Why is the bad stuff easier to remember?

I’m doing my best to instill confidence in my children. I don’t want to rear cocky know it alls that think they are better than anyone else. I want them to be quietly confident in who they are. I point out their good attributes and reinforce the notion that it’s what you know…. not what other people say. I want them to have a strong sense of who they are.

I want them to know that their value is not found in the opinions of others.

All very noble idea’s I’m sure you’ll agree. The problem is the bad stuff seems to stick better than the good stuff. We are living in a critical age. Everything seems to be open to the opinions of others. Nobody seems to realise that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

I find this to be especially the case with the appearance of others. I get it. It’s the first thing you notice about someone. In order to build relationships we usually compliment another person on some aspect of their appearance. When we become familiar it almost goes the other way. We feel we have the right to point out everything that we don’t approve of.

I wear what I like. I don’t dress for the pleasure of others. As a result I don’t really care what you think. I appreciate creative criticism like, I prefer a different shape on you or the blue one is better but it doesn’t mean that my mind would be swayed. I wasn’t always like that. That is something that has come with practice and age. I remember crying to my mother because my runners were not cool. I felt inadequate like people were laughing at me. I don’t want my children to feel that pressure from their peers. I hope their sense of self will be stronger than mine was. My son came down the stairs wearing two shirts one day. I just said you look cool. Thoroughly amused by his individual taste.

I never felt like I had any talent. I couldn’t sing or draw. Since I started blogging people have been very complimentary of my ‘talent’. I couldn’t accept it. Sure anyone could write if they wanted to. I think it’s important to nurture what you are good at because it does feel good. I hope the children will have faith in their abilities. Faith I am still struggling to find.

It goes without saying that I think my lads are just gorgeous balls of perfection. For some strange reason I place a lot of emphasis on looks. I think more attractive people get on better in life. I was never the pretty one of the group. In fact I was just telling a friend today about being on a quiz on the tele where I had to live in a glass house in the centre of Dublin city. (long story) At the end of each night you’d compete to win a quiz to stay on another 24hrs. I won so I got a new opponent. His first words to me as he entered the house were

My girlfriend was so relieved when she saw I was going to be in here with you because she was worried that I would be in here with someone attractive

If someone said that to me now it wouldn’t knock a funk out of me. Again something that has come with practice and age. Back then I was crushed and it took me a while to get over that. I hope to instill in my children that your looks are not what defines you. It’s your heart that makes you beautiful.

I can’t protect them from every bad experience that comes their way. I wish I could shield them from meanness and judgement and the feelings that they are not good enough. Instead I am going to try and teach them to focus on the positive aspects of life. To have faith in themselves and that they are no better or no worse than anyone else.

In short… don’t let the bad stuff stick!


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