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To say that this year has been hard for people is an understatement. We’re almost (finally!) at the end of it, and I feel like I’ve been through the wringer and back. But somewhere between homeschooling, quarantine, and trying to find enough toilet paper for four kids, we were able to spend more time with each other as a family—play more, cook more, dance more. It has taught us how to appreciate our time together and love each other, and ourselves, for who we are. And unable to surround ourselves with family, friends, or acquaintances, we had to learn self-love and understand that we are enough.

Since the inception of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility drunk driving and underage drinking have reached record low levels.

family in a field family in the kitchen

Being the Best Example for Our Kids

As I continue to partner with throughout the year, I’ve learned that it’s not necessarily our experiences that define us, but how we react to those experiences. This year has been impossibly hard, and how Bobby and I cope with the pandemic, and teach our children to cope with what’s happening in the world, will make a significant impact on their lives as they grow up. Rather than coping with this insane year through a bottle of wine, we refocus on our family. We take silly videos of the kids dancing. We work on new arts and crafts. Or we let the kids pick a new project—something that’s new and unapologetically them.

boy in dance outfit girl at grand canyon

Embrace Who You Are

This year of isolation has also allowed my kids to really find themselves. I’ve always raised my kids to be themselves, to be who they are and embrace it, and this year, I feel that they’ve done that. It’s important to me that my children know they are enough and love themselves no matter what else is going on in the world. Pandemic? Who cares. Bullies? Ignore them. If they can learn to love and embrace their individuality, especially during a year like this, I know they’ll grow up to be strong, self-loving people.

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mom and toddler dad and kid in costumes

Love Yourself No Matter What

And self-love is hard. There have definitely been times that I’ve struggled with it, especially this year. (Quarantine 15 anyone?) But it’s an important lesson that I need to teach my children—to be their unapologetic selves. I want them to love themselves no matter what people say about them, no matter what people think of them. I want them to love the imperfect but amazing person they are. Ignoring the toxic people and things going on in their lives will allow them to embrace who they are and understand that they, on their own, are enough.

Drunk driving fatalities have decreased 34 percent since 1991 and lifetime alcohol consumption among our nation’s youth has decreased 48 percent. 

mom and dancing kid in parking lot kids dancing

Love Is Contagious!

As Boss Baby Brody shows every day, radical self-love is contagious—and radical honesty, empathy and vulnerability are transformative. It agitates us and shakes us awake. It teaches us that we all arrived on this planet already innately enough. By being yourself, of course, there will be tension between what you authentically know and what you are conditioned to believe. Self-love isn’t easy, but if my kids can break that barrier and learn to lean into who they are instead of stifling themselves, they’ll grow up to be more accepting, loving, understanding individuals.

mom with kids dancing mom and toddler

Understanding the Four Pillars of Radical Self-Love

Sonya Renee Taylor, award-winning poet, activist, author, and leader, breaks down the four pillars of radical self-love.

Taking Out the Toxic

Dump the junk! Don’t fill your life with things that are toxic to you or your kids’ route to self-love. For example, if your social media feed doesn’t have anything new or different, if everyone looks the same, it’s not a representation of the real world. Follow people that are uniquely themselves, who are different, and proud of who they are. Learn how to deal with the haters and focus on the positives around you.

Mind Matters

How you think and interpret things around you also influences your self-love and love of others.  Be kind to yourself, and to others. Remember they’re going through the same year and the same journey to self-love. Banish the kind of language or thinking that erases the humanity of others.

Unapologetic Action

Right now, kids are going through a rough time. School is at home, they don’t get to see their friends or go out to play, and everything is different—so refocusing those frustrations or fears into something positive is a great way to practice self-love and learn positive ways to deal with hard times. Consider daily practices to exercise the muscle of self-love. (We do a lot of dancing but find what works for your family!)

Collective Compassion

Cut yourself some slack. This is something I struggle with constantly and I’m sure other parents do too. I’m not a perfect mom, and my kids aren’t perfect either. But I love them unconditionally. Make sure to give yourself the same grace. Teach your kids to love their imperfect and uncertain selves!

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kids playing in the leavesbuddha quote

Teaching Self-Love

Insane doesn’t even being to define this year, but if anything good has come out of it, it was our ability to spend time together and refocus on ourselves and our family. Bobby and I got time to teach our kids some of those life lessons that always seemed stuck on the back burner and we were able to focus positive attention on them in a time when they needed it most. Hopefully, they continue to learn to love themselves, be who they are, and continue to learn and grow in self-love.

Adolescents who consume alcohol at an early age are six times more likely to experience alcohol problems as adults.

family walking together


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