Tell Me I’m Beautiful

So we all know I’m big on forcing my six-year-old to tell me I’m beautiful, but I realized today that it might not be clear as to why I force such compliments from him.

While I might possibly be the vainest girl you’ve ever met, forced compliments from my kid don’t actually do anything for my self esteem. Yes, I like to watch him blush and laugh and say, “Mom!” when I make my regular request, but as far as feeling better about myself, it really has nothing to do with that.

Today on the way to church as he was getting out of the car, I gave him the usual parental advice that comes on Sunday mornings. “Okay, tell me I’m beautiful.”

“Mom!” he said, slapping his forehead in the most adorably embarrassed gesture a six-year-old boy can make, “Why do you always make me say that?”

So I told him. “Harrison,” said I, “Someday you’re going to be a husband and a father, and it’s critical that you learn to tell the women you care about that they are beautiful every day. Trust me, it will make them happy, and you want your wife to be happy.”

The best part? He totally got it. I could see the little light bulb pop in his brain. And I know that my brainwashing is paying off, because when Junie came out this morning in fresh pig tails with a cute little outfit on, he said, “Oh, your hair is so cute!” What woman doesn’t love a man who can give a sincere (or even fictional) compliment on a semi-regular basis?

I know my husband loves me, but giving compliments has never been his strong suit. It’s my job as a mother to make sure my boys grow up and not only appreciate the women they love in their minds, but say it out loud and say it often. And as far as June’s concerned, there’s nothing more important for a girl’s budding self-esteem than hearing kind words from her brothers.

You want a woman to feel beautiful and good about herself? Tell her what you love about her, and tell her regularly. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much we need that kind of support until we hear it.


  1. OK, this is going on the pro side of having kids. Built in compliments.

  2. I do this to people all the time haha. I can’t wait to have kids to do it.

  3. I made my husband read your post today because it was so great! I’m totally going to start doing that with my boys. You’re a GENIUS, Annie!

  4. Ahem. You’re beautiful.

  5. Anne. Is there a number of how many times I should say my wife is beautiful? Should it be 5 times a day? Once a day? I just need to know for future reference. I don’t know if it matters how much I do it if she will always want more, or if their is actually a limit? This will help me for future reference with my wife. Thank you 😉 I know you know who my wife is, so please don’t tell her I asked you these questions. Thanks.

  6. I love the idea of brainwashing…I love getting compliments…I love that my little boy does tell me I am beautiful…yet he also says he thinks I am older than my 45 year old SIL…good thing I have such a strong sense of self or my 33 year old brain just might have collapsed over that one.

    However, I will remind him of his future husbandly duties.

  7. This is SOOOO wise!

  8. I owe my future daughter-n-law a little more effort. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. I think, many times a day, how beautiful my wife is. But I often forget to say it–so this is great for him to learn now.

  10. Tiffany says:

    I know actions speak louder than words, but boy words are nice sometimes. Good for you to teach your boys to give compliments. In RS yesterday we talked a lot about saying I love you to your family. Most girls say they have never really heard it from their brothers…add that to your teaching…good to drill that in them when they are young too. June’s a lucky little sister to have Harry and Rex.

  11. LOL!!! I love this idea! My son is 10 – is it too late to start???

  12. I have 4 boys. I better get crackin’!

  13. So true!!! What a great way to drive a message home! Our hubs sound the same!

  14. My kids learned long ago that if they asked for something by saying “please,” then maybe I’d give in but if they asked say “please, oh, most beautiful of the mommas,” well, then how could I refuse?

  15. Is that kinda like when I keep telling my 13 year old grandson that I AM HOT. and he wants to puke.

    good thinking Annie, Teach your sons how to be a gentleman and they”ll grow up easily able to compliment and treat their lives well.
    I always know a good man by how they treat their MOM!!!!!!

    My hubby calls his mom his QUEEN and I am his PRINCESS
    ahhhhh, so sweet

    and you are beautiful

  16. This is a good idea. I just make my kids call me “Mommy Dearest.” But that doesn’t translate over to future wives and husbands…..

  17. I make my kids say, “Oh beautiful mother,” before asking politely for me to do something … my husband rolls his eyes. NEVERTHELESS it is absolutely true that we silly vain creatures need to hear our beloved ones tell us we look nice. I dunno why, but you are right. I think I wanna issue a complaint with my mother-in-law!

  18. zstitches says:

    I may need to work on this with my 12-year-old son who inherited his dad’s terseness (when my husband says “You look nice” I have to make it last a few months) but my three-year-old is already golden: In the last couple of weeks he’s told the dentist’s receptionist “I like your clothes,” the Home Depot clerk “I like your dress” and a neighbor girl, “I like your shirt and your pants and your boots.” He’s gonna have the girls in the palm of his hand.