11.11.2011

The "Art" of self-esteem

Fostering self-esteem in your children is hard.  Fostering self-esteem in a pre-pubescent/ pubescent girl seems impossible.  One day they are high on themselves, they can do no wrong, and you quite obviously are always wrong.  The next day, heck the next minute, they are awful, can do nothing right and they dislike everything about themselves. (you however, are still wrong.)

Such is the case with my daughter these days.  Every day after school is a fit of tears,  sometimes they last a few minutes, other days I worry we will have to get flood insurance.  Tuesday was a day just like that.  The tears kept coming.  Everything was Wrong.  Everything I did or said was definitely Wrong.  I was at a dead end.  How do I help my daughter when she does not want help?  Then It came to me.

Years ago I watched a movie called What the Bleep Do We Know?  (click on the title of the movie to see a YouTube trailer).  The movie discussed how our thoughts influence our environment and our bodies.  I remembered a scene in the movie where the main character is writing positive statements of love all over her body.  Right then I was struck with inspiration.

I can still teach her to think positively about herself.  I dug out the washable markers and set to work. I explained nothing.  I just started writing on her leg.  I wrote.  "I am Smart."  then drew a heart and some flowers. She said, "HEY, why are you writing on me?"  But that was all.

After a second message.  "I am Wonderful."  She said, "I want to do that."  So I handed her a marker and we set to work.

All told we wrote 18 positive affirming statements and drew assorted pictures.  By the end of the evening she was tattooed from head to foot and there was not one more tear shed.

I believe I could use a little body art myself. :)
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