Our guest blogger, Poonam Gill, is a Girls Inc. Volunteer Program Facilitator and a Lunch Bunch Career Mentor.  She pursued a career in engineering and was often the only female in a classroom or business meeting which has taught her a lot about having confidence within herself.  She is the mother of a young daughter and she aspires to not only raise a strong, smart, and bold daughter; but to empower all girls to follow their dreams, be confident, and become self-aware of their positive qualities.

“I’m having a fat day,” I told the mirror, countless times over the years.  They are just innocent complaints I throw around in passing, words that I think do no harm.  After all, I’m an adult, and I’m saying these words to myself.  And it’s truly just one of those days where nothing looks good in the mirror…

But something changed for me when I had my daughter.

My daughter is only one, but already I find her mimicking everything I do and say.  Pretending to brush her hair using the wrong side of the hairbrush, holding the phone to her ear and babbling words that only she understands.  She sees everything I do, and she copies it.

So I fast forward several years and think, if I stand in front of a mirror, and complain about the way I look, will she do the same?  If I complain about my hair or my clothes, will she do the same?  Will the mirror become a place for her to complain about herself?   How can I expect to raise this bright little girl to have positive self-esteem, if I am not modeling the same behavior? 

As mothers, we teach our children to be kind to others through our own actions.  But do we teach them to be kind to themselves?

I want to raise a strong, smart, and bold daughter.  I want her to be confident and know how beautiful she is, inside and out. Telling her she is all of these things is just the beginning.  What I need to think about are the messages I am sending her.  I am so much more aware of the words I say to myself, knowing that one day she may mimic the same.  I really don’t need a mirror to see my reflection.  I can see my reflection in her.