Thursday, August 11, 2011

little girls

joanna's post on 'how to talk to little girls' and the article that it is based on by lisa bloom made me pause. i am so guilty of telling elodie, her friends or perfect strangers how cute they are all the time! how did this become so ingrained in me to just automatically do? i wouldn't squeal and carry on about an adult's appearance so why should i act that way with a child? i don't want to go overboard and not give a compliment but it is nice to rethink my habits and question how i speak to her and her friends. really, really good stuff. 





16 comments:

  1. I just wrote a post about the very same topic. The article is really an eye opener.

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  2. I agree, I don't think I'll stop complimenting, but it may no longer be the first thing I say. (and that is SUCH a lovely picture! :)

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  3. I, too, felt like I learned so much - about my own habits! where DID I pick them up?! - from that article. Interesting indeed!

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  4. I was really taken back by that article. It is our absolute first reaction. I say it to Iris all the time and she's only 5-months-old! Every day of her life, she's already heard how beautiful she is! She is beautiful! And I want her to feel beautiful. But I'm trying to find ways to already draw out other parts of who she is and is becoming, and at the same time train myself to focus on those things in other people!

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  5. It was a thought-provoking article. It's funny, because Mike and I can't stop ourselves from telling Q how cute she is. It's a gut reaction and comes out of our mouths before we can stop it. People on the street stop in their tracks to exclaim "OH! She's so pretty!" And she hates it. She cannot stand to be told that she's pretty or cute. She glares at strangers who tell her, and with us she never holds her tongue. "Don't call me pretty" she tells us again and again. She likes to be praised for her athletic prowess, for her academic skills, anything but her looks. Granted, she's a tomboy, and not all little girls will object on their own. But she has definitely schooled us.

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  6. Oh, the things we have to worry about as a parent who simply loves her children. There have been a slew of articles lately detailing what we should/shouldn't say or do/not do in order to avoid landing our children in therapy or discouraging lifelong learning. The article that struck me the most is that you shouldn't tell your children they are smart because our innocent motivational (and the not-so-good empty) praise surprisingly has the converse effect of making kiddos afraid to take on challenges, stretch their limits, and avoid risks in order to keep up the appearance of being intelligent OR it sets them up so they don’t learn how to deal with failure and develop the resilience needed to tough it out and strengthen “brain muscles.” Sigh, what's a mom to do? Anyway, if you're interested in reading up on that line of thinking too, I've posted the links to the articles for you:

    http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/index4.html

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1969/12/how-to-land-your-kid-in-therapy/8555/


    http://mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/index.html

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  7. I have to read this article. I'm soon to be a aunt!


    Camila Faria

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  8. I couldn't agree more and though I don't think we need to feel guilty for what we didn't know, I do think we can now be enlightened and conscious about what we focus on when we are speaking to little girls, little boys too, and probably even each other.

    http://bywayofney.blogspot.com

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  9. This is such a wonderful post. I have been working as a summer camp assistant at a children's museum, and as I read this, I remembered all of the times in the past week I have complimented a girl's dress, or sparkly shoes, or red cap. I've always thought of it as a sweet form of appreciation. BUT, as a teenager who struggles with her own self-esteem and negative self-image, I had to wonder how much of a role I play in continuing the pattern of placing an emphasis on physical appearance. If my appearance hadn't been doted over when I was a child, would I be a more confident individual now? These are important questions to ask, and I'm thankful for the reminder. Sending my best to you and the family. :)

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  10. you all make such great points. thanks and can't wait to read more!

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  11. I felt the same way when I read the original article. It's SO hard. Where is the line? I have no idea. I tell my little one how cute she is all the time, but I've starting telling her how creative and smart she is too. All we can do is surround them in lots of love, right? I know I'll probably makes tons of mistakes, but being cognizant of this type of thing will hopefully help her out. Girl power!

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  12. In life I love to gush about everything I see that is marvelous, so I find it natural to say the same to my daughter (and my sons!) But I do feel like I equally comment on how brilliant and creative they are, not to give too much praise but, to take notice.

    Steph

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  13. I also really appreciated that article. It's amazing how quickly we jump to the CUTE compliment with little girls. My friends daughter was here over the weekend and she kept asking, do you like my car/dress/hair? Isn't it BEEEEAUTIFUL?! I was kind of taken aback. I may not have noticed had I not read that post on Cup of Jo. Thanks for bringing it up again.

    Kacie
    http://www.acollectionofpassions.com/

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  14. We are all so guilty of this...infact I did it yesterday to my friends little girl. You'll be glad to know I pulled it back round and asked her what books she was reading at the moment!

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  15. I would like to add that it is important to give them healthy confidence in their looks. My parents never did. They told me I was smart and talented, but never pretty. A boy in 6th grade told me I was the ugliest girl ever, and I believed him until I was 17, then married the first man (not a good guy) who told me I was beautiful. Just saying.....I was never a super model nor do I look like one now but I am pretty and always was I just didn't know it, because in my mind if it was true someone would have said it. BTW....I love your blog, thanks for sharing it with us all. :)

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