It is natural to tell our children they are cute, pretty, or handsome. It is ok to, but the point of this post is to help us parents to consciously focus our comments on more than outward beauty.
If we are constantly complimenting our child's appearance they will receive the message that their physical traits are important. Like I said it is fine to complement your children by saying "You look pretty this Sunday morning," or what have you. I do it often. But I'm wanting us as parents to focus more of our compliments and praise toward other attributes as well. Such as:
"You are so thoughtful."
"I'm proud how well you did on this test, you are so bright."
"You are such a good friend to your friends and you treat them so kind."
"Thank you for being so helpfully to me today with cleaning. You are a good worker."
I like the saying that says you need to "catch" your children being good and praise them. Attention on their positive behavior only encourages them to continue to do it.
That links back to what I said about limiting the accolades on physical appearance. Whether it was a compliment from family or a friend I felt pressure to uphold that praise, even when it was them saying I was skinny. This was a seed that planted itself in my mind contributing to my sever eating disorder. I felt I had to keep either losing weight or at least maintain this physique or I would disappoint them.
Try to "catch" your children doing and being good and compliment them for it. Steer away from comments associated with their physical appearance.