Yesterday my girl told me....
"Mummy, I think I don't look nice with my specs and my hair in a bun. That is why I don't want to join the storytelling competition. I don't want people to see me."
She thinks that all her friends look nice with their hair in a bun accept her. She says that when she looks at herself in the school toilet mirror, she thinks she does not look nice. However she thinks that she looks nice when she leaves her long hair down at home.
"Mummy, I think I do not look very nice that is why I do not have many friends."
I think now is about the time that a child gets conscious about their appearance and the right time to tell her that it is what is inside that counts. I did just that by telling her the story about two story tellers. One who does not look very nice but captures everyone's attention and hearts with her fantastic storytelling and the other beautiful one who just stands on stage and gets tongue tied. Which one is better?
At the same time I assured her that she looks nice with her specs and hair in a bun but she looks even nicer with her hair down, that is all. I also reminded her that kind and friendly people have more friends, not people who look nice and if people makes friends with others just because they look nice then they are not very nice.
"But mummy, I make friends because they look nice."
I reminded her that she should not choose friends based on looks alone.
Parenting a school going child is just as challenging as parenting a toddler or baby that she once was.