Why you should not tell your daughter how beautiful she is (so many times)
Your daughter is beautiful. The grandparents, the uncles, your friends, you ... you're telling him since he was a baby. You like to choose the most beautiful clothes for her, comb them every day ... Yes, of course your daughter is beautiful. And you tell him. "How pretty you are with that dress." "Do not get stained, you're very pretty!" "How cool are the new shoes!" In addition to telling you, the adults who surround it say so.
Little by little, without you noticing, the adults are teaching your daughter that it is very important that she look beautiful. She listens to him so many times that she has internalized that beauty, body, clothes and appearance are very important in her life.
If you also have a child, or if you are close to children, you will notice that children are told other things such as: "What a clever child", "How strong you are", "That's how I like it, a brave boy". "What sport do you practice?"
When you are with the grandmother, you say to her: "Have you seen how pretty Maria is with the new dress?" and "Hector has won three consecutive football matches and has also scored a math mark."
While girls learn that they have to be beautiful, children learn that it is good to be athletic, smart, strong and courageous. Sometimes that translates into problems as they grow; some girls have very serious feeding problems, low self-esteem because they are never pretty enough (or thin), and they invest their time, energy and mind in improving their physical appearance, instead of studying, playing, playing sports or simply activities that let them enjoy and accept themselves as they are.
What can you do to praise your daughter without telling her she's beautiful?
Check your values. What is important to you in a woman? The physical aspect? Or do you care more about being assertive, hardworking, honest, active, fun ...? If the physical aspect is what makes you judge a person, maybe you should try to look at more important things like your intelligence, your personality, your desire to live, your joy, your courage, your inner strength ...
Find other things that you like about your daughter. Do you have a very agile girl? List? Generous? Do you have a great capacity for effort? Are you a retailer? Observer? Is she a brave girl? Is it assertive? Is she the leader of her group (maybe they call her "bossy", but in reality she is an excellent leader)? Instead of assessing your physical appearance (remember that you have not done anything to achieve it), applaud your effort, your courage, your intelligence, your generosity, your creativity or your sense of humor.
Talk about clothes and physical appearance as little as possible. Leave comments on your appearance for special occasions: the day of your birthday, Christmas or a wedding. Only the dates in which you all manage and put on special clothes. If other adults always tell you how beautiful she is, you can respond with a smile: "Yes, she is beautiful, but above all she is very listy (or brave, or sportsman, etc.).
If you do not want to make this comment in front of other adults, you can talk to her when you are alone and say, "I do not understand why girls always tell you how beautiful you are, even if it was so important! as hard-working and creative as you are. "
Praise things that you would also praise in a man. If your daughter were a child, would you be talking to her about her clothes and her hair every day? Would it bother you so much that it got stained or messy? Or would you talk about how good a sportsman he is? Think that for the development of your girl, it is much more important that she be athletic to have a nice dress. Also, what is the merit of your daughter to have pretty dresses, what effort has she made to get dressed like that?
Dress your daughter appropriately for every occasion. The dresses are beautiful but are they appropriate to go to the park? In the park your girl has to climb, run, jump ... and stain! Play with mud, with sand ... You have to forget about clothes because your "job" as a girl is to play, and not to be aware of a piece of clothing.
Do not do it with other girls! When you meet your daughter's friends, your nieces or other girls, do not tell them how beautiful they are! Tell them about other things, but not about their long hair or their pretty shoes. They also need to be recognized for their values, not for their looks! In addition, your daughter will learn that ALL girls have important things to contribute to the world.
Why this is important
If you want your girl to have the same opportunities as the children, if you want her to have the same job, the same salary, the same capacity for decision and the same freedom as a male, you have to start educating her with other values ! Values where its external aspect is what matters least about its person. Because your girl is worth much more.
Amaya de Miguel. Online coach and founder ofRelax and educate