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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Empowering Girls: No Name Calling

This article was originally published on Body Impolitic.
P3234059.JPG

by Tracee Sioux

It's effective to make some rules when children are still very young to ensure a healthy self-image, including body image.

Most parents forbid name calling when it comes to siblings or friends.

It's appropriate to make the same rule for name calling against themselves.

I punish my children for saying "I'm stupid" and "My legs are fat" the same as I would punish them if they said, "You are stupid" or "Your legs are fat."

Children learn to respect, accept and appreciate their bodies and skills or they learn to self-deprecate.

Respect, acceptance and appreciation doesn't lead to anorexia, self-mutilation or other self-destructive behaviors.

Self-deprecation has been shown lead to self-destructive behavior, depression, low self-worth, drug use and suicide.

Children learn from a Do As I Do as opposed to Do As I Say. Obviously mothers (and fathers) will have to forgo self-deprecation as a form of humor or bonding with other women.

Naomi Wolf said, "The mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem."

A woman can not stand in front of the mirror annihilating her body and her reflection and expect her children to have a positive self esteem. That's just not likely to happen.

My daughter holds me to this standard. I've spoken with her about my own accountability in this area. If I cut loose with an, "I am so stupid!" she will call me on it and has actually sent me to "time out."

I did go to time out, because I want her to know that what I did by calling myself a name was very, very wrong. If I refuse to live up to the standard I set for her then essentially, the message is that it's "not really that important."

When I read the statistics about teenage girls that declare that 13% of girls are depressed, 10 million women have an eating disorder, 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat, 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.

All because girls never learned to be kind to oneself?

I know I must vigilantly teach my daughter how to take care of emotional self and accept and appreciate her body from a very early age.

More on Body Image at Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me

Self-Loathing Sin Bank

8 comments:

'That Girl' said...

I think it's so great that you went to time-out.

Anonymous said...

Please don't make us look at this photo anymore.

Tracee said...

You are free to close your eyes.

Tracee said...

Dear Anonymous,

No one is more sick, more aware, or more embarrassed by my lack of a decent camera or better photography than I.

You can only imagine my humiliation when I stood next to every major newspaper in the state and CNN with my cell phone clicking photos of Chelsea Clinton at the Texas Dem Con.

Be patient please. A new camera is on "the list."

I'll be forwarding your comment to my husband to see if you and I can get it moved closer to the top.

Jeanne said...

Great post. I've never called myself stupid in front of my daughter but I have slipped and uttered the word stupid on occasion when I was upset. In our house, we generally don't use the word stupid for anything... even objects. So on the rare occasion when I slip and say 'stupid", my daughter says, "Mom! You said the S word"! Whenever she catches me using words like "stupid", I'm glad she does. It makes me more conscious of what I'm saying. She hasn't sent me to time out yet but I certainly wouldn't put it past her. :) Seriously, though... she makes her strong disapproval of me daring to use the word "stupid" abundantly clear.

Gerald said...

This is really good. I like this Empowering Girls stuff. AE is bad at beating herself up sometimes. I may try this.

Gerald said...

I have given myself punishment a few times too, for saying naughty words, like crap, and pissed, opps there I go again, back to time-out.

Tracee said...

If AE has a bad habit try the Sin Bank idea Gerald.

Make her deposit a quarter every time she puts herself, brain or body, down. It will draw attention to it and help her change the habit.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Empowering Girls: No Name Calling

This article was originally published on Body Impolitic.
P3234059.JPG

by Tracee Sioux

It's effective to make some rules when children are still very young to ensure a healthy self-image, including body image.

Most parents forbid name calling when it comes to siblings or friends.

It's appropriate to make the same rule for name calling against themselves.

I punish my children for saying "I'm stupid" and "My legs are fat" the same as I would punish them if they said, "You are stupid" or "Your legs are fat."

Children learn to respect, accept and appreciate their bodies and skills or they learn to self-deprecate.

Respect, acceptance and appreciation doesn't lead to anorexia, self-mutilation or other self-destructive behaviors.

Self-deprecation has been shown lead to self-destructive behavior, depression, low self-worth, drug use and suicide.

Children learn from a Do As I Do as opposed to Do As I Say. Obviously mothers (and fathers) will have to forgo self-deprecation as a form of humor or bonding with other women.

Naomi Wolf said, "The mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem."

A woman can not stand in front of the mirror annihilating her body and her reflection and expect her children to have a positive self esteem. That's just not likely to happen.

My daughter holds me to this standard. I've spoken with her about my own accountability in this area. If I cut loose with an, "I am so stupid!" she will call me on it and has actually sent me to "time out."

I did go to time out, because I want her to know that what I did by calling myself a name was very, very wrong. If I refuse to live up to the standard I set for her then essentially, the message is that it's "not really that important."

When I read the statistics about teenage girls that declare that 13% of girls are depressed, 10 million women have an eating disorder, 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat, 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.

All because girls never learned to be kind to oneself?

I know I must vigilantly teach my daughter how to take care of emotional self and accept and appreciate her body from a very early age.

More on Body Image at Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me

Self-Loathing Sin Bank

8 comments:

'That Girl' said...

I think it's so great that you went to time-out.

Anonymous said...

Please don't make us look at this photo anymore.

Tracee said...

You are free to close your eyes.

Tracee said...

Dear Anonymous,

No one is more sick, more aware, or more embarrassed by my lack of a decent camera or better photography than I.

You can only imagine my humiliation when I stood next to every major newspaper in the state and CNN with my cell phone clicking photos of Chelsea Clinton at the Texas Dem Con.

Be patient please. A new camera is on "the list."

I'll be forwarding your comment to my husband to see if you and I can get it moved closer to the top.

Jeanne said...

Great post. I've never called myself stupid in front of my daughter but I have slipped and uttered the word stupid on occasion when I was upset. In our house, we generally don't use the word stupid for anything... even objects. So on the rare occasion when I slip and say 'stupid", my daughter says, "Mom! You said the S word"! Whenever she catches me using words like "stupid", I'm glad she does. It makes me more conscious of what I'm saying. She hasn't sent me to time out yet but I certainly wouldn't put it past her. :) Seriously, though... she makes her strong disapproval of me daring to use the word "stupid" abundantly clear.

Gerald said...

This is really good. I like this Empowering Girls stuff. AE is bad at beating herself up sometimes. I may try this.

Gerald said...

I have given myself punishment a few times too, for saying naughty words, like crap, and pissed, opps there I go again, back to time-out.

Tracee said...

If AE has a bad habit try the Sin Bank idea Gerald.

Make her deposit a quarter every time she puts herself, brain or body, down. It will draw attention to it and help her change the habit.