Thursday, May 20, 2010
An interesting question came the other day. “I’m concerned about my seven year old daughter. I know I’m her mother, but she’s beautiful. People stop us on the street and tell her how pretty she is. Consequently she thinks the world revolves around her. I’m afraid she is turning into a selfish, me centered little girl. Is it too late to straighten this out?”
First of all, it’s never too late to turn around when you discover you’re going the wrong way. Obviously the earlier our kids realize they’re just a tiny part of a big world the better. Clearly it’s easier to redirect a seven year old than at sixteen year old, but even then it’s not too late.
Complement her when she does anything kind, thoughtful or loving. Tell her how proud you are of her sweet, generous spirit. My mom told me years ago, “Give your kids 10 compliments about inner beauty to every one compliment on outer beauty.” Explain to your daughter appearance can change, and it does. We have only so much control over that. But a sweet spirit is something we can choose to always have. She’ll learn soon enough there are plenty of pretty girls, but it takes someone special to be beautiful and nice.
Don’t we all know women who never learned being pretty is not an exemption from being nice. They make me nervous. Conversations always turn back to their life and their problems and it’s always laced with drama. I usually end up holding my breath and tensing my shoulders after being with them for a while.
Emphasize to your daughter she may be a stunning young lady, but how she acts far outweighs how she looks. The best thing is you are aware of the potential problem if things don’t change now. That’s half of the solution. Don’t give up.