3 things we need to stop saying to young girls as they grow.


As a parent, you have been a great cheerleader to your girl since the time she was born. But, no matter how hard you try to raise a confident and empowered girl, her morale shakes up at times; the times when she is inadvertently exposed to the statements from books, movies, or sometimes the phrases from friends and family members, that projects women as a weaker section of the society.

Last week my younger daughter was reading about “fundamental rights”; the right to education is one. She was aghast upon learning that a girl child is still denied this right in many parts of the country. On another occasion learning about the sati system in one of her history chapters upset her. During such times, I make it a point to talk to my girl about what they read or see in media. We converse, decode and try to make sense of the information she perceives. A small effort like this where we express our opinions and hear each other raises my girl’s self-esteem. 

What we say or do has a powerful impact on our kids’ psyche. If parents intentionally try to say (or not say) certain things to our young girls, we can raise them into confident beings.


young girls

  1. You look so beautiful. I must confess even I was guilty of saying this when I used to meet a little girl. Compliments like “your dress is beautiful, your eyes are nice, you are pretty” came out of the mouth inadvertently, but not anymore. When I became a mother of a girl, I realized these phrases send the wrong message that focuses only on the external appearance. Adults should be asking/saying these to girls “what’s your favourite sport/ movie/ book”, “you are quite energetic” “you look a brave little girl”; and many similar comments that focus on her personality and not on her clothes or looks.
  2. You be quiet: It’s been hardwired into us that girls who speak their minds are rude and bossy. I don’t want my girls to learn that they can’t say what they think. In our house, their opinion is always listened to and are acted upon too. To a question that demands an answer, if they say, “your wish” “whatever”, I always encourage them to give me a concrete answer. That doesn’t mean I don’t teach them to be good listeners too. But truth be told, it’s their leadership skills that I enjoy more.
  3. I look fat: When one day my elder one said, “Mumma I don’t like how my arms look in this picture”, I was surprised. Upon contemplation, I realized this self-depreciation comes from me only. I time and again used to say – I look fat, I am getting grey hairs, I don’t look good in this picture. Well no more, now I keep these words in check for my kids. And to encourage body positivity, I always emphasize having a healthy body in front of my girls.



Live life carefree, go outside and play, make friends, dress up how you like, build a career, travel, enjoy life, you are strong, it’s ok to say no, emulate the successful women- learn from their story, I believe you, I love you. And above all, feel good, be good, see good and do good.


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12 thoughts on “3 things we need to stop saying to young girls as they grow.”

  1. Aishwarya Iyengar at 10:00 am

    I loved, loved this blog. So beautifully written and portrayed.

  2. Alpana Deo at 11:47 pm

    Second that. “You look beautiful” is so common but you are right. At that age, we should be talking about something which can create Positive impact on their personality.

  3. Surbhi Prapanna at 7:13 pm

    yes words have immense power and we have to use them wisely. specially with little kids, this things become way more important as they follow our words and learn the many life lessons just by observation.

  4. Bedabrata Chakraborty at 6:22 am

    This is such a poignant post. Never realised inane comments could also impact a child negatively. Glad you gave this reminder.

  5. hema at 12:16 pm

    Bang on .. I totally agree to all the 3 pointers shared by you . Being a parent we should be responsible about our tone and way we talk to the girls

  6. The Champa Tree at 2:32 pm

    I agree with you. These are the things that you should never tell girls. Thankfully the society has started gettin responsible about these.

  7. Gunjan Upadhyay at 3:07 pm

    such a brilliant post is this. These things in fact you such never say to any girl especially w.hile growing up. they tend to already have so much going on with so much hormonal and you look fat or beautiful would only add m ore to insecurities going forward

  8. MeenalSonal at 2:47 am

    Yes Milan we need to be more careful with the words we use to praise or correct children. Few changes in the words can surely help them think in constructive manner.

  9. Swati Mathur at 7:48 am

    Words are very powerful and needs to be used with utmost care. As a parent we need to be very conscious as kids idealize us and what ever we say has a great impact on them.

  10. Kavita Singh at 1:02 pm

    I am in love with this post, how absolutely important it is to mind our words around these little ones. I am guilty of using a few of these statements too and never knew how it affected these little ones. I will be more attentive to my words now when I am around these young girls.

  11. Amrita at 2:48 pm

    The power of words and how to say the right thing to kids is crucial.Loved how sensible and sensitive this post is.Some great parenting pointers.

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