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July 02, 2004



My daughter has a port wine stain on her face. She doesn't realize yet that it's there, but that realization should happen sometime in the next year. I look at her and I see how beautiful she is, but I know she's going to have some very painful years ahead of her and it breaks my heart.


When I have people comment on Tony's cute looks, I always give Tony a big hug, and tell them that Tony's good looks come from his dad. In this way, I'm letting Tony know that I love his dad, and that I think both he and his dad are good looking.

Rachel G.

I love your blog. I never had anyone tell me I was pretty when I was young, and in fact, I was often told the opposite, that I wasn't pretty, even down to the details that they thought were unbecoming. Only now, after six years of marriage, do I finally feel myself as desirable. But even now, those bad thoughts sneak in on cloudy days.

I wouldn't worry so much about pushing the comments, as the attitude is really what children pick up on, but I think it's wonderful that you are aware of the inner workings of a young girl's mind, and how those comments from childhood can haunt us throughout our lives.


I find NOTHING wrong with encouragment. Its our jobs to give our children a high self-esteem. I tell me daughter, even at 18 months, that she is so smart and so beautiful and that she is loved with all my heart. Growing up, I never heard "I love you." Its sad, really. I had a horrible self-esteem. There is no such thing as "too much" in my house. At the same time, I expect to teach her about diffences in people and acceptance of those people. I grew up with a handicap and I was "different." Its okay to be different.


I agree with Robin P on this one. I don't think a child developes confidence from knowing that they have physical beauty but from the self-assurance that they get from being told that they are smart, talented, unique people. I really don't have any particular memories of my parents telling me I was beautiful when I was child- but I remember them telling me how smart and talented I was a lot. When I was a teenager, I moved to Paris for a year and was offered a modeling contract but I turned it down, as it just seemed like such a waste of time compared to school. I really hope that I instill enough self-confidence in my daughters that they can get beyond society's obsession with looks and just got on with leading interesting lives. I think its important to compliment your daughter's looks without implying that its important to you how she looks, as if beauty = unconditional love.


Yes, it is so hard to know what is coming in the teenage years. I remember thinking my butt was too big, my face had too many freckles, and I was a giraffe (I was/am very tall). I look back at pictures now and wonder how I could have thought all those terrible things. I guess we all want to be what we are not - how can we not with all of the media hype over looks. I remember an article I read about Cindy Crawford where she said they air brushed her thighs in a certain picture and I thought, "If she's not perfect enough what hope do I have?"

I tell both of my children (a boy and a girl) every day that they are beautiful and smart and loving and caring and wonderful.

I distinctly remember my mother telling me I was pretty. I was sitting on the floor with my back to the chair where she was sitting. She was brushing my hair and she said, "You are so pretty." I think I was 7 at the time and I remember it being the first time I thought about whether I was pretty or not. It made me feel good that my Mother thought I was pretty - so keep telling your daughter - she will remember.

I think that early reassurance is what helped me get through the tough years in high school and really contributed to the confidence I have in myself today.


i have a friend who tells her two boys (ages 7 and 11) *every* night as she kisses them goodnight, "you are smart, brave and handsome, and mommy loves you.". perfect :)

Hope Wilbanks

Very nice! I wish I had a mom like you when I was growing up. ;)


But I wonder, what do you do for your boys? If you have boys that is? Do you do the same for them?

I have five boys and I try like heck to make sure that when they do something like bring me in a mud cake *shudders* to tell them that it is the best looking mud cake I have ever seen. I am pregnant with a girl right now and I know that there are differeneces. I guess what I am wondering is, do I have to do differently just because she is a girl? Shouldn't we be building up our children's self image no matter what the sex? Just asking. Nothing meant or anything. *sighs* Shuddup Lauren.

Robin P

I remember reading in some parenting magazine that praising our children will give them a false sense of security because the "real" world is harsh and cruel. I threw the book across the room and yelled something bad that started with a capital F! Ya, you get the picture.
When Lillianna paints, draws, sings or dances I tell her she is creative and talented because SHE IS! I am most definitely going to praise her and encourage her in everything she does. I am her mother. Read the Mommy Handbook people. It's right in there under "Don't make your child feel unworthy. Love them and praise them and give them the foundation they need to succeed in their life." What? You don't have this book? Damn! I meant to write one!
Lillianna has gone through the "I'm ugly" thing and it's a killer. I marched her in front of the mirror and asked,"Show me the ugly child. Where is she? I only see YOU and YOU are beautiful." Then we talked about hearts. I told her to look for people with beautiful hearts because some people are nice to look at but their heart is not beautiful. I told her she was lucky to be beautiful on the inside and outside but some only have outer beauty. It's a scary road when you are raising a daughter!!

Linda D.

I do much the same as you. I tell my girls the are smart, loving and beautiful and praise their efforts whether the succeed or fail.

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