Monday, April 24, 2006

What we pass on....

I was just watching Oprah and thought that I would blog some of my thoughts because it was very thought provoking. It was about 3 and 4 year old girls who are obsessed with their looks and their weight as well as girls in general with extremely low self esteem. Being a former annorexic or recovering annorexic (whatever you want to call it) it brought out Alot of emotion because it reminded me of all those same very real and raw feelings. It talked about how we as parents pass on our own issues and insecurities to our children. It made me grateful that I dont have a daughter for once. One, What are the odds that in todays appearance obsessed society she wouldnt grow up and live through the Hell of feeling fat, ugly and inadequite. (when I say hell I am understating) Obviously not every woman grows up feeling like that but there is that chance and going through it myself it would absolutely tear me up to see my daughter go through that. Can anyone e lse relate to those tortureous all consuming thoughts? Two, I feel like with having my own issues she would be coming into the world with a disadvantage already. I do try to be pro-active with Jack in letting him know that Fat is not a word we use as well as other things. But I realize that I use it when I am referring to myself. I try not to but I di it without noticing it. ow do we give our kids a fighting chance so that they will not compare themselves to what they see on TV and elsewhere and feel equal when they go out into the world. What are your thought and opinions? Do any of you see this in your own home.


angela said...

i wish i knew how to keep my kids from comparing themselves to people on tv or just other people in general. i haven't figured out how to not do it myself though. and seeing that my kids are so little i havent so much had to deal witht that with them yet but i think about things like that all the time. i think about sending my kids to school the most. i hated school it was terrible. kids are so mean. you have to have certain clothes and be a certain weight or have a certain hairstyle or who knows what else these days to "fit in" i never fit in and school was a miserable thing for me. i don't fit in with those skinny lil twigs on tv or in magazines either. sometimes i wish i did and sometimes i hope for my kids sake that they dont have weight issues just to make life easier on them in the world. but then i stop and think wow thats so sad that i have to hope my kids are skinny just to prevent them from having problems in society. people are people whether they are a size 2 or a size 20 and i really don't understand why it is such a big deal(other than for some health reasons maybe. i know some pretty great "big people" and some not so great so to say skinny people. our society just looks at things in general in the wrong light i think. i'd rather be a good fat person than be a skinny witch no one could stand like all those cheerleaders in high school i didn't like lol. so i'm hoping my kids won't have to deal with the things that i did and in a sense still do but if they do i'll do everything i can to help and support them and try to make them see themselves the way god sees them and not the way the world views poeple.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

I am so glad that parents are talking about this issue...and willing to advocate for their children. It is a shallow world they are growing up that defines a person by the way they look before going any deeper.

I don't know if there is one pat answer to help our children avoid this pitfall. Certainly, media, TV, and movies send one message--you must look right to succeed. Maybe if, as parents, we praise our children for doing rather than being...this will set up an attitude that what we do is more important than just showing up!

Nourishing their self-esteem is an important part of this as well. I know for my children, as they were growing up, I too often checked how they looked before going to church, going to visit relatives, or even just going to the grocery store. There was a hidden message in that.....what they looked like was more important than the fact they were willingly going to church, going to visit an ailing grandma....or going to anything! Fortunately--I stoppped that nonsensical thinking...and they learned the more valuable lesson--how we define ourselves is how we treat we reach out to others...who we are......rather than how we look.

Good for you for taking this issue on while your children are still so young!

:) Diane

Desiree said...

I feel like as much as media and peer pressure influence how our children feel when they reach the social awareness ages we as parents are their first stop in their understanding of who they are and how they fit in this whole world. The scripture I live by right now as a moral compass for teaching Daniel and Tori is,"Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it."-proverbs 22:6.
I believe that that means in all areas. So repititiously(Is that a word?)...I am constantly telling Daniel and Tori that they are wonderful, that they are special and unique,and that we love them very much. I try and do it as much as I do discipline. It is as important if not more. Every generation goes through the social struggle no matter the intensity of it. We just need to get to them first. We need to instill in them that there is more to life than shallow social issues. That they are more important than any social issues. I think it will provide them with a beacon of hope as they are searching for their own path and making decisions for themselves. Everytime I see someone who has image issues I look to see the people standing behind them. That will say alot and I want to make sure that my responsibility to my children will be taken care of and that they will be strong and sure of themselves not matter what they face in life.

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Miss Sara said...

I wish my cats would take on a little of my insecurity. They eat pretty much all day long. All they do is gain, gain, gain, and they never worry about how fat their midsections are getting. Merky's almost drags the floor. :)