Child Therapist Warns Parents About The Dangers Of Not Complimenting Their Daughter

Thursday, February 21, 2019 Lifestyle News
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Nikki P. Woods explains why recent research cautioning parents against the use of praise may be doing damage.

RUMSON, N.J., Feb. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Jo

Swinson, Women's Minister in the UK, urged parents to stop calling their daughters beautiful, claiming that doing so would lead to negative self image and body issues. Since then, additional articles have been written in Psychology Today and other scholarly journals, supporting this claim.

Nikki P. Woods warns that in following this advice, parents can inadvertently be causing more psychological harm then they realize:

"The female mind is wired to notice, analyze and interpret other people's reactions toward her, " said Nikki P. Woods. "It is through these verbal and nonverbal cues that a female establishes her overall sense of identity and value in this world. Removing these essential affirmations can be devastating for the growth and development of a young girl."

Woods is referring to the biological truth that a female's identity is established through her interactions with others. The female brain is acutely aware of every subtle response whether it's words, actions and expressions. Identifying and assessing others' perceptions helps young women gain a greater understanding of their worth.

According to Woods, these following basic truths must be acknowledged:

  • As a female child grows and develops, she obtains a greater understanding of herself and her overall worth through her interpretation of others' responses to her.
  • A large part of the maturation process is learning to embrace and celebrate all aspects of oneself - to understand strengths that one acquires both innately and through hard work and determination. So to disregard someone's physical reality means missing out on an opportunity to assist a young girl in gaining a healthy perspective on who she is, both inside and out.
  • Because a female is wired to need validation, if she does not authentically receive it from her parents, she will ultimately look elsewhere for it. So if parents avoid focusing attention on their daughter's physical appearance, when someone comes along and provides it for her, she will be innately drawn to that individual, regardless of their intentions

As parents, Woods stresses that it's important to understand that throughout their developmental years, females thrive when receiving validation from others. This assists in their ability to become self-assured and confident women. Without praise, they spend their lives seeking validation from whoever is willing to provide it.

"This isn't about blindly removing all compliments that focus on a young girl's appearance,"Woods added. "It's simply about tailoring the way we compliment and validate females. Young girls need to hear authentic and specific affirmation regarding all aspects of who they are so they can establish a healthy and positive sense of self."

ABOUT NIKKI P. WOODS Nikki P. Woods is a psychotherapist who has dedicated her career to working with adolescent, teenage and young adult females. After earning her master's degree from New York University, Woods continued her research of female development from an academic, physiological and social perspective. She entered into private practice, where 15 years later, she continues to treat teenage females and their families. Through her work with this demographic, Woods has become one of the field's most sought after professionals; providing knowledge, support and guidance during an extremely vulnerable time for young women and their families.

For more on parenting young females, please visit


SOURCE Nikki P. Woods

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