Growing Up Glad- The Inspiration

By: Kimberly Gladsden

The idea for this blog came to me when my youngest daughter was graduating Pre-K. She is very shy and for the past 2 years, her teachers have told me to work on her self-confidence. As a former Mental Health and Elementary School Guidance Counselor, I thought, how can this be? I use everything I have learned about self-esteem and child development when parenting and raising my girls. I am always using positive reinforcements, praise, and giving her so much love. I saw it too though, and knew the teachers were right. I began researching more ways to boost a child's self-esteem. I was implementing journal affirmations, reading books on the topic to her, and doing special things at home to give her a boost. 

At the same time, Ella was expressing an interest in modeling. She loves taking pictures and is very into fashion. She currently doesn't like group sports the way her older sister does. I thought this could be an interesting hobby for her, and a way to build up her self-confidence. I was stumped at the paradox! How can this shy little girl be a model?  She had done some local photo shoots and really enjoyed it though. The photographers even complimented her and encouraged us to pursue it. I wasn't quite ready though to go the route of an agency. It's a huge commitment and quite a drive for us. I also didn’t want to expose her to any un-necessary rejection, especially since my goal was to help her self-confidence.
So, I decided to start an Instagram account. I thought it would be a good platform to start with pictures. It could be at our own pace; so we could keep it fun. I wanted the picture- taking to be an outlet for her as something she enjoys and can feel good about. It could be one way she gains more self-confidence- by doing something she enjoys. I was going to look into Brand Rep/Ambassador opportunities on Instagram.

Since I wanted to share the story behind the pictures, I was tinkering around with the idea of a blog. The name Growing Up Glad literally popped into my head as I was driving to camp one day. I started formulating the idea of incorporating my knowledge and experience from my graduate degrees, along with my work and parenting experiences. I wanted to create a space where like-minded parents can feel supported and relate to similar experiences. We can learn from and support one another.  Instead of comparing, criticizing, and competing, I want to create a space to inspire, connect, and learn from one another. 
My goal for this blog is to focus on topics about living life mindfully and raising girls (all children) with gratitude, gladness, giving and of course, glamour!