5 fun and active mommy and daughter dates!
Photography by: Dani Nicole Photography
Having a daughter (and one on the way!) has always been something I hoped for. Having 3 sisters, I always had wished for a daughter of my own one day and could not be more thankful that I have been blessed with (almost) two. We all know in today's society though, it can be tough for girls. What we thought growing up was rough, I'm sure they will be exposed to more than we can even imagine, no matter how prepared we think we are. When I really sit and think about it, I get anxiety about this. But I've learned I only have so much control over any situation and I can only try my best as a mommy to give them the tools they need to be self-confident young girls, that will one day turn into a self-confident woman. I pray for their self-confidence daily. I've chosen to trust my faith, do the best as I can as a mom, and love my girls deeply (and make sure they know that every day!).
As moms, our daughters listen and watch everything we do. Even when we think they aren't listening or watching, trust me they are! (I've learned this, haha!). If we talk about our bodies negatively, they hear that. If we talk about other people/women negatively, they hear that. If we are constantly unhappy with ourselves or not confident in what we do or say, they see that. If we look in the mirror daily and say, "Ewe, I look so fat", or "My thighs couldn't be bigger, I will never eat a (insert some sort of treat) again." This impacts our daughters, even if you think it may not. They are learning to not love their own bodies and be self-conscious of what others may or may not think. Did you know being self-conscious of their bodies starts as young as 7? (sometimes even younger). This makes me so sad!!!! I feel like it's not fair. But it's all they see, hear, and it's how they feel about themselves on the inside.
I love to live a healthy and active lifestyle. I talk a lot about this right here on my blog! So if you're new, welcome! I'm SOO far from perfect, but a huge reason I love to live this kind of lifestyle is for my kids. My daughters will grow up knowing they can be strong. They will grow up knowing to feel good they could go for a run or do some yoga. They will know about vegetables, fruits, and carbs that fuel their bodies to make them feel good on the inside. I am never on a diet and never talk about eliminating certain foods to look a certain way. Yes, it's healthy to eliminate certain foods from our diet, absolutely, but I'm talking about being obsessed with what you're eating at all times. Even if you are on a diet or eliminating certain foods, that is absolutely fine, but I don't think we should stress about it in front of our children. Go for a donut date with your kids every once in a while, eat the cupcake at a birthday party, heck eat the ice cream too! One cake or donut is not going to impact your thighs. But I think we get so caught up in this, I absolutely can't eat this or that lifestyle we let it control us. Which ends up impacting our kids even if you think it won't. Your daughter is learning, I shouldn't eat a treat every once in awhile because I will then hate my body too. I'm not saying to eat cake and donuts every day with your kids because that's teaching unhealthy lifestyle as well, but you get the picture! Make eating healthy a lifestyle and fun! Not always a diet. I promise you don't need to be on a diet a day in your life if you eat with "clean" and fresh ingredients!
I want to dive into young girls' self-esteem even more with future blog posts. Even have some experts in this area help write some blog posts with me! I've always been so passionate about this subject because it breaks my heart to think that young girls everywhere have low self-esteem. I'm not an expert nor do I think I have or know all the right advice in the subject area, but I have volunteered with different organizations since I was young to help girls with this very subject. I've learned a lot, and I've always been passionate about this. I've come up with 5 fun active dates for you and your daughter/daughters to go on! To incorporate being strong, positive, and have a healthy mindset all while having fun with mommy!! Let us teach our daughters to not only be smart and intelligent but kind, healthy, and love themselves from the inside out.
5 fun active mommy and daughter dates!
(To help build self-confidence!!)
1. Take a Yoga Class together!
Photo Credit: PopSugarFitness
Can we just say how fun?! I actually have been wanting my daughter and I to continue to learn yoga together!! (We have done some at home videos together, but no classes yet!) I have NOT been practicing yoga for a long time, but it's something I have always been incredibly interested in and want to learn so much more about! There's mommy and me yoga popping up everywhere around me and I absolutely want to take my daughter with me! Yoga is a great life skill to have. If it's something they can learn from when they are little, why not?! It teaches breathing techniques, calmness, patience, strength, and to love our bodies.
2. Go on an indoor rock-climbing date together!
Photo Credit: Mommy Nearest
We have actually done some indoor rock climbing together and she LOVES it! This is just fun, active, and builds strength. Plus they feel so confident in themselves that they can accomplish something like this! It may be a bit scary for some (especially the younger guys), but be patient and cheer them on even if they only go up two steps! It's all about learning something new and having fun together!
3. Sign up for a 3K/5K together!
My daughter and I along with a couple of her friends and my friends are running/walking our first 5K in just a few weeks! We signed up for the color vibe race and my daughter could not be more excited! (Yes I am planning to bring a stroller/wagon, haha!) Promoting running as a fun and healthy tool is something I hope she can learn from a young age. I HATED running my entire life, until this past year actually. Once I got into it, I completely understood for the first time in my life why people actually enjoy running. It makes you feel good and clears your mind. She may not love it, but at least she knows it can be something that she sees her mom enjoys for her own health of body and mind and she can learn to love it too!
4. Take a dance class together!
photo credit: jewlofartdance.com
This is all about doing something fun together and letting her know that you can be confident moving your body around and not care what people think! Anything from a hip-hop class to a ballet class would be a ton of fun to try together! You may not have done anything like this before and that is okay! Let her see you be confident yourself in a new and fun situation and she will follow suit. Let go of the fear of being awkward, move your bodies, even if it's silly and have fun together. There are studies proven that dancing regularly can improve your self-esteem while learning to truly love and accept your body. There's a great article on this here.
5. Take a trip to your local Farmer's market together!
Both of my kids absolutely love to do this with me, but this would be a perfect mommy and daughter 'morning out' activity as well! Let her pick out some of her favorite fresh fruit and veggies and go home and plan to cook a meal together! Talk about how fruits and vegetables make your body feel and show her some fun ways to cook them. Make sure to let her pick some things out on her very own and be excited about her choices. Letting her see all the amazing fresh produce and beautiful food is such a great way of getting health involved in your date. And if they have fresh ice-cream or popcorn stand, make sure to stop with her and indulge too! It's all about balance and teaching them in a positive way to learn to love healthy food.
I hope this list gives you some creative ideas on how to be active and have fun with your daughters. I don't think there is any, ONE "right" way on how to build self-confidence in your little ones. I think a lot of moms try their best and are doing an AMAZING job. It's easy to always feel like your not doing enough or you're doing something wrong, but I think little things can go a long way. Adding health + fitness into your daily lifestyle and letting your daughters be apart of that is such a great thing that they can hold on to for the rest of their life. So we can create even more healthy, strong, positive, kind, confident, intelligent girls who will run this world!