A Child’s Confidence Starts with You
By Megan Gage
Good parents dream great dreams for their babies. They always have and probably always will. It isn’t difficult to get lost in fantasy, hopefully imagining the positive impact your tiny creation might someday have on the universe. As a mom, I can totally relate to this concept and share in the common dream of goodness for my little ones too.
My third baby was born about a year after the birth my second child, though it isn’t a “baby” in the traditional sense. I am the proud mom of two lovely kiddos, a daughter and son, and a company that has become completely intertwined with my heart. I am a passionate person; I love with my full-being yet have a tendency to obsess about things that excite me.
Most parents would agree that confidence is an important characteristic to instill in their children, though the proper way to do so can be a bit foggier than the value of the concept itself. I spent years working with children and families as a clinical social worker and truly believed I had a firm grasp on how to foster confidence in my own children. As the concept for my specialized children’s hair product line evolved, however, I was forced to reexamine my methodology.
My business arrived in my life by surprise, as I had recently left my full-time position to become a stay-at –home mom. I was thrilled to finally have an opportunity to fully dedicate myself to my family after focusing on my education and career for so long. It was not my intention to take on another project, though I wasn’t capable of walking away from an idea that triggered such excitement.
When my son was an infant, I began mixing a small amount of baby lotion with pomade to give him a curl on top of his head. While I thought he looked adorable (what mom doesn’t!?), I was continuously surprised by the number of strangers that would stop to compliment or question about his stylish hair. After months of ongoing attention, I jokingly told my husband that someone should create a mild styling product for little ones; I had absolutely no intention of being that “someone”. Our conversations continued as people regularly noticed my son’s hair. I became intrigued about the idea of creating my own line after stumbling upon a piece of research that highlighted the dangerous chemicals commonly used in trusted children’s personal care products. Outraged, I was certain that I could create specialized products with safe ingredients and a luxurious vibe. I could surely do better.
I decided to call my company “Hot Tot” and to define such as a “confident and stylish youngster who gives to their neighbor and cares for our planet.” I don’t have the ability to do something half-heartedly and began looking at my brand as if it were my third baby.
I pondered the values I wanted to incorporate in my business just as parents contemplate the values they’d like to instill in their little one. I wanted Hot Tot to stand for something more important than its safe products, Cabbage Patch-inspired scent, or posh packaging. I wanted my company to initiate an ongoing dialogue between parents and their children about the importance of feeling confident from a young age- that was my dream for this baby. I am inspired by the impact a generation of confident kids could make and believe the possibilities are endless. The integration of this concept felt comfortably familiar with my social work roots and was a great way to combine the old with the new. I humbly offer the following tips to parents who are looking to develop a positive self-image in their child and suggest using the few minutes it takes to comb their hair since it turns a daily routine into something meaningful and special.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
While we all take pride in having little ones that look adorable, it’s important to remember that true beauty comes from within. Compliment your child every day. Be sure to focus on who they are and not just how they look. Provide examples of things they’ve recently done that made you proud of them, like a time they shared a toy or acted kindly. Be sincere.
“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel
Believe in your children! They look to you for information and direction. If the person they trust the most is confident that they are capable of anything than they will be to. If they have doubt, your certainty will help convince them over time.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
Set a good example. Seeing is believing! Pursuing your own passion will teach your child to do the same. Be willing to share age-appropriate details about your struggles and success. Doing so will illustrate that while it can be difficult, people do in fact have the power to control their own destiny. For more information: http://www.hottot.com
Megan Gage lives with her husband and two children in Colorado. She earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work and from the University of Denver where her studies focused on Couples and Family Therapy. Her company, Hot Tot, offers a complete line of specialized children’s products designed to cleanse, condition, and style. Megan is passionate about helping children and has combined her love of social work and haircare. Hot Tot donates to agencies that benefit children and Megan remains committed to several area children’s charities.