20 answers

Kids Can Be So Mean!

I took my 5 yr. old to lunch today (she's in kinder). One of the boys said, "Hey is that your mom?". My daughter said yes & then the boy said, "She's so big & fat!". This was said amongst all the other kids starting to line up. I didn't see what my daughter did - I think she walked away. I walked past him & said, "that wasn't nice to say" but he wasn't fully paying attention to me. My daughter knows how much I'm trying to lose weight & I'm so thankful she & her sister has her daddy's skinny genes. But it just broke my heart & I almost started crying in the middle of the cafeteria!

How do you handle these situations? Should I talk to my daughter about it? I hate to have her have to stand up for me but she's such a strong girl. I don't want her to ever be embarrassed of me.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your replies!
Truthfully, I will never stop going to lunch or any other school function with my daughters. I'm not going to let one snotty kid stand in my way! But words can hurt. I hope my girls learn from this & hopefully will never follow in their classmates steps.

Featured Answers

I have had this situation happen to my daughter also. I can say my daughter was very upset. We talked about it and she understood. I just explained the meaning of prejudisim (sp?) and that not everyone knows what it is like to be different at this age. I also explained that maybe she should talk to this person (who was a friend) and tell her how much it upset her. It has seemed to help.

More Answers

I'm still very young and dealt with this problem with my mom. Luckily, as I got into high school it tapered off a bit because kids start to mature. (Not much but some Haha) Anyhow, my mom has always had a little weight on her. She gained a little at a time and then started having more kids. I now have 4 younger brothers a sisters and my mom was close to 300 at 5'2. When people used to say things I'd always stick up for her. One reason is because I always knew how GREAT I thought her weight was. I CANNOT imagine my mother skinny! She had the lapband surgery last year and has lost a LOT of weight and it has taken me awhile to adjust to hugging a smaller woman. Honestly, anyone could say the worst things about my mom but I'm a tiny little girl, I always have been, and my mom being thick has always comforted me. I'd stick up my nose because I always knew that kid making fun of my mom, was just unlucky because his skinny little momma wasn't near as comfy as my mom to hug. :P Now I'm that skinny little momma! HAHA! So the tables turned but don't worry about your weight. Kids are kids but you're daughter loves you because YOU ARE THE WAY YOU ARE! They are going to love you no matter what! My mom is now 180 lbs. and I still love her the same! She still gives the perfect hugs and laying in her lap while she plays with my hair is still just as wonderful! And now my son gets to experience it as well. Sometimes the things that bother us the most are our children's most cherished things. Do what's healthy for you but at the same time don't worry about anything else. It will all take care of itself! Sometimes (even at 5 years old) I had to stop and say a few simple sentences to my mom to remind her. "You are THE BEST mom!!!! I love you FOREVER!!! NO MATTER WHAT!" And you are great mom who's daughter's love you very much NO MATTER WHAT! Good Luck girl! Keep your head up because you are definitely worth it!

3 moms found this helpful

I am so sorry this happened to you and your daughter. I would just talk to her about how kids will *always* find something to say and how sad it is that they feel like they need to say mean things. You can also teach her a come back like "yeah, she needs extra room to carry all of the love she has" :-)
I am not as skinny as most of the mom's in our school- but I have heard kids make comments about other kids parents and their ages (she's so old) stature, race (why is she white and you aren't?) yada yada. I think some kids will always just be mean. OR some kids have yet to define good boundries- they are just describing what they see. If a kid has a size 5 mom a size 18 mom may look huge.
Here is a bright side- you are a SAHM, you are able to go and share lunch w/ your daughter- not all moms can do that!


1 mom found this helpful

I am very overweight myself, but I would never put that kind of pressure on a child. Maybe it would be a good motivator so that doesn't happen again. You are very right tho, kids can be very mean. If his mother was there, she would have probably passed out.

1 mom found this helpful

I would have said:



You handled it very well but I know it must have hurt. I have no words of wisdom, just sending you some hugs!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that you handled your response to that child's comment the best way you could. Some children just arent taught when things are inappropriate to say, and even then sometimes they are taught and dont follow what their parents have tried to instill in them. Use this as a learning tool with your daughter, and let her know how that made you feel when he said that, so that she will understand and hopefully follow the values you have tried to instill in her. Good luck with your weight loss, I know it can be a tough road. But dont do it for anyone but yourself.

1 mom found this helpful

First, I am so sorry that someone could be so thoughtless. However, you handled it well. I most likely would have looked directly at the child and said in my firmest voice, "My what an incredibly rude thing to say."

Of course yesterday I had to tell kids on the way to school to get off the retaining wall in someone's yard AND another group not to run people down and/or off the sidewalks when they are riding their scooters. I am of the mindset that kids need to be told when they say/do something that is unacceptable.

Good for you for spending time at school with your child.

1 mom found this helpful

Kids are just very cruel!! It's a shame. I would just talk with her and explain that God made everyone different...if we were all the same, it would be boring and we wouldn't learn tolerance, patience and kindness! You might want to mention to the teacher, that she needs to have a class talk about not saying mean things, etc.

I am so sorry you had this happen and I know your daughter is probably hurting for you too...just be strong for yourself and for your daughter. Teach her the right things and she'll do great, especially if she's strong like you said!

Also, keep up the great work and losing weight...you need to be healthy for you and your family, not just "skinny". Exercise and eat right and you'll not only feel better, you'll be setting a great example for your daughter!

My thoughts and prayers are with you!

1 mom found this helpful


First, what a nice mom you are to go have lunch with your daughter.

I grew up and still have a mom who struggles with her weight. She had done about everything healthy and unhealthy to manager her weight. I know there were times people said mean things about her, but I was NEVER embarrassed of her weight, I only thought ill of a person who would be so rude. Sometimes when people would mention my mom's weight I would think, oh yeah, I guess I never see her that way.

Don't mention it to your daughter unless she brings it up. The incident may be out of her mind and the focus being on you meeting her for lunch.

I'm sorry your first experience at a school lunch was bad. Please don’t let a bratty child ruin this experience.

1 mom found this helpful

I read this and my first reaction is what is happening to our children? I am shocked at the disrespect and behavior I see of so many children and this is unacceptable. 5 years old is old enough to have learned respect if it is taught at home. Maybe I am old fashioned or just raised differently but we were taught to respect our parents, other parents and teachers.

In terms of your daughter, sit her down and talk to her about it. I am sure she was more upset for you. Good luck on your weight loss -- it is a lifestyle change to make permanent and unfortunately no magic formulas other than healthy eating and exercies. (unless a medical condition)

1 mom found this helpful

First I agree with everyone else. You're awesome for going to have lunch with your daughter. Second I know for a fact (since I am a Mother and a Daughter) that your daughter thinks you're the prettiest person in the world. And that is what matters at the end of the day!!! Keep up the work on losing lbs. (only if that's what you want) and remember kids at that age learn mean things from their parents. So watch what you say and how you handle things in front of your two sweeties!! Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I think in this case it would be important for you and your daughter not to accept this little boy's behavior. You don't need to apologize he does (not that he will, or that you should try to get one from him). I would talk to your daughter about how people can hurt other people's feelings and how it isn't nice, and how it made you feel. You may think you should be thinner, but the boy would probably have been rude no matter what. Point is I would not let it appear to your daughter that this is your fault because it teaches her that when we are made fun of, we are to blame, and when someone calls her a name instead of thinking to herself "what and idiot" she will be very self loathing and blame herself.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm so sorry that happened to you! The people that have said anything to me about my weight is my family, like "should you really be eating that?" It's very humiliating. I have a 16 month girl and before I had her I was a size 5, now a 16. It is really embarrassing being around all these other skinny moms that didn't gain any weight, and then have it pointed out to me by my family.
I would just explain to your daughter about the fact that there are mean kids out there, and she just needs to ignore them. Mean kids like that will always be around. And that her walking away and ignoring him like she did was the right thing to do.
Keep your chin up and remember that it was just a stupid little boy who wasn't taught any manners by his parents!

I cry reading this! I very much feel for you!! That's one of my fears since I'm severly overweight. I weigh probably 80-90lbs over what I should. My daughter is 4 1/2 and she already knows the difference between fat and skinny and my mother in law (who is also hugly overweight) has made jokes about her own weight in front of my daughter and my daughter has picked up on it. She has told me before I look fat~not fun to hear! I'm now getting back onto Weight Watchers (that's been the only plan to ever work for me). I have the motivation of being able to keep up with my kids and like you mentioned~not being an embarrassment for them. My husbands mom was never able to ride any of the attractions at Six Flags because of her size. I don't want to be that to my kids...I want to be the fun cool mom. Please don't let that comment get you down. Look at it as motivation for how you're going to improve your health and hopefully won't have future situations like that. That was very wrong of that kid. I would just sit down with your daughter and tell her that it's not nice to say things like that kid did and that she doesn't have to defend you or anything.

Good luck and God bless!!!!!

I have had this situation happen to my daughter also. I can say my daughter was very upset. We talked about it and she understood. I just explained the meaning of prejudisim (sp?) and that not everyone knows what it is like to be different at this age. I also explained that maybe she should talk to this person (who was a friend) and tell her how much it upset her. It has seemed to help.

Kids can be mean, and around that age they and thier parents get mean and honest mixed up. Remember they are learning from YOU and their parents. Those are the people you need to speak to about this. The parents teach them that it is ok to say things like that about other people. I grew up with an obese mother who, because other parents refused to take the responsibility of teaching thier kids the difference between cruelty and honesty never took me to school, never went to the events etc. She at the time was dealing with illnesses that caused it and that really were not known or treatable until just recently. I now am obese and working on changing that in myslef as well so my son does not have to go through those same hardships. I congratulate you on working towards a healthy lifestyle it is a battle that is winable. Please from one young girl who's mom never made it to school functions please dont stop going, but do keep up the good work and talk to the parents of those children, heck talk to all the parents of the school. This is your golden opportunity to step in and make it matter. Help teach them the difference between HONESTY (and kids are!) and CRURELTY (if raised that way they can be).

Well, one thing I always have appreciated about children is that they just say what's on their minds...good, bad or ugly.

I would agree with addressing it directly, purposefully and immediately (as you did) by calling him out on being such a little butt (and I mean that in the NICEST Possible way of course) LOL... MY how rude... don't you know if you don't have something nice to say to someone, it's best to keep your trap shut? :)

I'll tell you a little story to hopefully just give you a smile... I had a party for my sister several years ago when my now 8 year old was about 2 1/2... to 3. We had LOTS of family there... and since my grandmother passed away when I was very young, her sisters have all stepped into her "grandmother role" in our lives. It's truly been a blessing for us. We were in the living room and my wonderfully thoughful, bubbly child walks RIGHT up to my great aunt and makes a face, turns a 180 to me and held his nose and said "SHE STINKS" I was oh so proud at that very moment.... I think you could have fit me in someone's shirt pocket.

Did I raise my child to say things like this out loud? No? Did he know to not say mean things -- actually YES... Was there anything I could have done about it? No.

I think it's just part of that filter that they have to learn when and when it isn't appropriate to say things... kind of like opening presents at Christmas in frotn of people. If they get something they've already received then they don't do the "I already have this" tone but to look them directly in the eye and say, thanks so much... this is great! I always told my son taht he can tell ME anything but if he doesn't know if it's nice or not to NOT say it outloud but to whisper it in my ear first. That has been a great source of him understanding what is and what isn't appropriate to say.

UNFORTUNATELY, that's not how all children are... I, personally, have never had to struggle with weight problems (for the most part -- more than 5-10 lbs here or there) but know PLENTY of people who have and it's something that is VERY personal and will strike to the very core of your soul.

Just like a previous poster said... my grandmother was quite overweight due to no exercise, poor diet, coupled with lots of health problems... and though I knew she was "fat"... when you truly love someone... it really DOESNT matter what's on the outside... it's what is on the inside that matters. And, that's not just something that "fat" people say... it's the cold hard truth. (that's a quote from a movie -- Liar Liar with Jim Carrey... wasn't trying to be mean)

Just pray for that child to learn from healing from the inside of his heart out. That's the only answer to this problem.. but at least it's one that WILL work. :) But having someone ridicule you... at ANY age still hurts...and for that, I'm sorry!

The main things here: you are active with your daughter in school.
Teach her that other kids who find you different for whatever
reason or even just to be mean because they like you, will
say mean things. Ignore them. What they say will stop in time
if you ignore them. That person or persons is not your friend,
ignore them.

I am overweight. I am teaching my daughter that it hurts
a person's feelings to point and call them fat or ugly.
And you don't want someone to say something to you that
would hurt your feelings.

It does not help a overweight persons ego to have others
put them down *should you be eating that*, *should you not
be drinking diet soda*, *if you did not eat that much
you would not be fat*. You get the message. I was taught
by my parents...eat all the food on your plate, children
are starving in china. And...you took it, you eat it.
I am not teaching my daughter that. I am teaching her, to eat
what she can. When she is full, she is full. And if it
looks ucky, take a bite, just one bite to taste it. No faces
or sounds. And teaching her to not take a big spoonful of
food, that if she wants more, there is more for seconds.

hi K., Thanks a tough one to deal with. I am also fat and my daughter said some of the girls said that your mom is fat. The problem is it's the truth I am fat. I sat down and talked with her after they said it, and tried to explain that the kids were tell the truth. Not really the best way , I told her that could really hurt someone feeling. I told her I was upset I just wished the would of said it a little different. I felt it was rude for them to say it like that. I tried to explain that God makes everyone different some are tall short fat beautiful not so cute ect. ect. But the biggest part of it all is what kind of person I am what is in my heart and how much I love her. She hugged me and told me she gets it. She is 6 Good luck D.

I'm so sorry this happened. I know how you feel. I have struggled with my weight for years and I now have a nearly 15mo. old daughter. I gained 50 pounds with my pregnancy and I have just recently lost that. I was heavy before I got pregnant. I feel the same way about wanting to be healthier and have a more positive self-image. Not all because I don't want her friends to make fun of me, but because I want to set a good example for her. I don't want her to develop my bad eating habits. Behavior is learned and I want to feel good about myself so that I can set the example for her to feel good about herself. I know that you can't really explain that to a 5yr old very easily, but I think all you can do is try to do your best to feel good about you and that will make her feel secure and happy to repeat the same behavior as she gets older. By the way, I was a chubby kid, you think kids are mean? At least your daughter's doesn't struggle with her weight. I got teased and tormented all through school. My biggest fear is that my daughter will struggle with her weight! No one should have to go through that, child or adult! I'm sorry this happend to you. Don't feel so bad though. God is Good!All the time!

I think when a child is only 5, he is just being honest and doesn't know any better. I'm overweight, too, (still haven't lost all of the prego pounds) and kids in my life have said things that sting but are definitely true. If you're around kids, you have to let things roll off and if you're in a position to teach them what is appropriate to say and not to say, then you teach them. I taught K through 8 for 7 years, and during that time weight was not really my issue. But kids will say what they think and they aren't always malicious in doing so. I've had lots of opportunities to be frustrated with kids, but I love them and understand where they are coming from (they either had parents who didn't teach them, or who said things to them that were inappropriate or misguided). I'm sorry you're in this awkward situation of feeling bad for your daughter. If she walked away, it sounds like she dealt with it with a good instinct. hang in there!

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