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to be concerned when DD (5) told me she doesn't like her face?

(12 Posts)
Schnullerbacke Mon 25-Jul-11 09:19:38

It all started with socks and feet. During winter she slept with socks as they kept her nice and warm. Fair point. But then it became April, very warm and the struggle started. Didn't want to take off her socks during the day and whilst wearing sandals because she doesn't like her feet. Tried to bribe her with nail polish to show off her pretty feet. No chance. Tried a barefoot path so we could experience different feelings for feet and 'rediscover our feet'. No chance. Then gave up.

So yesterday I nearly fell over when she came up cuddling to me to tell me she doesn't like her face. We don't place much importance in this house on looking all pretty and girly, in the past have watched programmes about facially disfigured people and talked about how they may feel.
Whenever I am having a bad 'look' day, I never mention it. She is not being bullied and due to not being around that many people at the moment, I dont think anyone has mentioned anything to her.

So is this normal 5 year old behaviour (which I dont think it is) or is this the start to something more sinister and problems to come in future?

squeakytoy Mon 25-Jul-11 09:23:32

Honestly, I do think you are massively overthinking this.

Kids often have these phases. It will be something else that she doesnt like soon. Just dont make a fuss about it, and she will move onto something else.

If a five year old knows that they can get lots of attention from you by mentioning something, then they will go on, and on, and on about it in my experience.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 25-Jul-11 11:16:58

YABU. She's probably just fishing for compliments.

DirtyMartini Mon 25-Jul-11 11:22:27

The more you give any indication of being troubled by her remarks, the more it will become a "thing", I suspect. Just cuddle her and make a light-hearted reassuring reply and then move on to something else.

JamieAgain Mon 25-Jul-11 11:25:25

I agree with the above. I understand why you are worried, but children definitely continue to say negative things about themselves in order to get attention.

Allinabinbag Mon 25-Jul-11 11:30:27

They do do this about this age, experimenting with liking and disliking bits of themselves, and looking for your reaction (which ideally should be totally disinterested). Mine say things like 'my tummy sticks out' or 'I wish I had curly hair' or even 'I hate my voice, it's deep like a man's'. None of it is really true (my dd who worried about her voice has a perfectly normal voice), and much of it is jsut comparisons with others, I find it goes away really quickly if you ignore it. And I wouldn't bother if she wants to keep her socks on, children get all kinds of ideas in their head (I won't wear XYZ) and I think you are linking it too much to ideas about appearance when that may not have been the original motivation.

Allinabinbag Mon 25-Jul-11 11:33:23

I've also found children say things like 'I hate myself' around this age to see what happens. If I really believed they did, I would worry, but again, it's experimenting with ideas about liking and disliking people (makes a change from 'I hate you mummy').

I think when you hear 'I don't like my face' you hear something which upsets you about yourself, whereas your daughter is just trying stuff out. I would say 'lucky I like it, then' and don't ask more, don't focus on it, just move on.

catinthehat2 Mon 25-Jul-11 11:35:34

I hate my feet = lots of attention from mum

hmm, what shall I do next

I know...

.. MUUUUM, I hate my face smile

I would cut to the chase and give her lots of attention, feet & faces are essentially dull, but playing with DC in summer hols great excuse

bubblesincoffee Mon 25-Jul-11 11:44:35

I can understand why this would worry you, but I agree you shouldn't make a big deal of it.

I can remember feeling a simelar way when I was little, hated the fact that I have brown hair and eyes because I thought Barbie was gorgeous and I kne I was never going to be blonde and blue eyed.

But my Mum often told me that I was pretty, and although it made no difference at the time, I think by the time I got to the real confidence crisis teenage years, the fact that I had been told so many times that I was pretty did make a difference.

I would make sure you tell your dd that she is pretty often, but without making a big deal of it, especially when she is saying that she doesn't like x y or z about herself. I would also make a definate effort to praise her for the things she definately is good at, so that she can see that Mummy tells the truth because she really is good at those things. Place a lot of value on the things that aren't about looks. Point out how good other people are at things and hat you like about them, without looks having anything to do with it.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 25-Jul-11 12:38:15

I agree about not making a big deal out of it. It's either attention-seeking or it isn't, but you need to know.

I think I'd tackle this by getting a children's book on the human body and talking about the marvellous things each bit of the body does. I'd start in other places than the feet or the face and just be very matter of fact when daughter starts 'hating' whichever bit of her she does.

She doesn't really understand the concept of what she's saying at that age, I'm sure she doesn't. She needs to understand that all the bits of her make up what she is and what she is is good enough.

Agree also about not emphasising the 'girly', just the functional marvellousness of the human body. smile

spiderpig8 Mon 25-Jul-11 12:43:24

My 6 yo has started saying this recently too .Makes me sad

Schnullerbacke Mon 25-Jul-11 13:40:53

Thank you everybody. I didnt realise that this was normal behaviour, I just had horror visions of her turning into one of these people that dont like anything about them and then have so much surgery they'll end up looking like the Bride of Wilderstein (or whatever name her's is, you know, the scary looking cat woman).

So I shall follow your advice and ignore. Thanks again.

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