You'd be so pretty if. . .

My friend has a daily ritual with her daughter. While she does her 6-year-old’s hair, they both look in the mirror and say what they love about their face, their body, their personalities, themselves.

When my friend asked her daughter one day why she loved her body so much, the little girl exclaimed, “Because it’s a temple.”

My friend felt pretty good about herself.

And she should. She spends a lot of time discussing the positive aspects of her daughter’s appearance so that when she hits the teenage years, she’ll be able to look back and remember the mornings looking in the mirror with mom and know that she’s pretty no matter what.

A new book called “You’d be So Pretty If . . .” warns that moms need to be more aware of the body image issues girls are developing at younger and younger ages. And the worst part is that moms are unwittingly feeding those negative self images.

We send messages to our daughters every time we gripe about our weight, our wrinkles or whether that pair of pants makes us look fat. Our kids notice when we think we’re ugly or too fat or too skinny or too flat-chested. Our girls pick up on the fact that we’re trying another diet or don’t wear a swimsuit in public.

So what can we do to ensure our daughters have a positive self image? What do you do with your children to beef up their body image?

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.