My husband has always watched the TV show “Friday Night Lights”. Just recently I’ve started watching it a bit with him, and I admit, it’s a really good show.
Since the show is about teenagers, the subject of young girls and their self-esteem often comes up. That coupled with what my friend Mandy at The Daily Dose has been discussing here and here have me thinking a lot lately.
I so badly want my girls to have good self-esteem. I want them to make choices they want for themselves, not because its what they think someone else wants them to do or what they think will make them popular. I want them to worry more about their inner beauty than their outer beauty.
I was lucky. I was blessed to have attended a Catholic, all-girls high school where for the most part the girls accepted one another and were kind to one another. We weren’t all the best of friends, and sure, some “cat-fighting” went on, but compared to what I see and hear about today, our high school was a loving and caring environment.
I once heard someone say that you don’t want your kids to be the popular kids in school, inferring that the popular kids can often be the ones doing what you don’t want your kids to do — drinking, drugs, sex, back-stabbing, etc.
I see it differently.
I want them to be the popular kids, but not in that way. I want my girls to be known for their kind hearts. Their warm smiles. Their honesty. Their hard work and determination. Their virtuosity. (Is virtuosity even a word?) I want them to be role models for other kids.
Because I think all our kids deserve better. I think they deserve for their peers to be people they can look up to in a positive way. They deserve to have friends that will be their for them, stand by them, and not turn their backs when things get hard.
And they deserve to have adults in their lives that love them unconditionally. Adults who will support them and help them no matter what the circumstances may be. Adults who can see when things get rough and who can let them know it will get better. And who will show them how it can be better and how to take the high road in getting there.
I want them to know that life gets better. After high school you’ll move on to college or some other avenue of life where you’ll find more people like you, more people who accept you and like you for who you are.
My biggest fear is that the movie Mean Girls will be a true to life story for my girls. And I’ve heard from a few high school teachers that that movie does hold fairly true.
But I know there are other good kids out there. My friends are raising many of them. And I know a few myself. (And I don’t know many teenagers. My kids are little. My path doesn’t cross with teenager paths very often.)
Just thinking about the teenage years with three girls gives me ulcers already. But I know that for now all I can do is do my best to raise my kids to be the teens I want them to be.
Teach them that what matters most is to be kind to others. To be proud of yourself for who you are. To work hard for what you want. To be happy with how God made you, but always strive to be more like Jesus.
Anyway, who could ever imagine these little faces could ever be anything but perfect angels?