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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Watch Mom and 3-Year-Old Daughter's Daily Affirmations: 'Jesus Loves Me'

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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.

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“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.”

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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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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking