Every time I see a little girl, I find myself commenting on their cuteness and sweetness. “Oh, you have a pretty little dress on!”, “You are so cute!” “Look at those shoes!” “Those pigtails are adorable!!” Are these comments only solidifying the image-obsessed world we live in? Do we only notice our little girls for how cute they are and not for who they are or who and what they may become? After all, our little girls are more than sugar and spice, so much more than how they look or what they are wearing. With so many little ones growing into women who base their self-worth and happiness on how beautiful they are, it seems we must start out young teaching our little girls (and little boys!) that a lady is so much more than the cute hair bows they wear and their baby doll faces.
Compliment on their energy and good deeds too. Tell them how smart, strong or brave they are or how well they listen. Let them know you notice them sharing and helping their friends. If you must compliment on their cute clothes (because after all little kids clothes are adorable!), find a way to point out the color of their shirt or the image on the outfit. See if they can name the colors or images on the shirt and compliment on how much they know.
Children soak up everything we say. We have to be mindful how we talk about our own self-image. Are we labeling ourselves “bad” for eating a piece of cake? And only “good” when we eat green leaves? Words are powerful! Words can empower or shame. Be careful how you use your words.