Cameron Nielsen, who is just 7-years-old, had written a sweet note about himself in his school journal that his mother, Tanya, found while she was going through old papers in his backpack.
It read: “I love myself because I’m strong,” the note read. “I love me. I’m on fire, man. It’s awesome.” Cameron’s dad, Tyson, said his wife texted him a photo of it immediately after discovering it.
“We want to enable our kids to feel confident to go out and take on the hard things in the world, but it’s hard to truly see if we’re doing a good job at that,” Nielsen shared. “So when she saw this unsolicited statement, she sent it right away. My first thought was, ‘I am so proud of this kid and his fire, and I could use a little more of this power in my own life.'”
He decided to share the photo of the note in a team meeting at work and it went over so well that Cameron asked permission to share it to Reddit.
“He told me he was fine with it and the response was amazing,” Nielsen recalled. “People were reaching out and asking for better pictures so they could print it out and put it on their walls or commenting that it was their new mantra.”
When Nielsen asked their son just why he wrote the note, the second-grader said Valentine’s Day was approaching and he began to think about all the ways he loved himself and his life.
“He said, ‘I don’t know, I just feel like I am strong and like I can do things that are scary or hard, and I really like that because it means that I end up doing some awesome stuff,'” said Nielsen.
The family, who is based in Utah, has two other sons, ages 9 and 2, along with a blog called Work Hard Be Kind to ensure their kids feel confident in themselves.
“Cameron just doesn’t talk about his feelings as easily as his older brother and he can be hard on himself occasionally because he seems to expect so much from himself,” Nielsen explained. “That’s part of what made this little discovery so meaningful.”
What would Cameron tell others who feel sad or need a confidence boost?
“I would tell people that want to feel the same good way that it’s OK if they feel like they are different or if have different likes or style than other people,” Cameron shared. “I think they are automatically cool for having their own style of what they like and for who they are. They don’t need to care what other people think, but if it helps them, they should know I think everyone’s own style in life makes them awesome too.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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