Saturday, January 17, 2015

A reality check

How do your insides feel?

Sometimes when I hear parents brag about their children's grades or accomplishments, I'm reminded that I too, was once a bragger until life slapped me with some hard truths. I learned that my low self-esteem was riding on the coat-tails of my children. My first reality check was when my daughter began experimenting with drugs.

Then came another wake-up call from life. I had hoped my daughter's achievements; good grades, popularity, and goals for her future, meant she was exempt from harm. Wrong!!! Not only did I see how my unworthiness affected her self-esteem (I tried to make up for what I lacked by giving her too much), I also saw how she strived to be perfect in an attempt to please everyone. Other than myself, I'm not sure she showed anyone her pain (children learn to wear masks just like adults), but she began to act her pain out. My daughter sought ways to medicate her insecurities. One was to become an over-achiever. The other was to be the life of the party.

Don't think that you can measure a child success by what they accomplish. If you want to teach your children something valuable, then teach them how to love and accept themselves. But please understand that if you don't love and accept who you are, you probably won't be able to do it effectively. We can't give away what we don't have. And over-compensating can be damaging too!
“Consider the fact that maybe…just maybe…beauty and worth aren’t found in a makeup bottle, or a salon-fresh hairstyle, or a fabulous outfit. Maybe our sparkle comes from somewhere deeper inside, somewhere so pure and authentic and REAL, it doesn’t need gloss or polish or glitter to shine.”   ― Mandy Hale