Self love. Self care. Words we hear so often these days. We need to learn how to love ourselves and how to know that we are enough. But wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where self love is normal? We as mothers hold the key in creating a future for our kids where they understand their own value and stand strong on their own feet. We need to teach self love!
As a parent you want your children to grown into independent people who are strong and understand their own purpose. You want to provide a safe and stable environment where they have all the freedom to develop themselves. It all comes back to confidence but it goes even further. It’s not just about having confidence, it’s about knowing deep down in your heart that you are enough. And not just knowing it, but sincerely feeling it. This core belief that you are exactly who you need to be and that you are exactly where you need to be. What can our role be as mothers to teach self love to our children?
Where It All Starts
I saw this beautiful quote from Mantra Magazine on IG and it really struck a chord with me;
It’s an interesting notion that you walk through many years of education but nobody teaches you the most important thing, to love yourself! We’re always pushed to achieve more, to reach higher and to do better. There’s not a moment we are asked to be still and just be happy with where we are at that moment.
After reading this quote, I started thinking. My parents were always very open and free in their parenting. They did an amazing job at creating a safe space for me and supporting me no matter which path I chose. I got a lot of freedom to explore and develop myself, but in the end I was still a very shy and insecure girl.
Then I realised that I was never taught to truly love myself and to embrace every side of myself. Your parents and at school they’ll tell you to have confidence, but how do you do that? How do you trust yourself?
How to Teach Self Love
Before you can teach anything you need to embody it yourself first. By teaching it, you learn from it too. When I teach a yoga class, I need to know what I’m doing and I need to recognize the progress so I can be there for my students.
The same goes for you as a mother, you need to fully feel, understand and personify self love in order to teach it to your kids. The best way to teach is to lead by example. Kids love to copy everything you do, your words, your manners but also the way you talk about yourself and the way you treat yourself.
For me self love is a constant learning curve that moves like the ebb and flow of an ocean. Some days it’s easy to be gentle and soft with myself and other days it will take all of my attention to keep the self-hate out.
And no, this is not overrated! Scheduling time to be on your own and to just be yourself with no one to care for is necessary. It shows your children that you care enough about yourself to clear your schedule and drop everything else.
I know guilt will quickly enter your mind and you’ll start to question if it’s not selfish to leave the children (with their dad, grandparents or babysitter) but it’s absolutely not! Beside giving this message of self appreciation to your children, it also is the perfect time to realign your own core values. What makes your heart sing, what sets you on fire?
Take a relaxing bath, read a book, journal or go for a walk. The best way to listen to your inner voice is to avoid ways to numb yourself out. Watching TV or scrolling through Facebook isn’t going to help you reconnect with your inner Self, it will only block the ability to reconnect. I know it might be tempting to do so, but sometimes all we need is to hear that inner voice again.
Nothing says I love you and I see you more than an individual date with your mother or father. Even if it’s just for one hour, they got your undivided attention, without any sharing. It’s amazing what a little quality time can do!
It shows them that they’re not just part of the family, but also still an individual. It takes them out of their regular routine and understand their own power. Showing them that you make time for them, will help them to recognize their own potential.
Some children have a hard time sharing their emotions, by creating this personal and safe space for them it will be more likely that they share what’s on their minds. It’s an opportunity for you to truly listen and for them to learn how to share their thoughts.
As hard is it is, freedom to be yourself is crucial for children to develop a deeper awareness of their own inner being. That doesn’t mean that they always have to have all the answers, it means they are stable and grounded enough to be okay when they don’t know the answers.
We can’t and shouldn’t protect them from every bad or negative situation because that’s also how they learn. They learn how to walk by falling, they pick themselves up and try again. The same goes for when they’re older, they will fall and hurt themselves, but there are great lessons to be learned when they do. To teach self love, they will have a deeper understanding of what they are capable of. Knowing that those storms don’t define them, will help them to stand strong.
When they embrace their true essence they won’t be knocked off center when their live is going through a rough storm. We all know the storms get bigger and bigger the older we get. If they know how to deal with small storms, they will be able to deal with bigger storms when they arrive.
Is meditation a solution for everything..? Well, at least for a lot of things it is! It’s also very beneficial to reveal their inner voice and teaches them to listen to that voice. Intuition is so powerful if you know how to use it.
In our society we lost the connection with that inner communication system which results in feeling lost and not knowing what direction your life is going. For a child the outside world can be an overwhelming and scary place when they don’t trust their inner compass. When using meditation to teach self love they will create a strong bond with that inner voice and they will trust their intuition.
To meditate with children doesn’t mean to sit silent for an hour. Meditation can just be a few minutes before bedtime. Let them close their eyes and sit still. This will be hard in the beginning but just gently remind them to listen to whatever comes up. A great way to help them to stay focused is by using mantras. Our family’s 5 favorite mantras help us to stay focused and creates a connection between us and themselves.
Nowadays to be quiet is not part of our daily routine anymore and it drove us away from ourselves. In today’s busy society it’s more important than ever to teach our children that a peaceful moment is very meaningful. It’s when we become still, the greatest revelations come up.
In the end it all comes down to showing up for yourself. When you show up for yourself, you teach your children to show up for themselves too. It makes them strong and yet flexible individuals.
Do you consciously teach your children to love themselves? Do you have any other ways to teach them their own value?