Today the PBKMoms are thrilled to welcome fellow author and mom Samantha Grace.
It’s an honor and a privilege to be blessed with a child to raise. You want to keep your children safe and have them grow into healthy, happy, successful, loving, and productive individuals that will make the world a better place to live. You want the world to be a better place for them.
It’s no small task to be a parent. The hours are long, the work is hard, and the pay stinks, but the benefits package is priceless—snaggle-tooth grins, sweet belly-laughs, admiration shining in their eyes. Yeah, it’s totally worth it.
Having a daughter feels like even more responsibility, at least for me as a mom. I’m THE example in my daughter’s life of what a woman should be. Or if I’m horrible at this mother gig, maybe I’ll become a precautionary tale. (grin)
I feel it’s every generation’s job is to be better than the one that came before it. Our pasts should not be projected onto our children, and mistakes shouldn’t be repeated in an endless cycle. My mom was a great example for me in that respect. She didn’t have an affectionate, loving home growing up, but that didn’t stop her from trying her best to give it to me. I never doubted my family loved me.
My mom wasn’t able to give me was the confidence that comes from being comfortable in my own skin. I want to give this to my daughter so badly. I don’t want her to look in the mirror and zero in on what she sees as flaws. I believe how you actually look has little bearing on how happy you are. Beautiful women can feel lacking and large women can be living the best life imaginable. While I always want to focus on health, I don’t want my ten-year-old daughter to ever feel anything less than a goddess and unwilling to settle for anyone who isn’t going to love her fully.
Here are steps I’ve taken to help build her confidence, and so far, they seem to be working.
Being a good example: Actions always speak louder than words. No matter how many times I might tell her she’s beautiful, smart, funny, and sweet, my efforts could be for nothing if I’m critical of myself. My daughter is a part of me and therefore anytime I put myself down, I’m putting down a part of her. That may sound far fetched, but as I’ve grown into a woman, I see more of my mother in my features. If I complain about how ugly my nose is and my daughter has my nose, I’m telling her she is ugly too. (Personally, I have nothing against my nose. It does its job.)
Sometimes it means faking confidence when I may be wrestling with insecurities, but it’s amazing how something that starts out as pretending can become real.
Letting her fail and be successful: It’s normal to want to protect our girls (boys too, really), but always coming to the rescue can send the message that our daughters aren’t capable of handling things on her own. That’s a slippery slope because then her focus as she grows becomes how to find someone who can take care of her rather than her seeking a partner to stand by her side.
One simple way I’ve worked with my daughter in gaining social confidence is having her make her own phone calls to RSVP for parties. I model for her what to say, have her practice, and then stay by her side while she makes the call. Sometimes it takes a vote of confidence. “You can do this. You’ll be fine.” And I always follow it up with praise for how brave she is. I’ve done the same thing with helping her approach service counters and ordering at a restaurant. We also practice different ways she can respond to classmates who aren’t being nice to her.
Reinforce that she was born exactly the way she was meant to be:
As a teen, I remember hearing how pretty I was. And how I could be a ‘knockout’ if only I would lose five pounds. Oh, the ever present five pounds, the only thing standing between bliss and me. I know my mom meant well and probably thought she was being helpful. But in my head, I only heard “You’re not quite good enough.” It also seemed incredibly important for me to be a ‘knockout’ and to be attractive to the opposite sex. But you know what valuable lesson I learned eventually? I didn’t need to change anything to be loved. I only needed to love myself and once I’d started down that path, my husband came into my life. And you know what’s even more amazing? The things I considered my weak points – i.e. curves—he loves. So there ya go! I’ve told my daughter since she was a tiny girl that she is exactly as she’s supposed to be, because I believe that with all my heart.
Focus on her strengths:
I don’t give my daughter false compliments, and I don’t praise everything she does. I think that only makes kids more reliant on outside reinforcement that they are okay. But I do notice her strengths. She’s a decent singer, budding artist, and good writer. She is a great friend. She’s sensitive to others and she’s kind. Her teacher chose her for a special leadership program at her school because she is always helping other kids. In fact, in kindergarten she became the self-appointed buddy to a classmate with special needs, helping her get to the bathroom and into line for different activities. She has a great work ethic in school and she isn’t shy in the least.
So how do I know the efforts I’m making are working? If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably seen postings about things she says and does that illustrate how confident she is. Her latest show of confidence came when I said something about her talking distracting me from what I was doing, and she responded with absolute seriousness, “I’m sorry. I know I’m interesting.” Gotta love that girl!
Samantha Grace is the author of several Regency romance novels. Lady Vivian Defies a Duke (released May 7th) is the final installment of her Beau Monde Bachelor series. Publisher’s Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. She writes what she enjoys reading: romantic comedies about family, friendship, and flawed characters who learn how to love deeply.
Samantha is a part-time hospice social worker, moonlighting author, and full time wife and mom. She enjoys life in the Midwest with her husband, two witty kids, and a multitude of characters that spring from her imagination.
To Connect with Samantha, you can find her at:
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