4 Things Your Daughter Needs To Know About Inner Beauty

happy girl holding up a skateboard behind her head

This article originally appeared on iMOM.com and reflects their mission and beliefs.

Recently, my 8-year-old daughter and I were shopping for a new mattress. As we shopped, we noticed that some looked so nice on the outside but didn’t feel “nice” when we lay on them. She pointed at a diagram next to one mattress that showed its inner layers and springs. “I guess we really need to look at the insides more than the outsides,” she said. Bingo: a perfect moment to talk about inner beauty!

We all want to teach our daughters that true beauty comes from within, but sometimes we don’t know how to explain it because, after all, we can’t SEE it. Or can we? Here are 4 things you can say to your daughter to help her see and understand inner beauty.

“Inner beauty is in your words.”

One of my teachers used to always quote this Proverb: “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” It’s a funny image but so true! I’ve known several people who were pretty on the outside but when they carelessly spouted nasty, unkind words, they suddenly looked like pigs wearing gold rings! True beauty comes from within and often comes out through our words. Ask your daughter if she has seen evidence of this with the people around her. Which ones seem beautiful or ugly because of their words?

“Inner beauty is in the little everyday choices you make.”

When we are faced with small, daily choices such as whether to tell a white lie to avoid trouble, whether to avoid the new girl because no one else seems to like her, or whether to sneak a peek at a classmate’s test, our inner beauty (or lack thereof) comes out. Good choices are fueled by solid character and priorities—and that’s real inner beauty. While no one is perfect, inner beauty will show itself in the repeated choices a person makes.

“Inner beauty is in how you respond to mistakes.”

When someone makes a mistake and it affects you, how do you respond? It’s evident that true beauty comes from within when someone is gracious, understanding, and forgiving. Someone without inner beauty will be angry, accusing, and inflexible. And when you are the one who made a mistake, how do you respond? Do you blame the people around you, or do you accept it and move on, giving yourself grace and room to grow? A person with inner beauty doesn’t see mistakes as threats; she sees them as a regular part of life and a chance to learn.

“Inner beauty is on the outside, too.”

If you look closely enough, you really can see inner beauty from the outside. When you are peaceful and full of good things on the inside, it shows in your smile, posture, or body language.  And the truth is that when people get to know you, inner beauty is all there really is. The reverse is true if you have ugliness on the inside—it will come out in your sour expression, slouched shoulders, or glaring eyes. The truth comes out, as they say, and it really does, whether you like it or not.

Why are these things so important? Because your words, choices, responses, and body language combine to send a clear message to the people around you about who you really are and what matters to you. In the long run, that will determine which friends you have (and keep), the doors that open (or close) for you, and the path you will take in the future.

How do you explain inner beauty to your daughter?

This article originally appeared on iMOM.com and reflects their mission and beliefs.

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