Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member: Megan Kemmer
Millionaire’s Digest Staff Team, Author, Beauty and Fashion Writer
If you have read through my “about me” page, you will know that I am a 23-year old college student, currently in my second semester of graduate school. I do not have children of my own, but I absolutely love kids and try to be around them as often as possible, whether it’s through babysitting, visiting friends with kids, or volunteering at the local YMCA or Head Start programs.
Want an honest opinion about something? Just hang out with some children. They are the most honest human beings out there! Any moms out there will certainly understand what I am talking about. Whether you want to hear their opinion or not, they will tell you what they think and won’t hold anything back.
Last Saturday I was babysitting one of the most adorable little 4-year olds. When I babysit, I don’t even bother taking time to do my full makeup routine or do my hair, I just try to make sure I at least look slightly put together, and not like a newly 21-year old who is experiencing the worst hangover of her life from partying too hard the night before. So I get to their house thinking I look put together (at least somewhat). Not too done-up, but not too shabby either. Well, this little 4-year old thought very differently. Without any hesitation, she asked me “what’s that on your face?” So at this point, I am very confused, slightly scared because I am thinking “oh no, please no, don’t tell me there’s a bug on my face or food on my face after I was just talking to her parents for 20 minutes.” This little 4-year old had me seriously so worried, I rushed right to the mirror in the bathroom. Literally, couldn’t find a single thing on my face, and I was searching high and low and got as close to the mirror as possible to find this mystery object that was apparently on my face.
I came back out of the bathroom and approached her timidly and told her that I didn’t find anything on my face and asked her what she was talking about. She goes, “Yes huh! You have these on your face” and pointed to my large dark circles under my eyes…
Now, I have come to the conclusion that I just have dark under eye circles that are hereditary, and there really isn’t much I can do about it. My sister has them as well. I have tried so many products out there to reduce the appearance of these dark circles, and I thought the product I am currently using was working pretty well, but apparently not… I have always struggled with my dark circles but I thought they were finally clearing up but according to this ever so honest little 4-year old, there’s no mistaking that those under eye circles are still there and as visible as ever.
At this point, my confidence has gone down a notch or two and I came to the realization that I will never come to babysit this 4-year old again with no makeup on (or she will REALLY see all my imperfections and point each and every one of them out). I was sitting there thinking, “great, because of me, this 4-year old is now terrified to ever get dark under eye circles and now knows what they are.” I thought I had reached my lowest point for the day, but I was sadly mistaken.
Later on in the night, I was told that my hair didn’t look good. She told me, “I don’t know why you wore your hair like that today. Can you take it out?” And then she even commented on my outfit (who knew 4-year olds could be so judgmental?) telling me that she didn’t like my shirt and asked me why I would even buy my shirt (it was literally just a black t-shirt). I had never felt so down about myself, but then tried to pick myself back up by asking myself, “she’s just a 4-year old, what does she know?” Who knows what she knew though, she probably knows more about fashion than I do and might turn out to be famous someday.
After I had gotten her to sleep and had about an hour to relax before her parents came home, I really got to pondering. Why are children so honest? Or more importantly, where did they learn to become so judgmental and judge people based on what they look like, rather than what is inside? I don’t think I have ever had a child come up to me and tell me how smart I am or how good I am at cooking them mac & cheese and chicken tenders, or anything that doesn’t have to do with my physical appearance. I have been told by children though that I am beautiful, that they like something I am wearing, or the complete opposite end of that spectrum (that I am still sensitive about).
Think about this for a minute though, when you first meet a child, what are the compliments that you give them? Do you compliment them on how smart they are or how well they colored a picture, or did an activity of their own? Probably not. Instead, you probably told them how pretty, cute, beautiful, handsome they are. You probably told them that you like their shirt, dress, hair bow, shoes, or whatever they have on. You might have even commented on their name. What I am getting at is we teach children that instead of focusing on what is important, someone’s personality and what is inside, we teach them that physical characteristics are what is important. We model for children everyday that how they look is what is important, no matter what is inside. But is that really what we want to be teaching children?
This little 4-year old I was babysitting last Saturday wasn’t being mean to me. She wasn’t trying to bring me down or make me feel bad about myself. She was just doing what she has been “taught” to do by so many adults her entire life. She was pointing out physical characteristics about myself, because that is what she has been “trained” to look for in people. She doesn’t care what my personality is like, she just cares what I look like on the outside.
Many children who grow up this way don’t care about how smart they are, or how caring and sweet they are towards others. They only care about what they look like on the outside because those are the characteristics they get commented on the most. They don’t begin to realize, until they are much older, that what matters the most is actually what is on the inside.
So from now on, whenever I see a child, I will be sure to compliment them on something that is not their appearance, and I challenge you to do the same thing! Find something you can say about their personality, rather than just focusing on physical attributes. Make it evident to them that their physical characteristics aren’t what is most important. Make them aware that they have great qualities about them on the inside, that you can see and admire. Wouldn’t you prefer these compliments about yourself as well?
Although this is not the type of content I typically post about, I thought these words might be able to provide insight to you and open up your eyes to see how children see the world. We get so caught up in ourselves a lot of the time and don’t take the time to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I had plenty of time to do this last weekend while babysitting, so I just wanted to share with you my thoughts and insights.
Thank you for sticking through this post, and I hope you enjoyed it and didn’t mind the switch up of my blog content:)
Article Credits: Megan Kemmer
Millionaire’s Digest Staff Team, Author