Thursday, February 01, 2007

Many hands make light work

"Raise your hand," said the woman at the podium to the gathering of mothers, "if you love your children."

A few eyes might have rolled, but every hand shot up.

"Of course," she said. "Now raise your hand if you tell your children you love them every day."

The room filled once again with hands held high.

"Now," she said, "close your eyes. This time, raise your hand if you love yourself."

In the silence, I could hear some movement, but the energy in the room had palpably shifted. I hesitated for a second, then held my hand up about half as high as it had been before.

"Now raise your hand if you tell yourself that every day."

"Okay. Open your eyes and look around the room."

Every woman in the room sat with her hands in her lap and a sheepish expression on her face.

The topic was promoting positive self-esteem in children. The message of this exercise, one of many, was that as mothers, our own self-worth has a direct effect on our children's self-worth. Feeling negative about yourself, we were told, is a choice that can be changed. That, when changed, will be duly noted by the small eyes that watch every move we make and the small ears that hear every word we say.

Of course. It seemed so simple and obvious, every word of it. But it took seeing two dozen mothers... confident, attractive, well-dressed women, with their hands by their sides... for me to see the light.


Blogger anniemcq said...

What a thought provoking post. Thanks for that!

9:44 AM  

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