Talk to your Girls

The trend in Awareness Raising brand messaging has been going strong.

(if with debated success) for years.

This 6 year old, and nevertheless equally profound (sadly), Dove “film” which is really an ad and a very savvy use of cause marketing sparked a thought when it suggested I “speak” to my girls before the media does.

What I noticed, is that my own Awareness Raising talks to my three girls, the youngest of whom has Autism and significant delays of every kind, are always about how they interact with others, not as much about how they see themselves, value themselves, interact with themselves.

There is no talk about how they are smart/pretty/good/nice/blah/blah/blah they are. That’s all subjective. That’s all fake. And frankly, I’m not convinced those are adjectives I’m interested in promoting in my children.
Rather, I talk about an action they took that showed their empathy, consideration for ANOTHER, effort.

I speak about the time they took to problem solve and how they showed thoughtfulness, compassion, and put another ahead of their own want. I praise them for stepping into the scary place of standing up to someone who is mean to a friend; praise who they are as citizens of the world. I purposely comment to others within my girls’ earshot about a kindness they showed. A fear they over came.

Their self-esteem will bloom from that.
Much as the self is implicit in “self-esteem”, it is less about the “self” and more about the “esteem” with which we treat each other.

This is why I started Red Boot Warrior. To amplify the voice of those Awareness Raising campaigns that raise our understanding, our common-sense, our knowledge, our spirits, and our humanity. Neuro-typical and not; heavy and not, able and challenged.

The folks behind Dove’s campaigns have been doing excellent, intelligent work promoting their good products with great campaigns about the responsibility we have in who we listen to, and reminding us to that sometimes we need to be louder than the chatter around us.
Right now, today, the chatter from parents of kids on the spectrum can get drowned out by the droning of policy makers.

So. What will you share today that will raise awareness and raise your self-esteem? How will you treat children like my three-old-daughter? Will you become a living, breathing awareness raising human being whose self-esteem is measured by true worthiness? Likely, yes, afterall you’ve stayed with me this far.

Ready to feel that little bit better? Stronger? Gooder? Please, share and comment now.

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A Valiant Valentine’s

I locked myself in the bathroom on Saturday. Not for long….but long enough to get my head back to together.

My all-knowing husband suggested that we spend a day together – alone: no kids, no responsibility. I was as thrilled and excited by the prospect of being alone as I was nauseated by the idea.

The idea was to drop the girls off at my mother-in-law’s and take off for a day at a Nordic spa. He told me about his idea 10 days in advance, which means that I enjoyed 10 days of stomach aches off-set by giddy elation.

Sidled right up to that angst was the cold, heart-gripping fear that I would have to shove my body into a bikini in the dead of winter when no part of my flesh has seen the light of day for months. Hair has been acting  as my body’s extra layer of protective warmth against Montreal’s winter months. Now, I’m bare as a skinned hare and as I leaned against the bathroom door to bar entry from a probing husband I contemplated when I had lost my mind that a date with a sexy, funny, fabulous man would have me cowering in the bathroom instead of thrilled that I had been asked out.

And as I stood there,  I decided that maybe I was crazy but I was definitely not stupid. I slipped on a two-piece, sucked in my stomach and turned to look at my profile. That would do….most of the time  I would be underwater or in the haze of a wet sauna anyway.

A.