Thursday, February 9, 2012

4 Ideas to Help Raise Truly Beautiful Girls

We watched the below Youtube video as a family last night. This video, part of Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty has been around for a while, so perhaps you have seen it. But it is so worth watching again and reminding yourself of the truth.
If you are reading this post in a reader, click on the title of the post to go to my actual blog to view the video; it's only 1 min, 15 sec long.


Girls today often face mixed messages about themselves. Who are we kidding? We 20, 30, 40 year olds often face mixed messages about ourselves, eh? A truly beautiful preteen, teen, 20, 30, 40 year old doesn't fall prey to society's demands.

Rob and I try hard to be proactive in helping our daughters (who are now 14 and 11) decipher the messages our culture, media, advertising, and even their peers are communicating to them about their value and beauty. One proactive strategy was to watch the YouTube video above.

After watching the video we processed with our kids (the boys too) and let them share their reactions. They were shocked and quickly connected with the power of what they had seen. We asked questions like:
  • How do you think commercials like this make women feel about themselves and their beauty? 
  • Would you want others to see this video? 
  • What do you think women can learn from this video?
  • What do you think makes a girl beautiful?
Here are 3 other proactive measures we have taken to raise truly beautiful girls:

1. We (especially Rob) communicate regularly to our girls

You are beautiful. You are a princess. You deserve to be treated well.
from 2010, when my girls were 12 and 9

Most importantly, we communicate that we and God love them very much. We often tell our kids we love them no matter what and that "There is nothing you can do to make Daddy (or Mommy or God) love you less. And there is nothing you can do to make Daddy (or Mommy or God) love you more." We usually say those exact words as we are turning off their lights at bedtime.

Sidenote: My Daniel who we adopted from Ethiopia at 7 years old and has only been home for 7 months was recently in time out. When I went in his room to talk about why he was being punished, I hugged him and said those words in the quotes above.  And tears just started flowing from his eyes.  Tears of repentance, maybe? Tears of relief, perhaps? Or were they tears that only the truth can bring?

2. When Brooke was 4, I made her this scrapbook page. It is still one of her favorites. My Brooke is my girl who has always had a tendency towards glitter and fashion and high heels and big earrings and still does. . which is all ok as long as she understands that her true beauty and true value lie much deeper which is why I made this reminder for her.



Can you read the quotes on the page? Here they are, they make for some good conversation starters with your kids:

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

Real beauty never tries to draw attention away from someone else.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who frears the Lord is to be praised.
-Proverbs 31:30

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.

I have never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
 Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
-1Samuel 16:7

Make up and hairstyles can help make you pretty but they can never make you beautiful.

Some people no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty-
they merely move it from their faces to their hearts.

Do you have any favorite quotes on beauty?  I'd love to hear them and make another scrapbook page for my girls.

3. I shared my girls' bedroom before and  how they wake up to this message on their mirror:


And recently, I found this on Pinterest and want to print it out and frame it or transfer it to a canvas and hang it in my girls' room. Perhaps we can also do that on our Craft Day.

My oldest is in high school now. Daily Anna comes home with stories of guys talking publicly about girls' bodies. She recently had a guy come up to her in school and try to kiss her. I just listened (horrified inside!) knowing how important it is to let my girl process and give words to her feelings.

After awhile (holding myself back from calling the principal or her Dad), I asked her how that made her feel. And you know what my Anna said?  She said, "I'm glad it happened to me, a girl who has enough self-respect to stick up for herself and say no, than it happening to a girl who doesn't feel good about herself and would just let him kiss her."

I was shocked. And right there, thanked God for showing me the fruit of proactive parenting and the fruit of being intentional about raising girls who know where their real value and real beauty come from.

We got this friends. Let's raise a generation of truly beautiful women. Let's raise a generation of men who know and value real beauty. I sure would love to hear your parenting ideas on this subject.

I am sharing this post at the below linky parties. If you are looking for some good reading on similar topics I blog about, click on a link below:

The Better Mom Mondays Link Up
Teach Me Tuesdays/Growing Home's Homemaking Party
Women Living Well Wednesdays
Proverbs 31 Thursdays @ Raising Mighty Arrows
Hearts 4 Home Thursdays at Our Simple Country Life
Thought Provoking Thursdays @ SomeGirl's Website
No Ordinary Blog Hop
Serenity Now's Weekend Reading Link Up

9 comments:

  1. Oh and AMEN! Tears in my eyes as I think of my 2-year-old Anna growing up with the self-respect your daughter has. My daughter seems to inherently know she is a princess and enjoys all things pink, sparkly, and girly, and my hope as she grows is that we are sharing with her the message that she is a princess, a daughter of the King, and my prayer is that she'll grow with confidence as His child. I love the board you made as well as the way you have created a room that speaks truth to them. I think I may see some craft projects in my future (and I'm not even crafty :) )

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  2. By the way, visiting from WLWW

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  3. Love this! So true that our daughters (and sons) need to hear those words of encouragement and nurture daily from us so they don't seek it from the worldly perspectives. We always tell our daughter she's beautiful before she goes to bed and our sons how proud we are of them. I imagine and pray that the time we take to be Intentional now will hopefully prevent years of bad choices and mistakes for their futures. This so encourages me to hear about your Anna.

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  4. I absolutely love this post. I have three kids, my youngest is our little princess. Each day I tell my kiddos that I love them and they are beautiful (yup, even my boys). They are all still pretty young, although my nine year old is getting close to those teen years that make my knees shake. I will definitely be visiting your blog on a regular basis, and I plan on making a similar scrapbook page for my kids with similar (if not some of the same quotes). Thanks.

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  5. This needs to be plastered across the doorways of every parent of elementary and middle school girls.
    I think girls are getting hit extraordinarily hard as culture seems intent on sexualizing girls down to first grade.
    What amazing gifts you have given to your children so they are armed with truth, knowledge and the strength of God as they head out into their complex world!

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  6. Loved this, Su!
    Thanks!

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  7. This was so good. This is new for me now with Javi at 15, to keep reminding him about not been THAT boy, not falling for peer pressure and becoming a disrespectful womanizer. He understands because he is a sensitive, caring teenager boy, and I'm sure it helps a bit knowing he has two sisters. We just have to keep pounding the message, instilling morals and good principles, reminding him. Unfortunately sometimes it's difficult more when boys meet or are approached by the very adventurous, wild girl, who wants more, it can be pretty intimidating for them. Parents of teen age boys out there, what are your strategies to coach your boys on this? I could use those tips.

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  8. Beautiful post. I too am passionate about raising our next generation of girls to know who they are and value themselves as the Lord does. (The only thing is that so far, I don't have any daughters, just sons! haha minor detail) I admire you!

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  9. I just stumbled upon your website (looking up carpet cleaner on Pinterest, go figure!) and read this article. I am a first-time mom to a little 10mo. old baby girl and this article really touched my heart. I know that I have a while until I have a teenager, but I really want to start now and proactively raise a God-fearing daughter who realizes where true beauty lies. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

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