7 things you should never say to your daughter

Having a girl child is many a parent’s delight. It’s fun to dress them up in in cute clothes and it is almost like having a your own little doll to play dress-up with. They also tend to get mature a little earlier than boys and it’s a joy to listen to them talk as they start getting more expressive and articulate. However, even well-meaning parents who think they’re helping their daughter choose better or “improve” often end up saying things that can undermine their daughter’s confidence. Here are a few ‘No Nos’ that you simply should not say to your darling daughter!

1. “If you eat like this you will become fat”

The western world is obsessed with body fat and body image and the east has rapidly caught up to that obsession. Do not comment on how much your child eats. Growing children have a healthy appetite and require a good deal of nutrition. If you are really concerned about your child’s weight, offer healthier food choices and get her engaged in more physical activity. Simply making a “fat” comment can end up causing more insecurity instead of the desired behaviour.

girlMirror
2. “Only boys do that”

The world is open today for women to try any profession, any sport, and any activity of their choice. Even if your daughter shows an inclination towards a career which is usually preferred by boys, do not discourage her. Saina Nehwal, for instance, is the only Indian to have won a medal in Badminton at the Olympics. Not only first Indian woman but first Indian to ever do so!

India's Nehwal poses with her gold medal after winning the women's singles badminton finals at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi

 

3. “This dress/color doesn’t look good on you”

Girls tend to interpret this to mean “You are not beautiful”.  Even if they seem to appear nonchalant, children do care about their parent’s opinions. They want their parent’s approval. Tell your daughter she is beautiful in anything she wears. They remember it forever.

When did parenting become such a tough gig!  :)   Our girls are precious – let us make sure that they know that they are!

 

4. “Don’t dress like a tomboy”

Sometimes, we parents subconsciously reinforce gender stereotypes in our children. And it usually starts with clothing. If your daughter likes to hang out in jeans and t-shirt, let her be. Do not force her to wear ‘girlie’ clothing. Let her explore what she is comfortable wearing and of course appropriate for the occasion. You can definitely suggest something but do not be negative about her final choice.

tomboy

5. “Stop being such a Chatterbox”

Little girls have a tendency to chat up a storm. It can be a bit overwhelming at times. But if we don’t want to listen to them when they are little because it seems like trivial chatter, they will shut us off when we really want to know what is going on in their lives as they enter adolescence.

 

6. “I hate you too”

Girls can be drama queens at times, and teenage drama queens can be quite an onslaught on one’s nerves. But when your daughter yells that she hates you, resist the urge to shout back that you hate her too- because even though both of you know it is not true, some words, no matter what, are never ever spoken. Instead, yell back “I love you too” and lay the mother of all guilt on them ! :)

 

7. “I’m on a diet”

Do not discuss your diet plans in front of her. Do not make her conscious that women have to be a certain size to feel beautiful. We will all have our demons to deal with when we are older- let us keep our kids out of it for as long as we can. Talk instead about exercising and being fit and strong.

 

If you have a son, make sure you never say these things to him!

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