In today’s world, there are so many pressures young boys and girls face as they attempt to meet society’s expectations of ideal physical appearance. We at FAN4Kids feel it is important to stress, to our students, the value of self worth and to help them accept themselves as they are as opposed to striving for a perceived standard which is most often unrealistic, unattainable and sure to cause discomfort.
In a letter written by the co-founder of a nutrition education company AND a MOM, reprinted here, the author addresses her children’s bodies, first thanking them for protecting her children both physically and emotionally and then filling them with hope that her children will, in turn, love their bodies and always feel comfortable in their own skin. Share this letter with your children too…..
Thank you for being my home. For loving me no matter what I do. For keeping me in one piece and recovering quickly even when I challenge you with trips, slips, falls, collisions, tackles, concussions, late nights of studying, too much sugar, and the germs that I encounter everywhere.
Thank you for protecting me from the many harsh and damaging chemicals, pollutants and substances in our world. For ditching the bad stuff you are given and employing the good.
Thank you for helping me to grow and get stronger every year. Thank you for balancing and righting me when I become sad, scared or discouraged. You never ask questions, and you are always there for me.
So to say thank you this New Year I will try my hardest to make more choices that benefit you. I will try to sleep well so that you can rebuild the pieces that get broken or weary during a typical day. I will stretch and I will exercise to help you transport blood efficiently.
I will eat lots of vegetables so you don’t have to work so hard to filter the pollution in the air I breathe or the chemicals in the candy I eat.
I will drink many glasses of water so my spine and joints stay hydrated, my blood travels efficiently, and my nerves function correctly. I will eat protein to give me long-lasting energy, and healthful fats to help my brain function at its highest capacity. I will take lots of deep breaths so all of my cells receive the oxygen they need to do their jobs.
I will try to listen when you talk to me. When I yawn, I will recognize that you want me to sleep. When I ache, I will stop pushing you so vigorously. When I feel anxious, I will breathe deeply and slow down. When I feel angry, I will pause, acknowledge and respect my feelings. When I lack energy, I will drink water, eat healthful food and get some fresh air.
And since you love and take care of me no matter what, perhaps this year I could decide to love you back no matter what shape or size you are, no matter how much muscle or fat or bone you build, no matter how coordinated you are or are not, no matter how many pimples you produce, or how many bad hair days you have. I will love you and take care of you as much as you love and take care of me.
This is not only an important lesson for children, but adults too…. Be thankful for the body that you have. Take care of your body because EVERYTHING you do in life is because you have a body to do it. Enjoy, and share this powerful letter with your children too.