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DD thinks I'm ugly(4 Posts)
Hello. Basically, my 5 yo DD has always, VERY fiercely, been a daddy's girl from age 1. For example, she used to kick and scream if I went near her - she just wanted her dad. Then when she could talk and communicate, she would say things like 'go away mummy, I don't want to see your face'. It has really hurt and on a few occasions I have cried and questioned the point in being present on her life. I've always been quite self conscious about my looks as I have a couple of moles on my face which I've been teased for when growing up. Even my own mum used to make comments. Anyway recently, I thought me and DD turned a corner, especially since lockdown. Dad goes to work as a key worker so it's just been us two and she's been really loving and wanted to cuddle etc. It's been lovely. Then today she wanted to buy some makeup - just a little toy thing from the pound shop. At bedtime I told her to remove the makeup, explaining that she needs to look after her beautiful skin. She said 'are you beautiful mummy?' I said 'I don't know, what do you think?' and she said ' I think daddy is beautiful, not you. You look silly.' I asked her why she thought that and she pointed out the two moles on my face. I had to just leave her with no story or song as I couldn't help feeling upset. She cried for over an hour and kept saying she didn't mean it. I felt awful in some ways as she's only 5. Throughout her whole obsession with DH, he has constantly told me I take it too much to heart and that she doesn't really mean it. But does she? They say what they mean, don't they? In a sense - they're the most honest people of the planet! If crushes me that my own daughter doesn't appear to like me, especially when I know that the majority of children cling to their mum's and not their dads. I don't know what to do to survive this, other than go physically hurt myself as punishment for the way I look! That's honestly the way I feel, I hate who I am
You set her up to fail here really, 5yr olds are notorious for having zero tact so asking her if you're beautiful is asking for trouble.
Also, id be interested to know if youve ever spoken to her before about making comments about people's appearance?
OP, what you are doing here is make a 5yo (!) responsible for your mental wellbeing and for the hang-ups caused by your childhood. That is really terribly unfair.
First of all, it is your decision to equate being beautiful with being loved- this is not her fault and a terrible thing to teach her. She should not learn that beauty is necessary to be loved, or necessary for anybody's self-esteem.
Secondly, it is normal for a child that age to seem to prefer one parent: it doesn't necessarily mean they love them more. Often the parent who is spending less time with them and is consequently less interesting. Ds went through a stage (a little older than your dd, I think) when he wanted to see me as a terrible harpy and his dad as my downtrodden victim. Dh and I told him off when he strayed into rudeness but otherwise just laughed it off. It took a few years and then it passed.
Dd had terrible tantrums where she would bite and kick me (rarely her dad)- again being calm and not taking it to heart was the thing that seemed to work. Both children now grown up, on excellent terms with them, both seem to have a good deal of respect for me and have no doubt at all that they are loved.
Your job, as the parent, is
a) to teach your dd to be tactful- which is not done by asking if she thinks you are beautiful: that is precisely the kind of thing she should not be encouraged to comment on.
b) to show her that your love is so strong and so unconditional and so confident that it doesn't matter what she feels: you have enough love and strength for the two of you.
c) to show her that though words can be upsetting she does not, at 5, have the power to make a serious difference to the adults around her. She can't break you: you have the power. If she can't feel that you have that power and know how to use it, the world becomes a terribly scary place for a small child.
Appropriate responses to
"Go away I don't want to see your face"- "Now don't be rude/silly, dd; I'm not going anywhere"
"Daddy is beautiful, not you" (not that this should ever have arisen)- "I'm glad you think daddy is beautiful, I do too, but you mustn't be rude about me".
Briskly, cheerily, practise in front of the mirror.
Never ask if she loves you, never ask if she thinks you are beautiful. She will rightly sense that you are expecting her to make you happy and that is more than she can cope with.
I think that @corythatwas has given you excellent advice!
I don’t exactly have the same problem as you with your DD but she makes me feel insecure many times, and she has upset me sometimes, to the point of wanting to cry, but I agree, she should never notice this.
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