10 Lessons about Self Image You Can Teach a Toddler


Anyone who has or has ever had a toddler at home understands that these are little people filled with amazing confidence and self-respect. They’re just old enough to understand that they can make decisions for themselves and they’re too young to care in the least what other people think. In fact, it’s parents who do the most damage to the self-esteem of kids when they make offhand comments such as, “Mommy and daddy would you to wear this to church/school/a wedding because it matches and looks nice. What you chose to wear doesn’t match or look good.” It’s a bad habit we have to get rid of because it’s just hurting our kids. While you certainly want your children to look nice when you leave the house, you can do that without actually teaching them negative self-image. For example, I like to provide my 4-year-old independent little lady with two choices every morning before we get dressed. I like them both, but she gets to feel as if she’s making the decision as to what she wears, which is so important for her personality and my sanity. She gets to feel pretty in what she wears and we still get our way.

At the end of the day, what we say and do and how we behave in front of our toddlers teaches them more than we understand in the moment. So while we all want to teach our kids to be the best people they can be, the best little versions of themselves, we have to remember that it’s in our words and our actions what our toddlers pick up. That said, we thought we might choose a few of the best positive self-image lessons we can teach the littlest minds in our lives and share them with you.

A Smile is the Best Accessory

There is no better item to wear than a smile, and this is never less than absolute truth. Your smile indicates you are a happy person with a happy life, and that’s what matters most. We think that all toddlers should learn to wear those infectious smiles at all times because it’s worth it.

Be Yourself

It’s the best piece of self-image advice anyone will ever receive; be yourself. Your toddlers should learn this as early as possible because it means that they will embrace it. Being yourself is unique special, and it’s what makes life so much fun.

You Can Rock any Style

When you decide you want to wear something, you can rock it. You don’t have to be a supermodel or a tall woman or a thin woman or a blonde woman or anything that you’re not; you are you and you can rock it.

Confidence is Key

So important a lesson to learn; confidence is everything. Toddlers should learn this is the absolute truth at all times. Teach them to be confident when they are young and allow them to keep that lesson in their lives and you’ll soon realize that all that matters in life is the confidence that they grow up portraying.

Your Style is Yours Alone

Your toddler is going to rock a superhero cape with a pair of pajama pants and a tiara at some point, and that’s okay. Just because other people aren’t wearing it doesn’t make it any less amazing. And that’s why we are so big on making sure kids learn that your style is your style; no one else has it quite like you.

Awesome Clothes are Obvious

Please; we all know this to be fact. When you wear something that ‘speaks’ to you, it speaks to everyone else around you, too. It’s just the way of the world. You want to look good, love what you wear, how you wear it and everything about life.

Happy People are the Most Attractive

It is an honest truth that happy people are beautiful people no matter how or what they look like otherwise. Happy people are infectious people that bring joy and light everywhere they go. If you want to teach your toddler a little self-image, teach them that being happy is the way to go. There’s nothing in life more powerful than happiness.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Here’s a good life lesson on self-image for toddlers; if you tell a joke and it’s hilarious, go ahead and laugh. You don’t have to wait on other people to laugh and enjoy things with you. Stand out from the crowd. Be a go-getter and an awesome person at the same time. You go right ahead and laugh at your own jokes. All the best people do it.

Exercise is Fun and Functional

Here’s some seriously good advice for toddlers. Good self-image is more than just what you look like and how you feel; it’s how you are. You should strive for good healthy since you do only get one body and you do only get one life. The more you take care of your body, the better your life will be as a whole. We are pretty big advocates for good health around here, so let’s rock that lesson and make it our own. Exercise should be a way of life for all of us, and teaching toddlers than it’s fun and necessary is going to help them develop some killer self-esteem.

Don’t be Afraid of Change

Why are people so afraid of change? I dare you to look back at the course of your life and the things that changed and ask yourself what it is about your life’s changes that was so scary? If you didn’t go through those changes, you would not be here now. It’s just sad how many people are so unwilling to embrace and accept change. Teach your toddlers that change is good and that it always brings with it an opportunity that they don’t want to miss. It’s good for their self-image to embrace change and to make change – both physically and emotionally in their lives.

Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images


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