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Should I Tell My Daughter She is Pretty? Is it OK to Complement Your Girls On Their Looks? These Plus Other Important Questions.

Should I Tell My Daughter that She is Pretty?

The quick answer is yes. You should tell your daughter that she is pretty. Not only is it OK to complement your daughter on her looks, you should complement her on her looks. The fact is that our looks are a big part of our self-concept. It is important for children to feel positive about all aspects of themselves--their talents, their skills, their character, and their looks. The more and the the more consistently a child hears that they are pretty, the more they believe it themselves. When people feel good about all aspects of themselves, they feel that they deserve to take care of themselves and their bodies. We want our girls to value themselves, including their looks, enough to think highly about themselves and care for themselves.

girl looking in a mirror

If I Complement My Daughter on Her Looks, Will it Take Away From Her Character? Will it Devalue Her Character?

No, complimenting your daughter on her looks will not take away from her character. When a child hears that they are beautiful, their character does not suffer. You can separately complement your daughter about her character, but it has nothing to do with her beauty, and it should be its own conversation. It also will not devalue her character. A person can understand that they have multiple valuable things about themselves. Having one valuable aspect, such as beauty, does not push their character down its own ladder of importance.

Maybe I should Just Complement Something More Periphery About Her Looks Instead--Like That Her Hair Looks Nice, Or Her Shirt Color Looks Good on Her?

You can also complement your daughter on those periphery attributes, but that is not a substitute for telling her straight out that she is beautiful. Your daughter should hear clearly that she is beautiful, not just that she styled her hair well or chose a nice shirt. Those periphery attributes are more under the skills category of traits, and they can be complemented in addition to looks rather than instead of looks.

What if My Daughter Isn't Pretty?

Your daughter is beautiful. If you start practicing saying that to her when she is a baby, the words will come out more naturally when she is older. You will also more likely believe it yourself if you start saying those words early on. It is good for your daughter to believe that she is beautiful, so you may want to do whatever you can to make sure you can pass that belief to her.

What Other Words Can I Use?

As long as the word is a positive adjective about her looks, you are on the right track. Pretty, beautiful, gorgeous, handsome, cute, adorable, good-looking, attractive, and darling all work. You can even add some adverbs into the mix, such as stinkin' cute, so gorgeous, or really good-looking.

What About My Boys?

You should not leave your boys out from being complemented about their looks! Some boys prefer different adjectives as they get older, so you you might make an adjustment there, but in general, keep the positive comments up.

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