Is there any subtle way of challenging this?

(60 Posts)
Thistledew Mon 01-Sep-14 21:12:30

Female friend just posted on FB of her 3 year old daughter how heartwarming she found it to hear "I love my daddy because he tells me I am beautiful".

I would love to say something about the early socialisation of girls without causing too many ruffled feathers.


EBearhug Mon 01-Sep-14 21:27:59

You're better than me; I wouldn't worry about the ruffled feathers.
(This post is not helpful to you.)

Thistledew Mon 01-Sep-14 21:29:44

I know EBear, but she has been going through a tough time recently so I don't want to piss on her chips too much, just get her to think a bit.

AskBasil Mon 01-Sep-14 21:29:46

There is no subtle way of challenging this.



VegasIsBest Mon 01-Sep-14 21:31:57

I tell my sons that they are beautiful. Can't it just be a nice thing to say to your kids if you love them?

SolidGoldBrass Mon 01-Sep-14 21:33:23

Do you see her and her DD often? Maybe when you do, praise the DD for cleverness/confidence/kindness or something? Given that you mentioned you don't want to fall out with your friend at the moment, I'd suggest not doing anything about one single facebook status.

My posting history is littered with ruffled feathers today, but nevertheless I will have a bash at a worthwhile contribution.

As a rule, I'd probably not go for a direct comment on the socialisation thing, especially on FB. What I've started to do with my dn(2) when I notice people commenting on how pretty she and her clothes and hair are, is make additional positive comments about non appearance related things.

Oh Aunty Buffy, look at dn's hair, isn't it pretty? Oh yes, and I bet those bunches keep it back while you're working on that brilliant tower, too, dn. What colour are you going to use next. etc.

Hopefully in a way that isn't painfully false and accidentally PA.

So maybe you could do that? In FB speak "Aw hun, and I bet daddy thinks she's so clever and blah blah non appearance related themes"

Other than that, I've got nothing.

Thistledew Mon 01-Sep-14 21:34:57

It's not that her daddy tells her she is beautiful that I think is the issue (although it is a bit sad if it is already the highest praise he can give her) but the fact that the reciprocation for a praise of her appearance is to give out love.

Thistledew Mon 01-Sep-14 21:38:05

I do try to give non-appearance praise when we meet, but this is only a few times a year as we are in different countries at the moment.

I really can't think of a way to challenge it on FB that won't backfire.

Unless you can find a relevant link to a blog post or article that talks about building self esteem or whatever specific issue concerns you (is it her developing the idea that if someone compliments her she 'owes' them affection in some way?) and share it, tagging other parents of young kids with a comment on how important this stuff is and how the post/article made you think?

*tagging your friend and other parents of young kids, so it doesn't look really pointed?

ethelb Mon 01-Sep-14 22:01:27

I don't think I would challenge this in a 3 yr old. Sorry. I might talk about how clever/kind etc she is when u see her though.

Thistledew Mon 01-Sep-14 22:15:42

How about

"Yet when they get to their teenage years we work hard to teach them that affection should be bought with far more than complements about appearance"

Is that too harsh?

tribpot Mon 01-Sep-14 22:23:25

It is if you want to challenge this in a subtle way. I was going to suggest what Buffy has (minus the 'aw hun' FB bollocks as I have never typed that anywhere, other than in this post, in my life grin ). Just a 'She is beautiful and clever and kind and funny, bet her dad never stops telling her!'

I have to say I find the FB comment extremely creepy. She loves her dad because he says she is beautiful? If the dd had actually typed that (doubtful at 3!) it would seem extremely narcissistic.

Bifauxnen Mon 01-Sep-14 22:25:08

It's not subtle, and it's compliments, I know, I know I'm a dick
I like the idea of finding a good post about the issue and tagging all parents, or just posting on your wall.
I do think it's a good sentence but I would have the guts to post it, things have a tendency to blow up unnecessarily on Facebook.

AskBasil Mon 01-Sep-14 22:29:27

Thing is, you can't challenge anyone on anything on FB because it's a public forum and they feel like you're putting them on the spot. It's the equivalent of sitting in a big hall and you suddenly sitting up and asking a question with the mike of someone else in the audience - that person who might be perfectly amenable to discussing it over a cup of tea, will feel attacked and defensive if you do it in that arena with everyone else looking.

I think what your friend posted is really creepy and awful tbh, but I would really not tackle her about it in public, which is what you would be doing on FB.

JustTheRightBullets Mon 01-Sep-14 22:35:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OutsSelf Mon 01-Sep-14 22:36:15

I think your way is quite harsh OP.

Why not post this to your timeline (next week) and tag her plus every mother to girls you know?

Bifauxnen Mon 01-Sep-14 22:40:41

wouldn't have the guts to post.
Autocorrect has more backbone than me.

Thistledew Mon 01-Sep-14 22:49:59

Thanks for all the suggestions. She has had one other slightly querying comment, so maybe if there are more I can slip something in. If not, I will follow the suggestion of posting something in a day or so and tagging her and others in.

cailindana Tue 02-Sep-14 06:47:49

Challenging her on facebook, in front of (literally) all her friends, when she was trying to post something nice, while at the same time implying that her partner is sexist and her daughter is being taught the wrong things (ie you are a bad parent and your partner is rubbish) would be incredibly nasty and unnecessary. You're not her feminist guide and it's not up to you to comment on her life and set her on the straight and narrow.

I completely understand your problems with this, but wading in on someone else's life with your views - be that feminism, vegetarianism, religion, whatever, is not appropriate. If she's your friend, kindness comes first and didactic slapdowns come a very very distant second.

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Tue 02-Sep-14 07:34:26

It sounds like the sort of thing kids that age (and older) just say! Mine had grasped the concept that saying they loved me and DH was good and also that they should give reasons for things. So, "I love Mummy because she buys me cheese." Or, "I love Daddy because he makes me porridge."

I wouldn't be worried on the basis of a Facebook status, unless you know that's all she is ever praised for.

WhatWitchcraftIsThis Tue 02-Sep-14 15:13:56

Have you got children OP?

Maybe respond with "ah, dd said almost the same thing to me the other day about how dp always tells her how funny and clever she is".

To be honest though if that's how your friend is she won't get it and calling attention to it might just piss her off. I'm right there with you though

capsium Wed 03-Sep-14 19:14:44

If you know the daughter why not add some more compliments which you think might be more inspirational?

capsium Wed 03-Sep-14 19:17:22

^ As in not only beautiful but also...[compliment of your choice].

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