R.S. asks from Chicago, IL on February 12, 2012
Cultivating a Sense of Inner Beauty
I've been thinking a lot lately about the ways in which I can model a sense of internal beauty for our daughter and deemphasize outward appearance. You might laugh...since, after all, our daughter is all but 2.5. But, we've been blessed with a beautiful little girl with golden curls and hazel eyes and people often comment on how pretty she is. While I believe it is of course important for her to feel beautiful, I also want to cultivate a sense of inner beauty in her---which, to me, is far more important than her hair or eyes, or what dresses she has hanging in her closet. I'm not a fancy person...and in general we don't focus a lot on materialism in our house...but I'm just wondering from more seasoned moms if you have any advice on nurturing a sense of beauty from within in your daughters?
P.B. answers from Spartanburg on February 12, 2012
I have a boy, BUT I remember how mom did this for me. I was a teenager and at some point I must have told her I was embarassed to have the old car we were riding into. She said: "Darling, what's really important and beautiful it's not the car, but what'is IN it". She used to take advantage of these casual times to reinforce the concept and it really stuck with me.
2 moms found this helpful
B.B. answers from New York on February 12, 2012
I also have a boy but I think even from a young age it is a good idea to give them opportunities to be successful. If we are going to be doing a potentially stressful new activity (like going to the dentist), we read books and talk about what is going to happen. Then when he is successful, I commend him and point out how he must feel so good about himself. One thing I want for my son is that his sense of worth should come from inside, not just what authority figures think of him. Expose her to many gender neutral activities so she can feel success and joy in many areas. Don't put any "Disney Princess" or other toy off limits but discuss the merits of the princesses beyond their beauty and pretty dresses. Above all, model inner beauty and spend time together doing things that don't involve beauty parlours or shopping for expensive, useless clothes.
2 moms found this helpful
E.S. answers from New York on February 12, 2012
It sounds like you're on the way by not emphasizing materialism. That's a start. I think the best way is to develop her interests i.e. reading, dancing, a sports, games, volunteering I think the more involved a child is with the outside world, the less time they have to focus on their appearance. And that goes for adults too :-)
1 mom found this helpful
P.M. answers from Portland on February 12, 2012
I love what you're doing. Children pick up a great deal of attitude from their parents in their early years, so if you're putting more emphasis on "real" beauty, inward and outward, your children will tend to find those things important. So congratulations on doing this so consciously.
Another source of understanding beauty is noticing and appreciating the beauty of the natural world, the sky and land and water and light, the movement of seasons, wind and weather, growth cycles. This is another area you can culture by choice. Much of the media stops noticing beauty where the body ends, and this is just too narrow. A quiet appreciation of nature gives children a much calmer, more centered place from which to respond to the pressures of life.
Wishing you the best.
1 mom found this helpful
C.G. answers from Chicago on February 13, 2012
I have 2 daughters, ages 6 and 3, so I have experienced the same concerns. Our society puts a lot of emphasis on beauty and body image, and I want my girls to be confident in the face of photoshopped perfection. I try to reinforce the importance of "inner beauty" whenever the opportunity arises, and if you start to pay attention, you'll find those opportunities come up all the time. Examples appear in the books we read together, the movies or TV shows we watch, and in the stories she tells me from school about this girl or that girl. Whenever I see the chance, I be sure to reiterate to her how important it is to be kind, generous, understanding, etc. And that these things make a person beautiful from the inside out. It is a gradual process and I feel that over time, that message will be embedded in her core values and she will grow up to be a beautiful woman, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. And I am following the same path with my 3 year old. Just keep your eyes open and we will see all the opportunities you need to teach this valuable lesson will be presented to you. Take advantage of them.
R.M. answers from Cumberland on February 12, 2012
Send her to an all girls school-it's the only way
L._. answers from San Diego on February 12, 2012
I've seen people with handsome features that are ugly as heck. I've seen people with homely features that are beautiful. You are on the right track.
Beauty comes from living Godly lives and reading the word. There's even scripture about how the word is like a mirror and makes our faces shine. I believe that the more time we give to the Lord and reading his word (which by the way is called medicine and life to our flesh), the healthier we will be inside and out and the more beautiful we will become.