Thursday, May 23

My Daughter Has the Same Physical “Flaw” I Did Growing Up. It’s Breaking My Heart.

Care and Feeding Her schoolmates are beginning to point it out.

Picture illustration by Slate. Picture by Tom Le Goff/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Care and Feeding is Slate’s parenting suggestions column.Have a concern for Care and Feeding?Send it here

Dear Care and Feeding,

My lovely, thoughtful, innovative, amusing 7-year-old child occurs to have reasonable skin and dark body hair, and increasingly more kids are talking about it. In some cases this is mean-spirited (“You should be a young boy”), often it is an observation (“You have a great deal of hair on your arms”), however in either case, it upsets her. I advise her that she is ideal as is, that everybody has hair, which individuals should not discuss other’s bodies, however none of this stops it from injuring her sensations. Just recently she even asked me if I might wax her face after somebody discussed her upper lip!

It breaks my heart that my terrific child is currently facing this headache in the very first grade; I went through a comparable thing as a kid (genes!) and I understand it actually draws and produced my own concerns with my body hair. I anticipate this will just worsen as she has pressure to shave her legs, and so on. Exists a script for me to assist her make it through this, and more significantly, a script for her when kids discuss her hair?

— Hairy and Helpless

Dear Hairy,

I do not believe there is “a script” however you can definitely craft one. Creating rejoinders to individuals is a preferred activity for me in this column, so I took the liberty of preparing your child a couple of concepts:

–“You need to be a kid.” (scoff) Thank God I’m not!”
–“You need to be a kid.” “So you must be a woman, then?”
–“You have a great deal of hair on your arms.” “So do you, duh. (eyeroll)”
–“You have a great deal of hair on your arms.” “OKAY (looks at them).”

I likewise believe there’s genuine power in kids informing other kids that their remarks do not feel great. That’s not a technique to utilize with bullies, however it can work marvels with buddies who make insensitive observations.

Regarding what you state to your child, verifying just how much it draws to hear these things is truly crucial. Share your previous experiences and declare that her body is great simply as it is. Depending upon your kid, you may discover it practical to research, and share, a few of the history of how all the (approximate) expectations for ladies pertained to exist in today’s culture– for that, I advise Pink Think by Lynn Peril. And for motivation for how to strengthen yourself, and your child, versus those expectations, attempt The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor.

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