Little girls need positive reinforcement about themselves. It is important to bring them up with a solid sense of identity and worthiness. In most cases, they get the best of this from their fathers.
My son is a wonderful father. However he was an only child who grew up without much influence from his own father. Fortunately he had good male role models from my dad, and from soccer coaches and a couple of high school teachers who saw his potential. But I am concerned that he might lack a true understanding of what a little girl needs from her daddy as she is growing up.
I think it may be my job to guide him through this. So far he is doing great and doesn’t need a lot of advice from me.
In spite of that, I have felt the need to be a strong influence to Samantha. So, I began with she was an infant. I would tell her how precious she was. As mentioned in an earlier post, I told her that I was here to help her, and that she would also help me.
When she was two she started to comprehend conversation. I told her she was my princess. My parents , who are her great-grandparent, also called her their princess. Her dad didn’t really want us to convince her that she is a princess, because he didn’t want her to think she was overly entitled to special treatment. But that is not what we mean when we call her princess. What we mean is that she is special to us, and we are honored to have her in our lives, and that we want her to realize that she is a unique and special part of our family.
The other thing we would tell her is that she is beautiful. All girls need to believe that about themselves. Samantha started to play with her dress up clothes, which are mostly fairy outfits and lots of beads and plastic clip on earrings. She would get all gussied up and we would oooh and ahhhh and tell her how beautiful she looks.
On Sundays, I would get her dressed for church, have her nails painted, and her hair up in a big bow, then show her the big mirror in the bathroom and say “see how beautiful you are Sammie?” . Then I would send her over to where Papa was waiting to show him how nice she looked, and he would giver her compliments.
It didn’t take too long for her to get the idea. Once day the four of us, Sammie, myself, my mom and dad, were sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch. Sammie, in her two year old language, informed us very firmly that she is a “pincess” and that she is “bootiful”. It was cute beyond imagination! She loved saying the words, and we always told her that she was right.
She doesn’t say these things anymore, now that she is getting close to four years old. We had a discussion about whether or not she is special. I had told her that she was my special girl, and she replied that she was not special. I asked her why she would say that, and she didn’t answer me. I told her that she was special to me, because she is my only Sammie. Then she said she is not Sammie. I asked her to tell me who she is if she is not Sammie? She replied that she is Samantha Daniel. ( her full name is Samantha Danielle Yates). I realized then that she is learning her identity. I later found out that she had been told that some disabled children were “special needs” children and that may be why she told me she wasn’t special. We have talked about what the word special means to different people.
The really great thing about my “bootiful” “pincess” Samantha Danielle, is that she is not only a beautiful child to look at, she is beautiful inside as well.
She is always grateful when you give her a gift. She always says thank you. She wants to be a helper. Sammie never throws trash on the ground but looks for the trash can and if she can’t find it she hands her trash to me or her mom or dad. She loves animals. She loves babies and is a tender mommie to her baby dolls. When you visit her at home, she offers you things. She doesn’t say ” I want to go outside”. She will come over to you and ask “Do you want to go outside? Let’s go out and play!”. Samantha is a leader among her friends. When she goes to church with us, she will introduce herself to people just coming in, without being told. She like to meet people, even though at times she has that toddler’s shyness.
I see in Samantha a great person. I believe in her, I believe that she will be a loving woman who will bless those in her life as well as those who cross her path. And after all, isn’t that what a real princess does?
Your comments are requested and appreciated!