Besides all the work parents shoulder to raise their children, they’re tasked with the monumental burden of preparing their children for the (often cruel) realities of the world.
Not everyone out there is nice. Not everyone will spend time to get to know you before passing judgment.
Intentional or not, people will say things that cut you to the core.
Knowing that, many parents have started training their kids to have a healthy view of themselves so they don’t suffer as much from the hurtful comments of strangers.
Tiania Haneline from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is one of those parents. Her daughter, 3-year-old Scarlett Smith, is learning how important and loved she is.
“People are going to look at her as a black woman,” Haneline told “Good Morning America.” “They’re not going to see her as a mixed-race woman.”
“Instilling that, ‘I love my brown skin, I am beautiful, my curls are beautiful,’ I just want to instill that in her. So whenever she does get called names, because I know she’s going to, that it’s not going to bother her.”
Haneline shares videos of her reciting affirmations with Scarlett as she’s doing her hair or walking along. Scarlett repeats various phrases, including “I am beautiful,” “I am a good friend,” “I love my hair,” “I am loved,” “I love my brown skin,” “I am worthy” and “Jesus loves me.”
“Affirmations with Scarlett while I was doing her hair!” she posted on July 15. “Had to throw that Jesus loves me in there twice!”
While Scarlett is still very young and might not understand all the implications of the phrases she’s internalizing, she will one day — and it’s already giving her strength.
“You literally wouldn’t think that she gets it,” Haneline said. “But the confidence I feel like she is building it herself — like looking in the mirror and just having this fierceness about her.”
Scarlett has not only recited the affirmations; she’s also extended those affirmations to others when she thinks they need them.
“She will affirm other people, so she’ll tell me, ‘Mommy, you’re so beautiful, I’m so proud of you.’ Like it’s crazy,” Haneline said.
“I feel even at this early age of only being three and just seeing her confidence, I can just imagine what it will be when she gets older.”
Aside from building their own bond and giving her own daughter confidence, Haneline’s videos with her daughter have been a blessing to many viewers as well.
“I’ve had so many teenagers and even adult women that have said, ‘I wish so much my parents would have done this for me when I was little. I wouldn’t hate myself or I wouldn’t hate my hair. I wouldn’t hate my brown skin.'”
“For them to say that to me really makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.”
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