How we got here...
Weston (my wonderfully creative illustrator and partner in crime – not really, just partner in business) and I have been working on Empower Me to Make Rules for My Body for over a year and a half now. It has been a labor of love and deep passion.
We first came up with the idea of the Empower Me Book Series roughly three years ago. At the time, my son was 2 years old, and Weston would come over to my apartment to hang out a few hours every week. My son was positively fascinated with the little toys and keychains that hung from Weston’s backpack. His personal favorite was a little duck that lit up and quacked when you pushed a little button. Every time he came over, I’d tell my son to ask before playing with Weston’s keychains.
Weston usually said yes – but one day, he said no. My son was confused and hurt. He’d been allowed to so many times before. I bent down to his level and said to him, “That is Weston’s toy. It is not yours. He set the rules and the boundaries for his toy. He does not have to share them with you. He chooses to. You can ask again another day.” My son was soon occupied with another toy, and it wasn’t an issue again.
At hearing our interaction, Weston perked up. We spent the afternoon talking about the way were raised as children, the way many continue to raise children. As kids we are taught to share – “Sharing is caring”. Kids are taught that not only are they obligated to share with others but that others are also obligated to share with them when they are nearby. As we get older, this is no longer true. I, for example, couldn’t reach into your bag and play with your phone just because it was near me.
Children are often raised with no sense of their own boundaries and are expected to understand them and have strong boundaries as they mature into adults. The rules are changed on them, and they don’t know when that happened and how. They are expected to be experts in things they weren’t taught.
As our conversation stretched through the afternoon, we identified numerous areas where we felt we were taught one thing as children and are expected to believe and behave differently as an adult.
This short interaction sparked a conversation that kindled an idea and blossomed into this book – Empower Me to Make Rules for My Body – and the dozen more we hope to make after this!
We believe that in order to ensure our future is populated with healthy, independent, and strong adults, we need to raise children with these ideas in mind. We believe consistency, healthy boundaries, and a growth mindset.
We all hope the best for our kids, and I believe that we can work together to create a better with our kids for our kids.