Maggie Van Ostrand
a little girl, mommy is a goddess, the world's most beautiful woman
and the one she most wants to be like. We honor our moms on Mother's
Day, but the question is: should all mothers be honored? What about
the bad ones?
It's difficult to write this story about University researchers in
Canada coming up with the unpleasant fact that mothers take better
care of "good looking" children than they do "ugly" ones. Do bad moms
make their kids unattractive by treating them differently? Most of
us believe all children are cute, but guess what -- some moms don't
study by the University of Alberta concluded moms treat their children
differently at supermarkets based on the children's physical attractiveness.
The study was conducted using 400 parent-child observations in 14
supermarkets, where parents actually rated the looks of their children
on a scale of one to ten, admitting that their behavior differed greatly
between the kids they thought unattractive and those they thought
good looking. Among the findings of the Canadian study are:
seat belts are dispensed with if the kid is ugly, but cute kids
are protected by being belted in.
Ugly kids are
allowed to stand up in grocery carts, but the cute kids, carefully
belted in, are not.
can wander away and be out of their parents' sight, but the pretty
kids are watched closely and may not travel further than a maximum
of ten feet from mommy or daddy.
kids are much better supervised than homely ones, who are rarely
prevented from engaging in potentially dangerous activities.
in a mere 4 per cent of the ugly kids, while 13.3 per cent of the
best looking were protected by a strap.
kind of mother would even agree to take part in such a study and
publicly talk about how unattractive her children are? The thing
that makes a child unattractive is lack of love. There are many
ways in which moms can permanently ruin their children, probably
without intending to.
Moms who advise friends and relatives "Don't encourage him," or
"pay no attention to her" or "Don't give him anything to eat. He's
fat enough," can leave lasting psychic scars on a child. Kids have
long memories and the towering distance to self-esteem may never
have a chance to begin if the damage inflicted by mom runs deep
It's a terrible thing to have a mom believe what an authority figure
tells her rather than what the child tells her. The child is bound
to conclude "What's the point of telling the truth if she doesn't
Little kids don't care about inner beauty. They only know about
love. Do they get it? Or do they get criticism instead? The former
results in happiness, comfort and security and the latter in pain,
low self-esteem and mind scars.
Being a mother is an unimaginably enormous responsibility; being
a good one is awesome.
In the Canadian study, when the dad was in charge, not one of the
ugly kids was belted in safely while 12.5 per cent of the good-looking
kids were. Remember this when Father's Day comes.)
Maggie Van Ostrand
11 , 2007 column