All of us undergo tough battles in life—some may experience it financially when they could not bring food on the table, while others may suffer emotionally when they feel defeated and not exceling at all.
However, no matter how much life throws at us, it must be reminded that all we must muster to combat these stumbling blocks is inner strength. This vital tool will help us to effectively cope with hardships and develop resilience, so as we grow, we develop a positive mindset in facing life's challenges head on.
This is what actress and momshie Nikki Valdez-Garcia does as she raises her daughter Olivia to become the beautiful, optimistic, and strong girl she is today.
Contrary to the bright smile Olivia is flashing now is a dark and baffling phase she underwent before when she still could not discern her condition which is actually a blessing in disguise.
Not known to many is the fact that Nikki's unica hija was born with a rare congenital condition called 'symbrachydactyly' that affected her left hand's bones making it distinctively short and conjoined.
Due to this, Olivia lost her confidence to go out and about and just wore jackets to hide her "baby hand" from the public eye.
Her low self-esteem did not just affect herself but also her family who genuinely cares for her.
Nikki was holding back her tears as she recalled that instance when she was polishing her nails then Olivia wondered if she could apply it on her left hand too.
Her little girl even asked if her baby hand is going to grow as well as she steps into kinder and be a year older.
Even though Nikki was already preparing herself for such big moment when her daughter is going to realize and ask why she is different from other kids her age, Olivia's heartbreaking questions still caught her off guard.
That was the time when Nikki realized that she could never teach her child to be the strongest version of herself if she acts this way—she has to be strong for her beloved Olivia.
"Paano ko nga ba naman tuturuang maging matapang ang anak ko kung pati ako napanghihinaan ng loob," she said.
She then gathered all the strength she could get and explained to Olivia her unique situation.
"Babe, you may have a 'baby hand,' but I know that you will achieve great things because of your big heart," Nikki said.
The Valdez-Garcia family started rebuilding Olivia's confidence and unlocking her strength from within by teaching her how to comb her hair and tie her shoes without assistance.
Nikki admitted that at first, the process was difficult because since Olivia is still a child, her tantrums could not be controlled. Yet, Olivia slowly managed to overcome every challenge and eventually became the 'bibo' and always-smiling kid she is today.
She has found her way into cheerleading where she is currently pouring her heart and passion. Her parents are in full support of this hobby of hers. Olivia's dad even customized her own pompoms so she could use it with utmost ease.
Cheerleading and being with her fellow cheerleaders and loved ones helped develop her inner strength. Even meeting people who tend to torment and belittle her made her realize that her strength is the lone thing no one can ever take away from her.
Nikki and the rest of the family are also making Olivia feel that they are always there for them no matter what the circumstance is.
With Nikki's determination to build her daughter's inner strength at an early age, Olivia can now confidently smile and raise her hands while performing her cheerleading stunts.
Aside from this, Olivia showed interest in ballet dancing, gymnastics, biking, and wall climbing. She also learned how to play volleyball with her mom.
"Nothing can stop me from growing and from being happy," Olivia said while flashing her bright smile.
In further developing her child's inner strength, Nikki held on to Colgate which has become a huge part of her family's journey in smiling through difficult times.
Colgate, one of the leading toothpaste brands in the country, encourages parents, most especially mothers, to unlock their children's inner strength by ensuring that they can always take on life's challenges with a smile.
Kids with strength from within will grow more confident as they start pursuing whatever makes them happy. Just like Olivia's #NgitingPinatibay, nothing can stop them from achieving their dreams in life.
Get to know more about Nikki and Olivia's story on their recent Magandang Buhay feature. Watch it here:
For more information about Colgate, visit its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
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