I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of parents from all over the world this weekend. These parents were from places like Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United States, etc. These were smart and educated parents. Once again, it became crystal clear to me that parents of teens from all over the world share the same concerns. Stay with me a moment please.
At the end of one of my presentations a father stayed to ask me a question that he was very concerned about. This father was very earnest and very worried that he might be doing his teen daughters a disservice by telling them that they are beautiful. Apparently, he read an article that suggested that parents compliment daughters on everything but beauty. I, too, have read these articles. The concern is that parents may trigger body and other self-image issues by focusing too much on beauty. I told this father that by all means he should continue to compliment his daughters about everything that he appreciates about them including their beauty. It is an excessive and exclusive focus on physical beauty that may create a problem.
And there is a good message for parenting experts here. Parents often hang on your every word so please be very careful!