Self Portraits and The Bible: Teaching Kids To Just Be Yourself
Building confidence and self love in kids
Who are you?
How do you see yourself? Are you defined by the world? Or defined by the Word?
Recently I wrote a long list in my journal of all the things I have struggled to like about myself and my appearance, past and present feelings. It was actually pretty therapeutic as I looked at the list and thought this isn’t me! This isn’t a true reflection of me or how God sees me. My eyes aren’t too big, but they are big and that’s good. My stomach isn’t too podgy, it’s just I’ve had 2 kids and do little exercise. My thighs may rub together but they aren’t fat. My teeth may be wonky but when I smile it warms peoples hearts. My feet might be large for my height but they help me skip and jump. My nose may look big from certain angles but you know what? It’s my nose...it’s all mine and it’s all beautiful!! .
Here's an easy and fun activity to get your cubs declaring truth and positivity over who they are.
1) Get your mirrors out
You can use any mirror, but we decided to pick up 3 small standing mirrors from our local dollar store. No doubt charity/thrift store will have some if you'd rather not worry about getting paint on your own.
2) Get prepared
Get out some cardstock, paper, pens, and paints.
3) Look at your reflection
Before you pick up your pens have your cubs take a long hard LOOK at themselves. You too.
My cubs loved this part! Pulling faces/talking to themselves/seeing how crazy big their nostrils were on the zoomed-in side of our double sided mirror. They don’t see wonky they see simply.
When we did this, I said let’s point at our eyes and say “God loves my eyes!” Putting our hands on all our facial features and getting overly enthusiastic. “What else does God Love about you?”
They were soon standing on their chairs saying "God loves my wiggly legs!"
“God loves that I love lego!”
“God loves that I love babies and my brother."
They hugged and the fighting that had happened 5 mins before melted away.
God’s perspective helps.
So what does God Love about you? Can you look in the mirror and see yourself as God sees you? BEAUTIFUL !
4) Draw your face
We used sharpies to draw the outlines of our faces.
5) Paint a self portrait
As they were painting (I finished mine a little quicker!) I read out loud, rather dramatically, Psalm 139 (NLT version) and when I finished I asked them to tell me which verse they liked or remembered.
Little Miss chose verses 9-10: If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
Mr Dude chose verses 17-18: How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!
Building self confidence in kids
This activity really helps build self-esteem, and confidence in our children. We want them to have a good foundation of their God-given physical and spiritual identity. We want our kids to grow up liking what they see in the mirror and knowing that God made them and calls them beautiful. In a sexist, comparative, media driven society where beauty is narrowly defined or exploited, where men are told to act a certain way to be masculine and women are told to look a certain way to be feminine it's important we set the foundation early. We want to grow a strong sense of self belief in our children, knowing who they are is enough and valuable, no matter what the world may say. It may take 5 minutes, it may seem 'insignificant' but the more we do activities like this, building self-reflection, self-appreciation, creating self-portraits, the stronger their sense of self will be.
The best piece of advice I could give you this year, is just be you.
You are wonderfully made, loved, beautiful, and enough just as you are.
To see the rest of the January Just Be collection click here.