TEACHER: (stern look on her face) Mrs. Christensen...we are having a problem during freeplay time with Savanna.
ME: (stressed but trying to look calm and use my sweet Mommy voice) You are? I'm sorry. What is going on?
TEACHER: Savanna is making the other children cry! (looking at me like I'm training her to be a ninja assassin at home for fun)
ME: (getting really worried and stressed as to what is coming next) What is she doing?!?
TEACHER: (excited to tell me) We play with wooden blocks...
ME: (interrupting) Oh! Savy LOVES blocks! We...
TEACHER: (cutting me off) Yes...I'm aware! Every time the children build something, she runs over and knocks it down, claps, and laughs!!! I have told her repeatedly that this is UNACCEPTABLE behavior and she continues to do it day after day!
I explained that I had unknowingly taught her that behavior and in turn went home and taught my daughter that it was okay to do that at home, but when we play with friends...it's better to help them build things rather than always tearing them down.You are probably wondering what on earth this lovely little story has to so with being strong. Well, I immediately thought of this story today when I innocently posted a beach pic of myself (the one at the top) with my son a couple of years ago on the "Strong is the new skinny" FB page asking what people like to do that works their body (like me digging a hole in the pic with my son) but is not a traditional exercise movement. I was about 10 lbs thinner, very tan, and very lean. I received a comment that said...(and I quote)... "You look sick, skinny, unhealthy and freaky! Take a brek."
You'd think this would anger me or hurt my feelings. It did not. Okay, well...I considered leaving a comment that simply said, " (insert person's name), BITE ME!" for a minute, but I controlled the urge. What I DID think was how sad it is that WE AS WOMEN tend to tear each other down. We want to blame men...and there are some jerks out there...for the fact that we feel the need to be beautiful and wear the right clothes and have the perfect hair and body, but it's really women that are the problem!We are all guilty at some time. We've all done it...myself included. We talk behind people's backs or pick apart what they are wearing...the skirt is too long...she shouldn't have cut her hair like that...she's gained weight...she's lost too much weight. I even see it with my children. It is such an epidemic. We as women are tearing each other down, just like Savanna tore down every building made of blocks! Sometimes, it's innocent. We say things and laugh like it's just a game, but don't stop to think about what it is that we are doing or how it may make the other person feel.One of my goals with "Strong is the new skinny" is to build an army of men and women that can inspire each other and build each other up. Just like it was inappropriate for Savy to knock the other kids' blocks down, it's wrong for us to knock other people down or judge them harshly. It's okay to have differing opinions. It's not okay to be mean.
My challenge to anyone that reads this, is this: Think before you speak or type. Change the way you look at other people. Stop being B**CHY and judgmental and look for the good. You don't have to like what everyone else wears or how they look or how they train or what they think. Be STRONG enough and confident enough in yourself to not make comparisons out of insecurity and teach your daughters to do the same. Let's all work to build each other up...one proverbial block at a time...and make something amazing! THAT is how you make the world a better, stronger place.