“She is so pretty,” “He is so cute,” “How adorable…” Over time, I have heard many people say these things to their kids, and I might be guilty of saying it more than anyone. While there is nothing wrong with complimenting our children on their looks, we have to realize the effect it can have on a child if we don’t focus on other important values.
Between the media, school and society constantly praising good looks, our children start realizing the importance of physical beauty way too early and often. Parents have to be mindful of the messages they are sending to their children.
Here are some things to think about:
- Children will grow up valuing what we value: If we compliment on looks more than other values, our children will grow up to thinking that looks are the most valued thing in life.
- Society promotes a constant and never-ending chase to be the prettiest, cutest, best-dressed and flyest in town. We will never be able to keep up with this (even as adults) so let’s nip this the bud now!
You can create a healthy self-esteem by complimenting your child on more than just their looks.
Here’s how to celebrate other important values:
- Allow your child to help you with chores, household duties or other things that they are capable of helping with. Make sure to compliment them on how helpful they are. Kids love to feel appreciated and needed.
- Highlight other children in the community doing great things and getting praise for it. Find these stories in your newspaper, magazine or even look for online articles.
- While we can’t control what other say about your children make sure to tell your friends and family to highlight other values your child has whenever they compliment them on their looks.
- Constantly remind your child what they are good at and allow them to be proud. Teach your child to not only say ‘thank you’ when someone compliments them on their looks but to also say something like, “Thank you, I’m a great helper too” or “Thank you, I also get straight A’s at school.”
I’d love to hear your feedback below. Tell me what other kinds of self-esteem building activities you do with your child and let me know which of these strategies you will try.
Tweet @HelloBeautiful and #ChildConfidenceBoost with your tips!
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