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Here’s an article about self-aware children and raising confident kids:

Just the other day I caught my 3-year-old caking makeup on her face while hiding underneath a blanket.

I don’t personally wear makeup. (It itches my face, breaks me out and I’m not mature enough to keep from smudging it everywhere when my eyes get itchy) But, we have other family members that do.

So, naturally, my little girl wants to wear it, too. No big deal. But, it makes a mess and she had just had a bath. I went over, pulled the blanket off of her head, and asked her to put the makeup away for the evening.

She was clean and it was almost bedtime. As expected, (and like she’s so good at) she argued with me.

“I NEED it!”

“No, you don’t, Temperance. You need to put it up as I asked.”

“Let me finish putting it on!”

In a bit more stern voice, “Temperance, I said no. Put it up and wash your face off. Right now.”

I was prepared for the argument. Expected the pouty face and crossed arms. But, what I didn’t expect were the tears that sprung to her eyes.

“Momma, I need this. I need this makeup to make me pretty. I’m not very pretty without it. People won’t like me so much if I’m not pretty.”

Check this out: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem, Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids

kid putting on her makeup

Oh, my sweet child. Talk about breaking a momma’s heart in two.

That’s a good way to do it. Not only was I heartbroken. But, I was also angry.

I was angry that somehow my child, my 3-year-old little girl, had already been conditioned to feel like she needed crap on her face to make her pretty.

She already felt like her outer beauty was an important deciding factor when it came to the acceptance of others around her.

My kind, compassionate, caring, and very beautiful daughter was huddled on the floor, her arms hugging her knees, tear-stricken and heartbroken because she didn’t think she was pretty enough.

I considered crawling on the floor and crying with her.

Instead, I knelt down and looked her dead in the eye and told her she was kind.

Told her that she was compassionate; that she was loving and grateful and sympathetic.

I told her every single, little, wonderful quality that she had to boost her seld-steem

But, never once did I tell her that she was pretty; because it doesn’t matter.

We’ve always tried to teach our daughter that looks don’t matter and don’t judge people based on what their skin or body looks like.

We judge people based on what’s inside their hearts.

No matter what their face looks like, all of our hearts beat the same, and that’s what matters.

The important thing is how they ACT.

Check this out: Confident Ninja: A Children’s Book About Developing Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

kind-kids

I don’t know what put this notion in my daughter’s head. And, really, it doesn’t matter; because society will always be there. Moreover, we’re slowly learning acceptance.

But, people will always flock to the skinny, pretty ones.

I don’t need to know where this came from; therefore, I just need her to understand that it’s crap and can’t protect her from society’s majority opinion.

But, can teach her that society’s opinion doesn’t matter.

So, to my daughter and all the other sons and daughters out there:
Please, do not settle for pretty. Do not strive to be pretty. Do not let pretty break your heart.

Moreover, you are SO MUCH more than pretty. “Pretty” is a lackluster, mediocre description of what you are.

Anyone can be pretty. It doesn’t mean anything. Instead, be smart, creative, kind, compassionate, sympathetic, and strong.

Be you. You are so much more than just “pretty”.

That’s such a dull word when you consider all the other things you can be.

You can be an astronaut, a teacher, a singer, or an actor.

Also, you can be a writer, a doctor, a lawyer, or a chef.

When you look at the world spread at your feet, and you’re trying so hard to figure out what you’re going to be, “pretty” should be the last thing on your mind.

There are so many better things you can be than just pretty. I promise you, “pretty” will never be good enough for you.

Check this out: Me and My Feelings: A Kids’ Guide to Understanding and Expressing Themselves

Find out more helpful parenting tips on the links below.

Jacob Baranski: Raising Children in a Digital World

Advocating for Kind Children

How To Talk To Your Children About Race

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