What do you do when your 8 year old says this?

Monday, November 26, 2012

So the other day I was just done on my elliptical and went downstairs to enjoy the company of my children. I was sitting on the couch cuddling my oldest when she says to me 'Mom do you think I'm skinny enough?'.

I was at a loss for words on that one! I suffered from anorexia when I was 16 and had been starving myself since I was 8. My daughter does not know this about me and I wonderd if I should share it with her.

So in answer to her question I said 'You are the perfect size for you. Big or small, fat, skinny, plump or anything else you are the perfect size because no matter what I love you for who you are'. Apparently a few girls in her class are obsessed with their size. I will not let this happen to my daughter if I can help it!

Since being on Spark my daughters have seen me go through quite a bit. I will not hide this journey from them because it's about me getting healthy and fit for life. I help them with their school lunch and encourage a fruit and veggie and they aren't allowed anything like cookies in their lunch. That stuff is for home, after dinner when I give permission. I know booo mom lol. I have even caught my oldest reading the lables to her younger sister!

But this new adventure I'm not sure what to do on. My daughter is 8 years old and weighs 48 lbs. She's happy, healthy and eats very well in proper portions! How can you get it through an 8 year old's head that she is perfect no matter what and it's not the size that matters? Especially when her mom is over weight and is trying to get fit???
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think you did the right thing. Sharing your journey now will teach them lifelong healthy habits. Skinny isn't always healthy. I think if we keep telling our children the positives of a healthy lifestyle (not a skinny one) that it will eventually outweigh all the negative peer pressure they get. At least that is my hope with my daughter.
    2027 days ago
    You responded well. My 13 year old has been underweight for years and after testing and all sorts of stuff we decided her development is as it is and if she's eating healthy (which she is, does better than i do most days) then she's perfect! At school it's hard as everyone is always compared to everyone else. The distinction between healthy and skinny can be hard for a young person to comprehend, but it's something that must be shown by example and that's exactly what you're doing-excellent job!
    2029 days ago
    Oh my... I struggle with something similar, but on the other side of the spectrum. I come from an upbringing of "good" eaters. Cleaning your plate was a must. I've battled being overweight pretty much my entire life. The only photos I have of myself growning up that I don't appear overweight in are before 5 years old. And all my life I remember my mom saying that I was not overweight, that I was perfect the way I was. She never liked hearing me say I was fat, but didn't know how to encourage me otherwise either. We work with the tools we have. I'm grown now, and can learn and decide healthy choices for myself now. I've had to re-learn how to eat. I have a son who is 7 years old, and he can be a "hoss" if I let him. I never want to deny him when he is hungry, but I too am finding myself trying to teach him good choices and bad choices with food. I just hope and pray that if I can pass along some of the good habits I'm just now learning, then maybe he won't have to go through the same thing I did growing up. Keep with it. It sounds like you have your daughter's best interest at heart. Teaching healthy vs thin/fat I think is best. Congratulations on your journey and keep up the good work.
    2029 days ago
    I think the idea is to talk about healthy weights and celebrate them gaining or maintaining a healthy weight. Mix it up with conversation about healthy, active bodies and make sure time together being active is fun and positive. :-)

    2029 days ago
    I think you answered her just right. Also, discuss the difference between "healthy" and "skinny". That made a huge difference in my personal way of thinking.
    2029 days ago
    You gave her the perfect answer.
    2029 days ago
    I have a daughter who just turned 9 today and is a little on the heavy side. She also has seen me work through my weight issues and I think it's made her realize everyone has to be mindful of what they eat and how active they are to have an enjoyable life. She occassionally mentions weight but never about herself. She seems very confident in herself, but has come to realize sometimes she can't have every treat she wants if she wants to be her healthiest self. I hope we've struck a good balance in our home, but it is certainly a challenge with whatever messages they are getting outside the home!
    2029 days ago
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