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How Your Words Affect Your Kids’ Self Worth

“I don’t know about you guys, but I hate when my daughter goes back to school.

I cherish the summers together. She comes with me to the gym for work, helps me with her sister, we go on a bike ride every evening and get ice cream at least once a week. 

Now that she’s headed back to school tomorrow, I’ve been outwardly sad this week. I’ve said “Nooo I don’t want you to go”, and “what am I going to do without my buddy?!” and expressed over and over again how much I’ll miss her. 

Yesterday we went to meet her teacher. And when we left, I heard the same things I had expressed come out of her mouth. “No mommy, I don’t want to go!”, “What am I going to do without you?”. 

I realized that the words I had been feeding her all week were affecting how she viewed the upcoming school year. 

Today we brought in school supplies (last minute, I know). I told her how EXCITED I am for her, how much she’ll learn and how many friends she’s going to make. I said how her teacher seems SO nice, and that I’m going to give her the biggest hug at pick up tomorrow. 

When we left, her attitude was different. She helped me pack her lunch and put it in the fridge. She picked out her snacks and her new (totally adorable) uniform is already set out and ready for the morning. She asked me if I could please braid her hair like a princess for the first day. I obviously obliged. 

This got me thinking about how much this translates to our health and fitness, and that of our kids. What we speak into our children matters so much more than we know. If I obsess about my weight and outwardly appearance, she will too. The way I talk about my body, other people’s bodies, and my views around food and exercise directly affect her. 

I want my daughter to know I’m not going for a run because I ate too much yesterday, or because I need to be skinny. Instead I’m going for a run because my body was born to run, and capable of doing hard things.

I want her to know that when mommy lifts weights, I’m celebrating how powerful I am, and that she holds that same power inside of her. 

I want her to know that I eat healthy food because it gives me the fuel I need to play, ride bikes, and love on her the way she deserves. And that I’m never afraid to eat an ice cream cone with her, too. 

Of course I want my daughters to exercise and learn proper nutrition… but I want it to be because they know their worth, and not because they’re trying to fit into a box. 

So on this last day of summer, we’re going on a bike ride because it makes us happy. And we might knock off a BINGO square or two, just for fun.” – Coach Rachel