My wonderful now 7-year-old daughter Eva has made it this far in life without taking any serious hits to her self-esteem. It probably started at birth when she began frequently hearing all her loved ones repeatedly tell her she is so pretty and she is so smart. It has evolved a bit since then.
Around age 5, she was really, truly convinced she was the prettiest and smartest girl in the world. This prompted a change in how we would compliment her. We began saying she was the smartest girl we know. Good self-esteem is one thing, and conceit is quite another. We were trying to avoid conceit.
I’m not sure how well we are doing in that respect.
Last week, on a sunny day in the bank drive-through:
Me: (I hand Eva a sucker) Here, dear. Tell the lady thank you.
Eva: Thank you! Do you think she saw me because of my hair? (Eva has long blond hair)
Me: What about your hair? What do you mean?
Eva: The sun is shining on my hair. I bet my hair reflected it in her face and that’s why she saw me.
Eva: Don’t you know that you can’t look directly at my hair in the sun or it will hurt your eyes because it’s so shiny?
Me: (suppressing laughter) No, I was unaware.
Someone will knock her down a peg or two at some point in life, but I don’t think it has to be me or has to be now.