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A Mother’s Day Gift to Your Daughter and Your Daughter’s Daughter

  May 07, 2018


By Janine Faux, Infinite Healing and Wellness

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this month with a showering of flowers, brunch, hugs, homemade cards, and all sorts of loving gestures, we might find ourselves reflecting upon the gift of motherhood. It may be a good time for mothers to consider one of the most important hand-me-downs from mother to daughter: the gift of a healthy sense of self. Acknowledging the messages that have been handed down to us from our mothers can be enlightening and cast an awareness on the messages we are passing on to our children. A mother’s sense of self is perhaps the most influential factor to consider as a child develops their own. The concept of body image is an important factor to consider in regard to a sense of self.

In my practice, I often see clients struggling with body image issues. The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) defines body image as how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind:
  • What you believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions, and generalizations).
  • How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.
  • How you sense and control your body as you move. How you physically experience or feel in your body (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org).
Children notice the way their mothers think, feel, and talk about themselves and their bodies. They naturally internalize these perceptions and weave these messages together with other contributing factors to develop their own sense of self or body image. Although we cannot control what the world delivers our children in terms of social norms, media, and peer pressure, we can adjust our own thinking. When mother’s incorporate strategies that illuminate healthy thinking and living, they will feel better about themselves and their daughters will benefit tenfold.

As a Mother’s Day gift to your daughter and your daughter’s daughter, adopt these strategies:
  1. Accept your body, shape, size and weight. If you do she will.
  2. Avoid talking in excess about your body, shape, size, and weight. Take the energy out of this small component of the whole self. Instead talk confidently about your strengths and accomplishments.
  3. Avoid talking about others’ body, shape, size, and weight. If you are noticing and talking, you will start comparing and your daughter will too.
  4. Acknowledge strengths and accomplishments instead of appearances. Do this in regard to yourself, your daughter, and others. This will teach your daughter to value all aspects of herself and others, not just appearance.
  5. Practice mindful eating, avoid unhealthy dieting. Eat for nourishment, for fun, for good health. You will be teaching your daughter that food is meant to be enjoyed and shared with others.
  6. Engage your body in exercise and activity that is enjoyable. This will teach your daughter that exercise is a way to use your body and feel good, instead of a way to punish your body for taking in too many calories or to change its shape or size.
  7. Express gratitude for the things your body has done and the things it allows you to do. Your body is a gift. It has given you so much. Acknowledge this, talk openly about it, your daughter will learn to do the same.
  8. Practice good self-care. Get a massage, get a pedicure, use your favorite lotion, burn your favorite smelling candle — engage your senses. Your body does so much for you — give it something back. Your daughter will see you doing this and will learn to be kind to her body too.
  9. Practice Yoga and mindfulness. Do this and you will feel good. When you feel good, you will love yourself more. Your daughter will notice and want to love herself too.
  10. Purchase and wear clothes that fit and feel good on your body. When we feel comfortable, we feel good. Your daughter will notice.
  11. Avoid comparing yourself to images in the media and social media. To compare is unfair. Remember, these images are rarely accurate portrayals and only reinforce body image insecurities. Help your daughters gauge reality by pointing out these false standards.
“A mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem.” — Naomi Wolf  
One of the most important gifts a mother can give her daughter is the gift of a strong sense of self and an appreciation of her own body. This Mother’s Day give your daughter this gift. Decide to implement these body-image strategies so that you may radiate self-love and acceptance.

If you struggle with issues related to your body image and self-worth, there is help! During the month of May, Janine Faux will be holding a workshop for just this issue at Infinite Healing and Wellness.

Janine Faux is a Licensed Associate Counselor and an EMDR Clinician at Infinite Healing and Wellness with specialized training in disordered eating, attachment, and trauma. To learn more, contact Janine at 480-448-1076 or Janine@infinitehw.com.

The clinicians at Infinite Healing and Wellness are ready to assist. Check out our website, Infinitehealingandwellness.com to learn about our incredible team, upcoming groups and follow our positive and encouraging Instagram and Facebook pages. Infinite Healing and Wellness LLC, in Gilbert at 2563 S. Val Vista Drive #108, Gilbert, is a collaborative counseling practice designed to serve children, families, teens, adults, couples, first responders, and military veterans. For more information, call 480-448-1076 or email
info@infinitehealingandwellness.com.
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May 07, 2018
Categories:  Emotional

 

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