Befriending Insecurities: 3 Ways to Keep Our Kids from Doubting Who and What They Are

BY: - 25 Nov '13 | Parenting

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by R.H. Ramsey

Why do we, myself included, carry so much doubt? Our eyes, our hair, our noses and mouths, the way we walk, the way we dress, the way we speak, our talents — we doubt so many things about ourselves. And when it comes down to a negative comment from one person, and compliment from someone else, what do we often do? We shun the good and run with the bad; it is almost as if, we are befriending our insecurities.

I think of a time when, as children, running wild and free, mix-match socks, rain boots and tutus, life was so simple. If there were scraps of paper and crayons, your jovial spirit was pleased, as you could create your own little crown. If there was a sheet or blanket, you were happy, as you could carefully construct your own castle – a castle and crown, because you knew deep down, that you were a prince or princess.

But do you recall the first time the cloud of uncertainty descended upon you, caused you to doubt yourself, and piece by piece, confidence was a fair-weather friend? I do –  I think it began around middle school. Suddenly, more than ever before, I was aware of everything I did not like about myself; the cloud – the “friend” – never left me.

I often wonder – often ask myself – when do we stop, take a moment, and focus on what this toxic relationship with our insecurities has done? When do we close that door on darkness and love ourselves? More importantly, what are our children observing – how often are our children comparing themselves to the media’s ideas of beauty?

I don’t want my children (or any child) to doubt who and what they are. But how do we, as parents and guardians, intercept that cloud of doubt?

I am no professional, but it is my opinion, that there is no other way to describe the root of self-doubt, than fear. Fear of the unknown, differences, flaws, rejection, failure, and the list goes on.

  1. We have to raise fearless children. Not reckless, but fearless children. Children who are not afraid to ask questions. They are not afraid to embrace their differences – be it skin tone or hair texture. They should never, ever, be so afraid to fail or experience rejection, that they don’t try.
  2. Assuring our children that they are beautiful, handsome, intelligent, is paramount. But what about nurturing their young spirits – their hearts?  Compliments are nice, but what about giving our children the tools that will keep them secure in what we have instilled, even as they watch innocently while sex sells and lust is confused with love? They must know that they are beautiful, inside and out, and know this for themselves. Confidence must come from deep within.
  3. I believe children need to know that they are here for a reason and that they have a purpose. I find that identifying and cultivating their strengths, molding everything in between, reminding them of the importance of humility, even at a young age, brings them face to face with their own abilities. They should believe they are more than conquerors.

And over time, I hope, that their talents, their hearts, their way of thinking, becomes not wrapped up in what they see, but in the self-love which has been instilled. I hope we can all learn to treat insecurities the same way we should treat an unhealthy, toxic relationship … release it. And take back our crowns.

BMWK – what are you doing to instill self -confidence in your children?

R.H. is a military wife and mother of two, who has written many novels and short stories. She has three published books: Just Beneath the Surface I, Undone, and Into the Atmosphere, with many more to come. Just Beneath the Surface 2: Landon’s story, will be published in Winter of 2013. Just recently, her books have been acquired by an indie publisher. With a passion for people, helping and learning, she hopes to continue in her quest of learning from and inspiring others.

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BMWK Staff wrote 1215 articles on this blog.

Content and articles from the staff and guest contributors of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com

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9 WordPress comments on “Befriending Insecurities: 3 Ways to Keep Our Kids from Doubting Who and What They Are

  1. Lisa Weinstein

    Your post really resonated with me. I have a 16 year old daughter and her world is full of self doubt. She will find a minute flaw among so much that is good. And the thing is, so many of her friends also feel the same way about themselves. It’s hard to understand, when I look at her, I see something so beautiful and so perfect. The way I try to help her is to be there for her, to listen, to offer support, guidance, empathy. I always want her to know that she can tell me everything….that I am her best friend. Thank you for your words of wisdom, I look forward to reading more of your posts! Lisa

    1. rh

      That reminds me so much of the way I felt as a teenager. And my mother always said to me that I was so beautiful. Still, my own feelings always got in the way of any compliment. And when I think about my daughter growing up, possibly second guessing and having insecurities — upsets me to the core. All I can do is try to not only tell her how gorgeous she is, but let her know she is intelligent, her heart is beautiful, and that *she* needs to know and believe that. It’s one thing to hear things, but to know them and say them and feel them – that’s what I’m striving for.

      Support, Guidance, empathy – you’re so right – without those things, where’s the foundation?

  2. Barb W.

    What a lovely, well-crafted post! I absolutely agree with all of your sentiments and wise words. We cannot rid every insecurity, but we can certainly equip our children and ourselves with the tools and knowledge to overcome them.

  3. Pingback: Befriending Insecurities | Isola

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Best Deal Ever: Earn Money for Schools at Black Friday and Cyber Monday

BY: - 26 Nov '13 | Parenting

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I have a confession to make.  I feel a bit conflicted about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On the one hand, I don’t like how the holidays are becoming so commercialized.  And how the focus is becoming more and more about consumers buying products and less and less about the real meaning of the holidays.  But on the other hand, I do give out Christmas presents, and I do like to save money on those gifts (as I have been trying to cut back on the amount I spend.)

So last year, I decided to skip going to the stores during Black Friday and I checked out the deals on-line.  I also checked out on-line deals during Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. I felt it was a great compromise because I was able to shop from the comfort of my own home.  And I did find a few good deals.

If you are like me and you are planning to shop on-line, then I implore you to please go over the Box Tops for Education® Marketplace first. Since starting in 1996. the Box Tops for Education program has given away over $525 Million to schools across the country. And the schools are using this money for things that they need from supplies for teachers and classrooms, to computer and play ground equipment, and more.  

Box Tops has partnered with hundreds of retailers so you can earn cash for your school when you shop at their websites. Here is how you do it:

1. Sign up.

Go to the Box Tops for Education® website and sign-up (if you have not done that already.) This step is very important so that you can identify your child’s school…so that they will earn money when you make purchases.

2. Go to the Box Tops Marketplace®.

Go over to the Box Tops Marketplace® and select a store from the list of 300 online stores.  (Side note: when I saw that DSW was one of the participating stores…it was very hard for me to stay on task…but I came to my senses and re-focused on the kids.) Box Tops Marketplace

3. Select your online store and shop.

Click the link that will take you to the site of your choice, shop for your items and wala!….. You’ll automatically earn eBoxTops® for your school with every qualified purchase. 

Just as an example, Macy’s had an incredible sale just last week. And I needed winter coats and long sleeve shirts from my 3 girls.  And I found them at rock bottom prices.  But before I started shopping at Macy’s, I took 1 minute to log into the Box Tops Marketplace® and I accessed the Macy’s website from there.  Check out the screen shot below, I earned $3.10 for my girls’ school. You might think that is not a lot of money, but if each of our 900 families earned at least one dollar via the Marketplace..that would mean $900 for our school!!!

Box Tops_Shop and Earn

It’s just that easy!!!!  So, as you are making purchases during Black Friday and Cyper Monday, please don’t forget to use the Box Tops Marketplace. As a parent, I can really appreciate that Box Tops has made it so easy for me to contribute towards my child’s education.

Disclosure: Lamar and I are paid spokesbloggers for the Box Tops For Education program. We will be providing information and stories throughout the school year in hopes of encouraging our community to take advantage of the millions of dollars that are being given to schools across the country each year.  We were given a $100 gift card to demonstrate how the Box Tops Marketplace works. All opinions expressed are our very own.  

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 502 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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