Disclosure: We are celebrating girl power today with our sponsor Simon & Schuster.
Perhaps it’s due to the sheer number of children I have—which leaves Colby and I completely outnumbered—or my own independence, but I am big on teaching my children to do things for themselves. As a homeschool family, we always say that Home Ec starts at the age of 7. This is when we begin teaching the kids to cook and clean; to help with the chores. We simply discovered that by giving them this independence, they also began developing more self-confidence.
Raising four daughters, I want them to not only be successful in all that they do, but to do so with confidence. To know that they are capable of fulfilling their dreams and desires… and that I will be their biggest cheerleader through it all. Self-confidence begins with the ability to love and value yourself. Growing up, I wasn’t given this certainty, so I do my best to instill it in my own children by teaching them self-care and compassion. It is imperative that they accept themselves in order to be at harmony not only with themselves but the world around them as well. I constantly remind my girls that they need to love themselves and those closest to them in order to foster better relationships outside the home. For me, that’s where it begins. Inside the home.
Compassion helps children form their worldview with love towards themselves, which is the basis to seeing value both in themselves and others. As an adult, self-confidence will give them the drive to keep on going even when things get tough, and to never give up on themselves. With our oldest daughter, I see this almost daily as she pushes through her final year of college with a 4.0, as well as living the young married life, holding down a job, and building a new home. Her weekly texts filled with excellent scores and praises from her professors further encourages her confidence. With her sisters, especially the two just entering the teen years, I often worry—as a mother tends to do— that I am still doing something right. Therefore, I asked them both for a list of what they love about themselves.
I’m loyal. I still have secrets from kindergarten. I can be funny sometimes and love my ability to make people laugh. I like my smile. I’m multi-talented with a variety of hobbies that includes singing, guitar, ukulele, baking and much more!
I love my freckles. They’re unique and in different places. No one else can have my freckles. I like being tall because then I can see over everyone’s heads! And I love my big eyes. They’re like big puppy dog eyes and I feel like I can make you do whatever I want you to do. Plus, my long lashes are kinda cute and finish off my big puppy dog eyes.
We’ve learned together how important the middle school years are in a young girl’s life. The past year has been an incredible time of growth for both of them in the area of confidence, self-care, and friendships. The ups-and-downs, the struggles and celebrations of these years are sure to shape and mold them into the people they are yet to become. My hope is that they get the love and care they need at home—from their dad and I in addition to their siblings—to get out there and conquer the world in a way only a mom understands.
We were inspired to start talking about self-confidence and self-love by The Littlest Bigfoot, a new middle grade series by Jennifer Weiner. Fans of #1 New York Times bestseller Jennifer Weiner’s adult books will be excited to know she now writes for children too! The first two books of The Littlest Bigfoot series are available now and the final book will release in 2018.
We received copies of both The Littlest Bigfoot and the newly released second installment, Little Bigfoot, Big City. These books are about two young girls — one who grew up in the human world and the other who grew up in a Bigfoot clan. Both feel like they just don’t fit in but their friendship helps them to see the best parts of themselves. It’s exactly the kind of books I want my girls reading.
This sweet trilogy explores the important themes of self-love, positive body image, and friendship between girls. Plus, it is perfect for middle-grade readers aged 8-12. Read more about them below, then leave a comment to let me know how you talk about self-confidence with your Tweens. I’d love to know!
The Littlest Bigfoot
Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.
But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.
Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid…
Little Bigfoot, Big City
Twelve-year-old Alice Mayfair has a secret. She’s not human. But who—or what—is she? While Alice goes in search of her past, her best friend Millie Maximus, a tiny Bigfoot with a big voice, prepares for her future. Together they plan to sneak off to New York City, where Millie hopes to audition for The Next Stage, the TV show she’s sure will rocket her to stardom and free her from the suffocating expectations of her tribe.
Meanwhile Jeremy Bigelow’s Bigfoot research has put him on the radar of a shadowy government organization led by a mysterious man named Trip Carruthers. The Bigfoots have something, a chemical so powerful and dangerous that the government will do anything to obtain it. And Jeremy is tasked with securing it once and for all.
In an unexpected twist of fate, Jeremy, Alice, and Millie find themselves facing off at a crossroads. But in order to determine where they’re going, they have to first figure out where they come from—and draw the line between what is good, what is evil, and what it means to be a hero.
You can find copies of both books at SimonandSchuster.com