Last weekend, I was in a bookstore and it didn't take long to notice the reason for why so many fathers were flocking to the greeting card aisle with their young children - to get their Mother's Day card, the day before of course. Among them was a young girl, no older than four, with her father who had given her the task of helping to pick out a card for her mother.
She pointed to one, immediately proclaiming "That is inappropriate!". I was impressed with her vocabulary, for one thing, but when I caught a glimpse of the card she was referring to, I was more impressed with her young opinion. This child had obviously been on the receiving end of some positive messages from someone in her life. Father's reply, however, squashed that with "No it's not. It's cute!".
The card (pictured at right) featured a drawing of a woman disturbingly similar in appearance to the controversial Bratz dolls, and described as sexy, smart, beautiful, hot, and amazing. In the very end, the father rejected his daughter's protests and got the card anyway.
Parents aren't perfect. I tell this story not to point out the mistakes of this man I didn't even know, but to demonstrate the importance of everyday moments with children that teach and instill in them such valuable lessons. In this instance, asking her why she thought the card was inappropriate may have led to the opportunity to reinforce what this wise-beyond-her-years little girl seemed to already know...that portrayals of women in society like the one on the card are, well...inappropriate.