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How do I raise this pretty girl? - Page 2

post #21 of 24

My dd is now 15, and this has always been an issue. But while we have never denied how pretty she is, actually we acknowledge it quite freely. She is very striking, no way around it. But we have also always emphasized, that while it is nice to be pretty on the outside, being pretty on the inside is what really counts.

We have always used the old saying, "Handsome is, as handsome does".

What really used to annoy me to no end, was when ADULTS would compliment her tell her how pretty she was. But say nothing to any other children she was with. I had the same problem with my boys.  I always pointed out, how this probably hurt the other children's feelings, and how feelings are  much more important than looks.

 What also helped us, was an acquaintances daughter. This child is one of the most obnoxious, bratty children, I have ever met. So one day I asked my daughter if she thought this girl was pretty? She immediately said no way!! Then I made her think about this child's looks, and if she had just met her, would she think she was pretty. She grudgingly admitted that yes, she would consider her pretty. I agreed, this girl is adorable! So I pointed out that even though she is pretty, it was her personality that made her not so pretty. I then pointed out one of her friends that isn't quite so pretty, and asked if she thought she was pretty. She said yes! So I pointed out that even if that girl isn't so conventionally pretty, my dd thought was pretty because it came from within. I asked her to tell me one nice person who wasn't pretty, she couldn't. It was a very good lesson, that she really took to heart. Showing that alot of how you look comes from within. No matter how pretty you are on the outside, if you aren't pretty on the inside, it doesn't mean a thing. HTH
 

post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 

Beanma, you're absolutely right, it was a very weird conversation.  I admit I was really rattled by this description she gave of all these kids wanting to be her friend.  She's a kid who was always a slow-starter each year in preschool and didn't make any friends until at least a few months in because it took her that long to truly join the fray.  I was really surprised by it.  So yes, I agree, I don't think I responded very well initially to hearing about her new social life, but that's kind of water under the bridge.  

 

 

Since I posted this, the stream of comments from adults has continued, but thankfully nobody's told her she can look forward to marrying a millionaire.

post #23 of 24

Letitia, my dd1 was a very cute toddler/preschooler and is now a very pretty 11 yr old. As a young preschooler (2 or 3) she got so many compliments on being a "pretty girl" that once when we were in the grocery store and I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in awhile, before the friend could even say anything dd1 preemptively declared in a loud voice, "I'm not a pretty girl!!" She was so shy and hated being the center of attention and I guess she was pretty tired of hearing that one. She just thought she'd nip it in the bud before my friend could even say a word. I certainly hadn't discouraged her from believing she was pretty, but kids take it different ways I guess.

 

Now at 11 and a bit insecure in middle school dd1 will ask me for compliments ("How do I look?" or even "Am I really beautiful?"). I always reassure her that she is beautiful, but she loves to hear it again. She's certainly not fixated on her looks or even remotely a queen bee. She's still pretty shy and anxious, and also creative and smart and kind, and beautiful. She is not into boys at all, except Ron Weasley, but a boy in her class last year had a crush on her. I had to explain that she could be polite to him w/o leading him on or hurting his feelings by running away from him at every opportunity. 

 

Just keep on encouraging your dd to be kind and polite and most of all herself and I'm sure she will find some friends in Kindy whom she clicks with.

 

I think when adults say how pretty she is you can say "thank you" and you can also give her another compliment ("she's so kind, too") or give a little more info about her ("and she really loves to learn about bugs, too") or you can demonstrate complimenting others, too ("thanks, I love your hair"), so that she is getting more than just the "she's so pretty" message. There is nothing at all wrong with being pretty, but there is something wrong with just being pretty if that's all there is to a person (think Paris Hilton type). You sound like a very thoughtful mom and I'm sure there's more to your dd than just being pretty and I'm sure that being pretty will only be a bonus and not a detriment if you continue to give her the other positive messages about what it means to be a good friend and a kind and caring person.

post #24 of 24
I have a very pretty girl too. She has huge blue eyes and amazingly long eyelashes. It's just stunning.

I always think of my sister when I think of this issue. She was a very pretty child, but she did not grow to be a beautiful adult. It doesn't always happen. People talked about how pretty she was constantly when she was growing up, to the exclusion of everything else. I was lost in her shadow and if people talked about me, it was about me being smart or funny. Guess who has had an easier time adjusting to adulthood? It's very hard if your whole sense of self and self-worth is based on your appearance, if you don't have that forever. I would not worry about people talking about her looks, but OTOH make sure she hears about other assets so that her whole sense of who she and her sense of why she is valuable as a person is isn't based on how she looks.
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