Believe it or not, kids are bad for self-esteem. It wasn’t so long ago, that we would often play eye-spy in the car with our daughter. At that point she was yet to learn the alphabet, so rather than “something beginning with…” we would use colours, and on most journeys, this would prevent the inevitable “Are we there yet?” being asked. For about ten minutes.
On one particular journey, my daughter asked us to identify “something that is yellow.” For several minutes we gave what we thought were sensible answers, but every time we were told that we were incorrect, and so Mrs L. and I became more and more exasperated. Even after she’d given us several “glues” we were stumped and ultimately, had to admit defeat. She triumphantly told us that the answer was Daddy’s teeth! Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t visit the dentist as regularly as I ought to but, I really don’t need a two year old to tell me that my oral hygiene is in need of attention.
Her current obsession is the size of my tummy. I could generously be described as cuddly, or described more accurately as generously cuddly. The point is that I cast a slightly larger shadow than I would really like. She is only too happy to point out that if she has that extra sweet, she’ll end up with a big tummy like Daddy. She has even started calling me Daddy Pig, after a rather rotund cartoon character who she quite likes. Kids are honest…and thats why kids are bad for self-esteem!
As she has got older she has commented that my morning breath “smells bad”, asked me why I have hair coming out of my nose, why I have some white in my beard and why I’m a bit thin on the top. As you can probably tell, I’m quite a catch!
It is especially embarrassing when she loudly asks these sorts of questions in public. This however is nowhere near as bad as when your children start asking you about other people. I live in fear of the day that I have to answer questions like; “Why does that lady have a beard?” or “Why does that man smell funny?” And I know that when those queries are made they won’t be quietly whispered. Oh no, they will be asked just loudly enough for the person in question to go a deep shade of red, or give me a look that could curdle milk.
A friend of mine took her daughter to the supermarket, and as they were queuing up to pay, the little girl caught sight of a very masculine looking lady with very short hair. Our friend’s daughter asked, in a very loud voice, “Why is that man wearing a dress?” My friend quietly explained that it was a lady, but the daughter did not believe her and insisted that “He is a man!” even pointing at the poor woman, who was by this stage, totally mortified.
My daughter at least, is just brutally honest. There is no malice intended, she just sees something and want to know why. The wonderful thing about this honesty though, is that she will tell me when she thinks I look good and I am constantly reassured that I am her best Daddy in the whole wide world. These are lovely things to hear, especially when I know that she means what she says from the bottom of her heart.
I have all of this to look forward to with my two boys as well. What a fantastic prospect. Hopefully they won’t be so fixated with their father’s appearance, but just in case I’ve got an appointment with a Doctor tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll be able to transplant some of my luxuriant nasal hair to the top of my head.
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