Saturday, February 15, 2014

Looking for Suggestions

Many days my daughter is told that she is cute, beautiful, pretty.  She is told this just about everwhere she goes.  She does have the blue eyes, blond hair, fair skin that actually tans in the summer.  However,  I would like to buy her a shirt that says "Please don't tell my child she is beautiful, she already know it." 

It has become a problem.

Truly, I don't mind that my child knows that she is pretty.  What I do mind is that she believes that she is the only pretty child in our home.  She cut our last foster child's hair out of jealousy, she also had blue eyes and blond hair.  When playing games with her sisters she will not allow them to play the "pretty girl" parts. 

She has been caught telling Larissa that she is ugly (over and over) and the other day she put her fingers up to her nose pushing it back while telling Larissa that is how her nose looks.  When watching TV if she sees someone who she doesn't consider to be pretty she will say that they are Larissa or Michelle.

We have been cracking down on this.  I have a zero tolerance level for this type of behavior.  The problem is she is not only hurting her sisters but I worry about her in the long run.

I wonder if she will develop an eating disorder to stay pretty (which also means slim).  I would rather she she the positive in herself that is not physical.  We have talked and talked about other positive attributes that I consider more important.  A cheerful and loving heart, kindness and compassion, generosity and tolerance. 

I tell her that physical beauty will fade, it is more important to have a beautiful heart.  I would rather that others would say things such as I love how you are sharing, I like how you show kindness, I see you are being patient.  That doesn't typically happen so we work on it at home.

I spite of all our talking and consequences for hurtful words nothing has changed.  So here I am asking for suggestions.  Movie ideas?  Book ideas? Different consequence ideas!  Anything?

It truly needs to stop.  I had an incident today that about brought me to tears and showed me the impact she is having on her sisters.  I will post that tomorrow.

In the meantime, suggestions?


  1. Wow, I'm so sorry! I'm thinking that perhaps she really does feel ugly inside, and to just praise the heck out of the beautiful hearts you see in her and the others. Can you help her actively seek out ways to serve others?? I would totally crack down on the mean behavior and have her "make amends" by being in service to the one who was wronged.
    You could do some visual storytelling: a beautiful treasure chest that is empty, and a more plain box that is filled with gold? I would create as many stories about superficial beauty/emptiness as I could imagine. I googled children's books + values and came up with this list:

  2. I looked up a few books, here are some I think might help. Melissa Parkington's Beautiful, Beautiful Hair
    by Pat Brisson, Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy by Sornson Ph.D., Bob and Red Cat, Blue Cat
    by Jenni Desmond. The other thing I have done with kids in my class is make a heart that everyone signs, and they really like it. Then they say mean things to the heart and as they do, crumple it up. Afterwards, they apologize to the heart, and try to straighten it out, but of course there are still wrinkles. We talk about how the mean things leave a mark, and even if you apologize, there will always be a mark left. It's a good concrete reminder for little ones that we can try to make things better, but once it is said it can't be unsaid. Good luck.

  3. No clue. I think Larissa is your most beautiful child :)

  4. This might seem mean but your the mom so do as you wish :) Here's my first thought 1 - Restitution. Little Miss needs to repay her sisters when she's hateful to them.
    (This is the mean one) 2 - I once had a therapist tell me that when a teenage client of hers was acting like a convict (stealing, lying, ect) her Foster Mom took away her clothes and replaced them with orange scrubs...behave like a convict dress like one too. I say ugly is as ugly does. Take away cute clothes and let her wear the things from salvation army. (I did this for a kid who refused to put up her laundry - she wore black pants and white t-shirts for a week.)

    1. The Rainbow Fish is a lovely book, more about sharing but has a strong message about vanity! :)