Whenever he looks at himself in the mirror, my 3-year-old tells me how beautiful he is. — Should I stop these somewhat pretentious outbursts?
Caroline Khanafer, clinical psychologist. At that age, in a child’s development, playing with a mirror has an important role. He is taming his image. If he repeatedly says that he is beautiful, then it’s probably because he has heard you and those close to you saying it. He knows that it’ll make his mummy happy. It’d be a good idea to shift the notion of beauty from the physical context and include it in something deeper (kindness, inner beauty, benevolence). He’ll thus understand that his aesthetic beauty isn’t a prerequisite for your love and that he doesn’t only exist in the eyes of other people. To help him leave this focus on physical beauty behind, try pulling faces with him in the mirror. Ask yourself why you tell him that you think he’s good-looking. It’s often the (quite natural) expression of the pleasure of motherhood.