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The daughter says, “I hate my hair.”
Then the mommy replies, “No, darling it looks very good. Don’t say that.”
This scenario will disappoint your daughter as it shows that you are ignoring how she feels and that she wants to look like a Disney princess. This might create a gap between both of you. Accordingly, she will decide not to talk about how she feels with her mother again.
First, you have to avoid focusing on your need to convince her that her hair is perfect the way it is and ignoring how she actually feels. You can respond with empathy using one of the most effective tools in positive discipline called asking versus telling.
Instead of telling your daughter how she should feel about her hair use curiosity questions. The point is to get into the child’s world, encourage your daughter to talk and express her emotions about her hair. Although putting feelings into words won’t take the emotions aways but it will help her brain release those negative thoughts and think in a more positive way about herself.
A preferable reply:
- It seems you are very angry now, what do you mean exactly with bad?
- What do you think the good hair looks like?
- I feel you. Which hairstyle do you want?
- Your hair can be done in so many cool ways! Why don’t we try something different?
An open discussion and questions will encourage her to accept that people are different because we are not lecturing her about her looks. She will reach the conclusion by herself and it will help her abandon the victim role.
No one is perfect and we are all beautiful in our own way
When you accept your daughter’s feelings about her hair and validate it, she will be ready to listen.
- you can tell her that she is unique and beautiful.
- you can read her a bedtime story about accepting people’s differences and how beauty standards vary between people and we are all beautiful in our own way
- Take the chance while watching cartoons to tell her that cartoon princesses are not real human beings, they are only animations and we can draw our own princess and decide how she looks.
- Don’t overstress about it.
We, as parents, get terrified when we feel those negative emotions coming from our kids, which may lead us to excessively focus on the issue day and night, to protect them from those feelings. It is not healthy as we need to let them live, learn and experience all types of feelings and we will always be there to support and validate unless it is affecting them in a serious way.
- Focus on solutions about how she can try new styles and hair looks to be satisfied with its nature.
- Boost your daughter’s self-esteem, accept her the way she is and love her unconditionally so she can love herself.