For those of you who don’t know, I use to struggle with self-care. I lost myself when I first became a mother. It took a while for me to find myself in motherhood. It’s super important to take care of yourself. Now that I have a daughter, I vowed that I will teach her self-care, self-love, and confidence.
Yes, my daughter is two, and yes, life may throw you some curveballs. Another thing I do know is that I’m laying the foundation and teaching Mckenzie from a young age to love herself. In my opinion, it’s never too early. Your little loves watch, listen, and learn from you. It all starts with you.
I’m teaching Mckenzie self-care in these ways:
I always want my daughter to tune into her feelings and behavior. This also helps her to be aware of another individuals feelings and behavior.
I make it a point to applaud Mckenzie when she gains an accomplishment. When learning something new, I’m encouraging her all the way through until she gets it. I let her know that it’s ok to take her time. It could be something as simple as coloring inside the lines or blowing her nose. Now, when she accomplishes something the first thing she yells is “yay, I did it”. She gets that she set a goal and crushed it, and she’s proud of herself for doing so.
The simple things
Even our routine tasks are self-care teaching moments. I make sure we do these things properly. Hand washing, brushing her teeth, putting on lotion, dressing and undressing, making sure she eats, brushing her hair, taking a bath everyday, fun learning, resting/taking a nap, etc.
Everyday, Mckenzie is told she is beautiful, a pretty princess, that her hair is pretty, etc. I want her to be confident in the skin she’s in.
Giving your little loves empathy for their own feelings helps develop empathy for themselves and even others.
My biggest tool is to implement social skills. Mckenzie gets the most social skill learning with her brother. For example, when teaching my little loves sharing, instead of praising their sharing, I point out how it makes the other feel. “Mckenzie, look how happy Nasir is that he gets to have a turn playing the xylophone.”
Setting personal boundaries
Mckenzie will surely let it be known when she is not feeling someone or something. I’m here for it all! I’m not the mom who makes her child speak to strangers if she doesn’t want to. I want her to always be aware of how she feels, good and bad.
I’m all about experience. I teach my little loves to be in the moment. Family outings, our daily activities, laughter.