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What should I do about this? My daughter, well of course I think she is beautiful but for some reason people are just drawn to her like bees to honey. People will actually cross a busy store to come over to gawk at her and tell me how beautiful she is. They always say her eyes are so bright and alive, she's so smart (because she'll talk to them), shes so beautiful, etc. We were at the wading pool today and in the course of 45 minutes I had 4 people tell me how beautiful she is and one person kept going on and on about it. So what's the problem? Well my son is always with me as well and people don't say anything about him. He is adorable too in my opinion and very smart and can have very adult conversations but he doesn't get the comments like she does. I usually try and bring him into the conversation ("This is Elijah, he's 3 and he's so smart!") but still. Is this going to be damaging to him? I make sure I always tell him how wonderful he is but I can't help but think that this will hurt him, people always going on and on about his sister.<br><br>
On another note, not that I don't think she's beautiful but why are people always falling all over her?
 

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The same thing happens to us and it really bothers me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><i>Everyone</i> talks to my dds, ages 2 and baby, but rarely do people speak to my ds, age 4. I also worry about how it makes him feel. I like the way you include your ds into their coversations. I try to do that too. But still, the boys must feel it.<br><br>
I think it may be cultural - our society is drawn to cute little girls, and the boys are thought to be tough, athletic, etc. - not in need of compliments & cuddling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just thought of another issue - will this make her think that the only important thing about her is her looks? I don't want her to be focused on external beauty, I want her to love herself for all of the wonderful things about her.
 

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I have the opposite problem. People are always commenting on my son but ignore my daughter. We've even gotten the "she's cute too" comments which are made after they gushed over my son for awhile. My dd is beautiful but maybe not the conventional way my son is. Yes, he's gorgeous, but even if my dd was down right ugly (which she's not) WHY on earth would you comment on one child and not the other who's standing right there? The other day while running errands I had three people stop and comment on how beautiful he is and not a one said anything about the beautiful 5 year old at my side.<br><br>
At least it has made me into a better person. If I see someone with two children, I NEVER say something nice about one and nothing (or worse - an obvious throw away comment) about the second.
 

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same thing happens to us, since our daughter was born.. everyone goes on and on about her, and ignores my son <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> i worry about him feeling ignored and about my daughter getting the wrong message as she's growing up (too many "oh you pretty little THING" ??!!?!) i don't want her to think that she's only of value because she's beautiful, KWIM??<br><br>
i always try to point out two things.. first, that dd is not only beautiful, but she's smart and funny and strong too! second, that my son is also adorable, funny, smart, etc.<br><br>
this is so annoying!
 

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I haven't had this experience yet, but I worry about it. people are always gushing over my son. The problem is they always think he is a girl. I can have him wearing a blue shirt with a dump truck on it and he can have mud up to his elbows and still people will walk across the park to tell me how gorgeous my little girl is. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> I know part of it is my fault, I leave his hair long because it is so nice and he looks so cute, and also because he howls for hours after having his hair cut, but come on he looks like a boy to me. I am deathly afraid that I will have a little girl with little or no hair, and everyone will think she is a boy, and ignore her. I never make comments about one child without mentioning the other. I can't believe so many people do this. It is so sad.
 

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I'm not sure what it is about some children that they just seem to attract people. My son is a definate people magnate. We are often stopped in stores and on the street while people make sweet remarks to him. He of course beams and loves the attention. It can be a little embarassing when we are out with friends and their children as the other kids are usually being ignored by these people.<br><br>
I too worry about the effect this is will have on my son. Dh was also a child who got a lot of attention from strangers growing up. He tells me that he was always getting trinkets, smiles and warm greetings from people. And then when he hit puberty, and became awkward and a bit pimply, people just stopped suddenly being nice. He was so shocked by people's reactions to him. He couldn't figure out what had changed until one day he realized that he just wasn't "cute" anymore. It was devastating for him to realize that no matter how nice and sweet he was on the inside, he was and always had been judged by what he looked like. Dh is still pretty self concious about his looks (although I think he looks pretty darn good).
 

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Have you read the book The Crystal Children by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D. These children are special and people notice them more than others children. It's a great book. It can help you understand why and how come your daughter bring in lots of attention.<br><br>
I know that people notice my dd1 often. They will comment of how beautiful and quiet she is. The more I read the book, the more i see that she is a crystal child.<br><br>
HTH
 

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Growing up, my sister was the "pretty one," and I was the "smart one." Relatives, friends, and strangers all commented on it, in front of us. I eventually internalized that if my sister is the pretty one, then I must be the ugly one.<br><br>
It hurt my feelings and self-esteem immensely. Even now, at almost 30 years old, I don't feel very attractive, despite my husband telling me all the time how hot he thinks I am. :) It is difficult to change my thinking when it's been internalized so deeply since as long as I can remember. I still feel extremely self-conscious about my looks. It sucks.<br><br>
Looking back, with an adult's perspective, I see that my sister was also very smart. It's just that it was more "obvious" with me. Also, I see that I was a cute kid too. (Well, I think ALL kids are cute of course.)<br><br>
I think it's highly inappropriate to comment about the physical appearance of a child, especially a stranger. Strangers comment about my 19mo daughter too. She has large, beautiful eyes. The comments sort of satisfy my ego, but at the same time, I'll want it to stop when I have another child, for the very reasons you mention in the OP.<br><br>
Maybe you can get really ballsy and say something like, "Thank you, but your comment makes my son feel like crap" and walk off. The jaw will drop, and your point will have been made. Of course, I wish I could be so bold...
 

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I have this same problem only its not consistently my ds or my dd. Sometimes people pay all the attention to my ds b/c he's younger and very outgoing and knows how to turn on the charm. Some people ignore him completely and gush over dd b/c she is beautiful. It makes me very uncomfortable. Sometimes I will try to point their behavior out indirectly, saying something to ds like "Hey you're pretty cute too!" or "geez your brother's a charmer" to dd. People just don't think before they speak.
 

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This is happening in our family too, and I find the whole dynamic so alien as both dh and I are only children.<br><br>
Dd is 4, ds is 2 1/2...in our case it is ds who gets all the positive attention. In our case it isn't really about looks (of course I think he's beautiful, as do I think about dd) but he is a real engaging, charming, and VERY verbal type. He gives the sweetest smiles and laughs to everyone he meets and will say very clearly "hi, how are you? I'm Sam" which bowls them over. He can be on his back screaming a tantrum with all fours in the air because I won't buy him a lollipop, and people will STILL comment "aw, poor baby, he's soooo sweet!" when his behavior is clearly not sweet.<br><br>
And, dd is a very intense, persistent personality that is often interpreted as annoying. She too is very verbal and expressive, but she hasn't figured out how to 'work' people the way her brother has- I think she is actually pretty typical in that way for her age...it is her brother who is exceptional in this way. So, when she does get attention it is often to correct her behavior or control her in some way. *Sigh*.
 

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I think it's a shame that so many people are clueless about it. It probably does make your son feel left out. It does sound like you are doing everything you can to counteract that, though. You can't control strangers. If they were friends or family members, I would suggest speaking to them about it kindly, i.e., "Elijah's been feeling sad lately because his sister gets so much attention, so I'd really appreciate it if you could help him out and make sure to compliment him as much as you compliment her." Don't forget that your influence is much greater than that of strangers, and as long as your son feels equally valued by you and your husband, I wouldn't worry too much.<br><br>
As far as your DD learning that her looks are of such great value, I hear ya! My five-and-a-half-year-old daughter is complimented on her looks by strangers constantly. I don't think she's really any more beautiful than other children I see (I mean, she is to ME, of course! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> ), but she has these outrageously enormous eyes with long black lashes.<br><br>
I try to counteract this by showing her how much I value her other qualities - her kindness, her intelligence, her sense of humor, her physical agility. I have thought about saying things such as, "Yes, and she's a great reader, too!" when people say, "My, what beautiful eyes you have!" but for some reason I can't bring myself to do that with strangers. It sounds like bragging, and it just doesn't feel right. With family and friends it's different - and actually, they don't focus on her looks much at all.
 
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