This post is brought to you by Global Influence. All opinions are my own.
Our culture emphasizes outward beauty, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The question is: How do we teach what being beautiful is to our girls?
There is nothing like listening to your children’s conversations when they think that you aren’t listening. I like to think it is one of those little gifts God gives us to repay for all lovely messes that come with being a parent.
Sometimes those conversations are hilarious, like the time my daughter told her friend that she was ear-sighted because she couldn’t see far away only hear it. Other times they can be downright humiliating…like the time my daughter told my pastor that I like to sing naked in the shower…
But sometimes those conversations are ones of pure wonder. Take this recent exchange:
Livia (6): Why isn’t my skin dark like Princess Tiana’s?
Madison (6): Because real princesses don’t look like Disney cartoons. Real girls are beautiful but, not like a doll, they aren’t all plastic-y with weird big eyes. Real princesses’ are normal, it is their heart that makes them pretty.
Livia (6): Am I beautiful?
My heart kind of seized up. How did my little girl not know she was beautiful? Had I failed to instill that in her? But before I could run to her and tell her how wonderful she is, I was beat to it.
Madison: Yep, you most ab-so-tut-ley are!
Livia seemed satisfied but I know that this will not be the last time the question of beauty – which at its core really means “Am I worthwhile? Do you value me?” pops up. Which I have to admit this time around was a breath of relief…at least this time…
Because, there is nothing more gut-wrenching than trying to teach a daughter to love herself when you’ve spent most of your life hating yourself.
There, I said it out loud…like many women I spent a large portion of my life thinking I wasn’t good enough. I knew I was smart enough, creative enough, cared enough…I knew I was many things. But, like many others I aligned my self-worth with my body image. I was too tall…too skinny…and absolutely too awkward, and that made me not enough.
It wasn’t until I had kids that I finally looked myself in the mirror and accepted me – post baby body and all. I was not born feeling beautiful, but when I became a mom I felt beautiful. I knew I was imperfect and that I was going to make mistakes, but I also knew that I needed to accept myself and lead by example. That my daughter’s would learn what being beautiful means by watching me.
How to Teach What Being Beautiful Looks Like:
- When your child displays a good attitude and character qualities, be sure to mention them. When she seeks a compliment about her physical appearance, also point out inner qualities.
- Ask your child what makes them feel beautiful! You may be amazed by the responses. When I asked my daughter the other day she told me, “mismatched colorful socks…” I would have never guessed! Make a point to help your child build confidence on what make them feel good inside and out.
- Ask your child what they don’t like about their bodies/self. This might be a hard one to listen too. Then take the time to find role models your child can relate to with the same features your child struggles with to show them how “different” is beautiful. If negative character traits are listed use that opportunity to teach and support your child in overcoming and reaching their goals.
- Consider significant goals your daughter has. Does she want to be a scientist or musician? Let her know you are proud of her and support her.
- Catch her “being beautiful.” Though my daughters’ still seek affirmations about their appearances, they also thrive on compliments about their gentleness, their creativity, and their generosity. It is okay to tell your daughter’s that they are beautiful (I actually encourage it, but don’t forget to catch their inner beauty and talents too).
- Take your child to the mirror and show her the loveliness of her smile and the brightness of her eyes. Tell her this is inner beauty coming out.
- When you read stories to your child, discuss the inner qualities of the characters—both positive and negative. Point out we can’t judge people’s hearts by their outward appearances. For example, Snow White’s stepmother, though beautiful, was wicked.
How did you teach your daughter what beauty looks like?
Make sure to visit the Dove Beauty page at Walmart to see what Dove is doing to help build girls’ self-esteem, hear what other women have to say about their beauty legacy, and to see great deals on Dove products.
And don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Spa Week!
Disclosure: Parenting Chaos receives products in order to conduct reviews. No monetary compensation was provided unless noted otherwise. All opinions are 100% my own. Some posts may contain affiliate links that I receive commission for payment from in exchange for referrals. In the event of a giveaway, the sponsor is responsible for delivery of the prize, unless otherwise noted in the posting. Giveaways are not sponsored by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or any other social media site. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”