Friday, September 17, 2010

You are smart, sweet, and beautiful...

We have a dear friend who is never afraid to give parenting advice... Although the first few times I bristled up a bit, I believe I have since learned that she knows what she's talking about. She has two beautiful, polite, well mannered girls that she has raised primarily on her own so she clearly knows what she is doing. She's also a great realtor if anyone is moving to the area :o)
Anyhow every time she sees my sweet 1 year old she bends down to her level, looks her right in the eye, and says "You are SO smart!" She tells me that in Ashlyn's life people are constantly going to be telling her "You are so cute!" "She has the prettiest eyes!" but it is my job to remind her how smart she is! This is so true!

Have you ever heard of Harry Wong? He is a motivational speaker for teachers. He is hilarious and inspirational at the same time. He tells a story of how as a young child of 5 years old his mother convinced everyone she knew to ask Harry every time they saw him "Little Harry Wong... What kind of doctor are you going to be." I will let you read more about Harry Wong on your own but he's AWESOME. His parents never told Harry there was anything else than the best for him. He did become a doctor but not a medical doctor. That's not the point. My parents were like this as well. I grew up not questioning if I would go to college but where I would go. Not only that but which ivy league school I would go to. I didn't make it to Harvard, but that's OK. I am successful and happy. My parents didn't just talk to me like it was already decided but also supported every dream and desire my sister and I had to learn, even if it wasn't what they had pictured we would be or if it changed a thousand times. So I have decided that although she may not understand "Which ivy league school are you going to go to Ashlyn?" She does understand words like smart, sweet, and beautiful.
I want my daughter to grow up with a healthy self image. Instead of saying you are so pretty or you are so cute I want her to know she is a beautiful person. I want her to know she has a good sweet heart. And I want her to know she can do anything she puts her mind to. These are my wishes for her. And last but not least, I want her to know that I am so proud of her. So as I tuck my sweet little girl into bed every night I whisper in her ear as I kiss her hair... "You are so smart. You are so sweet. You are so beautiful. And I am so proud to be your mommy."

I know I heard a version of this phrase somewhere else, so if I stole this or parts of it from you then I want to thank-you! You must be one of those mom's that inspire me to be a better mom.

My question to you... Do you remember your parents doing anything like this? Do you do anything like this with your children?


  1. I am constantly (maybe too much?? :) ) telling Evan how proud I am of him and telling him that he is beautiful, smart, sweet, kind, loving, polite, etc. etc. etc. I want him to know all those things as well...because, yes, people are always saying how cute he is. :) But he is SOOOO much more and I want him to know that and to know how lucky and happy I am to be his mommy!!

  2. Was just talking about this parenting principle with Ross M. & James S. over lunch Monday. "Kids move in the direction of their most dominant thought." And as a Mom you have so much influence over what those thoughts will be.

    Great post.