How Do I Handle This One???!!! - Romeoville,IL

Updated on November 15, 2009
M.B. asks from Romeoville, IL
9 answers

My four year old asked me today why everyone else is prettier than she is as we were leaving pre-school. heart sank and my immediate response was to tell her how beautiful she is and then asked her why she thought that. She had a hard time verbalizing why she was thinking the thoughts she was. My questions is how do I handle this, how do I raise a confident and strong woman and how do I teach her the importance of being a beautiful person on the inside. I feel like we are very positive with her and offer praise often. She is a good kid with a good heart and I know I am biased but I think she is beautiful, how do I get her to see that and believe that?? Also, why has this come up at this age???!!! Thanks for any and all responses. Have a nice weekend.

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answers from Miami on

Say to her good night my beautiful princess every night. Repetition is the answer the more you say it the more it will sink in and she will believe you.

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answers from Chicago on

You have many good suggestions... but I thought I would throw mine in because your issue brought back a memory of my own daughters reply when I told her she was pretty. She was about 5 at the time, and said (a bit matter of factly) she couldn't be pretty, she didn't have blue eyes!... I started looking for brown eyed dolls, and to my horror there wern't any other than very high end specialty dolls. No wonder our girls get mixed signals. I worked from that day on to teach her that beauty is not on the outside, it is on the inside. I meant she was beautiful because she is kind to people and helps others. I began pointing out (every chance I got), whether in a story, on tv, in life etc.. beautiful people when anyone displayed a beautiful character. I also often read the Dr.Seuss story about Gertrude McFuzz (it had an impression on me as a kid). Somewhere around 7th or 8th grade, she realized many of the "beautiful" girls were cruel, or snooty. She gravitated to girls who were good friends, and displayed good character traits. She's in college now, and more beautiful than ever.....

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answers from Decatur on

My sister works with pre-K kiddos and says that they sometimes use terminology as "just trying it on" so maybe she is just trying it on?? And doesn't fully comprehend the words she is using?
We do our prayers at night as well as reading a book as nighttime routine, but often our prayers are thanks for the events that went on during the day a sort of recap. So we also point out that Mommy is different than Daddy as I have dark hair and eyes, the babies have their Dad's blue eyes! But that they are different and not any prettier or uglier than the other, but just different! Kids are amazingly resilient! Just like a ladybug has 7 spots! And a cricket has long legs to sing a song, or make a racket depending on your mood? But these things are different and God made them with a special purpose for their life! Perhap's you don't have the religious aspect of it to reference, but the same can be said of Nature, things have differences for a reason. Bees are necessary to pollenate other flowers. Butterflies start out as caterpillars and then make a cocoon then emerg as beautiful butterflies! So perhap's some educating about ages and stages and she will be beautiful too! In the meantime I say thanks for their blue eyes, and fair skin and yup RED hair! I tell them that I love all their parts! That's what makes them special!



answers from Champaign on

Hi Meghan,
I would do exactly what you are doing. Explain the different kinds of beauty. Internal, external, etc. And keep telling her how wonderful and beautiful she is! Also, I would be giving her preschool a call and telling them the situation and asking if they are aware of any reason why she might be having these feelings. And maybe they can shed some light and you can go from there.

Best wishes to you and your beautiful daughter. :)



answers from Chicago on

My youngest is my only daughter. She is very attractive but a 5'3' brunette with curly hair does not fit into the media's idea of what they portray as beautiful: tall, thin, straight long blonde hair etc. Even toys instill this idea like Barbie dolls. She is 18 and has grown to accept her own brand of beauty as she has matured.
This comes up when they go to school because they are now out in the world and exposed to others. There is no way to avoid her natural tendency to compare herself to other girls.
But her comment could be as simple as her classmates dress differently. Keep praising her and keep communicating. Whenever my daughter would be impressed by perfect photos of celebrities or models I always made sure to explain how they were enhanced.
Its really a lifelong conversation and I'm sure you will be able to help her find her way to a healthy self acceptance & self love.



answers from Chicago on

maybe to HER prettier means curly hair or ribbons or dresses or not... i'd ask her what pretty is.
it could be something simple. or is someone saying that to her?



answers from Chicago on

I think it is important to teach our children not to compare themselves to anyone. Each child is unique with their own gifts. Finding ways to compliment and encourage others is more important than outward looks.



answers from Chicago on

Why has it come up? Television....pure and simple

The kids in her daycare probably watch all kinds of television. Kids today watch things that are way to mature for them and they are obsessing about things that they shouldn't. It's very sad.



answers from Chicago on

If your daughter doesn't fit into the typical beautiful child mold, talk about what strengths she does have. I have never praised by daughters for their beauty. I tell them they are strong, funny, smart, kind, generous, etc. Talk about the things she does well (puzzles, dusting, memorizing songs, etc)

Also praise her for being "original". I find it quite boring when all the girls look alike. This will serve her well when the pressures to fit in come along. Our kids should march to their own drummer and feel confident with the appearance they were born with. This is difficult during adolescence, but start the building blocks now.

I have a girlfriend who speaks negatively about her own appearance (I'm fat, I'm ugly) in front of her daughters! I am shocked and saddened about the impression she is giving them.

My point is that you shouldn't spent too much time convincing your daughter that she is beautiful. Teach her that being pretty is not what's important, being a good person is what you value.

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