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aibu to defend my chubby son from 'fat attacks'

(31 Posts)
mofro Tue 18-Nov-14 19:33:58

My 10 year old ds is chubby and gets called cute ALL the time! I guess ive been lazy with him and keep thinking its puppy fat that he'll grow out of- butwant to prep him for secondary school next year and dont want him to be bullied. His 12 yo brother teases him all the time about him being fat.

hes aged 10 and has a belly that hangs a bit..his clothes are 11-12 years and i actually bought him generous school trousera this year as normal ones are very tight on his butt!

What could and should i do? Thanks

PotteringAlong Tue 18-Nov-14 19:36:01

Is he actually fat? Does he eat too much and do too little exercise?

LokiBear Tue 18-Nov-14 19:36:08

Make sure he eats healthily and limit junk. Encourage a new hobby that gets him active. Stop your older child from making mean comments.

formerbabe Tue 18-Nov-14 19:38:41

Speaking as a former fat kid, don't pressure him into losing weight or even discuss it. It doesn't work. Make slow gradual changes to his diet...ie more veg, baked not fried food, cut down on sugar...and increase exercise. Walk more, use the car less, get off the bus a stop earlier.

bakingtins Tue 18-Nov-14 19:38:48

If he has a belly and you have to buy larger size clothes to fit his bum, then he is fat.
Should you defend people rude enough to tease him about it? Of course.
Should you persist in the belief that he is 'chubby' and not address it? No.
Take him to the GP, get an accurate assessment of his weight and BMI, they will give advice or refer you to dietician if appropriate.

Kundry Tue 18-Nov-14 19:42:31

More important than being bullied is that you need to do this for his health. He sounds fat rather than chubby or puppy fat - you are setting him up for a lifetime of obesity. Numerous studies have shown parents under estimate the weight of their children. He should not have a belly that hangs a bit.

What can you do? Make sure the whole family eats healthily and scrap junk/processed food/sweets. Heavily limit chocolate and cake. Have a think about how big your portion sizes are. Don't tell anyone they need to 'finish their plate'.

Most over weight is due to diet rather than exercise and your biggest efforts need to be on diet. But you need to do exercise as well - are their journeys which could be walked/cycled rather than driven? What hobbies does he have - can you suggest more active or outdoorsy ones?

ApocalypseThen Tue 18-Nov-14 19:46:43

Apart from lifestyle changes, I think it's so important to emphasise that you love and accept him just as he is. Any change you make needs to be gradual and needs to apply to the family. I'd also have a very strong word with your other son about teasing him and how he won't want you to ever hear that kind of thing from him again. Your son probably knows that he has an issue and will need genuine support from his family to overcome it.

SoonToBeSix Tue 18-Nov-14 19:50:52

Firstly change you mindset, from your description your ds is fat not " chubby". Secondly only allow him access to healthy food 90% of the time and encourage him to do more exercise.

youareallbonkers Tue 18-Nov-14 19:51:38

Fat children become fat adults. It's not cute!

Quitelikely Tue 18-Nov-14 19:53:14

Immediate action is necessary IMO. You do not want his weight to be an issue in the comp because then he could go onto the develop disordered eating.

Can you describe a typical days eating?

anothermakesthree Tue 18-Nov-14 19:53:41

How have you 'been lazy', do you think?

ApocalypseThen Tue 18-Nov-14 19:56:06

This is a child we're talking about. Labelling his weight and asking his mother to not see him as cute is pretty destructive. Whether his mother becomes a drill sargent or not, his self esteem is probably taking quite a hit from the teasing he's already getting.

It's possible to deal with this issue in a compassionate, gentle way.

flipchart Tue 18-Nov-14 19:56:26

Why don't you sign up on the Change 4 life scheme.
www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/why-change-for-life.aspx

Lots of really good ideas and tips that will benefit the whole family.

skylark2 Tue 18-Nov-14 19:56:30

Is he fat? "Belly that hangs a bit" sounds borderline obese, to be honest. If so, do something about his diet by making sure all the family eats more healthily and get him to do something more active.

If you already do this, he may just be at a slow point of his growth cycle. DS went from a tiny, skinny junior school pupil to a still tiny, really quite chubby year 7-8-9 while still eating the same healthy diet as the rest of us and doing plenty of exercise.

Then he grew 8 inches in a year and is now a tallish skinny 15 year old.

Dragonfly71 Tue 18-Nov-14 19:58:54

My son is 10 and in 11 - 12 clothes too. His big brother was the same and slimmed down once he was about 12, and walked further to school, grew a few inches, did more sport. He's 20 now and average build.
I never let anyone refer to my son as over weight in my company. I do make sure I give him healthy food and promote activity, as I expect you do too. I have also found he responds well to talking about portion sizes and recognising that full feeling. So he doesn't over eat.
If your Ds is active the weight will gradually even out as he grows. I am not in favour of taking a child this age to be weighed. You can see he is a bit chubby, so why weigh him?
The current obsession with obesity makes us assume a child carrying a little extra weight will be FAT all their life! I am not saying ignore it but formerbabes advice is probably best.
Plus there will always be something he could be teased about, if he is confident and has friends he will be able to ride it out at secondary school.
Of course if changes to his diet and activity didn't work I would seek some advice, but maybe from school nurse. I wouldn't take him to a GP appointment to be weighed.

KatieKatie1980 Tue 18-Nov-14 19:59:45

Has he mentioned anything to you about his shape or size? About how he feels?

As a former chubby kid myself, I really, really do understand. When I was 10, my Mother went OTT with a sudden pre-secondary school, health kick/exercise regime - I didn't really understand, felt really singled out and became rather neurotic towards my teen years. I still struggle with a complex today!

Nutrition is key and make exercise a family thing and fun! Can you maybe go swimming together? Take up tennis? Go for walks? Is he a fussy eater? Try cooking together! Watch sugar intake (drinks too) and 'low fat foods' - check the labels, if it reads like a science experiment, it's not good.

There are lots of websites with great recipes and cooking together is fun smile

HelloItsMeFell Tue 18-Nov-14 20:03:48

My son was like your son. I had two lean, skinny sons and one fat one. I had done nothing different with any of them - they got the same food dished up and had the same lifestyles, pretty much.

My chubby DS started off skinny and then suddenly got chubby aged 8 or 9. By the time he was 12 he was really chubby. I struggled to get trousers to fit his waist as they were all adult length.

Then he hit puberty and he shot up in height and the weight started to fall off and now he's 15 and not overweight in the slightest. He's still quite stocky and solid but not fat or flabby at all.

Nothing has changed about his eating habits or his activity levels or his lifestyle. confused Sometimes it really is just puppy fat and sometimes it does just disappear.

HelloItsMeFell Tue 18-Nov-14 20:04:48

And I have known two or three other lads for whom the exact same thing has happened.

addictedtobass Tue 18-Nov-14 20:24:01

Help him eat healthy and exercise if you think he needs it? Mainly explain to your other son how hurtful teasing can sometimes be.

violetwellies Tue 18-Nov-14 20:35:19

My brother was this shape and kown as Jellybelly at junior school. From about late teens he has been very underweight, he's also tall.
Try not to make a big thing of it, unless you can put all the family on a fitness regime.

BlueberryWafer Tue 18-Nov-14 20:46:42

Definitely don't tell your ds he is fat and needs to lose weight. Tell him you're all going to start making healthier choices as a family. Put the emphasis on health, not on weight/size. Get active together as a family and make healthier meals. Don't buy fizzy pop, sweets, chocolate etc. because if it isn't I your house then he doesn't have instant access to it.

needtomanup Tue 18-Nov-14 21:16:17

Introduce small changes for the whole family. Cut down on sugar, processed food and takeaways. Try to go hiking/swimming/ play football all together at the weekend. It will be beneficial to everyone. No need to make an issue out of it.

Altinkum Tue 18-Nov-14 21:20:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Tue 18-Nov-14 21:23:49

Mmm my oldest ds put on weight after being skinny at around 10. We got him into swimming lessons and them he grew 4'' in 3 months and 3 shoe sizes.

Sometimes boys do this before a growth spurt but excersise is key too.

And stop your other sibling name calling. How horrible.

WalkingInMemphis Tue 18-Nov-14 21:25:52

Agree with a couple who've said clothes size is no indication really. I have a 6 year old who is in age 8-9 clothes, because he's tall and solid - but not overweight in the slightest.

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