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Comments about ‘Dear daughter, I hope you never conform to the perverse standards of a disordered world’

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Published: Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:00 a.m. MDT

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OHBU
Columbus, OH

As a dad whose daughter is about to enter those tumultuous years (and am terrified of it), I've given this a lot of thought. I'm uncomfortable with this approach--merely trying to state over and over that she is beautiful. Of course I tell my daughter she's beautiful, because she is. The thing is, beauty is subjective, and within society, it is culturally determined. Most kids, boys and girls, can easily see what society says is beautiful and make a comparison to themselves. I'm afraid merely telling them they're beautiful only reinforces the notion that worth is to be found in appearance. You tell her that value is in the fact that she's beautiful that means she is beautiful in comparison to others, that must be ugly. Her value is then determined by finding favorable comparisons, which is why kids put each other down.

I haven't got the answers, but I am trying actively to provide my daughter with a broader notion of self-worth, of which appearance is a minor part.

Wildfan
Ogden, UT

Thanks for making me tear up, jerk. Signed, father of 4 girls

jeanie
orem, UT

The best way for a dad to teach her daughter she is lovable and beautiful is to treat her mother with love and respect and affection - in front of his daughter. He demonstrates clearly that a women doesn't have to be "world perfect" to earn the love of a man, the antidote for the false messages swirling around her.

The second best way is for a dad to take his daughter on monthly outings starting when she is young, just him and her. Do something fun together. Talk, laugh and listen....and eat chocolate. : ) When she herself knows a man loves her she will be less seseptible to the siren songs of the world. Talk about what quality men look for in women and point out all the qualities that she possesses. Tell her what made him fall in love with her mom.

My husband did this for our daughters and they have grown to be confident women who have a healthy self image.

Also, watch Colbie Caillat's music video "Try". That would make a great conversation opener.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Dear Daughter

I love you just the way your are and will be with you as long as I can in your journey through life.

If you want to use makeup, go for it, if worn properly it can enhance a womans beauty. If not that's fine too, the choice us up to you. Outer beauty is wonderful and is important, but try to understand that inner beauty is what matters most.

Treat others how you would want to be treated. Be willing to sacrifice to help others, be kind. If others are being mistreated, be willing to stand up for them, even if it means loss of your own popularity. In doing this you will gain character, something much more valuable. Willingness to live the golden rule is the greates beauty of all, keep that next to your heart.

Lilalips
Attleboro, MA

There is a way to raise intelligent, thoughtful, and independent young women in this world. Turn off the television. Limit the internet. Cultivate an atmosphere of scientific inquiry and thoughtful study that includes the Lord. Eat dinner together as often as possible. Read classic children's stories every evening at bedtimes. Insist on manners. Talk about being polite and how that shows respect to others. Talk about meaningful things like "respect, culture, morals, and values" at dinnertimes and when you in the car together. Cultivate an appreciation for classical music, bluegrass or big band music by NEVER having pop music on. Finally, homeschool your daughter. If you can't teach her something find the person who can. Teach math early and often. Find her interests and abilities and cultivate them. Enjoy your time with her. She will grow up and value all you have given her. There are no guarantees in life but your job is to minimize exposure to pollutants and to point her in the right direction. You can do it and you will love every second with her.

KarenL
Clayton, MO

That is a beautiful letter. What we say and want to instill in our children is that beauty is on the inside. The world will tear you apart to tell you that you're not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough. Beauty has to be essentially unattainable so that some companies can sell their products. My middle child dismisses my encouraging words with, "You're my Mom, of course you'll say that." Why does society beat down our children with negative messages? It starts so early, and it is so damaging. You are beautiful because you are you. Be healthy, be smart, be yourself.

FanOfTheSith
Vernal, UT

2 things comes to mind.

1. Teach by example
2. Open communication

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