more attention to their appearance. Is it simply because they want to be like mum or dad? If so, this is very positive, and there’s probably no harm in it. Hopefully, they want to share your values and good behaviour traits as well as your savvy clothing choices!
However, if there’s a less positive motivation behind it, such as being teased at school or feeling inadequate for some reason, a more serious conversation with your youngster is in order.
Why do they think clothes or makeup can solve this problem? How are they going to make sure they believe in themselves even if they get a new wardrobe? It’s imperative that we teach our kids to respect themselves, both physically and mentally. Kids activities which promote self confidence are great for supporting this on an ongoing basis, such as martial arts and team building sports.
Do it together
As we know, families need to stick together and support each other. And just like with lots of other aspects of life, the best way to help your kids have good self-esteem is to lead by example, plus provide some sincere affirmation. Be positive about yourself, and take care of your health. Beauty shines from the inside out when you feel good and keep your body in good condition!
There are also lots of great online resources if you feel a little lost for words during a conversation about good mental health. Check out the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service website , for the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.
And of course, check the ActiveActivities directory for a full listing of activities your kids can participate in to ensure fun and fitness is a regular part of their lives!
Grace Harawira is a thirty-something Mum and all round creative type. She cares for her three young children in their Wellington home, in between blogging for ActiveActivities and working on a novel she has had in the works for years. She hopes she can inspire other Mums to carry on following their dreams, as well as raising kids that get lots of exercise and quality family time.