Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why I Don't Tell My Sons "You're So Cute/Handsome"

I sometimes post pictures of my boys Omar and Shareef on my facebook page, images that capture a special time or place for us as a family. And I often get comments like “handsome boys”. I know these comments come from well-intentioned hearts and I take them as compliments. 

But when I started to actively take notice of the times and circumstances I heard compliments toward children, remarks were overwhelmingly “you’re so cute/handsome/beautiful” and “you’re so smart/clever.” I will tackle the latter in a future blog entry but for now, I’ll share with you why I don’t want the former: 

I don’t want my kids to think their worth depends on measuring up to someone else’s ideas of beauty

I don’t want my kids thinking they are superior to everyone else or are entitled to special privileges

I don’t want my boys to think that physical beauty is more important than kindness, fairness, critical thinking, creativity, courage and integrity

I don’t want my kids to conform to a world that often regards (a narrow definition of) physical attractiveness as a precursor to success or what makes people worthy of love

I don’t want to impose my own impressions of beauty on my sons because I want them to be open to a world of possibilities greater than the one I know 

No comments: