Mending Mini’s Self-Esteem

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My lil Mini doesn’t dress like a girly girl. She’s not a fan of girl’s shirts. In her mind, fitted or cinched or not baggy is too tight. She prefers looser-fitting clothes. That’s just what she’s comfortable in.

She is into superheroes and there aren’t many girl shirts with the Avengers or Batman or Spider-Man or Star Wars on them.. well ones that aren’t pink and/or glittery anyway.

She detests leggings and skinny jeans. She’s only worn leggings twice, under dresses and I had to fight to get her into both. In her defense, we have an agreement: she wears dresses twice a year – for her birthday and Christmas pictures. These were for weddings, but it was still a battle.

Girl sweats are usually pink, fitted and/or decorated with ridiculous images or (gasp!) rhinestones. We usually end up in the boy’s department for clothes. I’m not saying we never find anything in the girl’s department. It’s just hard. This is pretty much how Mini has dressed since I let her have a real say in her clothes.

Even when “boyfriends” came into the picture, Mini’s personal style never changed. She thought it was funny if her and her boyfriend were wearing the same pants.

Even in Kindergarten when some Regina George wannabe told her that her Cars 2 lunchbox was for boys and not girls, Mini didn’t change. She kept that lunchbox and still has it.

Last night, Mini said she wanted to pick out her outfits for school from now on. She told her father and I that she wanted to wake up early to pick out her own clothes. It struck us as odd because if there is one thing Mini hates more than leggings or hair bows, it’s waking up early. Just like her Mama, Mini LOVES her sleep.

As she was brushing her teeth, I heard her tell her father that the current boy she is deep in crush with (who she’s known since Kindergarten and defended her lunchbox back then) told her he doesn’t like her clothes.

HOLD ON!

BACK UP THE TRUCK!

I call her into the room I’m in and ask her what this kid said.

She started to cry. That heartbroken 7yo sob cry.

Apparently Mr. Wonderful told her he doesn’t like how she dresses and she should find someone else to like.

Me in my head: Oh no he did NOT!

I held her for a minute as she cried, all the while struggling to keep my composure and thought about what to say. I have always told her if she is happy with who she is, no one else matters. I put my hands on either side of her face and wipe her tears.

“Honey, do YOU like your clothes?”

“Yes.”

“Are you comfortable in your clothes?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Do you want new clothes?”

“No.”  THAT’S MY GIRL!

I told her that’s all that matters. She should never change anything about herself to please someone else. She should wear what she wants when she wants.

Later, I also mentioned other boys that she is friends with who love her for exactly who she is. They don’t think she should dress differently.

As she got into bed, I said “Nite, Babe. I love you.”

She smiled. “I love you, too, Mommy. Thanks for the advice.”

Well melt my heart and make me cry, why don’t ya??

I guess time will tell if Mini actually takes my advice or not. I hope she doesn’t change. I may be slightly biased, but she really is an amazing kid. She has the biggest heart. She has a confidence that I’m quite frankly jealous of.

Take time to build up your kid’s self-esteem and always fill up their confidence banks. This world is a cruel place. It’s up to us parents to give them the tools that will keep them from falling apart as they get older and the insults get harsher.

I consider this a small victory for me as a mother. I hope I can continue to pull from my own inner strength as Mini grows older.

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