I’m so proud of my 9 year old daughter, Madison.

She’s full of life, a real go-getter and has more energy than any 9 year old girl should have.

But I have a concern.

In a world that continually praises or criticises women purely on the basis of looks, I want her to be defined by more than her physical appearance.

So if you want to complement her, please don’t say that she is pretty or beautiful (although in her dad’s unbiased opinion, she is).

Complement her on her intelligence.

Praise her work ethic.

Encourage her for her enthusiasm and passion for life.

Make her feel good about her warm heart and caring nature.

And feel free to applaud her for her various sporting achievements.

Because they’re the things that I want her to define herself by when she gets older.

Her looks may not enable her to change the world, but her intelligence, work ethic, enthusiasm, compassion and drive will.