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Pretty is as pretty does…

Raising two little girls presents some challenges.  I think my girls are both beautiful, but there are times that they (okay, one of them) doesn’t think that she is.  There are times when she’ll hang her head a cry because she doesn’t think she’s pretty because she doesn’t have brown eyes like Mommy and her sister.  There are times when she’ll hang her head is shame because she has several [adorable] freckles that she wishes weren’t there.  It is really difficult helping little girls understand what “beauty” is.

I try really hard to help them see that beauty comes from how they are acting, how they are treating others, and the tone that they are speaking with.  I want them to understand that even some of the most physically “beautiful” people can appear very “ugly” if they are not treating people nicely.  I’ll ask them how someone looked right after they have said a rude comment or pushed someone in line.  If possible, I’ll point out a time when someone appears exceptionally “beautiful” because of their actions.  I guess growing up with my parents telling me  “pretty is as pretty does” made a bit of an impression.

The other day, Jade noticed that I had this really ugly cold sore on my upper lip.  She started asking about it and saying how ugly my sore was.  I decided to attempt a learning moment with the visual aid of my lip.

Jade- “Mom, what’s wrong with your face?”

Me- “I have a cold sore”

Jade- “Wow, it’s really ugly”

Me- “Yup” (so I didn’t jump right in to the lesson)

Jade- “Don’t you feel ugly with your cold sore?”

Me- “Should I?”

Jade- pause

Me- “Am I ugly or is my cold sore ugly?”

Jade- still thinking how she should correctly answer that question

Me- “Other than having a huge and painful cold sore, am I doing anything to make me ugly?”

Jade- “No”

Me- “Okay, so am I ugly?”

Jade-  “No, but your lip is REALLY ugly”

Well, I’m not so sure she learned anything, but it was worth a try.  And just to emphasize that I wasn’t going to let my “REALLY ugly” cold sore get the best of me, I went out of my way to get my picture taken with both of my girls and my cold sore.  Due to my face being so shaded, you can hardly see it in the photo.  (If you zoom in enough to see my cold sore, you can also see my age spots and my I-am-nearing-forty skin).

How do you help your kids know that beauty comes from within?

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

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17 comments to Pretty is as pretty does…

  • Man, that is a tough thing to teach. The world is so focused on beauty. I’ve got nothing.
    Kristina P.´s last blog post ..Giveaway Winners And Losers

    [Reply]

  • Even if you’re not sure if she learned what you wanted her to learn, you still made her think, which is good.

    My girls are still young (3 years) and though they’re twins, they do have differences in appearance. One may have more/less favorable features than the other e.g. one is larger. I of course think they are both beautiful. But even the most innocent comment can hurt. So I am struggling with how to deal with this if it becomes a problem in the future.

    Glad to connect with another almost 40 mom. Have a great week!
    Steph´s last blog post ..Cups are Cool

    [Reply]

    Amy
    Twitter: familytrifecta
    Reply:

    we had twins in my high school that were “identical” yet their personalities were so different that one was much more popular than her sister. It was really hard to see but they both turned into amazing women. You’ll do great with them because you are aware of the innocent comments and their slight differences. good luck.

    [Reply]

  • I know our girls pick up on the way we talk about ourselves. I go out of my way to never belittle my body or others’ appearance, especially when my kids are around. And please tell Jade that Sister Wiggins thinks she is a beautiful girl, inside and out. I know she will definitely go places in life. What an amazing kid!

    [Reply]

    Amy
    Twitter: familytrifecta
    Reply:

    I’ll let Jade know 🙂 She is so sensitive to it and it makes me sad.

    [Reply]

  • What a beautiful picture with your girls!

    Dove has some neat You Tube videos about what all goes into the girl you see in a typical ad – it is sped up so that you can see she looks nothing like the hours of work and editing that goes into the picture you see. It is shocking!
    Jenny´s last blog post ..Mommy and Me- Beach Bliss

    [Reply]

    Amy
    Twitter: familytrifecta
    Reply:

    It makes me so sad to see the Dove videos. How on earth are our little ones supposed to ever believe they are beautiful when they are doing so much to “beautiful” models.

    [Reply]

  • Anne
    Twitter: mheanne_17

    Well, they are both beautiful anyways…

    Here’s mine…

    http://myprincecoi.blogspot.com/2010/07/mommy-and-me-monday-capturing-every.html

    hope we can exchange links… Thanks…

    [Reply]

  • Stephanie
    Twitter: stephsday

    It sounds like you’re doing a great job teaching those lessons to your girls.

    And – P.S. – they both are very beautiful!
    Stephanie´s last blog post ..Homecoming happy

    [Reply]

  • Krystyn
    Twitter: SeriousKrystyn

    I like that you turned it into a learning experience.

    I have freckles and was teased all the time…so I constantly tell my girls how beautiful they are and how much I love their freckles and their red curly hair.
    Krystyn´s last blog post ..Mommy and Me Monday- The 21st Edition

    [Reply]

    Amy
    Twitter: familytrifecta
    Reply:

    Your little red heads with freckles are so adorable. Weren’t kids cruel to tease about angel kisses?

    [Reply]

  • Lolli
    Twitter: 1momof5

    That is sweet, and I love how you turned it into a learning experience. Cold sores stinks.
    Lolli´s last blog post ..I Heart the USA

    [Reply]

  • Amy

    Cute picture of you and your girls! Great post! I only have a 4 year old and I’m all about building confidence and making sure she understands how to treat people. Now we just need the rest of the world to teach their kids that everyone is beautiful!
    Amy´s last blog post ..Silhouette Craft Cutter Giveaway at Little Birdie Secrets

    [Reply]

    Amy
    Twitter: familytrifecta
    Reply:

    if only the world could change their focus just a bit and show beautiful every day women, that would help those of us with daughters.

    [Reply]

  • Isn’t that such a challenge? I have one daughter and she just struggles too. Maybe it is the age. I am trying really hard just to make her feel good about herself, and the things that she does. She is physically stunning…really, she is. But I, too, want her to know that what really matters is the kind of person you are. God help us mothers with daughters. We need it more and more in this place we live…sigh.
    stef´s last blog post ..I smell you-

    [Reply]

    Amy
    Twitter: familytrifecta
    Reply:

    We need all the help we can get 🙂

    [Reply]

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amy Andrus Sanford, Amy Andrus Sanford. Amy Andrus Sanford said: cold sores hurt and according to my daughter are really ugly http://bit.ly/cPrNgN (new post) […]

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