The room was full of 5th-10th grade girls and their Moms. During one of the activities, I handed out a worksheet. Task #1: Go around the room and find “5 Things Someone Else Loves About Me”. Task #2: Write down “5 Things I Love About Me”. The first task was accomplished in record time. Moms and Daughters were laughing and giggling as they circled the room asking people what the other person loved about them. Everyone then sat down and started “5 Things I Love About Me”. The 5th and 6th graders started writing furiously. I looked around to see the older girls doodling on their papers, and the Moms just looking puzzled. I asked one of the 8th grade girls what was going on. “Why are you having such a hard time writing down 5 things that you love about yourself?” Her face flushed and she looked at me and said “I’m embarrassed”. I said “How could you be embarrassed? No one will see it unless you show it to them.” The red faced girl replied with a puzzled “I don’t know!”
What happens to us between the ages of about 6th and 8th grade that stops us from acknowledging ourselves? What creates this shift in perception so that we are no longer proud of ourselves, inside or out? We “girls” start looking outside of ourselves for acknowledgement and praise and no longer give any credence to what we think about ourselves. In fact, what we think about ourselves really isn’t all that great!!!
The Mom pages were as blank as their faces. After listening to the conversation with the 8th grade girl they also looked a bit sad….
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So ladies…My challenge to you for this week – Look in the mirror every day and acknowledge something you love about yourself. If you find this task too difficult, ask your children something they love about you and then turn it into an affirmation that you can use with yourself. Ask your children, especially the teens to acknowledge something they love about themselves. Turn this next week into a Love Fest with your kids and yourself!!!