Growing up is hard, living in this world is harder!

Being a  parent is hard. It’s possible that being a child is harder. We can tell our sons and daughters all day that they are worthy, they are beautiful, handsome, kind, and lovable but all it takes is one person and one unkind or mistaken word and all the time and effort that we spend building our children up is out the door. I have found this to be true even at six years old.

      My thoughts are coming from a recent discussion that my daughter had with my mother. It began with her telling my mom that she was different from those around her, When my mother asked her why she felt that way, she mentioned that her skin color was not the same as that of her cousins and friends. My mother did a great job telling her how beautiful she was as well as other appropriate wordings for the situation but I have to say that as a mother, I was just heartbroken. We never want our children to hurt, and although I was assured Zoe wasn’t upset during this conversation, I know that it was weighing on her heart. I guess it never occurred to me that it would matter to her that her skin is a little darker than some of her family and friends.  She has two parents that adore her, not to mention all the other wonderful family and friends that are in her life, that I feel do a pretty good job building her up. But her “pretty” skin color has often been a topic of conversation and I think that even with the positiveness of it, the constant casual discussion of it has now made her self-conscious.

Zoe is a very “thoughtful” little girl in the sense that you never know how she feels about something until one day she surprises you when you least expect it with a very thought out conversation, so I know this one had been on her mind for a while.

I haven’t brought up that conversation with Zoe, I don’ t want her to think she can’t talk to my mother when she has something she wants to share. But we have since had many conversations about how God has made us all unique. He loved us so much individually that he made each one of us different. We have read Psalm 139, focusing on the part where he knit us together in our mothers womb (which, by the way that conversation didn’t go the direction I planned, I had to end it very quickly when the how did the baby get in there question was asked!) Any how, I have realized that with the world around us constantly bombarding us with how we are “suppose” to look and reminding us that we don’t live up to that image. We as parents have to be on guard to protect our children from that false view of themselves. Now is not too young to start.

This situation, as well as another one was brought up to our children’s pastor, and he had some wonderful thoughts that I will share in another post.

In the meantime, remember to be in prayer for your children.

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