By Aimee Heckel
Your daughter is beautiful. So is your son. You know that. Make sure they know it, too.
It’s important to make sure they understand the real definition of beauty, though — it’s more than knowing the trends and copying the celebs and a certain body shape or way of walking.
True beauty is in the way the sun sets behind the mountains, and how one purple flower is actually comprised of one zillion varying shades of purple, if you look closely. And when you call your children beautiful, mean that kind of beauty; nature’s perfect composition that effortlessly leaves us breathless. True beauty lives in authenticity, health, appreciation and your own awesomely unique inner essence.
Teach them that.
Teach them how to respect and care for their bodies, in the same way that they want others to respect their bodies. Teach them to eat healthily as a way of honoring the incredible strength and brilliancy of their physical being, not as a form of punishment or conditional self-love.
(If you’re a busy parent, have healthy snacks delivered to your door every week, like Naturebox.com, $19.95 a month; NatureBox even works to help provide healthy snacks for disadvantaged people through WhyHunger.)
Teach your kids that there is no shame or vanity in self-care, if you’re doing it for the right reasons. Paint your nails to brighten your day, not to fit in. (Consider natural, non-toxic polish, like Zoya or Piggy Paint, available at Walmart.)
When you are old enough, wear makeup if you enjoy it — for the art of it, to bring out your favorite features and for fun. Not to change. Tell your children not to change for anyone. Because they have always been perfect to you.
Teach your children to not only fill their bodies with healthy energy in the form of real food, but also to surround themselves by that which strengthens and brings them up — from friends, to choices, down to the products they use. Consider natural, organic and healthy skin care lines, like Dr. Hauschka (find it at Pharmaca.com), because, after all, your skin is your body’s largest organ — and quite remarkable, when you think about it.
Tell your kids what it means to be beautiful, so when they walk out into this big, crazy, confusing world, they will keep their eyes on the sun and not confuse it with the shadows it casts.
And while you’re talking, tell yourself some of these things, too. Just make sure you’re listening.
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