Sunday, February 18, 2007

What Do You Mean By 'Breathtaking'?

Like most parents, the Hoos and I are constantly telling our little LP how gorgeous she is. We are biased, but really, she is simply beautiful. At some point, LP will actually be able to comprehend what we are saying. Are we building her self-confidence or are we helping her develop a huge ego? Where does one draw the line?

Every child is - or should be - blessed with family that loves him or her unconditionally. Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, etc. that think he or she is the best, most adorable thing since the last new baby in the family. Rationally, I know that not every baby can be a beauty. Remember the Seinfeld with the 'breathtaking' baby? Is it fair to raise a child's self-image to the point where it is unrealistic?

I do believe it is a parent's responsibility to ensure each little bundle thinks of themself as uniquely and wonderfully beautiful both on the inside and outside (I mean, how else would anyone survive the ugly-duckling phase of the tweens and teens?). But how can a parent truly separate reality from bias? I can tell you right now, LP will never be anything less than beautiful to me (even is a few years when, if she is as much like her mommy as my mother hopes, she is throwing a tantrum and yelling about how much she hates me).

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