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To be horrified at this comment?

(40 Posts)
MaybeJustOneDance Wed 14-Sep-16 20:00:03

I'm not sure if I should be concerned or whether it's just children being children .

My niece is 6. I often watch her after school whilst my sister is working.

Today I offered her a small pack of chocolate buttons (the treat size ones).

DN stood there examining them so I asked if they were OK and she replied:

"I'm not sure whether to have them now or wait for my "cheat day" " shock

I was a little bit taken aback but just brushed it off .

Later she was going through my make up bag (I let her look) and she says "I don't like looking in the mirror . My face is fat and ugly".

I'm pretty crushed by this - she's 6! sad

I told her she was lovely , she's far from fat and even if she was , she is smart and that's what will get her through life .

I'm not sure if I handled it well but I did mention it to her mum (my sister) and she is gutted about it .

I know she hasn't picked this up from home as my sister never says anything like this .

A couple of the girls DN plays with in school seem to be much more mature than DN and I know they watch things and are "exposed" to things such as the news (obviously mostly bad these days!) and you tube etc - whereas DN is not .

AIBU to feel shocked and upset by this ?

She's 6!!! sad

Doublemint Wed 14-Sep-16 20:03:10

YANBU that's so upsetting poor little girl. hopefully she'll make some new better friends that grab life by the horns and not the bullshit.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Wed 14-Sep-16 20:03:50


Being slim and pretty is everything...

It's hideous.

MaybeJustOneDance Wed 14-Sep-16 20:05:00

How can I help build her self esteem?

Words are not going to cut it . So sad that this is the world our daughters and nieces are growing up in .

Whatsername17 Wed 14-Sep-16 20:07:16

That is devastating. Her mum needs to address this and quickly. My dd is 5 and we follow the 80/20 rule. Dd knows that some foods are healthy and good for you and some are treats. If she chooses chocolate biscuits as an after dinner treat, then she doesn't have ice cream/haribo/chocolate bar as well. Dd eats really well but has some form of 'treat' every day. I want her to understand moderation not deprivation.

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Wed 14-Sep-16 20:14:27

And sons and nephews... my 5 yr old ds asked me what 'ugly' meant the other day and wouldn't tell me where he'd heard it. I told him what it means, but have been telling him how gorgeous he is, and all the other descriptives that don't just focus on looks. I don't know how much of a big deal to make about throwaway comments like that but I'd be horrified at 'cheat day' and the negative comments at herself-maybe find a positive female role model in the papers and focus on their achievements. I've been using Paralympics to demonstrate to ds that some things are harder for some people than others but how inspirational the athletes are.

AmeliaJack Wed 14-Sep-16 20:19:00

I would suggest that she isn't just getting this from friends.

Holding back from chocolate offered by an adult doesn't sound like something a 6yo would do because of peer pressure. It sounds like something an adult would say.

I'd be looking at parent/grandparent/family friends for the source of this.

MaybeJustOneDance Wed 14-Sep-16 20:22:56

I honestly can't see anyone in our family saying this - nor from her father's family .

I'm convinced it's from her friends (who have heard it from an adult or elsewhere).

I've had her friends over to play too and I've had to actually intervene and change the subject when one of the girls started talking about a very graphic and sad case that has been in the news (DN is very sensitive) .

I was shocked that the girl had heard it because my sister shields her from that stuff .

Humidseptember Wed 14-Sep-16 20:24:01

Dreadful, awful awful awful.

I am so glad that thus far dd and the girls in her class seemed to have retained a certain innocence.

Humidseptember Wed 14-Sep-16 20:24:21

( at 9)

lemonzest123 Wed 14-Sep-16 20:27:18

Oh that breaks my heart sad

I was scoffing everything in sight and getting filthy climbing trees at that age.

Was vaguely aware of something called "slimming" but hadn't a clue what it was.


MaybeJustOneDance Wed 14-Sep-16 20:27:20

Does anyone have any tips on how to handle this?

My sister and I are at a loss !

Do we sit down and have a chat with her or casually drop in positive stuff ?

I really don't know what to do !

She did eat the buttons in the end!

Humidseptember Wed 14-Sep-16 20:27:43


I have read its not good to present food that is bad for us as a treat because then it ties in with emotional ties to it, of treat / punishment etc...

I do not present such food as a treat but more just do it - ie 80 /20 and explain why some foods are good and some are bad.....but ok in moderation.

Humidseptember Wed 14-Sep-16 20:29:07

well, I would ignore it for now, and simply reinforce good eating habits at home but without being to obvious about it...

ie eat a chocolate bar - laugh, all ok in moderation etc.

frumpet Wed 14-Sep-16 20:32:05

Is it anything to do with how food is discussed in school ? I have heard that it is no longer acceptable to talk about food types as 'bad' or 'unhealthy' , more that they focus on how many times a week you can eat certain food , so cake would be one or two times a week as a 'treat' ? Maybe she got treat and cheat mixed up ?

MaddyHatter Wed 14-Sep-16 20:32:06

it could be a phase, i would also talk to the school about it, chances are this has been picked up at school... a chat with the teacher, and if you have them, the pastoral staff, might be worth a try.

My DS went through this, he's autistic and doesn't eat much, so he's skinny, and he was telling us he was fat because of the schools 'healthy eating' classes telling him the few foods he DID eat, were bad for him angry

RandomMess Wed 14-Sep-16 20:32:28

Think I'd do some research for ideas tbh.

I would ask her what she thinks makes a good friend? Hopefully that is a way in to talk about it doesn't matter about how someone looks but their attributes. So more focus on what is in important rather than trying to tell her that looks/weight aren't?

MaybeJustOneDance Wed 14-Sep-16 20:32:37

Sister has been texting me saying she's so upset and feels like she has failed DN .

(Sister knows I'm posting for advice)

ThriftyMama Wed 14-Sep-16 20:32:49

It could be one of her friends picked this up from a dieting relative/adult friend of the family and is just imitating, which your DN is also doing.

The best confidence is that which comes from inside of you, encourage her to take part in activities she enjoys and gets a sense of achievement from. I would also explain that in life it is important to be as pretty on the inside as you are on the outside, that sadly people only focus on the outside (so if she ever does get horrid comments about her "looks" she will understand the issue is that person isn't so pretty on the inside and nothing to do with her).

AprilSkies44 Wed 14-Sep-16 20:34:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillionToOneChances Wed 14-Sep-16 21:13:35

My DD started talking like this around that age. I just gently reminded her about 'everything in moderation' and told her she was mistaken when she said she was fat (she has always been very slender!). She's now a slender but curvy 14 year old with a very healthy attitude to food and a lovely confidence in her figure.

Coffee3 Wed 14-Sep-16 22:49:03

In general we try to use the term 'healthy' when talking about food, and we save treats for weekends (adults and children). So for example if it's a takeaway we'll ask if it's healthy and then agree to have one at the weekend for a treat. So not making any food group taboo, but acknowledges that some foods are healthier than others and trying to establish good habits (hoping this won't turn into binge eating at weekends !)
A pp who suggested talking about positive personality traits sounds like a good idea too; I quite like the Roald Dahl quote about thinking lovely thoughts and looking lovely.

VioletBam Wed 14-Sep-16 23:21:47

Your sister needs to speak to her teacher. I had to do this when my 4 year old began talking about diets and being fat. It was girls in her class.

YorkshireLass2012 Wed 14-Sep-16 23:31:08

Echoing ThriftyMama. How about getting your DN involved in some sort of sport activity and preferably a tram based one so that she can make new friends? A school friend of mine joined the athletics team, made some great friends and built up a healthy amount of self-confidence and self esteem.

YorkshireLass2012 Wed 14-Sep-16 23:32:06

*team based! Not tram. Predictive text fail...

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