I was surprised as she loves this stuff and asked why did she not wanted it. She quickly told me that it is not that she did not like it, but that some of her girlfriends thought it was weird and they all go "UGHHHH how can you eat that?". I was in shock! I did not realized peer pressure and worry about what others think of you will strike at such an early age. She is only 6.
I did not know how to react, I explained to her that it was OK to have different tastes and that she was lucky to have been exposed to different types of food at such an early age and that it was OK if others did not like it, as long as she liked it, that was all that matter. I was not sure she got any of it. I took the Nori in the car, just in case she changed her mind. She didn't.
Ever since that day I have been paying attention, because it is not only the food, but it is also what she wears that have to be "friend approved" these days. And it has made me realized how many things she loves she may end up stopping from doing, just so she is not judged or criticized by others.
I have been thinking a lot about my own childhood and my mother's ever helpful words of advise. My mother always made me feel like a star. She was encouraging and ever supportive. She has always been a fan - no matter what I was doing. She told me I was special everyday and how thankful we were to have each other. She taught me to look inside of people for beauty and not outside. Her always praising attitude made me into a confident girl and woman. I want to do the same for my baby.
So no matter how old your girls are, you should always praise them and encourage them to be the best they can be. We can teach them to "look beyond the looks" and get to know the people they encounter in their lives without judging external appearances. We are all different and unique and without all the beautiful qualities we all have the world will not be the same.
I have been talking to my daughter a lot more about being comfortable with herself and with what she likes. I have been telling her that I love her no matter what - even if she eats funny sushi, in fact I told her I love her more just because of that! Hopefully it will help to give her the sense of security she needs to love herself.
My motivation to write this post and to share this story with you came from the great work the people at Dove has been doing about inner beauty. It saddens me to know that there are girls being bullied because they do not look perfect. Dove wants to encourage moms and bloggers and women to start a conversation with our girls, to let them know they are beautiful and that we love them. I am doing just that! do you want to start your own conversation?
Here is why we need to start talking! 72% of girls ages 10 -17 feel pressure to be beautiful and only 11% are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves. More the 60% of girls that do not feel good about themselves avoid doing normal activities like going to school or giving their opinions.
We can all help, particularly us mothers. About 66% of the American girls say their mothers are the number 1 female role model. So it all starts with us. We also need to feel good about ourselves!
This weekend is the 3rd annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend themed "Let's Talk". Please help Dove during this wonderful campaign to start a conversation. Girls are listening, we just need to start talking!
For more information on the Dove Campaign "Hablemos" or "Let's Talk" please click here (Spanish link) or on the sites: ViveMejor (Spanish Link) or Making Life Better (English Link)
This post was compensated and done in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions are my own.