It's been on my mind especially because of an experience that happened at our family reunion.
I have to to give you a little insight into my past though in order to help you understand where this is all coming from.
Maybe you can help me really think this whole thing through.
So..... I was a bit of a shy kid, or rather - a self conscious kid.
I thought I was really ugly.
My mom wasn't super great at girl hair - not that she didn't do my hair (I have some really cute pictures of myself proving that she did my hair), but I don't think she felt it was a great talent, so she didn't experiment and do a lot of cute girly hair-dos.
I always compared myself to the cute girls with the cute hair-dos and cute girly clothes.
I remember a specific Sunday when I hadn't gotten my tights together or something, and my hair was ugly. I was wearing some weird dress, and I ended up with some socks of my moms that were like purple knee socks with a hole in one of the legs. Yeah, I was a classy girl.
Anyway, I sat behind one of the cute girls that I always noticed I didn't match up to. I remember feeling so embarrassed the entire meeting.
Fast forward a few years and several daughters later, and I have vowed that my daughters will never ever ever feel that way! (I do NOT blame my mother for this by the way - she was a bishop's wife with 7 kids, and 4 of them were rowdy boys! She had plenty of other worries - I'm sure she would have been fine with me going barefoot!) So now you probably understand my obsession with my daughter's hair being perfect all the time right (Annie!!!)?!
What I'm getting at here is a question I've been wondering about for awhile.
I'm wondering if confidence is something kids are born with or if it's something parents can teach their kids.
Is it something we can give our kids by putting them in music lessons and giving them opportunities to play sports, and participate in dance teams etc.???
What about making sure they wear nice clothes and always look nice?
Would those things give them confidence?
Well, funny thing.... I had the opportunity to watch a few of my kids in action recently.
And I was a little surprised.
At our reunion in Utah we were at a park playing.
A lot of the older kids were across the park playing games, but a couple of my younger kids were at the playground. They didn't realize I was sitting on the grass watching them because I wasn't feeling well.
Another family came to play - 4 kids with their dad.
They were a unique family..... the oldest (probably about 12 years old), was wearing a Dr. Seuss Thing 2 costume.
The 2nd (probably 10), was wearing pajamas (at 4:00 in the afternoon - unheard of at the Ferrara home hee hee!).
The 3rd (probably about 8), was only in a swimming suit - no shirt. The 4th (at least 6)was the only girl, and she was wearing a bikini top and undies, she was sucking on a binkie, and she was wearing her mother's very large shoes.
None of those kids looked like they had combed their hair in days (I mean it was sticking up all over the place) - or taken baths for that matter in days (no judgment)....... but they didn't care either.
This is the thing. It was my kids that were totally shy. My kids were self conscious and they held back at the park and really didn't feel comfortable playing. The kids with the funny clothes and hair were totally happy with themselves - they didn't care how they looked to everybody else!!
Dangit! I've been doing everything all wrong! Instead of worrying so much about my kids hair and all that silly stuff - we should have just been dressing up to go to the park!
I'm being totally serious here! I think I've been taking life too seriously and not having enough fun!
I've been so worried about making sure my kids feel so good about themselves - that I forgot about a really important thing..........
I learned to feel good about myself over time because I was just a really awesome person!!
Who cares if my hair isn't perfect and I don't have perfect clothes???!!
And who cares if I wear purple knee socks with a hole on the leg sometimes if I want to??
Who am I trying to impress anyway?
The people who matter really don't care about that stuff --- they just like me for who I am and for the really great things I do (they probably don't even notice the hole - or if they do they just smile and don't care).
I'm still going to do my girl's hair.
I like how cute they are - but I've really toned it down. Really.