So it’s officially the holiday season. Whoo hooo!
That means food, shopping and spending time with more relatives and friends of the family than your calendar has hours for.
Yup! I said it right. Get out the Red Bull, wine and coffee because it’s that time of year….visiting friends and family members that you haven’t seen in months.
And this year I want you to notice something – how is your daughter re-introduced? In other words, after you do the initial introduction to family and friends how do they “re-introduce” her in conversation to others? What stands out for others?
Seems very basic. But if you listen carefully, it can be an incredible eye opening insight into what really makes her shine.
Let me share an example. I was talking friends recently who asked for the latest news on my daughter as she had officially advanced from “babyhood” into official “toddlerdom”. Was she learning new words? Asserting her independence? Starting to explore new activities? Officially using the word “NO” everywhere? Beginning to display new insights and creative talents?
And I realized after telling three different friends that I started saying the same things:
- She can count from 1-100 and knows quite a few shapes
- She can say her alphabet without any coaching
- And she’s blowing me away with the list of animals that she can identify – in cartoons or at the zoo.
Sooooo guess how my daughter is being labeled? Smart.
And guess what people start asking her to do or share with others when they tell her about her progress – she can count to 100, she can say her ABCs, and she’s really good identifying animals.
On the surface, it seems harmless and actually a wonderful thing that she is standing out for her intelligence.
But on another level, it’s also crafting her brand and the expectations that she’ll have every year when she sees these family members – what new things has she learned? How well is she doing in school? What new accomplishments has she had?
Which can both be a great thing (that she’s smart) and put alot of pressure on her as well.
I’m proud to have established her own innate intelligence as part of her “brand”. But it’s good that she is also remembered for other things. Like her infectious smile. Or her quick wit to catch jokes from her Dad. Or her love of certain activities.
Because the more that she hears alllll of the facets of who she is, the more she will internalize that her brand is representative of many things.
- Not just her looks.
- Not just her brains.
- Not just one or two personality traits.
It’s about her totality and full presence. She’s got to hear about all of the aspects – from me telling others and others sharing it back to her.
Why does this matter? Easy. She’s going to be in competitive situations at some point in her life. And the things she’s heard about herself will come out at the most inopportune time. I want to her know that she’s more than just a cute face or a smart girl.
So challenge your friends and family this year to talk about all aspects of your daughters personality. So that she hears it and internalizes it.
And challenge the adults that see her on a daily basis to consider it as well.
It will be one of the most amazing gifts she could ever receive.