These four words uttered by the Princess created such a surge of emotions in me that I decided to abandon my morning plans for today to pen down my thoughts here.
It all started when I asked her to dress up for school in a long sleeved tee and denim leggings. She looked at her clothes and kicked up a fuss because she wanted to wear a dress to school. Being a concerned mother, I explained to her that it would not be a good idea as her school is notoriously know for being too cold and she has outgrown her stockings and leggings (didn't have time to get new ones yet) so she has nothing to put on beneath her dress to keep her warm.
The princess continued to insist on wearing a dress despite her father's attempt to convince her otherwise too. Finally, in between her sobs, she said, "I won't look pretty! My friends will say that I don't look nice!" I pulled her into my arms and told her that she looks the prettiest in mummy's and daddy's eyes. I delved further and found out that no one in school has ever commented that she is not pretty, it was a worry she has.
I wonder what caused the Princess to feel so strongly about "being pretty"? Not only that, she needed her friends to give her the assurance that she is. We know how the media has put pressure on women to look slim, have flawless skin and a branded wardrobe to top it off, but for a four year old to feel the same kind of pressure is staggering.
I feel pain in my heart knowing that she goes to school feeling that she needs to look good for her friends or maybe her friends will like her more if she looks prettier. I can't wait for February to end so that her new teacher, yours truly, can give a lesson everyday on how she is a gem and a gift from God, truly like what her name means!
How do you help your children achieve a positive self image?