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What do you think? Now that I think about it, I totally do comment on how little girls dress when I am trying to break the ice by commenting on their accessories or clothes, etc. I had never thought about hearing those questions so much could send so many messages to little girls. I was blown away by the fact that nearly half of 3-6 year olds worry about being fat! My boys are 3 and 5 and I don't think they even notice that being fat is a thing.
It makes me sad. And it makes me want to do things better for Ruby and other little girls I meet. I am going to try and be more conscious of this.
Moms of girls, how are you going to go out of your way to make sure your daughter grows up with a high self esteem and self worth, aside from her looks?
mama to 5 yr old DS1 , 3 year old DS2 , and nursling DD .
I totally agree with the article. I am amazed at how much some little girls focus on weight and issues like that. It is sad. A good illustration this morning my daughter said "mummy can you paint my nails?" I said "no, your nails are beautiful just the way they are." She said "no, they are not." So, we spent the next 5 minutes talking about how pretty nails are without paints. Luckily I didn't have any paint on mine at the moment so I showed her mommy's nails too can be without paint and still be pretty. Nothing wrong with nail painting but her dad doesn't want her to have it yet but I think she is getting the message from her little friends in school that it is the thing to do. One of the girls at the afterschool childcare at her school in the US used to bring her nail paints and the young lady watching them will at times help some of them paint or let them do it themselves. Nothing wrong in the activity itself but somehow some of these girls believe your nails have to be painted t be pretty and somehow make girls whose nails are not painted feel their nails are not pretty. These are 3-6 year olds!
It is definitely something I think about all the time. I was a counselor at a church summer camp, and we had 9 and 10-year old girls with eating disorders...it was heartbreaking I also have a friend with a little girl (she is 7 now) who comes home from her Grandmas house saying things like "Grandma says I'm so skinny. Isn't that great, Mom?" It infuriates my friend, and it would me, too. Why can't her Grandma compliment her on her intelligence or her study habits...or anything else but her size (which at this age is just genetics)?
Of course sometimes I tell the girls how cute or beautiful they are, because they need to know that, too. But more often we try to compliment the kids on things they do, like, "Claire you worked so hard to put that puzzle together. I'm proud of you for sticking with it" or "Thank you for sharing your toys with your brother. He is lucky to have a great friend like you."
It is going to get harder and harder the older they get, though, because the outside influences will be coming at them from all directions.
Melissa & DH
IVF babies Claire (3), Abigail (1) and George (1)
I don't think there's anything wrong with telling your daughter she is beautiful or her hair looks nice, etc. However, obviously they are in need of other compliments as well about their intelligence, compassion, talents, etc.
while I agree it is very important to emphasize things other then beauty i dont agree with never mentioning it. not talking about it wont make it go away, their still going to recive the message that image is important. they need to know they look good and carry themselves well (which is important) but they also need to know there are other things about them that are more important then that will ever be.