12 November 2013
She is so beautiful
What I like hearing even more is a compliment or comment on her personality, throwing arm or climbing ability (all of which are even better than her looks!). She's much more than a pretty face, and as she becomes a full-fledged kid and moves further from her babyhood the complex person she is becomes more and more evident.
One comment I have a hard time responding to is "Shawn's going to need to get a shotgun" or "You're really going to have trouble with the boys with this one."
Somehow in this type of comment I hear Jane being devalued, which is something I can't stand no matter how well-intentioned the remark might be. I know the heart of it is a compliment on her physical beauty.
Yes she's a very cute kid who will likely grow into a stunning young lady. But I expect so much more from her than being a boy magnet. I want to help her develop skills and maturity to navigate relationships of all kinds, including boy-girl relationships. Our plan isn't "get a shotgun to keep the boys away" but rather equip Jane with the tools she needs to make wise decisions and demand to be treated as a person first rather than just a pretty girl.
Like most of my blog posts (especially in November) this isn't a fully thought out idea. But it's something that nags at me every time I get a comment like that. Maybe someone else has the right comeback? Mostly I just say nothing or nod and smile, which might be the appropriate response after all.