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To feel upset on my dd's behalf

(24 Posts)
Hazydaze67 Thu 12-Jan-17 16:19:01

My dd is in Year 6. She is very self-conscious about her weight and we have had all sorts of talks about healthy eating and exercise. Last term they were weighed and had their height measured as part of a government initiative and we got a letter just before xmas telling us she was overweight. We haven't shared this information with her, particularly as she is going through puberty at the moment and I don't think it's worth upsetting her when she is already aware that she is slightly bigger than all her friends. When I picked her up from school today, she told me that two boys in her class were being mean to her. When I asked her what they had done, she said they were being silly saying "Halloween is over now, you can take your mask off". She then told me that they had made her cry although she wouldn't tell me what they had said at first. After some coaxing she told me they said "the baker is on the phone, he want his rolls back". She immediately took this to be a comment about her weight and started to cry, at which point the teacher intervened. She was taken outside by the teaching assistant and the boys involved told her they were sorry for upsetting her. I told her to ignore them if they do this Again and speak to her class teacher and let him deal with it but that some boys are very immature and she mustn't be upset by what they've said, etc., etc. I could quite happily give these boys a piece of my mind but feel that perhaps they didn't realise how sensitive she is about the weight and they were just very insensitive. We all know boys can be silly. Did I do the right thing? I'm really upset on her behalf although she doesn't know this obviously, and she appears to be fine now. Should I be upset or should I just brush it off?

TeenAndTween Thu 12-Jan-17 16:21:36

I think it is fine for you to be a bit upset.
but
are you doing something about her weight such as finding a way for her to be more active?

Prompto Thu 12-Jan-17 16:25:26

As it's a one off incident (so far as you know) I'd leave it for now. They've apologised, you've had a chat with her, hopefully this will be the end of it. If it happens again then make an appointment with her teacher or the headteacher to discuss it.

In the meantime are there any subtle ways you could help her? You're probably doing them already but things like reducing her portion size a little, making sure what she's eating is filling so she doesn't fee the need to snack, limiting treats, getting out for walks as a family, etc?

lastqueenofscotland Thu 12-Jan-17 16:33:59

It sounds like the teacher handled it well.

Though I agree, how big is she (if you don't mind me asking) and what are you doing to help her

BeaveredBadgered Thu 12-Jan-17 16:35:29

Remind her of how brilliant she is and of all the things she's good at. Build her self esteem and tell her to ignore bullies.
Don't mention diets, 'bad' foods, calories, weight etc. Subtly help her make good choices and shop/cook healthily. Get out for lots of exercise at the weekends.
I'd be tempted not to intervene since it's not happened before but intervene if it happens again.
I was overweight as a child and my mother had me on a diet from about 7 years old. I never told her if I was bullied at school as I worried she'd think I deserved it. It took me years to form a healthy relationship with food and become a healthy weight because of my mothers judgement and scrutiny as a child.
Sounds like you're doing everything right by keeping chats low key and non judgemental and no doubt your DD will have a healthy body and mind in good time.

BarbarianMum Thu 12-Jan-17 16:39:49

It is almost certainly true that the boys were not aware of how sensitive your dd is about her weight - but that does not excuse them. Being called fat is the ultimate playground insult so I'm sure they meant to be unkind. I'd leave it for now but any repeat performance from them I'd be back at the school talking bullying.

StewieGMum Thu 12-Jan-17 16:42:46

I'm sure the boys knew exactly what they were doing. I'd be keeping a close eye for further incidents because being 'silly' isn't an excus for being cruel.

NoraDora Thu 12-Jan-17 16:43:44

Sound like the teacher handled it perfectly. The boys weren't to know quite how sensitive your dd is about her weight.

If they have noticed she's larger, others will have too. Are you doing anything about it at home? Such a difficult path to tread, you want to support her becoming thinner whilst not giving her body image issues. Is she due to grow taller anytime?

dollydaydream114 Thu 12-Jan-17 16:47:25

I completely understand why you're upset for your DD, and I can completely understand why your DD was hurt by these boys. However, it's been dealt with appropriately by the school, and you've had a sensible chat with your DD about what to do if it happens again.

Overall it sounds like your reaction and the school's reaction has been a sensible and proportionate response to a situation that (sadly) occurs in schools all over the country every day.

Puberty is a tricky time when it comes to weight, as I do think a lot of girls put on 'puppy fat' just as their bodies start to change - but is her weight gain a recent thing or has she always been on the plumper side? I agree with others that you might be able to help her lose a little weight without making a big deal out of things - provided that really is what she wants and needs.

Currently, you say you've had 'all sorts of talks about healthy eating and exercise' but you will need to do more than have talks with her if she really does need to lose weight; you'll need to help her make some changes. How about trying a martial arts class, which might help her confidence and where she can do something physical without having to prance about in skimpy shorts or tight sports gear? And you can almost certainly make some subtle changes to her main meals that she will barely notice but will reduce her calorie intake slightly.

I think the key thing though is to establish whether she really wants to lose weight for herself or whether she's just self-conscious because others are pressuring her.

I was very self-conscious about my appearance at her age so I do feel for her.

UnbornMortificado Thu 12-Jan-17 16:58:29

My DD'd the same age.

I think those weigh ins cause a lot more hindrance than help personally.

What about sports?

DD started football last year, she now plays for three different teams (has the broken fingers to prove it)

She's noticeably slimmed down. Footballs not for all kids that age but if you look around there should be local dance clubs and other activities that incorporate some exercise.

SaltyMyDear Thu 12-Jan-17 17:04:18

Thing is, fat people do get a raw deal from society. If she doesn't loose weight she will have a life time of this.

So, I'd take this as a wake-up call, that it's now time to really do something about it.

kateandme Thu 12-Jan-17 17:12:03

its already been highlighted how dangerous those school body mass weight tests can be.children are so different if they are doing weight for height bmi it really really doesn't work for younger people who are still growing,all so different,going through body changes and puberty all at different times and it take on different forms.in the health system there is currently lots being done to try and get safer tests for those in the younger years.
do you think she is overweight or just a girl who might look a little "rounder"than her mates. my friends girl was the same and all her mates were getting boobs or hibs or shape and she stayed the so called chubbier model and was told she was overwight.but she ate the healthiest out of all her mates! and shes now a healthy young adult same looking really as all her mates,it took a different route is all.
so Id suggest you having a look: do you think shes overweight or over eating.if so don't make a thing of it,could you help make different choices,give her less in portion sizes or find ways to encourage fruit and more veg etc. walking.getting active.
but don't make it a weight thing.dont even mention it. just make subtle changes in to you all and her to follow.
make her feel great about herself and she will grow to wna tto look after herself. to eat right.to play outside and keep active.
and tell her all the thing parents do over silly little boys and there bullying.keep on eye on it.but help her see people don't no wha tthey say at that age and shes gorgeous.
obviously I say all the above thinking you know shes not mega over eating or being really junk foodie and slobbin around.becasue that is something that would need to change.but again help her be healthy not weight focused.

MadMags Thu 12-Jan-17 17:14:14

Are you doing anything about her weight, aside from talking to her about healthy eating?

Is she very overweight? What age is year 6?

Of course it goes without saying that they were horrible and that you're entitled to feel upset but I fear it will only get worse and if was my dd, I'd be doing everything to get her healthy.

Sweepingchange Thu 12-Jan-17 17:15:20

Not surprised you feel upset on behalf of your dd op flowers

Year 6 is such a sensitive age and those boys probably don't yet have the maturity to realise how hurtful their comments were to your dd. What they said was awful though. I am glad the teacher handled it well and your dd received an apology.

I think you did do the right thing.

I agree with the few on here who say don't mention weight and don't make a big deal of it. As you are already doing, just get behind your dd in every way you can, and be loving, not critical. I think you made a good decision in not showing her the school letter. If she is heavier than average, society will have already made her well aware of that sadly and and (as has been demonstrated today) she will already be very sensitive and defensive about it.

Perhaps you could cook together - that's a great way of passing on healthy eating tips without directly confronting the weight issue - and the idea about martial arts is a good one. I don't think it is a good idea to refer to appearance too much at this age if you can possibly avoid it.

The situation may well resolve itself on its own because the age your dd is at is one of the most rapid periods of growth I think. In the meantime, you can encourage her to make healthy choices and have a healthy range of food at home and continue to handle it with a light touch.

Good luck op flowers

GashleyCrumbTiny Thu 12-Jan-17 17:26:28

You (and the teacher) handled this the right way. Don't blame you at all for feeling upset, but I don't think there's anything further you can fruitfully do right now. Teach her that mean, silly people say mean, silly things to get a rise out of people, and concentrate on working on her weight in the background, without making it an ISSUE.

elektrawoman Thu 12-Jan-17 17:30:11

Hi my DD is in year 6 and children this age can be mean. She has been called names, particularly by the boys, they seem to like winding the girls up, and the more she gets annoyed by it the more they do it!

I think it depends, if it's a one-off I tell her to ignore it but if it's mean comments made regularly by the same child/children then I would talk to the teacher as it's bullying.
It sounds like it was handled well and hopefully nipped in the bud.
I got DD a book about handling bullying called 'stand up for yourself and your friends' and I focused on boosting her self-confidence, I think she now finds the teasing just annoying rather than upsetting. Unfortunately this kind of thing isn't limited to primary school so you need to give them the emotional tools to cope with it.
I also made sure DD had friendships and activies outside of school. Could your DD do a sport that would make her more self-confident about her body?

DD tells me that the children at school do make comments about each other's appearance like weight, clothes etc sadly.

Areyoufree Thu 12-Jan-17 17:32:03

I had to read your post twice, in case I missed something. I thought you asked for advice on bullying, but apparently you asked for advice on how to help your daughter lose weight. Strange.

Kids don't always know - I changed schools when I was 14, and when I went to my new school I was relatively slim, so some kids thought it was okay to joke about my weight. What they didn't know was that I had previously been overweight and was sensitive about it. I asked them to stop, and they did. I think you handled it fine, and all you can do is wait and see what happens next. Hopefully it will end there.

ThePinkOcelot Thu 12-Jan-17 17:38:30

I know exactly how you feel. I got one of those letters for dd2. She doesn't know about it either. She's in year 8 now and still a bit over weight but does do plenty of exercise so I'm not too worried. She hasn't started her periods yet so I think that has something to do with it.
I wouldn't mention to her again though.
Boys can be horrible though, bless her.

BeaveredBadgered Thu 12-Jan-17 17:47:35

Good point areyoufree. I'm guilty too as I jumped on the weight advice bandwagon.

kurlique Thu 12-Jan-17 17:48:19

My friend's DD got one of those letters in Yr6 when she was also going through puberty... very upsetting esp as she opened the letter herself... 5 yrs later she eats healthily, does exercise though not super sporty and has a fab hourglass size 10 figure... the robust sturdily built little girl with a bit of a chubby tummy has morphed into an elegant young lady who is sensible about eating and exercise. Children's BMI are tricky for girls going through puberty - one size most definitely does not fit all.

UnbornMortificado Thu 12-Jan-17 19:35:52

Sorry Hazy I did jump on the weight issue when it wasn't needed blush

I don't have sons to compare with but in DD's year 6 class there is a definite boy/girl divide. You seem to have handled it well. From my (limited experience) boys and girls at that age can be thoughtless with what they come out with.

Honestly would that "rolls" comment be understood by a child that age? I don't think DD would understand it fully. Sounds like this boy has heard it somewhere else and said it without thinking.

Or he's just a little shit spirited.

Whathappendexactly Thu 12-Jan-17 19:44:27

Hi. My then year 6 daughter was also labelled over weight by this letter. My frinds with older girls assured me she was fine and that she'd "take the weight with her" ie get slimmer as she grew taller. She has indeed. She's year 9 nine and doesn't have amade ounce of spare flesh on her but nothing changd a out her diet because it was already healthy.

This is not a stealth boast. The same will happen for your daughter so long as her diet is mostly healthy. flowers

MadMags Thu 12-Jan-17 20:32:08

I started doling out weight advice, too.

Sorry!

elektrawoman Thu 12-Jan-17 21:24:35

www.amazon.co.uk/Stand-Yourself-Your-Friends-Bossiness/dp/1609587383
This is the book I got for DD, she said it was helpful.
Actually there are lots of good books in the American Girl series, she has got a few!

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