Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Get ‘em while they’re young

Negative by nature? I think we all are in a sense. No matter how positive we all can be, there is always a side of us that has a desire to be mean. It doesn’t have to be hurtful mean, or a mean that comes out in public; but everyone has thoughts of negativity. And it starts when we’re young.

My worst years were my middle school years. Hormones flying everywhere, girls being backstabbing, evil little witches, and boys picking on you because they don’t know how else to get your attention. Sound familiar?
Well I had déjà vu last night talking with my soon to be 8th grader, 13 year old niece.

Me and my niece Bianca

Now, I know we all remember being 12-13. It sucked for me. I just wanted to find my way, figure out who I was, and what the hell was going on with my body. Things were changing around me and I didn’t know how to keep up. And I just wanted so badly to feel “normal.” This is how my niece feels.

She told me she gets picked on in school by girls who say she has a big forehead (please) and a boy who constantly tells her she looks like a camel. Not for nothing (and not just because she’s my blood) but she is beautiful. But these stupid little kids feel the need to bring her down because they are jealous of her. Plain and simple. This is the type of action that carries on with us throughout our entire lives: Trying to bring down others to make yourself feel better.

As I was reading Caitlin’s blog today about her amazing journey with Operation Beautiful, she discussed how so many people were making negative comments to her efforts. I actually read some of the comments people were making and all I could think of was my niece and our conversation from the night before. It all boils down to the same thing: Jealousy and self worth.

From the time we are young we are forced to deal with personal attacks and criticisms from our family, friends, and peers. Whether they’re making fun of your body, facial features, or even the way you walk and talk, these are things that stay with you forever. Some people never get over them, some do. I think you can tell who’s who when you read some of the negative comments left on any newspaper article, blog, etc. The ones that have to make fun of anything positive.

Lately these issues are becoming more and more defined. Young kids with complexes; adults with eating disorders; adult women feeling the need for facelifts, boob jobs, botox….all from our love of bringing each other down. And it all starts when we’re young.

We need to start encouraging our kids NOW to be positive. We need to instill courage, stamina, strength and confidence in our children because if we don’t, they will be carrying around the negative effects for life. I know it’s taken me YEARS to get over some of the things that were said to me as a child about my body (hence my legs post yesterday) but I was fortunate enough to find people that have helped me to see past those things.

If you have kids in your life, please please PLEASE encourage them NOW. Remind them of their strengths, and let them know how beautiful they really are. Don’t coddle them---Lord no—we don’t want that! Inspire them.

We have to start somewhere, and it’s better to get them while they’re young.  (I wonder if this will help keep them from being little smart asses in the future….)

1 comment:

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