Stop Using the F-Word Around My Kid

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stop-using-the-f-word

I muddled my way through the first few years of motherhood and despite my blaring parenting blind spots, I witnessed my tiny baby turn into a bright, beautiful little girl.  I was amazed at how she saw the world: a sponge, absorbing whatever she saw.  And that’s when I realized that day in and day out, what she saw was ME! She was watching me respond to the world around us and was taking it all in.  It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but that’s when I finally cleaned up my language.  No, I hadn’t been using swear words…but I became keenly aware of the words I spoke and the way I treated myself.

When I looked in the mirror and frowned at my reflection, she was watching.

When I complained about my pants not fitting, and lamented  about losing those last five to ten pounds of pesky baby weight, she was listening.  

What came next was an easy reformation. I knew I wanted to teach my daughter to value who she was on the inside and not obsess over the outside. I knew that our family wanted to focus on health and not a perfect weight. So, we adjusted our language…and I stopped using the f-word.

F-A-T was no longer a part of my vocabulary. 

Now, we are on the verge of teen years.  This month she turns twelve. {I can hardly stand the thought of this…} And if you’ve ever been around a nearly twelve-year old girl, you’ve probably noted that they can be…chatty.  And my sweet girl is…quite chatty.  So we chat.  We chat about how some days we don’t feel great about ourselves, and how we work through those emotions. We chat about what’s important, and what is healthy. We’ve had some incredible conversations and some tough conversations, and I’m so grateful for these moments.

And then, my friends- yes MY friends– the girls I can’t do life without, sabotage my efforts. Sometimes they drop the F-bomb (F-A-T)  in front of her; other times they tear themselves down more subtlety.

They don’t know she is watching. They are unaware that she is listening. They have no clue that she is taking her cues from more than just me; she’s taking her cues from “us.”

Usually in this scenario, my eyes start to get really big…and I make some awkward gesture with my neck, trying to signal them to change subjects.  But what I want to say is, Help me, help her!  You don’t know that this sweet little girl cried to her daddy last week saying she felt F-A-T.  You don’t know that she is listening and is watching you too.  She’s up against an entire culture that is screaming to her that she has to be perfect to be beautiful, a media that can destroy her healthy body image… and I need you on my team.  I need you to stop using the f-word.” 

So, this is my formal plea:  On behalf of all the mamas who have little girls, help us. Help us, help them.  We need you mamas, sisters, friends… We need you to clean up your language.  We need you to show them how to walk with their heads held high. It’s us against the world, and we need you on our side. 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Love love love this post Noelle!!! I may send this to all my girlfriends so we are on the same page with my darling kiddos! Great reminder for all of us!
    Becca

    • Thanks Becca! Ultimately I know we all want our girls (and boys) to have the opportunity to be confident in the body they’ve been given…sometimes it’s just a matter of making each other aware that those little ears and eyes are listening and watching…ALL OF THE TIME!

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