The Word I Can’t Accept

The Word I Can't Accept | Knoxville Moms Blog

There are a handful of words that I cannot handle: “sissy” (in regards to sister), “commode,” “hubby” and several I cannot write here. Then there’s the one that just makes me cringe: “DIVA,” especially when referring to a female child and definitely when referring to one of my female children.

Let’s take a look into the meaning of diva:

  • a famous female opera singer;

  • a self-important person who is temperamental and difficult to please (typically used of a woman).

I think some believe they are being funny, but here’s the cold hard truth:

Stranger/family member/friend: “Oh, look at her! Such a DIVA!”
4 year old daughter: “Momma, what’s a diva?”
Me: “Well, sweet girl, here’s what diva could mean…”(see above).

4 year old: “So…what does that mean?”
Me: “Well, I think she just means you look beautiful.” 
4 year old: “Oh.”

At four, she knew that being a “diva” isn’t what she wanted to be.

The look of defeat. The sadness. The confusion. What had she done to make someone say that to her (about her)? Was it that she chose to wear her favorite tutu dress that day? That she chose to wear her favorite sunglasses? That she had an oversized, sparkly necklace adorning her neck? That she chose to do a fun pose with her arms and hips cocked? 

You can use a lot of words to describe my four year old: smart, funny, goofy, loving, kind, sweet, strong, spunky, beautiful. 

She is not a diva.

While I (all the praise hands) wholeheartedly agree that children typically are temperamental and sometimes difficult to please…

She is a CHILD. 

She is a child who loves every second of her beautiful life. She is going to wear her favorite tutu dress, her sunglasses, and do the fun poses. She is going to act silly. She is going to walk right up to the sparkly necklace rack in every store right away. She is going to wear her high heels that we had to visit multiple Target stores to find. She is going to ask to have her nails painted bright pink. She is going to strike a pose without commentary from you.

And unfortunately, at a young age she’s going to learn to block out the negative, judgmental comments about her and all the other beautiful people being criticized and judged everyday. She is going to grow up in a world where people feel free to post their thoughts about her publicly on social media. She’s going to have to stomach the negativity much more than I have ever had to. 

My heart aches for kids today.

While they have access to so much more than we did at their age, they are also exposed to way more than we were at their age. I thought being a teenager in the 2000s was tough, but I didn’t have Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and all the other social media options. Seeing the increase in teen suicide, depression, and anxiety makes me want to hug my girls tightly. It makes me want to show them their worth is much, much more than what someone else says about them.

All I ask is this: you may take a word to mean something else than it actually does. You may not think it’s hurtful. You may not realize the depth of your comment. But she will. She will start to doubt herself and her choices. Let’s treat our girls {and boys!} like the beautiful people they are. Build them up. Encourage their personalities. Embrace their passion. LOVE them.

My girl isn’t a diva, and I’m guessing yours isn’t either. What words would you use to describe your kids? Tell us in the comments!

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