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Who and what does your child look like - does it matter?

(41 Posts)
sobernow Wed 01-May-02 12:51:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ks Wed 01-May-02 13:36:56

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Enid Wed 01-May-02 15:20:17

Just do what you can to boost your 9mo's self esteem. Always make them realise that to you, they are both beautiful and its what's inside that counts.

It is very rude to start comparing children, and especially to call a girl at 9 months a porker. That's how eating disorders get started for god's sake.

Dd looks a lot like I did at her age, but she's also got definite shades of dp. I always think she looks exactly like HER, and is an individual. I think people read a lot into babies that they want to see, for example, my parents though dd looked just like me when she was born, MIL thought she looked just like her family.

sml Wed 01-May-02 17:45:29

sobernow,
I'd speak out politely but firmly and tell people that you don't want them to say things like that in front of your children. I think your concerns are quite valid, goodness, you don't want all that to fall on your daughter's shoulders through her childhood.

Incidentally, my children look like everyone in the family, when he was a baby with no hair, my youngest son looked bizarrely like my father!

manna Wed 01-May-02 19:58:39

my ds looks exactly like dh. Everyone remarks on it: family, friends, HIS ex girlfriends etc. followed by "he's gorgeous". Now as I'm an ex model myself I think this is natures way of stopping me being proud! The thing that REALLY annoyed me, though, was that when he was born my mil went on constantly about how he's such a b****** (insert surname). I got so annoyed with being told that he would therefore probably do all the things like walking and talking at the same time as my dh, or for that matter my 2 bil's that whenever she said it I just said "yes, but hopefully with my personality" and laughed. Seems to have done the trick - no comments for a couple of months now. I don't mine who he looks like as dh is gorgeous!

Rara Wed 01-May-02 21:00:34

I was adopted so never saw what my birth parents looked like (altho there's a brief description of them in the letter my adoptive parents got from the foster home - enough for me to see that I resemble a bit of both of them). When dd was born it made me realise that she's the only blood relative I have and that really hit home. However, was initally very hurt (with no good reason) when everyone said how much like dh she was. Now she's a bit older (7m) and she really has started to resemble me - we can see it in my baby photos - and I can't tell you what it means to me. Silly, isn't it?

Bron Wed 01-May-02 21:20:06

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Tinker Wed 01-May-02 21:29:07

Isn't it strange how this matters to us though - or to me anyway!

I considered myself to be a pretty ugly child and my heart sinks when people say my daughter looks like me. I know she must because so many people say it but, since her colouring is different to mine, it is not so noticeable. However, I find I'm always saying that she looks like her father as well, who is a pretty decent looking bloke. I even compared photos of me at her age to her, desperately searching for signs that she will not look like me!

And also telling her she's beautiful - have to follow it up all the time with "and clever and funny and kind" etc so she doesn't get too hung up on looks! And it's really me who is because of how I remember looking as a kid. Thank God for make-up and hair straighteners though! (for me)

sobernow Wed 01-May-02 21:49:04

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jodee Wed 01-May-02 22:15:39

Sobernow, I'm amazed someone would say that, even in jest. How hurtful for both of you.
I was looking back at photos of ds on his first birthday (he is now 2) and couldn't believe the puppy fat on him - he is now a real slim jim with all the running about he does - but at the time he didn't seem to me to be chubby at all. So I'm sure once your youngest dd gets to the walking stage, she will be the same and any negative comments about her being fat will pass, but I totally agree about discouraging those sorts of comments now, and doing all you can to build up their self esteem from an early age.

aloha Wed 01-May-02 22:25:25

Oh Sobernow, I'm so cross on your behalf. What a rude thing to say. And plump babies are beautiful too - I love them when they are plump and round with lovely baby creases round their wrists and fat little feet and dimples on their knuckles and big round pink cheeks...aah! I bet she's gorgeous.

aloha Wed 01-May-02 22:32:45

Oh Sobernow, I'm so cross on your behalf. What a rude thing to say. And plump babies are beautiful too - I love them when they are plump and round with lovely baby creases round their wrists and fat little feet and dimples on their knuckles and big round pink cheeks...aah! I bet she's gorgeous.

Demented Wed 01-May-02 23:02:15

I get fed up of people feeling they need to tell me who DS looks like, some say me, most say DH but even some say my mum. He just looks like DS to me and I find it quite anoying.

On another note I suppose it is all in the eye of the beholder so to speak. A few weeks ago my SIL's best friend had her first baby, the best friend is very dark, of Spanish decent but her DH is very Scottish, fair with blond/red hair. I decided to ask my SIL before buying an outfit for the baby who's colouring the baby had as we would not get a chance to see the baby ourselves for a little while. She said the baby definately had her best friend's colouring, I assumed dark hair etc, but looked very much like her DH. I received a thank-you letter in the post today with a picture of the baby who to me looks very fair, facially like his dad and either has no hair or it is very fair and fine. So I can only assume everyone sees each baby differently and she is probably away to take my outfit back to the shop as I don't think it will suit him!

I think it is terrible that people are making comments about babies being chubby etc, I thought babies were supposed to be chubby, I was always concerned as DS was and still is quite skinny, his trousers used fall off and I used to feel everyones baby was round and chubby except mine. Don't they all lose the fat once they are active? To make comments about a child's looks is disgraceful also, I have seen some babies that I have privately thought to myself were not particularly attractive only to see them become the cutest toddlers and the most beautiful children! No one has any right to make comments about it, denting a child's confidence about something as trivial as looks!

A child who is loved and cared for for who they are and taught to be loving, polite and respectful but also knows how to stand up for themselves when the need be will earn much more respect in life than any pretty little thing who is taught that looks will see them through.

slug Thu 02-May-02 10:07:54

Sobernow, I know what you mean. Neither dh or I have a future on the catwalk, but the sluglet is quite gorgeous. All blonde and beautiful, unlike either of us. Not that I'm biased or anything of course. It's so noticable that one person even asked me if I was sure she was mine (and dh's). I don't think they stop to think just what effect a comment like that can have on the parents.

She looks like neither of us, yet you can see the family resemblance to her cousins on both sides.

BTW babies are supposed to be plump. It's waht makes them so beautiful. Chubby wrists and fat, creased thighs are just so edible!

sobernow Thu 02-May-02 12:34:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Crunchie Thu 02-May-02 14:42:24

I am alwys comparing my kids with me and DH. My eldest dd (now 3) was very prem (1lb 12oz) but she always looked so like her dad. EVeryone commented on it, although we joked she looked like a skinned frog as she was so tiny, red, and skinny! However she is now really beautiful. It is uncanny how like her dad she looks, we have photos of them at similar ages and the hair is longer on dd, but the shape of the features are just the same.

Before dd 2 was born my dh was worried she wouldn't be as beautiful as her sister (how shallow is that!!) and when she was born the first thing he said was 'Oh my god, she looks like your dad!' Then in a second breath ' well at least she'll be the clever one then'. I think that was just so funny, she did look just like my dad with huge frown lins and grumpy looks

Now hoever I know she is beautiful, both my dd are models, and she looks more like me than DH. But as a family we are look 'right'.

Looks are unfortuneatly important, and people do judge on first sight (I know it's bad, but it happens). All we can hope is that we tell our kids how beautiful they are and how much we love them. This will ensure they are well rounded nice human beings in the long run.

jinna Thu 02-May-02 15:58:40

I know this is going to sound silly but I am worried about my son - he is 4 and gorgeous looking - of course - but he is small for his age - I'm afraid he goes after myself as i am also short. I feel guilty for this - its all down to my genes and i feel i've let him down - my husband who is average height thinks I'm silly and his height shouldn't be an issue. I must admit I have never minded being shortand was never teased about it but I feel it will be harder for my son as he is a boy - I feel that in a way he will be picked upon more at school. I try not convey any of these fears on to him but others have commented and he is at an age when he is understanding a lot more. How can i ensure he doesn't get a hang up about his height - i tell him how clever and handsome he is but I would like him to have the confidence to deal with any predjudice he meets.

Queenie Thu 02-May-02 16:05:49

When my dd was born and MIL came to stay she went on and on about how she looked like - her father, her niece, her son (my dh) and when I said to her, in desperation to have some link with my baby, that she had a birth mark like me MIL said all R*** (surname) babies have that and I wanted to scream "can't I have a bloody birth mark in common with her even??". As dd has grown she has looked like DH, a mix of us and now a more like me but as long as she is a happy child I don't care if she's plain or beautiful- as my sister said (in jest we hope) about her daughter "oh I don't want her to be too good looking as I found it a burden myself" - can't say fairer than that I suppose!

bayleaf Thu 02-May-02 18:50:13

Jinna - Don't worry too much - it's FAR frome certain that ds's height will ever be an issue - my brother was TINY at secondary school and often got patted on the head particularly by older girls who thougth he was sweet( which he found mildly annoying!) but nothing more malicious.

I teach in a secondary school and whilst ALL adolescents go for the 'weak point', what ever that may be, in their classmates when they want to 'have a go', there are SO many things other than height that they find to be nasty about ( this is when they are being 'nasty' to their friends!).
When bullying is serious it is far more often linked to the self confidence or social skills ( or lack of!)of the child and there are just as many tall children who lack confidence as small ones - believe me!
You're doing the right thing boosting ds's confidence - carry on and forget worrying!

sobernow Thu 02-May-02 21:22:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rara Fri 03-May-02 10:49:10

I'd agree with that. My parents were extremely positive with me as I grew up and I can remember being told what a clever/bright girl i was and as a result i was always very confident. Funnily enough I don't consider i was any great oil painting as a child but i was also very confident about my appearance, to the point where i honestly don't have a hang up about my weight or looks, even tho I'm about 2 st overweight at the mo. I think if a child feels loved and wanted and is told that, it's more important than anything.

Eve Tue 07-May-02 17:21:45

Queenie....I know exactly how you feel. When my DS was born my MIL went on and on and on about how my baby was the image of his father when he was born, looks exactly like him, sleeps like him, feeds like him. I was really p***ed of about it, obviously I had no part in producing this baby whatsoever.

Then when my SIL had her baby recently, exactly the same, he looked like her son, and she went on and on about it.

The woman is just completely insensitive, my husband excuses her by saying she's not very clever, doesn't realise whats she saying and she's Italian so gets carried away.

I'm due in 3 weeks and if she does the same thing again, this time I won't be bitting my tongue!

SofiaAmes Thu 09-May-02 22:16:49

Eve, I have to put in a good word for your mil although I don't even know her and maybe she really is terrible. In general it's so much easier for mothers to bond with their babies because they have carried them for 9 months, have lots of bonding hormones and breastfeeding. All dad's have is lots of people telling them how much their babies are like them. And how all their baby's good attributes come from them. Maybe your mil had a husband who didn't bond with his children at all and she's worried that the same will happen with her sons. There are lots of worse things a mother in law could do....

leander Thu 09-May-02 22:30:16

When my son was born the first thing i said was Oh my god hes the image of you to his dad,all our visitors kept saying the same thing.Dh seemed quite upset at all this i asked him what was wrong and he said "you would be bloody upset if you were told you looked like a squashed up purple person covered in blood and gunk"i suppose he had a point.

Tinker Thu 09-May-02 22:46:32

SofiaAmes - isn't it to ensure that the father doesn't abandon the child? Aren't babies supposed to look more like their fathers at birth for that reason?

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