Over the past few months, my twins, H and H, have become more mobile, more vocal, and absolutely more expressive. They now have tones to their squeals when something is wrong, and also when something is right. For the better part of each day, they are so, so happy. Their laughter fills their playroom and their little smiles surface so easily. As a new parent, I am in awe of their innocence, but also aware that they will inevitably be hurt. This last part is something that has crossed my mind many times. How will I handle things like bullying, heartbreak, defeat, and so on? How can I help them grow a positive inner voice? (This post may contain affiliate links, which help to keep this site running!)
As a minority, I feel that it’s almost a guarantee that H and H will at some point run into a kid who comments about their race. For those who don’t know, I’m Korean and my husband is Caucasian. When I was younger, I experienced situations where kids asked me numerous odd questions and made rude comments. A few real life examples include:
-Why is your face flat?
-Did you get dropped on your face?
-Why don’t you look like your mom? (I’m adopted!)
-Is there something wrong with your eyes?
-Are you going to get your eyelids fixed?
-I thought Asians were supposed to be smart.
…and my personal favorite:
-Why would someone pay for a baby? Wouldn’t they rather have their own?
Hurtful right? Astonishingly enough, I didn’t fight back, argue, or even answer most of the time. To be honest, I usually sat in silence, brushed it off, and went about my day. Looking back, I don’t credit myself for having the strength to not aggressively react (because I do believe that in some instances, the stronger person is the silent one), I credit the influence of my family.
I was fortunate enough to have parents who instilled an inner voice in me that was so strong, confident, and encouraging, that it quelled any of the small, negative voices around me. Without that strong voice, I don’t think I would’ve handled things quite so well and would have felt a lot more pain. I’m not saying that they blew sunshine up my rear, or praised me for just any small accomplishment. However, I was confident enough to know that what some people said didn’t matter, or affect my value as a human being. A lot of this was because I felt loved, and I believe that if we feel genuinely loved, we can let much else fall to the wayside.
While I hope that my kids don’t face any remarks concerning their unique appearances, I know that that’s a long shot. The thought breaks my heart. I’m not in control of what other kids will say, or what their parents teach them. I can only hope to influence how H and H react. I’m going to do my best give them a positive inner voice, much like the one my mom and dad gave me. A voice that they can rely on, and one that pushes them toward bravery, kindness, and compassion. How will I do that? So far, I just know that I will make them feel every ounce of love that I can, and teach them to be their own guiding lights. Will it work? I can only hope so. Until then, I want them to enjoy each moment of their tiny baby lives, worrying about nothing but their toys, snacks, and each other.
As always, feel free to comment! Do you have tricks toward building a positive inner voice for your little ones? Maybe you’ve had an experience you’d like to share, or just something to add. Feel free to leave whatever you’d like below!