Saturday Sidebar: Bringing up self-assured young men and women

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Dee Harlow.  She asked our writers,

How can we raise our children to become self-assured men and women not focused on how they look?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Young girl playing dress-up

Young girl playing dress-up

Dee Harlow of Laos writes: “Under-praise cuteness/beauty? Over praise intelligence/capability? Be the role model? Already I rarely dress up, wear no makeup, air dry my hair, use no accessories, I am always in flats, but my daughter will still be influenced through classmates, advertisements, doll play, etc. We deprive our girl of a lot of the ‘girly’ stuff for now because it (unfortunately) will come. Nail polish already has, last month, from school friends.I am concerned that just because our son is a boy that we don’t have to be sensitive to certain things. My husband always says that because he is big, strong, athletic and coordinated that he will be able to overcome a lot of social concerns through sports. But really? Do we overlook certain issues with boys because of stereotypes, too?”

EcoZiva of Brazil writes: “Many of my son’s friends are extremely picky eaters and very skinny. They are all about the same size, aged 8-9, but my son (who is average in weight, while we can literally see his friends’ ribs) is about 10 kg (22 lbs) heavier than them. Once I made a comment at home on how skinny one of them was (how I regret that!). I don’t know if it had to do with that or with other things he has heard, but now every once in a while he will comment on how he is “fat” (he is not at all!!) and how he doesn’t want to surpass so many kilos. He hasn’t gone as far as try to diet or anything like that, but he does like to weigh himself and will say a “hurray” if his weight hasn’t changed. It really bothers me.


World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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