Since learning about fashion styling, I have always put an effort into my outfits and how I look.
I do it because it makes me feel good and I find myself more productive when I look somewhat put together. Funnily enough on the days I feel like I’m a bit untidy, I may get the odd compliment on what I’m wearing. I don’t dress for others, but simply dress for myself, yet I take the compliments graciously and try not to wave them off. It can be a hard thing to do.
Last night I headed to a Kindy fundraiser at my Maggie’s Kindy for a ladies night. I started to talk to one of the mums who relayed a cute story to me and it offered encouragement and a big lesson for me about influence and how far it can reach our younger generations.
For the purpose of the story, let’s call the mum Catherine* and her three-year-old daughter, Laura*.
I can’t completely remember the context of the situation, but Laura was getting dressed and told her mum, “I look absolutely fabulous!”
Catherine thought and asked Laura, “Where did you learn to say that?”, expecting the answer to be something she watched on TV.
Laura told Catherine, “Maggie always says it whenever she plays with the dress-ups at Kindy.”
I told Catherine how I write this blog and take a photo of my outfit everyday, which I share on Instagram or on here.
Catherine told me how it all made sense to her, as she always envied my outfits when dropping Maggie off to Kindy. This gave me the opportunity to encourage her, and with her being a mum to three little ones under three, clothes are the last thing on our minds as mums with children so little.
It wasn’t until late late last night, I thought about Maggie’s influence on her friend Laura. I have told Maggie she looks fabulous many times simply to build her up and because she really does. She has an eye for putting outfits together. Her tan ankle boots are the first shoes she reaches when it’s time for us to go and they literally add spark to all her outfits.
I also make an effort to tell my girls they are beautiful, no matter what they wear.
Even their grandma compliments them on their outfits when they head to church.
My girls watch me as I get dressed in the morning and will sometimes help me choose my outfit. I allow them to do the same with their outfits for the day and they will either take my photo to share on Instagram or they will see Jacob take it. I’ve never really understood the impact this has had on my girls, but when they ask for me to take their photo and share it, I can see it building their confidence and pride in appearance.
It’s not my intention to teach them vanity, but I do want them to know they look fabulous and they are perfect the way they are. I want to fill their confidence bucket so they know they are special and beautiful before the world lies to them and tells them they need to do this, this and this to look beautiful. I want them to understand how clothes can make them feel and how important it is to choose their clothes wisely and enjoy the creativity of putting outfits together.
I never expected something I’d say to my daughter would travel and influence another child, but this story shows how we can all impact our younger generations, and how they in turn can positively influence those they interact with.
How do you build confidence in your children? Do you compliment your children on what they do or what they wear?
*names have been changed