The self esteem that we pass on to our children comes from the examples that we set. Sometimes those examples come from the children themselves. Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” is a fun song with a great message.
How we view ourselves will create the template for how our children define and develop their internal sense of self worth. Our appearance right down to our hair plays a role. So my husband’s name is Samson and you guessed it, I can’t get around the subject of hair. I have to admit it has got me intrigued as our hair has inextricably been linked to our sense of wellness. How do you feel on a bad hair day? Have you ever been stereotyped because of your hair? I’ve got a confession to make. I just recently started flying solo. Yep. Weaveless after 10 years. It’s not that I don’t have hair. That’s just it. I have a lot of it and it is difficult to maintain and style with the many whims I have. So I’m flying solo…for a time. But when is the last time that you have left the house without a good haircut, extensions or some color? Dolly Parton once said “I’m not offended by all the dumb-blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde.”
As a mom, I am sure I will be tackling the subject of hair as my daughter grows up. From cuts, to perms and everything in between. As a father, Academy Award Host Chris Rock recently made a film called “Good Hair” which explores the topic. The film centers around the African American community but the subject of hair is something that all ethnic groups can identify with. Rock said he was prompted to make the movie after his 5-year old daughter Lola asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?
I recently caught up with a star in the film “Good Hair” actress Nia Long to discuss hair, self esteem and this Hollywood Mommy’s approach to raising her child. She is best known for her roles in the television series The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and Third Watch, and the films Soul Food and Big Momma’s House. Long was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the World by People. She knows a little about self image as she won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. She also has lived and learned about motherhood as a single mom raising a 9 year old son.
I asked her about self esteem and hair and how women should view both. She wanted moms to know that “Hair and self esteem are different topics and issues. Self esteem comes from self value, self worth, self love and understanding and to the growth process. Hair is merely an accessory. Women should have a choice to do whatever it is they want to do with their physical appearance as long as they are at peace. If you are changing your appearance to deal with esteem you have to take a moment to get honest with yourself and take a deeper look at that.”
I love connecting with other mothers to hear their ideas about raising kids. Nia has been on the job of mother for the past 9 years to her son Massai. I asked her if she had every mom connected to the ladies live and learn blog what would you tell them about raising kids? “Patience, patience and more patience it takes a patient mother to understand and embrace the joys of motherhood. I get so much joy by living life through my sons eyes when we are together. He is so excited and happy by the smallest, most simple things. I am enjoying every minute of motherhood. But, there are difficult days. There are days that we say I don’t know how I am going to get everything done in a day. And I say, one moment at a time but I also think that women have to take care of themselves first. You can not just give, give to your children. You have give to yourself, to empower yourself, to strengthen yourself and then give to your children. It benefits you and the child.”
As mothers we live busy lives. So I asked Nia what she does to stay connected to her son among the chaos. “We take trips together, we cook together, we play baseball, read, we clean together. His new thing is he knows how to do the laundry which I think is amazing because what women doesn’t want a man who can do the laundry? But you know I teach him the basic skills of survival but I also want him to be a well rounded man – he can do the dirty work but can put on a suit go run a corporation or be a professional baseball player if that what he chooses to do but he should also know how to do the laundry when he goes to college. We have to raise little boys to be men and when you are single women it is very easy for a young boy to take the position to be the man of the house and I think that is a huge mistake. My son is my son he is not the man of this house. I have to teach him the right skills so that he can develop to be an amazing man but he is a boy and he has got to understand that with that he has got boundaries and basic skills he has to learn because so such much of the word man is about ego and machismo but that is the least important aspect of being a man. Being a man is being emotionally available, being communicative, being able to support your family and that is really what I try to teach him.”
Nia was excited about the Ladies Live and Learn blog goal of empowering moms to stay healthy and happy. She shared some of the things that she does to stay healthy and happy “I spend time with my girlfriends, work out, go to the spa, sometimes I have quiet me time where I do nothing. Sometimes I take little weekend getaways and I come back and I am just a much more patient mom. I am not consumed by the life of a 9 year old. You have to give back to yourself in order to be a good parent there is just no way around it.”
People are talking about how the movie “Good Hair” reveals women’s secrets about their hair. Since we’re talking secrets what’s a Nia Long secret about motherhood? “The secret to motherhood is just having a balanced life. The key is to constantly seeking balance.” Join me Angela Burgin Logan and other moms in the conversation about health, home and hair. Log on to www.ladiesliveandlearn.com and share how you feel. We want to hear from you!