What a pretty girl!

Oh, how pretty she is…  You have lovely hair dear… What beautiful eyes she has… You are such a pretty girl, masha’allah!

Can we please stop saying these to little girls?!

You might wonder what is wrong with telling a little girl that she is pretty. Well, nothing….

But if that is the only massage that she is constantly getting from adults in terms of praise… That is problematic.

I realize that little ones (as adults) want and need praise to feel self-worth. They are afterall at a critical time, developing their identity.

So our comments reinforce or undermine the criteria of self-worth. If all they hear in terms of praise has to do with their physical appearance, what is the message? — Physical beauty is the currency!

We teach them that people look at them, judge their beauty, and respond to them only in terms of their beauty.

Don’t get me wrong. Wanting to be beautiful is in our fitrah/nature and there is nothing wrong with it in its pure, balanced form. But when it is overemphasized, than it can become a serious problem.

How about pushing ourselves to notice and praise other qualities?

What a good girl!

You are very kind hearted… It was lovely how you shared that with your friend.

You are such a friendly person, masha’allah!

She is adorable, she always smiles to everyone…

Let’s encourage our little ones to be better people and let’s reinforce these values with our words…