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DD-7 "I'm fat."

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 9:17 am
Over sukkos, my 7 y/o dd asked me "Am I fat?" I was so surprised. It's really not something we ever talk about, ppls weight. I said "no, where did you get that idea?" Apparently a girl in her class said she was fat. (I'm not sure if this was made up or not. She does tend to think that people don't like her, and when girls make an effort to be her friend she thinks it's fake... While separate discussion or maybe not...)

Prior to this encounter, she actually thought she was thin. In reality, she is very tall for her age and maybe slightly over average weight for her height, but not "fat."

So anyway, I assured her that she is not fat, that she is beautiful and looks very healthy for her height. But since then, she started randomly saying "I'm fat and nobody likes me." Not in a very serious or sad voice, I think she was just trying to see what I would respond. So I usually do active listening and just reflect back her concerns, and tell her she's beautiful and healthy. But now her younger brothers started screaming "you're fat" and laughing together. Then she comes to me sad that they're calling her fat.

For some reason this is throwing me for a loop, any ideas on how you would handle this?
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amother




Blushpink
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 9:21 am
Decharge it from the fat issue and treat it as you would any other sibling name calling and bullying.
It is triggering tho- ugh
I’d make it a hardline no name calling etc with consequences and later empathy guidance
While working with my daughter to both build her up and strengthen her vulnerability to their taunting
Hatzlocha
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amother




Royalblue
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 10:54 am
I don't think 7 year olds say things just to see how you would respond. I would assume she meant what she said and discuss it with her and try to find out if she is being teased and excluded at school.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 11:07 am
Thanks for the responses... Yes she is being excluded. I don't think outright teased (most days). She is in a new school.
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amother




Blushpink
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 11:10 am
If she is in a new school I would contact them and morah and any moms you know and set up outings and play dates to help her acclimate. Also hobbies and extracurriculars. Can take time.
Hugs and hatzlocha
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 11:23 am
amother Blushpink wrote:
If she is in a new school I would contact them and morah and any moms you know and set up outings and play dates to help her acclimate. Also hobbies and extracurriculars. Can take time.
Hugs and hatzlocha


Thank you! Yes we have been doing that and it goes well one on one. I do think she might be a little off socially (she's an oldest girl), but I'm not sure. Obv it doesn't matter if she's not a "cool kid" as long as she is able to make some friends. She really sweet & thoughtful. Very sensitive (which is good and bad).

What is the best response when she tells me she is fat?
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amother




Mustard
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 11:34 am
"Excuse me? Are you talking that way about my lovely daughter?"

But seriously, sit down and have a talk. You are concerned to see her insulting herself this way. Where is it coming from? Is something bothering her? Is something going on in school? You are always available to listen and she should know that no matter what is going on you and her father love her very much and can fix it/help figure it out. Let her know you are not at all concerned about her weight (if this is true) that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and you are so glad shes a little bigger since now theres more of her to love. I am saying this assuming there is no real weight issue and you dont anticipate one (obesity doesnt run in the family)
No matter what size she is everyone should always try to serve healthy options and praise children for healthy choices.

Hope this helps!
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amother




DarkMagenta
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 11:37 am
amother OP wrote:
Thank you! Yes we have been doing that and it goes well one on one. I do think she might be a little off socially (she's an oldest girl), but I'm not sure. Obv it doesn't matter if she's not a "cool kid" as long as she is able to make some friends. She really sweet & thoughtful. Very sensitive (which is good and bad).

What is the best response when she tells me she is fat?
”You’re beautiful and perfect just the way you are. I’ll always love you no matter what.” While looking her in the eye.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 11:46 am
Thank you Mustang and DarkMagenta, that's very helpful. I'm going to try it out!

Actually, we do have overweight family members, including 2 grandparents who w/ severe obesity. My husband and I are somewhat health conscious (we don't diet but we try to be healthy) and are of average bmi BH.
We do guide our kids intake of sweets (limited cookies chips etc on weekdays, candy and "dessert" only on shabbos and not unlimited).
Not sure how this plays in.
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amother




DarkMagenta
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 11:52 am
amother OP wrote:
Thank you Mustang and DarkMagenta, that's very helpful. I'm going to try it out!

Actually, we do have overweight family members, including 2 grandparents who w/ severe obesity. My husband and I are somewhat health conscious (we don't diet but we try to be healthy) and are of average bmi BH.
We do guide our kids intake of sweets (limited cookies chips etc on weekdays, candy and "dessert" only on shabbos and not unlimited).
Not sure how this plays in.
We talk about food choices in terms of being healthy, staying full, keeping our teeth healthy, feeding the friendly bugs in our bellies, strong muscles and bones, brain foods, foods that are good for your mood, but never about weight.

The tricky part here is not her awareness of her weight, but her self worth despite her weight. She needs to feel in her bones that she is worthy of being loved no matter what she looks like.

In a way, making a big fuss about people calling her fat can backfire, because then you are confirming that fat is an insult. It doesn’t have to be a taboo word, that can actually increase the shame around it.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 12:03 pm
amother DarkMagenta wrote:
We talk about food choices in terms of being healthy, staying full, keeping our teeth healthy, feeding the friendly bugs in our bellies, strong muscles and bones, brain foods, foods that are good for your mood, but never about weight.

The tricky part here is not her awareness of her weight, but her self worth despite her weight. She needs to feel in her bones that she is worthy of being loved no matter what she looks like.

In a way, making a big fuss about people calling her fat can backfire, because then you are confirming that fat is an insult. It doesn’t have to be a taboo word, that can actually increase the shame around it.


You hit the nail on the head with the bold, that's exactly what I'm hoping to try to help her with. She is moving into a stage of being more aware of her appearance. Looking in the mirror, asking me if X matches, how her hair looks, etc. I want to know how to best support her and help her develop a healthy relationship with her body and her appearance.
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