I do, if I stop to think about it, get worried and concerned about my daughter and the world we’ve bought her into. Luckily, I’m doing a pretty good job of not thinking about it too much!

Whilst writing this post, I was reminded of Cinderella’s “Have courage and be kind”. In the increasingly weird and superficial world we seem to be living in, Kim Kardashian probably thinks this motto translates as “Be brave enough to show yourself naked and photo-shopped, and be kind enough to get your assistant to like the odd post from one of your myriad of followers..”

I received an email the other day from the website Quora (for those who don’t know, Quora is a question and answer website, aiming to connect people and share knowledge, perspectives and understanding amongst the users). The question / article I clicked on was this:

My daughter is neither pretty nor intelligent; how should I help her?

Of all the various things parents worry about, I think pretty much everyone at some point has worried that their child might be funny looking and teased mercilessly or struggle academically. There are many good responses – mostly along the lines of “love her, tell her and show her you love her”.

But I was really moved by this (https://www.quora.com/My-daughter-is-neither-pretty-nor-intelligent-how-should-I-help-her/answer/Cristina-Hartmann?srid=tGvi) one from Cristina Hartmann.

You can read the full response in the link above but here’s an excerpt:

You don't need to be beautiful or intelligent to be kind. 

With beauty, you can catch people's attention. With intelligence, you can go to school and solve complex problems in thick textbooks. Both things are useful in life, but these things aren't all there is. 

Someone's kindness and goodness can captivate the hearts of everyone around them, including themselves. It connects you with the people around you. It shows real character, not things that you happened to be born with. Kindness and goodness are things that you develop yourself.

So whilst I will be encouraging my daughter to take care of her appearance in general, and to take her education seriously, I won’t get distracted by the superficial things and I will absolutely make sure I teach her to be kind.