My son is ugly: the advice of the psychologist

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Source: Photo: Pixabay

"Every roach ...". And so far there is no discussion. Because every parent looks at his child with special lenses, which trigger a mechanism of idealization, so in most cases they do not even realize if the child is actually beautiful or ugly. In his eyes he is the best in the world and that's it. Sometimes, however, after the 'falling in love' phase, it may happen that he realizes the discrepancy between what were his expectations of him and how his puppy really is. . And at this point she must first give answers to herself and then to her son, as the psychologist Simona Trotta explains.

The child is born: a mechanism of idealization is triggered

As soon as a baby is born, the mother does not realize if he is beautiful or ugly: even if he does not have exactly perfect features, a denial mechanism is triggered in her whereby she simply does not see the ugly part and everything about her baby seems wrapped in a halo of perfection.

After falling in love, the mother sees reality ...

After this first phase of idealization, the mother can begin to realize that her baby's face does not correspond to what she had imagined in her dreams and little by little she begins to notice any 'defects', especially if in her mind there is an excessive expectation was created as to what it would be like. At that point, a feeling of disappointment or even a slight sense of guilt could arise in her, as if she had not been 'good' at making him as good as she would have liked.

... but the disappointment is replaced by acceptance and love

Feelings of anger, fear, and even a hint of envy at 'greener neighbors' grass may initially trigger in her. But then acceptance and above all love takes over: that child is just what we conceived with love, which we carried in our womb with love for nine months, which we have looked after and are looking after with so much love. Because he is our son. And it will be this great love that, transmitted to the child, will make him feel beautiful and strong. Because he will feel loved and appreciated in the eyes of his mother. And therefore capable of conquering the world.

Read also: Children's self-esteem: 8 tips for raising a strong and self-confident child

How to deal with the baby if he tells us he is ugly

Don't deny the reality
We assume that what is beautiful is not beautiful but what one likes and that it is nowhere written that a child is 'beautiful' only if it corresponds to certain standards. It is also true, however, that, especially from about 10 years of age, when the child begins to have an abstract thought and to conceive the concept of beauty, he easily compares himself with others. And at that point he could tell us in no uncertain terms that you don't see much. "It is useless to deny, arguing that it is beautiful" says the psychologist: "he would feel fooled and the deception would hurt him even more. No pats on the back or convenient phrases like 'but no, you're so cute!'

Show understanding for his feelings
The best attitude is to hug him, show understanding for his feelings, welcome the sadness of that moment, and tell him that his mother loves him as he is. And then explain to him that every child has its own uniqueness: if he does not have blond hair it does not mean that black hair does not go well; if he doesn't have green eyes like that actor he doesn't mean he won't become a person full of charm ”.

Read also: My daughter sees herself as fat

Encourage the child to rely on his own resources

But above all it is important to make the child understand that being 'beautiful' means having resources to focus on, doing things they like, following passions that can make them strong and desirable in the eyes of others. Being nice, helping your classmates, learning to get by at school, practicing a sport with commitment: "The message that must pass is that you become 'beautiful' by putting yourself out there every day, trying to see the positive side of things, dealing with enthusiasm for small and large daily challenges, honing problem solving skills. And if something goes wrong, it is certainly not the fault of his physical appearance, but of other factors that we parents will teach him to recognize and deal with ”, stresses the psychologist.

Read also: Children's talent: 7 tips to develop it

Teaching what real charm is
In this way he will become a sunny, optimistic, vital child, with whom everyone will want to be and everyone will want to imitate. Without looking to see if he has almond-shaped eyes or sculpted cheekbones. Because true charm is not given by perfect features. Just think of many fascinating men and women who are surrounded by suitors despite not having a 'cover' face (which is often also retouched with Photoshop!).

Read also: Teens and pre-teens: 10 tips to develop self-esteem Do not pretend to transform it to pursue an ideal
It is more than legitimate for everyone to try to improve themselves, even from an aesthetic point of view, and to make sure that they dress or comb their hair as it is best. But without ever falling into the trap of wanting to look like someone or wanting to get close to a hypothetical ideal of beauty. Especially when it comes to children or teenagers. "Sometimes the mother, making comparisons with other children, could get caught up in the desire to 'improve' her child, making him constantly change his hair, buying him expensive clothes, making him follow diets or expecting top results in all kinds of activities, in I try to get my son to reach a certain standard he has in mind ”, points out Simona Trotta. "It is a wrong attitude, because she herself would be stressed in an anxiety for perfection that will never come, but above all it would stress the child, to whom she would transmit clearly and strongly the message that as it is she does not like it and is doing everything to change it. Sometimes in these attempts at change they also go to dust off their memories of little girls, of how they did not like each other with certain - real or presumed - physical defects and would not like to see in their child.
To develop his self-esteem, a child needs to know that his mother is happy with him. As well as".

  • gross
  • beauty woman
  • esteem
  • confidence
  • 3-5 children years
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