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Dear parents, you need practice the self care you want your kids to have

I’ve thought about this a lot recently and wanted to pop it here in the hope it strikes a chord with other parents.

Firstly, I’m not writing this from an “I’m a perfect parent” aka obnoxious perspective. I’m far (and proud of it!) from being perfect, with lots of (continuous) work to do on myself. But, one thing I have tried to practice since I had Jet (almost 12 years ago), is changing the way I speak to and look after myself.

I made this shift because I didn’t want my beautiful boy, and now 2 gorgeous girls, to grow up with a mum who hated the way she looked, weighed, ate, worked out, etc etc. I knew ultimately if they saw that modelling of behaviour and self talk it would likely be something they ‘normalised’ and one day would (quite scarily) do themselves.

Self love and self care look different for everyone, they are both things we have to practice if we want our kids to do the same. Children are born with an ABUNDANCE of love. They don’t look at themselves in the mirror and hate on their body when they are small. They look at themselves with discovery and happiness because that’s all they know, until something different is modelled to them. We have to remember that.

So, parents I want to plant a seed and ask you, what gestures do you practice toward yourself to ensure you’re taking care of you? Is it that you get yourself moving everyday in a way you love? Is it that you put aside your phone and to do list and show yourself and your kids how to just ‘be’? Or maybe is it that you make a conscious shift in your self talk (away from e.g. “mummy has a fat bum”, or, “if mum does this she’ll be skinnier!) so your kids HEAR you speak words of kindness to yourself and in turn learn the language of self love too.

We can’t place expectation on our kids to grow up, do and be things we wish we hadn’t without being the change in ourselves first.

 

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline is an Accredited Nutritional Medicine Practitioner specialising in family and early childhood nutrition and gut health. She writes for several media publications, hosts a regular nutrition segment on Channel 7 and in 2016 published her first book, "Seasons to Share" (Murdoch Books). Jacqueline is passionate about working with corporations and brands to support and educate their community and audience and is currently a media spokesperson and ambassador for Remedy Drinks, Eimele Australia, Woolworths, Kitchenaid and Nutrition Director at Bondi Bubs Wholefoods. She is mum to Jet and outside her working hours you'll find her with her family in the surf, on the beach, or out and about in nature.

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