Empowering Girls: Criticize Daughters' DNA

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A mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem. Naomi Wolf

The reverse is also true.

Divorce expert M. Gary Neuman says the worst thing any parent can do to their child is to criticize their other parent. Because children hear this as criticism of self. You criticize a child’s DNA when you criticize their parent.

The same holds true when daughters hear their mothers criticize their own appearance. This is obvious if they share the criticized feature. Even if they don’t, a “not pretty enough” feeling passes from one generation to the next.

As life coach Martha Beck says, Children feel about themselves the way we feel about ourselves. We only wish they felt about themselves the way we feel about them.

Wishing it doesn’t make it so.

My Beautiful Mommy, a children’s book, written by a plastic surgeon, who is incidentally depicted as a superhero who manages to make Mommy “pretty” (as both God and Mother Nature evidently could not) with a nose job, implied boob job and tummy tuck, has prompted media criticism.

As a parent, this book touches something inside us that we know intuitively is bad for kids.

What is plastic surgery if it’s not the ultimate self-criticism?

What is plastic surgery if it’s not the ultimate in criticizing both our children’s and our parents’ DNA?

The premise of this book is that we can resolve our self esteem and low self worth issues with surgery, and that we have the ability to articulate that to our children with a story book.

This can never, ever work.

What we CAN do, is grow a self esteem and teach our children how to grow a self esteem too.

The first step in feeling good about one’s own reflection is to stop criticizing it. If we can learn to love how we look, our children will intuitively inherit a good self esteem.

I make it a point to compliment my own features as beautiful, especially those I share with my daughter.

Your hair is thick like mine, I love my hair.

We have perfect bow lips.

You’re lucky you got my eyes, they are one of our best features.

I do it because I want to actively vaccinate my daughter against a low self esteem as Naomi Wolf suggests.

Try it. As with anything it takes practice, feels awkward at first but quickly becomes a habit.

If self-deprecation is becoming a problem in your house please read My Face/Her Face and Self-Loathing Sin Bank.

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