“I’m afraid of getting fat” came the words from my 9 yr old daughter who can’t even keep her pants up due to her tall thin frame “and I don’t like this dark skin below my eyes.” I immediately turned on my heel and just looked at her…stunned. In a split second my mind went into analysis mode…the list of who could have planted this idea in her head was relatively short being that my kids are pretty sheltered. School…maybe because she spends a lot of time with those kids, but really…3rd grade in a Christian school? Church…not enough exposure to make it plausible. Family…they just love on her and build her up. TV…well of course that is a horrible influence!!! That must be it. I told her that this is nothing she needs to be worried about as she eats well (although she can out-eat my husband…seriously) and is very active.
Well, today as I was driving and my mind was just on ‘free-for-all’, I started lamenting the fact that I have gained 10 lbs over the winter. This immediately made me think of what my husband would say which is “You are beautiful and I love the way you look.” But then I’d would come back with something like “but look at this flab…” as if he would actually say “Oh, yea you’re right, scratch what I last said.” AND THAT’S WHEN GOD ELBOWED ME… my daughter is a witness to most of these conversations and I say these things on a daily basis! It is ME…I am the one who is influencing her thoughts. My inadequacies are being transposed on her….and she doesn’t even have these issues!
I am very aware of the fact that how I relate to her influences her and I am conscious that she watches how I relate to others or how I carry out tasks. For some reason, however, I had this disconnect of her being aware of how I think of myself and that this may impact HER image. Sounds so ignorant now. What upsets me the most is that I want so much for my Anna not to relate her worth to her appearance or approval by others, because I struggle so significantly with it, yet that is not what I am modeling. Ever wonder, like I am today, why God thought I should have children?
“Oh, God, please make my kids less messed up than me. May they only see the good influences and be total oblivious to the things I do wrong. I know You love them so much more than I do, so I give them over to Your sovereignty once again. Thank you for making me aware of all the different ways I affect my children and for giving me an opportunity to make a change while I still have that window of opportunity. Amen.”