Originally Posted by Roar
I think it is silly to suggest that how we parent and what we say to our kids matters so much, but that they are totally unaffected by all other forms of socialization. If a boy is told every single time he leaves his house that he's smart and if a girl is told every time she leaves her house she should model - do we think that affects them not even a teeny tiny bit?
Wow--I never suggested that environment plays no factor. I was just wondering if the concern was vanity, insecurity, egocenterism, eating disorder, or what?
I personally *like* compliments. Strangers don't know how kind, intelligent, creative, or dedicated your child is. Sometimes lovely eyes or a radiant smile is all they know about you. And for better or for worse, we have to go through life in the bodies we are born with.
I think it's human nature to appreciate beauty, and while I agree that emphasizing looks over other more important qualities is certainly harmful, we can't control what other people will think or say or feel. What we can do is teach our children that while it's nice to have, say, pretty hair, one day that hair will go grey or get thin and what we're left with will be those internal characteristics. Of course I really think this is a life-long lesson, and I don't expect a 3,5,10, or even 15 year old to "get."
I just don't think that hearing she has pretty eyes is necessarily going to damage a child if she is raised in a family/social environment that values her other qualities, too.
And as far as the boy versus girl comments about looks, my ds actually has always gotten more feedback about his appearance than my dd.