| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:23 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:34 pm 
Offline
Huffs Nutritional Yeast
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:35 am
Posts: 109
As my second grader was getting ready for bed the other night, she said, "Mom, I am fat." I asked for more information, to see if she could explain to me what prompted this comment, and she said that she noticed she was the biggest kid in her class, and that she wants to lose weight. She showed me how she sucks in her stomach.

I wound up talking to her about a number of things (some examples: how beautiful she is to me; how she should focus on how her body feels, and the things that she likes to do with her body, and not the numbers on the scale (side note: she'd just been weighed by her doctor--we don't have a scale at home); we talked about healthy food choices and moving our bodies; and we talked about how dieting isn't a good thing for her growing body).

What are some other ways that I can approach this? I have a very complicated history with weight and body issues. I was never overweight growing up, but developed an eating disorder in college, and my mother applauded my resulting weight loss. When I gained all of my weight back and then some, she began making critical comments, saying my husband would leave me, etc. Sooo... I just want to make sure I don't inadvertently do anything to harm my daughter when it comes to weight/eating/body image.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:51 am 
Offline
Naked Under Apron
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:35 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Boston
I was that second grader (one of the biggest kids in the class, both in terms of weight and height) and felt fat a lot. It sounds like you handled this perfectly, and I would keep that dialogue open if you hear any similar sentiments. One thing I have come to value as an adult is that my mother never said anything judgmental about her own weight, my weight, or the weight of anyone around us. Health, yes--but weight was never a part of that.

As your daughter gets older and faces this kind of thing more, telling her about your own struggles with how you perceive your body may help her realize that it's not just her.

_________________
http://vegetalion.blogspot.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:50 am 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:10 pm
Posts: 3957
Location: in the middle
vegetalion wrote:
It sounds like you handled this perfectly.


Agreed!

_________________
"Let's narrow the potential audience to Hegan Seagans who are Beegan when they Freegan" - Tigon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:32 am 
Offline
BAD PASS
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:43 pm
Posts: 3014
Location: NW Indiana/Chicago
dropscone wrote:
vegetalion wrote:
It sounds like you handled this perfectly.


Agreed!


+1!

My mom was great, but she definitely aided in my problems with food and self esteem. I found all these pictures last time I visited my dad, and in every single one, I'm doing this very exaggerated holding-my-breath thing because every time my mom took a picture of me, she'd say "Suck in your tummy!" In some of them I'm even pressing my hands into my stomach to "hold it in." I know she meant well, but I wish I could borrow the Delorean and go tell little me a few things.

Seems like you said exactly the right things and that you're a pretty awesome mom.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:49 am 
Offline
Saggy Butt
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:58 pm
Posts: 1207
Location: chicago
I agree, it sounds like you did great! One thing I noticed is how she said she's the biggest kid in her class- does this mean tallest? I think there's something to be said about being proportional, too- if she's taller than all her classmates right now, then it makes sense that her weight should be higher too, because she's just got a taller body to support. Kids develop at all different rates, and just because she's at the bigger end of kids right now doesn't mean it will still be that at by the time she's in 5th grade, or 9th grade. I remember being one of the taller 5th graders in my class, but then I stopped growing around age 12 and stalled at a measly 5'3. There was definitely some feeling awkward about inhabiting what felt like this huuuuge body, though.

My mom was also overall pretty great, but I distinctly remember her telling me around age 11 or 12 that I should start exercising. That totally did a number on how I saw my body for a while, even though looking back I think she may have been trying to say that I, a pretty bookish kid, should just start doing some sort of physical activity because it's good for you. But skmce it was at a time when I was growing some curves, i.e. Collecting new fat deposits and getting stretch marks and going up pants sizes to accommodate my new hips, and since she was frequently dieting and exercising on a weight-loss sort of way, it totally read to me like I should start doing that, too. :(


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:57 am 
Offline
Wears Durian Helmet
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:16 am
Posts: 874
Location: NJ
I feel you so much right now, and I feel for your daughter too! for me that "omg i'm huge" year was 3rd grade. i am sending you both hugs!

I have a baby girl, and struggled with weight a lot, so this is one of the things that terrifies me the most about raising my daughter,

You already did a lot of great things already and there are lots of great suggestions here. I would add 2 things:

1 - I don't know if you've talked to your daughter about puberty yet, but that might be a good thing to discuss, little by little. I was the biggest kid in my class partly because I was the tallest, but also in the next few years the first to get breasts and my period. It wasn't that I "got fat" in 3rd grade, that was just the first stage of puberty for me. As an adult looking back, I feel like it would have been helpful if someone had explained not just the period part, but the changing body shape part. and in my case maybe pointed out my mom, aunts, and cousins as a good estimation of the faxt that i was likely to grow big boobs. that "extra" body fat was not extra, over the next few years it became breasts and hips, and my body was not doing something "wrong."

2 - you know your own kid, so with her in mind think about if it would be helpful to talk about how people think abd talk about bodies and how that affects us. for example, it's taken me almost 35 years to not cringe inwardly and feel terrible about myself when someone much smaller than me complains about how "fat" they are. i used to go, god if you think youre fat what must you think of me, etc. it's sad but entirely possible there are other kids her age obsessing about being fat, picking up the language and worry from adults in their lives. mostly if someone else is freaking out about their thighs or whatever, they're totally wrapped up in their own insecurity. they arent even looking at you.

i'm rambling, i think im trying to say ask her how other people n her life talk about bodies - theirs and other peoples - and try to help her, as you have been, appreciate her body and not worry about other people's opinions.

i lean towards adding noticing and appreciating lots of body shapes in the real world and pointing out the limited body dhapes we see in the media, not necessarily now as she seems to be mostly comparing herself to the kids in her class, but definitely later. i know personally, as a teen, if someone had told me to focus on what my body can do, and left it at that, i would totally have read between the lines "focus onwhat your body can DO, because how it LOOKS is *bad*"

sorry for the novel, like i said i think about this a lot.

_________________
...I am an opinionated prick not a problem solver. -matwinser

Now I remember why I try to keep a continent between me and New Jersey at all times. -torque


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:40 am 
Offline
Seagull of the PPK
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:46 pm
Posts: 10097
Location: Bananaland
^^wow, you raise a lot of really good points!!!

I was just thinking about this, second and third grade for many kids is a time of role models, when you really look up to people. Is there any person she idolizes that you could enlist to reinforce the same awesome message you are giving her? Teacher, pediatrician, etc? My daughter always listened to what I said but if Miss Wendy from the library said it, it was basically the word of god.

_________________
Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
James Joyce doesn’t give a twopenny damn, but Marie Kondo does. Oh, bother. --J O'Donogue, JT


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:53 am 
Offline
Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 9138
Location: Portland
I'm not a parent, but I've had opportunity to observe my stepmother and half sisters dealing with this. My stepmother struggled with ED for a long time and really wanted (wants) to prevent her daughters from going through that. To that end, she's always been really, really, really permissive of any and all food anytime, so as not to make the girls feel like certain foods were bad or good, or model any kind of restrictive behavior. She's also vegan and didn't raise the girls vegan, and always actually kind of weirdly encouraged them to eat non-vegan foods. The girls (now 12 and 14) are pretty good with food and body image, but from my perspective, it seems like being raised in such a super permissive way when it comes to food has left them kind of confused about it, and I don't think they see food as useful fuel. They seem to have a much more emotional relationship with it.

I contrast this to my upbringing, wherein my mom never encouraged dieting or anything like that, but was relatively strict about us eating healthy foods. My half sisters got Lunchables all the time because they wanted them, and my stepmom was so worried about them developing food issues that she would give them. My mom gave us WW sandwiches and cut up veggies, which I hated at the time, but now, I'm super, super grateful for because I've never dealt with ED issues, and feel like I have a good relationship with food. I'm not so sure my half sisters will have the same relationship, since they only thing they've learned about food is want --> have.

I will say that once, when I was around your daughter's age, I told my mom I wanted to go on a diet. I was a tiny kid, but dieting was something that I'd seen cool, grownup ladies do on TV and to a small extent in real life, so I wanted to try it on the same way I tried on my mom's pumps. I'm sure my mom was alarmed by my proclamation, but she just asked a few mild, non-judgmental questions and said, "okay, have fun." I didn't actually restrict my food intake. I didn't think much about it at all, really. I just wanted to say I was dieting because grownup ladies did that. Now, I of course see the serious issues with the dieting young woman being such a hot role model for a 7 or 8 year old, but as that 7 or 8 year old, the deeper meaning wasn't there. I forgot about it less than 2 days later.

I hope that makes some sense. I'm not trying to say that what you're doing is like my stepmother, or that your daughter is doing what I did when I was her age. Your post just made me think of those two things in my own life, and if the perspective is useful, then that's to the good.

_________________
These shitbirds should pay for their own elections if they aren't going to be obligated by any democratic pretense. - Mumbles
Don't you know that vegan meat is the gateway drug to chicken addiction? Because GMO and trans-fats. - kaerlighed


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:24 am 
Offline
Huffs Nutritional Yeast
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:35 am
Posts: 109
electric_claire wrote:
I agree, it sounds like you did great! One thing I noticed is how she said she's the biggest kid in her class- does this mean tallest?


Thank you!

Yes, she is also the tallest kid in her class.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:28 am 
Offline
Huffs Nutritional Yeast
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:35 am
Posts: 109
Mack the Spork wrote:
I feel you so much right now, and I feel for your daughter too! for me that "omg i'm huge" year was 3rd grade. i am sending you both hugs!

I have a baby girl, and struggled with weight a lot, so this is one of the things that terrifies me the most about raising my daughter,

You already did a lot of great things already and there are lots of great suggestions here. I would add 2 things:

1 - I don't know if you've talked to your daughter about puberty yet, but that might be a good thing to discuss, little by little. I was the biggest kid in my class partly because I was the tallest, but also in the next few years the first to get breasts and my period. It wasn't that I "got fat" in 3rd grade, that was just the first stage of puberty for me. As an adult looking back, I feel like it would have been helpful if someone had explained not just the period part, but the changing body shape part. and in my case maybe pointed out my mom, aunts, and cousins as a good estimation of the faxt that i was likely to grow big boobs. that "extra" body fat was not extra, over the next few years it became breasts and hips, and my body was not doing something "wrong."

2 - you know your own kid, so with her in mind think about if it would be helpful to talk about how people think abd talk about bodies and how that affects us. for example, it's taken me almost 35 years to not cringe inwardly and feel terrible about myself when someone much smaller than me complains about how "fat" they are. i used to go, god if you think youre fat what must you think of me, etc. it's sad but entirely possible there are other kids her age obsessing about being fat, picking up the language and worry from adults in their lives. mostly if someone else is freaking out about their thighs or whatever, they're totally wrapped up in their own insecurity. they arent even looking at you.

i'm rambling, i think im trying to say ask her how other people n her life talk about bodies - theirs and other peoples - and try to help her, as you have been, appreciate her body and not worry about other people's opinions.

i lean towards adding noticing and appreciating lots of body shapes in the real world and pointing out the limited body dhapes we see in the media, not necessarily now as she seems to be mostly comparing herself to the kids in her class, but definitely later. i know personally, as a teen, if someone had told me to focus on what my body can do, and left it at that, i would totally have read between the lines "focus onwhat your body can DO, because how it LOOKS is *bad*"

sorry for the novel, like i said i think about this a lot.


Thank you for all of this. I did not even think about puberty! That's a very good point. I recently bought the first "Care and Keeping of You" book for her, after she asked about it during a trip to the bookstore, so that would be a good starting point.

I really need to start pointing out--and appreciating!--lots of body shapes to her. I definitely don't do this enough!

I also see what you mean about her reading between the lines. I'm reading this at work, and I'm making lots of notes about what I want to bring up with her in the car on the way home from school this afternoon!

Thank you again!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:30 am 
Offline
Huffs Nutritional Yeast
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:35 am
Posts: 109
torque wrote:
^^wow, you raise a lot of really good points!!!

I was just thinking about this, second and third grade for many kids is a time of role models, when you really look up to people. Is there any person she idolizes that you could enlist to reinforce the same awesome message you are giving her? Teacher, pediatrician, etc? My daughter always listened to what I said but if Miss Wendy from the library said it, it was basically the word of god.


Ooh. Good idea. I'll have to think on it!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:34 am 
Offline
Huffs Nutritional Yeast
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:35 am
Posts: 109
jordanpattern wrote:
I'm not a parent, but I've had opportunity to observe my stepmother and half sisters dealing with this. My stepmother struggled with ED for a long time and really wanted (wants) to prevent her daughters from going through that. To that end, she's always been really, really, really permissive of any and all food anytime, so as not to make the girls feel like certain foods were bad or good, or model any kind of restrictive behavior. She's also vegan and didn't raise the girls vegan, and always actually kind of weirdly encouraged them to eat non-vegan foods. The girls (now 12 and 14) are pretty good with food and body image, but from my perspective, it seems like being raised in such a super permissive way when it comes to food has left them kind of confused about it, and I don't think they see food as useful fuel. They seem to have a much more emotional relationship with it.

I contrast this to my upbringing, wherein my mom never encouraged dieting or anything like that, but was relatively strict about us eating healthy foods. My half sisters got Lunchables all the time because they wanted them, and my stepmom was so worried about them developing food issues that she would give them. My mom gave us WW sandwiches and cut up veggies, which I hated at the time, but now, I'm super, super grateful for because I've never dealt with ED issues, and feel like I have a good relationship with food. I'm not so sure my half sisters will have the same relationship, since they only thing they've learned about food is want --> have.

I will say that once, when I was around your daughter's age, I told my mom I wanted to go on a diet. I was a tiny kid, but dieting was something that I'd seen cool, grownup ladies do on TV and to a small extent in real life, so I wanted to try it on the same way I tried on my mom's pumps. I'm sure my mom was alarmed by my proclamation, but she just asked a few mild, non-judgmental questions and said, "okay, have fun." I didn't actually restrict my food intake. I didn't think much about it at all, really. I just wanted to say I was dieting because grownup ladies did that. Now, I of course see the serious issues with the dieting young woman being such a hot role model for a 7 or 8 year old, but as that 7 or 8 year old, the deeper meaning wasn't there. I forgot about it less than 2 days later.

I hope that makes some sense. I'm not trying to say that what you're doing is like my stepmother, or that your daughter is doing what I did when I was her age. Your post just made me think of those two things in my own life, and if the perspective is useful, then that's to the good.


This does make sense. I do see some of my behavior in what your stepmother did, and I'm glad you've pointed it out. My own mother rarely kept food in the house, and so I have a tendency to buy all the things, and to go through cycles of being totally permissive about food, because I don't want to model restriction in any way. But then I'll have a week where I buy lots of healthier things, and I'm sure it feels restrictive to her.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:36 am 
Offline
Huffs Nutritional Yeast
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:35 am
Posts: 109
Hollie wrote:
dropscone wrote:
vegetalion wrote:
It sounds like you handled this perfectly.


Agreed!


+1!

My mom was great, but she definitely aided in my problems with food and self esteem. I found all these pictures last time I visited my dad, and in every single one, I'm doing this very exaggerated holding-my-breath thing because every time my mom took a picture of me, she'd say "Suck in your tummy!" In some of them I'm even pressing my hands into my stomach to "hold it in." I know she meant well, but I wish I could borrow the Delorean and go tell little me a few things.

Seems like you said exactly the right things and that you're a pretty awesome mom.


Thank you! I'm so sorry that your mom would do that! I know how you feel. If time travel were possible...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:37 am 
Offline
Huffs Nutritional Yeast
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:35 am
Posts: 109
vegetalion wrote:
I was that second grader (one of the biggest kids in the class, both in terms of weight and height) and felt fat a lot. It sounds like you handled this perfectly, and I would keep that dialogue open if you hear any similar sentiments. One thing I have come to value as an adult is that my mother never said anything judgmental about her own weight, my weight, or the weight of anyone around us. Health, yes--but weight was never a part of that.

As your daughter gets older and faces this kind of thing more, telling her about your own struggles with how you perceive your body may help her realize that it's not just her.


How did your mom separate health from weight? Her pediatrician really pushes the health = weight concept. It might be time to find a new pediatrician, actually.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:30 am 
Offline
Naked Under Apron
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:35 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Boston
TheKillingMoon wrote:
How did your mom separate health from weight? Her pediatrician really pushes the health = weight concept. It might be time to find a new pediatrician, actually.


I guess the separation of health and weight was really by omission--neither activity nor food was conflated with weight. Food in my house was related to comfort, so we didn't have restrictions on it, but also my mother was pretty good about explaining that it was also our source of nutrients. She never used the words "empty calories" or anything like that, but it was sort of implied that you should be getting something out of your food (i.e., comfort or vitamins). Also, being outside or doing any sort of physical activity (walks, running, sports) was good for you, but you should only do them because you like them or because they make you feel good physically or emotionally (i.e., there was never any pressure to pick up an activity).

You may be able to talk with the pediatrician (before/after your daughter is in the room) about your concerns conflating health and weight. If you bring up your own history of disordered eating and mention your fears that how some of the language around weight is triggering for that sort of behavior, it may make the doctor realize his/her tone could be harmful instead of helpful. I think a lot of doctors just say what they think they're supposed to say and don't think about how they sound.

_________________
http://vegetalion.blogspot.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Second Grader Worries About Weight
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:57 am 
Offline
Brain Made of Raw Seitan
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 1289
Location: 'Burbs of California
Has your pediatrician actually said that your daughter is overweight?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: anna bee and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer