At every one of my parenting workshop, parents talk about the most important quality we can give our kids. They write “self esteem”, “happiness”, “health”, “knowledge”, but never “beauty”. In over 20 years, no parent has ever written they would even wish their kids beauty out of their 4 top wishes.
I think this is because for parents, their kids are the most beautiful thing in the world and their definition of beauty changes the second they hug their baby, regardless of their appearance. Love makes kids very pretty in their parents’ eyes.
It is also because parents know that beauty cannot stand on its own.
Only yesterday, I had a live example for why parents never wish their kids beauty. It made me very proud to belong to the club of parents with the right priorities in life.
Jill called last week and was very emotional. She sounded soft and fragile. “My husband does not want us to be together anymore”, she said.
“It is sad when you love someone and he doesn’t love you in return”, I thought to myself. I remembered the wonderful words of the song “Nature Boy“:
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return
– From Nature Boy by Eden Ahbez, sung by Nat King Cole
I agree. I have had proof of this in primary school and even in high school. I desperately wanted to be loved, but for me, a short poor kid without skills, love belonged to the pretty rich girls.
“Do you have any kids?” I asked her.
“Yes”, Jill said, “My daughter is just 3 months old”.
“And why do you need coaching?” I asked her.
“I want you to help me convince my husband to come back to me”, she said.
It was not a discussion for the phone, so I invited Jill to come for a free life coaching session to introduce the Be Happy in LIFE program. I thought that face to face, I could explain better that coaching is not about her husband but about her. I could help her gain strength and confidence. I could help her develop skills and abilities, be the best she could be and reach high mountains, but I could not do anything to her husband, because I am just a facilitator of change and he was not going to come.
When Jill came in the door, I was in total shock. Do you know how cartoon characters drop their jaw from shock and their eyes bulge? I probably looked the same.
Jill was one of the most beautiful, sexiest, most gorgeous woman on Earth. Miss Universe! She could easily have been Miss Universe, and there was not one person in the world – child, adult, man, woman, even really old person – that would want to take their eyes off her. She was stunning. Everything in her was perfect – her body, her eyes, her hair, her mouth, her skin and her nose.
“Funny”, I thought to myself, “As kid, I thought beautiful girls were lucky”. I remembered having thoughts like:
“If only I looked like that, I could get every boy I want”
“If only I looked like her, I could easily excel in school”.
“If I only looked pretty, I could be popular “.
Looking at Jill and comparing her situation to my schooling mindset was shocking.
Jill told me about her parents who supported her in every way they could, but then she described a relationship with someone who thought very low of her and how spending time with him had made her think low of herself too. It was amazing how hard she was on herself and how low her self esteem was.
I kept asking myself, “How can such a beautiful, sexy, sensitive, perfect woman feel and think like this about herself?”
And with every word she said, I knew the answer:
No talent, no beauty, no knowledge and no ability is worth anything without the self esteem to make it shine through
– Ronit Baras
Parents do not want beauty for their kids because they understand there are more important things like self esteem. Parents know that supporting is important, but building self esteem is much more empowering.
Meeting Jill made me think that parents understand that raising happy kids means raising kids with high self esteem who believe in themselves, who recognize their talents and abilities and use them as a weapon against injustice, against frustration, against conflict and heartbreak, against failure, against negativity and against anger.
Parents understand that beauty without the ability to draw strength from it is useless.
I am proud to be a parent. I hope you are too.