Dr Amanda Gummer, Play & Parenting Psychologist and founder of Fundamentally Children has been helping Mumsnetters with how to answer those awkward questions that children ask.
So today’s question is:
My friends say I am ugly. Is is true?
No, this is definitely not true, no-one is ugly and it is not a nice thing to call someone or be called. Everyone looks different, and this is a good thing. The world would be a very boring place we all looked the same.
When people are cruel to others they are often feeling unhappy inside, try to ignore the names and always be nice back and hopefully this behavior will stop. If it is a regular name calling, make sure you tell a teacher or adult who can ask them to stop.
If your child is worried that people are not friends with them because of being pretty/ugly, it’s important to explain that people, children especially, are attracted to others who are happy and confident – not because of their clothes or hairstyle for example. Encourage your child to be an individual and to enjoy developing their own interests.
A note from the Berkshire Local Editor: The very fact this question was submitted in the first place upsets me. I wish that children could remain innocent from such things for a lot longer than they sadly do. I think it is also important to get your children to focus on what’s positive about themselves in terms of both personality and even how they look. Rather than focusing on things they may not like, I think it’s confidence boosting to talk about all the lovely things about them i.e. their lovely eyes or friendly smile. You can also encourage them to also see the lovely parts of all their friends and to always look at the positive. It’s important to empower children to believe in themselves. Sadly, children (& human beings in general) I believe, internalise things very easily and so the focus should be on growing their confidence and less focus on personal looks. Everyone has something beautiful about them. What do you think? Either comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Part One: Who is lying?
Read Part Two: Why do grown ups argue?
Read Part Three: What does the tooth fairy do with the teeth they collect?
Read Part Four: How do I explain that we can’t afford what their friends can afford?
Read Part Five: How does a baby get in Mummy’s tummy?