Praise boys by saying how clever they are, but praise girls by saying how pretty they look? Mmmm?
Is it right or wrong to tell your child they are beautiful?
Don’t ask me where this came from, but growing up as a child of three children; with two brothers and I (the girl) praise from our parents and adults in general typically went like this: Praise boys by saying how clever they were, but when they praised girls they said how pretty they looked.
I was recently at a children’s birthday party and got some flash backs of these very moments. Does this praise make it seem to our daughters/little girls our lives that being beautiful is more important than being clever or individual?
So this has reminded me to tell my daughter on a regular basis how clever I think she is and to spend time talking about the real world and not just the one of Disney Princesses.
To be fair, I do spend time talking to all my children about nature and climate and life lessons, but there are friends and relations of mine who live in the world of Cinderella and Elsa when it comes to their girls. It’s often what interests us that we share most with our children, isn’t it?
Now there are some adults out there whose parents seldom said anything nice to them at all and had mothers who were cruel about how their children looked with the aim to improve them in some way. When I tell my daughter (and indeed my son) that I think they are beautiful or handsome it’s a way of me telling them how much I love them. If they didn’t look nice or weren’t pretty I would still say it. It’s their inner gorgeous I am appreciating. They could never not look beautiful to me.
So is it wrong to praise beauty?
Our society is obsessed with looks! Studies have been done to show that more ‘beautiful/handsome’ people get better job prospects and promotions. I have no idea how these studies where undertaken, but it seems to me that in an image and a looks obsessed world, should we be striving to get our children to see that people are more than just handsome faces on perfect bodies?
We now live in a world where there is endless ‘talent’ and invented reality shows where people try to be just like everyone else, but then different enough to be the shining star. It’s so confusing.
So what do we do? Do we say to our children that they look pretty or beautiful? Or do we stick strictly to praising their mind, their curiosity and their conclusions and steer away from that ‘you’re so beautiful’ talk?
In truth, it’s probably a good balance of both, but what do you think?
Kindly written by an anonomous Family Friendly HQ mum x