Body Positivity and Parenting

Female Forum Forums Category Related Discussion Pregnancy & Parenting Body Positivity and Parenting

This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Rachel 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #203134

    I’ve been following the Body Positivity movement lately, and I know many people have issues around it (permission to engage in an unhealthy lifestyle, etc…). Regardless of how people may feel about this, there’s no doubt we’ve entered a crisis with young children wanting to diet, lose or gain weight, and exercise excessively. Especially those engaged in dance, gymnastics, etc…

    As a life coach hoping to having a positive effect on this issue, I’m wondering what parents of pre-teen kids would like people to say to their children, and what they hate hearing people say to their children, about their bodies in this regard. Please feel free to share with me privately if you’re not comfortable posting here in the forum.

    Your insight would be so valuable. Thanks.

    #203149

    Weight was never mentioned or made an issue in our house. We had  healthy eating and fruit was a free food ie; the fruit bowl was always accessable and the children never needed to ask if they could have fruit. Cookies etc were limited to treat time. Saturdays were christened ‘fat Saturday’ the children could choose the menu (often they still wanted healthy options) and they had pocket money of which half they could spend of sweets (candy) and the other half was for a comic book or to spend or save as they wished. These were the only sweets they got all week and most times they were happy to have them while they watched a movie or childrens tv.

    I dont have womens magazines in my house I dont diet and until I got sick weight was never an issue.

    I was shocked when my nine year old daughter came home and said she was fat.. The girls at school had told her because she could not close he thumb and middle finger around her wrist this meant she was fat , actually she was very slim and petite.

    I tackeled her teacher about this who thought it was nothing to worry about and brushed it aside.

    Basically I  have taught my children that being clean and tidy is imprtant but what really counts is who you are on the inside. When they were being awful to each other I used to tell them   ‘go look at yourself in the mirror , take a good look and if you wouldnt want to be your own best friend then you need to change what youre doing because if you wouldnt want to be friends with yourself why would anyone else want to?

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  cassandra.
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    #203247

    I am not a parent at this stage of my life, but have strong principles when it comes to parenting. Food and diet is something I would strongly instil in a daughter. I would show them – through example – rather than tell them. Words can be ignored or pushed aside, whereas actions have a much more lasting effect. I would show them through my actions that it is OK to get hungry and eat. It is OK to have the odd sweet. It is OK to feel proud of oneself without giving in to others. I think instiling high self esteem and an inner feeling of safety, any child of mine would not allow others to give her an eating disorder. She would be strong enough to protect herself without harming herself or putting herself down.

    Children do learn by example and it is that inner security that decides how others pressures a child: and therefore how adulthood turns out. And also whether or not she ends up with an eating disorder.

    Actions speak louder than words, as the old saying goes.

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    #203382

    I think when they can understand what you are saying you should instill in your children what healthy food is and as someone said a treat at weekends would help. The fact that hubby and I are both slim and eat healthy food means they have some bench mark to guide them in their food choices. Plus plenty of exercise of course like dog walking and  family games.

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    #203385

    I was shocked when my nine year old daughter came home and said she was fat.. The girls at school had told her because she could not close he thumb and middle finger around her wrist this meant she was fat , actually she was very slim and petite.

    I tackeled her teacher about this who thought it was nothing to worry about and brushed it aside.

    I wish more teachers were better prepared to handle such things. Sadly, they’re overworked and underpaid and can barely keep up with the duties expected of them. Still, there’s no reason a teacher should ignore this. It’s only going to get harder.

     

    #203387

    I think instiling high self esteem and an inner feeling of safety, any child of mine would not allow others to give her an eating disorder. She would be strong enough to protect herself without harming herself or putting herself down.

    Children do learn by example and it is that inner security that decides how others pressures a child: and therefore how adulthood turns out. And also whether or not she ends up with an eating disorder.

    Actions speak louder than words, as the old saying goes.

    You’re very right, feeling safe and having stable role models is a great preventative against things like ED.

    #203389

    You would be surprised at how easily even the most secure child can be made to feel awful when pressure and jeered at by groups of up to 20 class mates. Never underestimate the power of peer pressure it is insidious and  can override everything if allowed to go unchecked. Luckily  my children knew they could always come to me and we nipped this incident in the bud, the girls pressuring my daughter had learned this stupid fable from their mothers who listen to diet gurus in silly womens magazines.  A quick chat with the other mothers about the damage they were causing did the trick.

    So while its important to make our child feel secure in their own body its just as important to make sure they understand to respect others in their body /shape/image/ choice or feeling. If we only focus on our own body or our childs choice its easy for them to become blinded to the fact that there is no one rule fits all solution..

    BTW ..I should have pointed out the teacher involved was a young man so maybe he didnt really understand the implications.

    Also my daughter wasnt fat but she has very petite hands which was why she couldnt do this ‘trick’

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    #203460

    I know exactly what you’re saying, cassandra: peer pressure can be awful and I know all about it. Being jeered at – or something similar – has a big impact on a person’s decisions. It is often easy to go with the crowd: because if you don’t, your feelings will be badly hurt. You can act tough, be forward, but you’ll still be tested. And if you fail the test, you’re in dire straits. Being singled out because you are “fat”, “nice but dim”, or you stutter, or you are too tall, or you are foreign or the new one in class: the list goes on.

    It is very nasty, but children/younger people can be incredibly nasty if you don’t go their way. And it is even worse when 20 people agree with them. So I do know the pressure.

    I still feel teaching a child to respect his/herself and not have low self esteem is vital. Of course, this won’t change child psychology but at least is gives your kid a fighting chance.

    This all sounds very negative, but it happens every day: and not just in schools. It is – basically – bullying. If the kid/adult is “fat” then they’re considered greedy, stupid, ugly, useless, etc. And no kid wants those labels attached to them. So yes: you’re right. Peer pressure is very real and I know about it.

    #203495

    Have privated messaged you KitKatKitty in response to your message!

    #203528

    Thank you, Rachel!

    #203540

    KitKitKatty, have just responded back to you!

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