Girl in DD's class told her today 'you're not beautiful like xxx and xxx'. How to reassure her?

(22 Posts)
KEGirlOnFire Wed 02-Apr-14 16:18:16

DD is only in Reception and is a very happy, kind-hearted girl. She's not in a clique (yes, there really is one in Reception!!) but gets on with everyone (including those in the clique). So she doesn't have a best friend but always has someone to play with.

There is one girl (also not in the clique) who I give a lift to a couple of days a week and her Mum takes her and DD the other days. It's a small class and they're generally a lovely bunch of girls. The friend is nearly a year older than DD because she is a September baby and DD is a June baby.

Today the 'friend' says to DD "you're not beautiful but xxx and xxx are". DD came home and told DH and I this and was visibly upset. We told her that of course she's beautiful and that even though this 'friend' said this to her, it's not true and that at the same time, she must never say anything so mean to someone (not that she would - she's such a kind-hearted child).

DD is very small for her age (noticeably and has had blood tests to make sure that she is just small - we're awaiting the results) so already stands out, but now thinks she isn't beautiful.

I can't believe we're already facing this in Reception class. It's not the first thing this girl has said to DD either, I've heard them in the mornings before we leave. She tells DD that's very small (fact I guess...), that she's too slow, that she can't run as fast etc etc.

I've told DD to ignore ignore ignore, but is there anything else that we can do?

HanSolo Wed 02-Apr-14 16:23:16

Teach her that it's what is inside that matters, that your family do not place a premium on beauty, rather on kindness, valour, bravery, endeavour.

Some people are simply better looking than others, but that is all. It doesn't mean they're better, or nicer, and it doesn't mean we should strive to be like them, or befriend them because of that.

Reassure her you love her just as she is, with any quirks, etc. They don't make diamonds like bricks wink

Teach her that beauty means different things to different people. This is lucky, because the world would be very boring if everyone liked the same thing.
Just because one person says she isn't beautiful, doesn't mean she isn't. After all YOU think she is the most beautiful child in the world smile

daytoday Wed 02-Apr-14 16:40:06

First thing is to ask DD what she thinks is beautiful. You may be surprised. Then tell her what you think is beautiful. Start talking about the general concept of beautiful, as in something that YOU like. Whether it be hair, a material or a colour. Sunrise, etc.

Every parent thinks other children are in a clique and their kid is the 'innocent true kid'.

I think what you are up against is Disney Princess and societies values on beauty.

juneau Wed 02-Apr-14 16:40:18

Your poor DD sad

I think I'd go with both the above examples i) that beauty is in the eye of the beholder or that everyone has their own idea of what 'beautiful' is and ii) that a pretty face is not the only way to judge someone's beauty - that one's actions and how one treats others is actually far more important. But it's hard to explain all that to a not-even-five-year-old.

Nocomet Wed 02-Apr-14 16:56:02

Actions are far more important than beauty or size.

In a few minutes I will go and pick up, quite possibly, the smallest girl in the whole high school. She'll smile and say hi and when I drop her off she will say "Thank You " with a smile too.

DD has taller and perhaps more beautiful DFs, but non are as reliably polite and cheerful.

KEGirlOnFire Wed 02-Apr-14 16:58:37

Hansolo, we've always taught her to be kind to people and to never ever say horrible things to others and DD is always very open. If she's concerned about something or worried about something she always talks to us.

Hopefully she'll take what we say on board... Thank you.

KEGirlOnFire Wed 02-Apr-14 18:34:07

Nocomet, I have no doubt that in a few years time I will be saying exactly the same about my DD. You must be very proud of her, I know I am proud of mine. smile

Daytoday, you're right, I was surprised. I asked her what she thought being beautiful was and she said 'being a very nice person' grin. I told her that she was exactly right and that she is the most beautiful person I know, for that exact reason. smile

I didn't have many friends at school and was incredibly 'unattractive' and not trendy at all. But these days I have really wonderful friends and a lot of them. But that's why I've drummed it into DD to never say anything horrible or spiteful about anyone. I will make sure that I pick up on it quickly if she ever does aswell, because it's awful being on the receiving end.

Nocomet Wed 02-Apr-14 18:40:33

Not my DD a friend of DD2's.

I'm afraid my DD, although lovely, would probably not always remember to say thank you or be anything like as cheerful and polite.

Sativa Wed 02-Apr-14 19:47:39

When my DC were little & got upset about what someone had called them I used to say :

'If I said you were an elephant, does it make you an elephant ?'

It seemed to help them understand that people can say anything but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's true.

Hope your DD is ok x

Hullygully Wed 02-Apr-14 19:50:17

Also, look sad and sympathetic and say, "Oh dear, poor her"

When she asks why, say, "She must be terribly unhappy to have to say such a thing to you, especially something that so obviously isn't true. You mustn't mind her, she is obviously having a hard time."

KEGirlOnFire Wed 02-Apr-14 20:59:40

sativa and hully I am going to try both of those suggestions.

And in fairness hully I think you may be right. I like her mum but she never says anything nice about her dd and I do actually feel quite sorry for her. When I cuddle dd the friend says 'sometimes my mum cuddles me like that' and whenever dd talks about what she's done at the weekend the friend has done something more exciting with her dad (who she doesn't see...). It's all made up (I know as I meet her mum for coffee once a week and we talk about our weekend plans).

They do play together really nicely sometimes aswell, she's not generally unkind...

daytoday Wed 02-Apr-14 21:06:02

I disagree with ridiculing the other child who may also be struggling with the concept if beauty.

Also, if your daughter thinks being nice us beautiful that is great, brilliant! But also I wouldn't validate that as being correct. Because that implied there us a correct answer! There isn't. I'd be tempted to reinforce how brilliant it is that we all find different things beautiful and how much you enjoy hearing your daughters clever ideas.

BarbarianMum Fri 04-Apr-14 07:59:01

I don't think ridiculing the other child is right either. She may not even be intending to be mean, maybe she is just one of those children who say what they think without yet being able to process that it may be hurtful.

GuineaPigGaiters Fri 04-Apr-14 08:01:58

I'd explains to your dd that perhaps the reason her friend says things like this is because she's not very happy herself. Getting kids to understand the 'it's not you, it's them' issue early on never hurts.

BarbarianMum Fri 04-Apr-14 08:03:27

Ds2 at that age, for instance, understood 'being mean' to be saying something to intentionally hurt another person. He would have thought that telling another child that they were slow (if true) was just stating a fact. Now at 6 he understands that 'facts' can also be better left unsaid.

DeWe Fri 04-Apr-14 09:43:58

I agree with BarbarianMum.
Particularly if you don't know the context. It could be in response to something your dd said. "Am I beautiful?"-"Not as beautiful as XXX or XXX". or "I am the most beautiful girl in the class, mummy said so", "I think XXX or XXX more beautiful" or "XXX is the most beautiful in the class, then XXX then you!", so actually complimenting your dd.

I also note that the other girl didn't say "I am more beautiful than you" By saying 2 other girls are more beautiful, but not saying herself is naturally putting herself below all three. Nor did she say "everyone in the class is more beautiful than you", which would be the obvious statement if she was intending to be nasty.
So I suspect she was just stating a fact as she saw it.

BuzzardBird Fri 04-Apr-14 09:50:31

I always tell DD that people who say horrible things are very ugly and that beautiful has to come from the heart.

overthemill Fri 04-Apr-14 09:55:20

When we had to move here in circumstances beyond our control, my beautiful dd who was year 4 was told her first day of new school 'you're fat'. She was also consistently bullied for not wearing a bra or shaving her legs or wearing deodorant. She turned from a beautiful confident articulate child to a quiet shy child self conscious in every way. She can't even walk across the classroom without anxiety.

It took until y7 for us to realise the extent if it (school change in y5 no better- we have middle school system) and we moved her completely away from the bullying cohort to a different school for y8. It is really a serious issue and I wish I'd known earlier and been able to deal with it. She only told us in y7.

GuineaPigGaiters Fri 04-Apr-14 10:38:28

Jesus overthemill, my dd is y4, I'd be hugely surprised if any of them wear deodorant or bras or shave their legs, that sounds awful for you poor dd.

overthemill Fri 04-Apr-14 14:05:14

Thanks guineapig it was horrendous and only came to light after her attendance went down to 50% tho not solely due to bullying she had hard time with illnesses too but I am convinced that if she'd been happier she wouldn't have succumbed to so many illnesses. Schools advice wa to keep her away from the bullies but as most of if happened on the school bus it was impossible. She moved to school in different village which was lovely but still has no friends in our village and not confident enough to have people she likes in new school back here in case they meet one of the bullies and they tell new friends how horrible she is. It breaks my heart and we are planning to move away now that circs have changed again.

brettgirl2 Fri 04-Apr-14 16:38:20

I think start dissing the Disney Princesses. I kept saying to dd 4 that they aren't beautiful like her and her friends because they are made of plastic. I pointed out to her that being a Princess probably wouldn't be much fun.....She doesn't even play with them any more and is playing with the boys quite a lot. I've heard her sharing this new knowledge with her friends.

My point is I think they latch onto things like barbie being beautiful and they need to be told properly that isn't the case! It's up to us to try and shape them.

Now whats more beautiful than playing football with the boys? grin

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