I always tell my daughters that they are beautiful. Every day.
In the last couple of years, I’ve seen a lot of posts going around, encouraging parents not to tell their girls how beautiful they are, but rather to compliment their various personality traits. I 100% understand the reasoning for this. I even agree with a lot of the thoughts behind these posts. But I’m not going to stop calling my girls beautiful, and here’s why:
As I grew up, and especially when I was a teenager, I knew I was smart. I had good grades and people constantly congratulated me on those. Being kind was always important to me, so I never questioned that. I knew I was funny when I made my friends laugh.
What I didn’t know was that I was beautiful.
Some people probably called me beautiful. However, I was certainly never the girl other girls wanted to look like. I wasn’t the girl that boys wanted to date.
Now, I recognize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally believe that every person is beautiful. I believe that a perfect God created each of us JUST how he wanted us. There is very little I dislike more than hearing adults refer to girls as “homely” or “not very pretty.” Not only is it completely untrue, but it also would have killed me to hear someone say that about me. So I will always tell my daughters they’re beautiful.
Additionally, our world is saturated with girls comparing how they look to the (usually photoshopped) images they see online and in print. I believe that we are starting to see some changes in this area, which is encouraging. Despite these encouraging steps forward, I don’t know if there will come a time in my daughters’ lifetimes that they won’t care at all about their appearance. Their appearances may not matter to me because I will always see their beauty, but it may matter to them.
So, I will always tell my daughters that they are beautiful.
That being said, I believe that balance is key.
I don’t JUST tell my daughters that they’re beautiful. I gush to my oldest about how creative she is, how “punny” she is, how kind she is, what a good planner she is, and what a wonderful memory she has. Additionally, I praise my middle child for what a great helper she is, how sweet she is, how fast she is, what a good problem solver she is, and how hilarious she is. My youngest is still little, but I can already fill her with compliments about how expressive she is, and I praise her for each new thing that she’s learning and each new fun personality trait she shows.
So yes, I will always tell my daughters how beautiful they are.
I will also tell them every other great trait I see in them whenever I notice because I think that it’s ALL important. Possibly more importantly, I actively avoid put-downs and critical words. I hope that through this all my daughters will always know their tremendous worth in every area of their lives.
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