Helping Kids Value More than How They Look
9/25/2012 11:00:00 AM
I had a friend who talked about her mother referring to her sister as “her beautiful daughter”. That baffled me, as I know most mothers think all their kids are fine! Because this sister was perfectly shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle, had clear skin and a rockin’ smile, she was dubbed the beauty of the family. My friend herself was cute, perky and smart! So I wondered how she felt with no beauty label. Not only did I think about how it impacted her, but how did the sister feel. It may seem good to be known as a beauty, but what happens when that’s the only thing valued? Beauty can only do so much so what about her mind? Plus, beauty fades. Even the bible says in Proverbs 31 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting…” Children will grow up valuing what we value. If we only compliment on looks and not other values, our babies will grow up to thinking that looks are the most valued thing in life. Yes, society promotes a constant need to be the prettiest, best-dressed , the tallest, curviest, etc.. But we all know there is always someone mopre “er” than us – smarter, prettier, quicker and so on. The key is getting our kids to love themselves for who they are. When they can do that, they will not tolerate being treated less than they deserve.
But back to the root issue: looks. Are there ways we can place value on our kids outside of their looks?
In an article, Natalie Gouche' says yes! Peep what she had to say in, “4 Ways To Boost Your Child’s Confidence Without Focusing On Looks”:
1. Allow your child to help you with chores, household duties or other things that they are capable of helping with. Make sure to compliment them on how helpful they are. Kids love to feel appreciated and needed.
2. Highlight other children in the community doing great things and getting praise for it. Find these stories in your newspaper, magazine or even look for online articles.
3. While we can’t control what other say about your children make sure to tell your friends and family to highlight other values your child has whenever they compliment them on their looks.
4. Constantly remind your child what they are good at and allow them to be proud. Teach your child to not only say ‘thank you’ when someone compliments them on their looks but to also say something like, “Thank you, I’m a great helper too” or “Thank you, I also get straight A’s at school.”
And parents, we have to be confident in who we are. We can push our own insecurities off on our kids. I have heard mothers – of sons – be concerned their short boys will be short men. So already we inadvertantly tell them shortness is not manly or makes them less than. You got a shortie? He may grow later. And if he stays short, so what? Being under five-foot-ten doesn’t mean they won’t have success. I have seen mothers worry about their daughter not having hair as long as her peers and sticking in extensions before she hits third grade! So already she feels her hair is what makes her. Why not give her a cute kiddy bob and call it a day? What we worry about image wise can impact our kids later down the line and hinder them from being all they can be. Insecurity can be a killer and parents, we often pull the trigger with our words. Value kids beyond their image and they will value themselves.