I’ll never forget overhearing two moms at dance class whispering about my child and commenting on her size. Both mom were giggling and commenting on how small my daughter was and how they were so glad their daughters were tall and not a little “pipsqueak” like the girl in the hot pink leotard…also known as my daughter. There were only eight kids in the class, so you’d think these women might be bright enough to realize the “pipsqueak’s” mom might also be within earshot.
I was seething and my hands were cramping from how hard I was clenching my fists in my pockets. Instead of making a scene, I chose to embarrass the heck out of these ladies.
After class, my daughter ran out and jumped in my arms. I watched as the color drained from the faces of the other moms as they realized the “pipsqueak’s” mom was the women standing right next to them throughout the entire class.
I smiled sweetly at them, patted one of their arms and said, “You ladies have a wonderful afternoon.” Both of them had stunned looks at on their faces. To this day, three years later, I often run into them and neither will make eye contact with me. However, I always smile and say hello.
I may have looked calm on the outside, but the mama bear inside of me wanted to pop both of them in the nose!
BTW – my daughter is seven, but was four at the time. She has always been on the 1% – 3% curve for height and weight. She is perfectly healthy and petite.
The scary part is that this is how it starts, with kids hearing their parents say nasty things about other people, even children. Be it about their size, looks, race, religion or a myriad of other things. Kids are always listening and watching how we act as parents. When they hear us say something nasty or do something mean they store it in the back of their minds and you better believe they’ll remember. They will also emulate it.
The same goes if you say or do something nice.
If those two women were talking like that openly in public, I’m scared to hear what they say behind closed doors and the things their daughters may hear.
I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and have said things myself that I’m not proud of. Like yesterday when a car cut me off in traffic and I screamed, “stupid asshole!” completely forgetting my kids were in the backseat. Or even the seemingly innocent comments, made in front of my children, about dress choices of certain celebrities on the Oscar red carpet. That list also includes self-deprecating comments. Honestly, who hasn’t tried on an outfit and made a comment about how big their butt or gut looks?
Let’s all make a deal to keep some of our inner dialogue private and watch what we say out loud, especially around our kids. Just because it pops in your head doesn’t mean it needs to be verbalized or written on social media. Believe me, no one would want to hear the crazy inner dialogue going on in my head.
The one exception is venting to your very best friend who you know won’t judge you or repeat a single word. If you don’t have at least one friend like that in your life, find one! Or call me. I love a good vent.
Heck, let’s take it a step further and go out of our way to say nice things to everyone, even strangers. It doesn’t take a lot to make someone’s day.
At preschool drop-off and pick-up, I always make a big deal out of my daughter’s classmates’ new haircut, cool sneakers or an awesome drawing. You can see the kids’ faces light up and it makes their day. You know what? Those smiles and pure joy also make my day.
The same thing goes for adults. Hold the door for someone. Offer to help a mom struggling to get a stroller into a store. Smile at someone and genuinely compliment him/her.
Kindness and smiles are contagious. I’d much rather catch a smile than a cold.
Jennifer McGrath is the mom of two beautiful little girls who believes strongly in the power of kindness and that we are stronger together. A fashionista and beauty enthusiast (who might have a shoe obsession), she celebrates what makes us all unique, tries to follow the Golden Rule, speaks her mind, and never ever pay full-price for anything. You can follow her journey on www.CharminglyBold.com and follow Charmingly Bold on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CharminglyBold/) to get the scoop on fashion and beauty deals.