April 05, 2011,
C.R. asks from White, GA on January 13, 2010
My 7 Year-old Daughter Is Talking About Being Fat.
My little girl has started expressing concerns that she is fat. She is a tall, slender thing and there has never been any concern on our part that she is overweight. In fact, she has hypotonic cerebral palsy which means she has low tone and looks more slender than other girls her age.
We have never talked about weight in our house. I am overweight and do not mention it nor do I obsess about it in my own head. When we talk about food, it only focuses on health (i.e. food groups, vitamins, minerals). And we don't even talk about that all that much. We're of the school that if we serve a variety of foods, they'll get what they need. We're not even a family that yells about eating vegetables. We serve dinner, encourage them to taste, and then they may eat whatever is served.
After several times of her mentioning it, I asked who has been talking about "fat," her friends? Her teacher? She said no one has talked about it, she just thought of it on her own. She says she just doesn't want to get fat.
We have reacted casually, not made a big deal out of it.
Am I too worried about this? I just know girls start feeling pressure so young and I want to protect her from it.
She eats normally and balanced. She does not refuse food. She does not mention diet. Just that she doesn't want to get fat.
She has some disabilities (cerebral palsy, vision impairment, etc.) and thought this would be our worry. Not getting "fat."
1 mom found this helpful
H.B. answers from Springfield on April 05, 2011
I am a 20 year old woman, just beginning that transition from being my parents' baby to thinking about my future interest in motherhood. I am passionate about women's body image interests (I'm very much of the "everyone is beautiful" school of thought) and I also love kids and whenever I look at them I think about how much I will love being a mother to my own someday. I must commend you on your approach as a mother. I am so impressed by your interest both in nurturing your daughter's physical health and stimulating her development of a positive self-image. I think your confidence and kindness are incredibly impressive. I don't think you should worry too much, because with a guide like you creating a warm and supportive environment, I'm sure she will do nothing but thrive. Best to you and your beautiful daughter.
1 mom found this helpful
P.S. answers from Macon on January 14, 2010
She might have seen a report on tv. They are always reporting on how many obese people we have in the U.S. I have heard these reports so many times, I am sick of it.
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A.R. answers from Atlanta on January 14, 2010
I went through a version of this with my older daughter, triggered by being weighed in gym. In my case, she was beginning to refuse desserts, so she wouldn't get fat. She, too, was slender and our conversations were never about fat people, etc. But, there are magazines, TV, etc. which do perpetuate images of ultra-slim models, etc.
I called her pediatrician (while she wasn't present, of course) and explained my concerns, and her comments. Then, we went in for a "check-up". When she was asked if there was anything she was concerned about, she willingly offered her worries. He charted her height and weight and showed her where she "ranked", adding IF there is a problem, your mom and I will be here, let you know, and help you make different choices. For now, there is nothing for me or you to be concerned about.
That was all it took! By including she and I with him, as a team, she felt supported, heard and understood. We left with no further problems!
Sending every good wish with your beautiful one!
A.T. answers from Washington DC on January 13, 2010
I am having simlilar issues with my 7 yr old. She is not overweight-she is skinny as a rail. She has also started talking about being fat & that she can't wear certain outfits because she will look too fat in them. It is kind of scary because they are so young & I can't remember thinking about these things when I was their age.
I am not overweight but I could lose a few pounds but I try to be careful not to talk about that in front of her. I have recently started exercising again but I tell her it is so that I will feel better.
My daughter also eats everything & never turns anything down (unless is is "yucky")!
I think that it is best to stay on top of it-it probably doen's mean anything right now but you never know in the future. It was nice to see someone here that is dealing with the same issue.
I hope everything will work out wonderful for your girl!
J.D. answers from Atlanta on January 14, 2010
My 6 yr old said she wasn't going to wear sweatpants because they "made her look fat." I was astounded! I said there was no way to make a beautiful girl look anything but beautiful and that sweatpants were designed to be comfortable and warm, not fashion statements. She seemed to accept that and wore them.
Maybe ask what she thinks "fat" looks like, or why looking "fat" would be bad -- in a "healthy isn't always the same shape for each person" way. When you involved your doctor or looked at articles online with her, you would have the "authority" figure as as "just mom."
Good luck with everything:)