Mom-of-four Gena Lee Nolin is inviting Celebrity Baby Scoop readers along as she shares her life experiences – and asks for advice – as she juggles her busy life with husband Cale Hulse and their four children: Spencer, 16, Caia, 11, Hudson, 6, and Stella, 4.
In her second guest blog, Gena talks about teaching her daughter healthy self-esteem and body image. While stressing the importance of words, the former Baywatch star shares some great tips. Continue reading her words of wisdom, and share your thoughts, questions, and advice in the comments.
“After having two boys, I was overjoyed to discover that I was finally having a GIRL! I drove home from the sonogram giddy, rocking out to Cindy Lauper’s Girls Just Want To Have Fun! I was going to have my baby girl and the world just seemed brighter.
When she was born, I realized I had a little lady on my hands and that I’d be the woman she’d look up to. I wondered, what will our future talks be like? Will she understand the career path I chose in my early 20s and be okay with the famous red swimsuit?
Since having children, I’ve become an open book and I allow all topics to be up for discussion. If you’re honest and come to the plate with knowledge and experience, your children will see that and respect you. Being known as a sex symbol isn’t exactly a bad thing; it’s actually very flattering. However, it’s really just a small part of who I am.
My children see their mom 90% of the time in jeans with no makeup on, running to soccer practice, volunteering at the local Goodwill, or giving any extra time I have to my thyroid awareness Facebook page. When my kids look at me, they most certainly don’t see the hundreds of magazine layouts or TV shows I’ve done; they see their mom and, frankly, they could care less about any of it!
At the end of the day, it’s about showing them firsthand the importance of loving yourself, owning your past, and looking to the future without missing a beat. Amen to that!
Today, girls have so much pressure to look a certain way, wear the current trends, and, of course, be paper-thin. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned with what my daughter might be faced with later in life. So, how do we prepare ourselves for the inevitable? I say, start as early as we can to teach them healthy self-esteem.
When Stella was about 6-months-old, she’d sit on my lap after bath time and play the “patty cake” game and sing songs until bedtime. We’d always end our fun with this affirmation: “I am a Strong, Confident, Beautiful Girl!” This little jingle became a routine for us. As she grew older, she started saying it on her own. I can’t stress the power of words and the importance of how we speak about our own body image in front of our children.
I’ve had to stop myself many times from saying, “I’ve got to lose another 5 lbs” or, “Ahhh, I look terrible in this outfit!” We all have our moments, but that’s what girlfriends are for. Stella really listens and watches what I do. She’ll go in my closet and come out with my high heels on, saying, “Which ones should I wear today?” The day before, she saw her mama asking herself the same question.
Remember that the first three years of your daughter’s life are crucial. Those are the years that they develop significant intellectual, emotional and social abilities. Likewise, those are the years that she will learn to give and accept love. She will learn confidence, security, and empathy, too.
The first three years are the doorway to forever. Having a solid male figure in her life will be essential, too, as he will be her first love and he will affect how she will view men in general. The bar has definitely been raised in our home, because Cale is an amazing father and now Stella is a “Daddy’s Girl.”
There’s nothing sweeter than having my daughter pick me flowers on our walks or having spa night in “Mommy’s Bathroom.” She’s the future, MY future, and I want her to feel sturdy and grounded in whatever path she chooses. I can only guide her so far and then she’ll be off to create her own adventures.
When she looks back, she’ll see a very proud mama cheering her on. Watch out, world, here comes my “Strong, Confident, Beautiful Girl!”