Shannyn has become really obsessive lately about how 'pretty' she looks. All of a sudden she needs constant reassurance about her looks, the way she dresses - "I look beautiful, don't I Mum?" has become a regular phrase from her lips.
It would be so easy just to reply "of course you are sweetie, you always look beautiful" (because she does of course, to me!) but does that send the message to my 5 year old that she NEEDS to be pretty to feel good about herself? To be 'accepted' in society?
Puzzled as to where this has come from I discussed it with my Mum, who informed me that she thinks there is a couple of girls at Shannyns kinder who point out to her that she is wearing the same pants again, or that her top is not very pretty. MY GOD - they are five!
I read a wonderful post a few weeks ago about this very topic (My apologies to the writer, I cannot find it again!) That, as a mother I need to be aware of the comments I give to my child. To praise her for all the things she is - but at the same time let her know that she is perfectly fine just being herself.
For anyone who loves Little Women - Mrs March sums up beautifully what I wish Shannyn was old enough to understand -
"If you feel your value lies only in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that's all you really are. Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind. Your humour, your kindness and your moral courage - these are the things I cherish so in you."
ETA - Just found the article - you can read it here - let me know what you think!