As a parent, you want to do what is best for your kids. Protect them from people that hurt their feelings and say mean things. But what do you do when people are saying really nice things to one, but ignoring the other?
Lately, when I’ve been out with Ella and Tehya, people will stop me and comment on how adorable Tehya is. Usually, they go on and on about it. I smile and say thank you but at the same time, I’m watching Ella. She is looking up at this adult with a question in her eyes. It’s as if she’s wondering, “What about me?” I want to pick her up and reassure her that she is beautiful. I want to tell her that what’s on the inside is way more important than what’s on the outside. I want to tell her that it doesn’t matter what other people think. I want to tell the person that’s talking to Tehya that, yes, she is adorable but that so is Ella. That I’m working hard to build up their self-esteem, to make them see that their true strength lies inside and that their looks don’t matter. That the hyper-focus in our society on girls being thin and beautiful, is damaging to them. To remind this adult, that children watch everything we say and do and accept it as the ultimate truth.
Perhaps, I’m over reacting. Perhaps, it doesn’t matter. All I know is that I struggle with how to handle it. I struggle with knowing what will be the best way to raise my daughters to believe in themselves, regardless of what other people say. To build them up to be so strong that they truly can do anything they set their mind to. To raise smart, confident, beautiful girls with strong values. That they will be kind and compassionate. That they will think before they speak.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.