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Friday, June 5, 2015

Possible side effect in children: low self esteem

I remember going to an assembly in middle school that was all about accepting each other and accepting ourselves for who we are. 

It's a pretty common theme these days.

1. Just be yourself. Stick to your beliefs.
2. Don't change yourself just to fit in. 
3. You are special and you should embrace that. 

There's a common Christian addage that goes right along with this: God does not make mistakes. 

Before you read on, answer me this: do you agree with the above statements? These are points that really hit home for kids with the issues of low self esteem, bullying, depression. 

Love yourself. 


That's a huge part of what I blog about. Don't let the world determine your worth.

But, how about if we told children the following.

1. Just be whatever version of yourself that you want to be. There is no value in sticking to a belief or moral system. Stick with it one day, let it go the next. That's up to you.

2.You should change yourself to fit in. As long as you are comfortable with the change, you should go ahead and take the steps necessary to look like the people you want to hang with, act like the people you want to hang with, talk like the people you want to hang with. If you want to be in the popular crowd and the popular crowd all have to have ear gauges, then you should get them. So you can fit in with the crowd and have them like you. If you want to be Barbie, then you should definitely get a chest enhancement because, truthfully, you aren't good enough right now.

3. There really is nothing special about you. Don't spend the energy trying to love yourself or embracing what you were given. There is nothing special about the human body, you should throw caution to the wind because none if it, including your personality, matters anyway. It can be changed on a whim.

And, oh yeah, God must make mistakes. And boy did he do a doozy on you. Ha! Tough luck, kid. 

. . .

That would be nuts, right?! Who in their right mind would say that to a kid?
Oh, wait . . . Bruce . . . I mean . . . Caitlyn . . . I mean . . . Bruce Jenner would.

Pretty sure I just offended someone. Before you get all in a tissy, I want to specify something. I am not going to talk about whether or not what he is doing is right or wrong. I'm not going to talk about my personal feelings on the subject. 

But, whether or not you support what Bruce is doing, I think it's important to pay attention to the side effects of this. 

On one hand, you could say that he is following the first list I mentioned. He says he is staying true to himself, he is trying to be who he affirms is the true him, and he is embracing that.
On the other hand, he is only following the first list by adhering to the second list. What he had is not good enough. He needs to change himself to be a part of the group he wants to fit into. It isn't even a matter of him changing his personality, he is trying to change the basic structure of gender. What he had to offer is not good enough, so thus he must need to change.

Lots of people are doing this. They are trying to change something that is very, very basic. They aren't just talking about who they are attracted to, but what gender they are.

Now, as I said, I'm not going to get into my personal convictions on this. But just realize what message we are sending, especially to the kids.

If you love who you are, great. But if you don't fit into a certain mold, then you should change yourself. Don't be satisfied with being you, change anything you need to feel better about yourself.

And where does that stop? 

There was a story out a few months ago about a mom who was giving her young daughter plastic surgery vouchers so she could get enhancements. Everyone flipped! How dare she do that, how aweful is that, she's teaching her daughter to feel that she is not good enough. That she needs to change to fit a certain mold.

Calling Bruce a hero teaches kids the exact same thing.

I am not trying to convince you to feel one way or the other about this. I'm more just telling you to be aware of the side effects that decisions like this will cause.

All decisions, whether they are good or bad, have consequences. This is just another example of this.
Personally, I suggest still telling your kids that they are special just how they are. 

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