“Mommy, I am too fat for gymnastics. Only skinny girls go to gymnastics.” My heart broke into a million pieces.
“Honey, you are beautiful, and your body is perfect and strong the way you are. Gymnastics is for persons with a strong mind who are willing to work hard, mentally and physically. That is exactly who you are.”
Through tears – “I am fat mommy.”
“Can you tell mommy why you would think that?”
“A boy at school called me fat.”
“Sweetheart, I bet that was hurtful when he called you names. His words will only ring true if you believe they are true. What you believe about yourself is the truth.”
As a mother, it’s so heartbreaking to hear your little one crying and letting someone else's words cut them. The fact is: words matter and words hurt. Even though I am doing my best to teach her that her opinion is the only one that matters, we all know the sting of someone else's words. It’s one of the reasons I started Bright Littles. I can and I will work hard to raise a strong, independent, brave, courageous little one, but we also need the world to step up and start raising up and doing better for our children. It starts with us, the grown-ups – the ones who are supposed to be know better but are not doing better.
What are you saying about yourself?
How do the people around you speak?
We need to lead to with kindness in our hearts and extend grace to ourselves, and others. When you put love in, you get love in return. The smallest of gestures can have the biggest impacts, and out little ones are watching and listening.
Smile at someone or hold the door open.
Ask someone how they are doing today.
Give a complement.
Watch the other person smile as their cups fill with a happiness that can then be shared.
Happiness IS contagious and can spread quickly, but it starts with us.