“Recently, I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me, out of the blue, “Momma”, I say, “yes, baby”, she said, “I’m the ugliest girl I know.”
Upon receiving an award at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards on 27 August, P!nk accepted her little moon-man and told the audience and viewers at home this story about her daughter. Her response went viral, and not just because she's one of the top earning women in music. Take a look:
At 6 years old, no child should be questioning whether or not they’re pretty, or smart, or good enough. And yet, so many little children do.
From the research conducted by Dario Cvencek, Andrew N. Meltzoff and Anthony G. Greenwald, it was revealed that children develop a sense of self-esteem from as early as 5 years old.
This means that parents need to be aware of their children possibly feeling bad about themselves and who they are before they even enter primary school and are exposed to a whole new set of challenges that come with their new environment, including but not limited to peer-pressure and bullying.
- Also read: Help, my child is being emotionally bullied!
But it’s so inspiring to see that parents are doing the most in lifting their children, encouraging body positivity and allowing children to be whoever they want to be, and so much so that they can stand up for themselves.
•My daughter told me that someone called her fat today.• ____________________ Cambelle: "Mama I need to tell you something" Me: "Okay baby, what's up?"" C: "Yesterday at practice my shirt came up a little bit and my tummy was showing. The girl next to me looked at me and said that my tummy was fat." >>Insert immediate mama bear reaction in my head's internal dialogue "Oh no, here we go" I thought to myself<<, but I said: "Oh really? And what did you say to her?" C: "I told her that I'm not fat, I HAVE fat. And that everybody has fat. And I told her it's okay to have fat." >>Insert happy dance parenting win<<: "Wow Cambelle! I am SO proud of you for the way you handled that situation. Fat is not a bad word, I don't think she was trying to hurt your feelings. It was so brave of you to help her understand that all people have fat, but that no one IS fat. And that it doesn't make you a bad person if you have more or less of it. Did she have anything to say?" C: "She just said 'oh, okay'" >>I couldn't believe that my 5 year old daughter had been able to handle a situation with more grace than most 30 year olds.<< C: "Remember that time I told you that you were fat?" Me: "Yes baby, I do." C: "I'm sorry I did that" Me: "Its' okay baby, the most important thing is that you learned and now you can teach others and help change the world" ________________ Children aren't born with hate inside them. They learn words from their environments and the things they see/hear, and they try them on for size. I can't prepare my daughter for all of life's situations, but I can help her to be a voice of compassion, humility and love. •And to anyone that will undoubtedly say that this is "promoting obesity," please understand that preventing childhood bullying before it can even start is not a matter of weight, but of character.• Just do you babes Xoxo Allie & Cambelle
But not all children are quick to respond to a discouraging comment on the way they carry themselves or the way they look.
Dario Cvencek, Andrew N. Meltzoff and Anthony G. Greenwald explain:
“Young kids care a lot about others “like me,” and this may even start in infancy. We also know from other research that infants and toddlers can judge the extent to which others are like them along several dimensions.”
- Read more about Dario Cvencek, Andrew N. Meltzoff and Anthony G. Greenwald's research: When do children show evidence of self-esteem?
Making these comparisons can often affect a child’s social-emotional development and can therefore prove to be quite damaging to them in the long run.
In P!nk’s speech, she admits that she was understandably angry at the fact that her daughter thought that because she looked like “a boy with long hair”, she wasn’t beautiful.
But as any brilliant parent would, of course, she went home and made a presentation of rockstars and artists who didn’t care about changing who they were for the rest of the world. Artists like Prince, Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson who were “probably made fun of every day of their life”, were so unapologetically themselves - a lesson that we should perhaps all learn from.
She told her daughter that even though she's a literal rockstar, people make fun of her as well, and when they do they describe her in the exact same way as being “too masculine” and saying that she too looks like a boy.
So before the crowd applauded, P!nk elaborated on the dialogue she had with her daughter:
“Do you see me growing my hair?”
“Do you see me changing my body?”
“Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?”
“Do you see me selling out arena’s all over the world?”
“So, baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
P!nk walked off stage with the 2017 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award that evening. It's basically a huge honour - kind of like a lifetime achievement award.
But I feel as though they should’ve given her something more, something bigger.
Or at least handed her a parenting award right then and there.
- I'm pretty smart... for a girl
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- Girlie girls and butch boys
Has your child similarly felt as though they weren't good enough? How did you handle the situation and do you have any tips for the Parent24 readers that you'd like to share? Tell us by emailing to email@example.com.
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