Don't tell children they are beautiful

Don't tell children they are beautiful, Parents who can't help but tell their children they are beautiful may actually be harming their confidence, according to women's minister Jo Swinson.

The senior Lib Dem warned mothers and fathers who repeatedly praise the looks of their child could be fuelling insecurities about their looks.

Ms Swinson says seemingly innocuous comments about the hair, looks or outfit of one of their children could be reinforcing the negative message that looks are the most important thing in life.

The 33-year-old, who does not have any children, said mothers should also be wary of moaning or boasting about their looks in front of their children for the same reason.

Instead, Ms Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire, said parents should praise their children's intelligence and other positive attributes to help them succeed in life.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the Liberal Democrat said: 'I know as an aunt, you fall into the trap of turning to your neice and saying, "you look beautiful" - because of course all children do look beautiful - but if the message they get is that is what is important and that is what gets the most praise, then that's necessarily the most positive message you want them to hear.'

She added that instead praising them for skills like an ability to do a jigsaw, or positively commenting on their inquisitive nature was a healthier way to bolster their self-esteem.

She was speaking ahead of the launch of the Government's campaign on body confidence. She quoted statistics that show a quarter of all children aged 10 to 15 are unahppy about their appearance, while more than 70 per cent of girls feel that there is too much of a focus on the attractiveness of female celebrities.'

She added: 'It's not like saying looks don't matter at all. If you're going for an interview, you will dress smartly and look the part, that is absolutely fine, but its just the level to which this becomes the ultimate focus of everything.'

She added that when children see their parents bemoaning their weight or asking their children's opinion on their appearance it teaches them that appearance is disproportionately  important.

Popular Posts