My 4 year old called her friend fat(3 Posts)
My 4 year old has just called her friend fat in front of the friend and her friend's parents. They were obviously upset and told her that it isn't a nice thing to say which is obviously the response I would expect. I have been very careful with my children to promote positive body image regardless of how we look. I never diet, allow them to make their own food choices, am a bit chubby post-baby but have NEVER commented on my weight other than to explain that my body stores fat to breastfeed the baby etc. Size is really a non-issue in our house and there are all kinds of sizes represented throughout our family. There are also different ethnicities and sexualities which are non issues in our family. We celebrate our differences without valuing some traits above others!! I am very careful not to talk about size as being a good or bad thing so she is totally unaware that fat could be seen as a 'bad' thing which would upset someone - to her fat is just something on our body and some people have more than others, like hair!! Obviously I have to discuss this as pointing out this fact is not socially acceptable but how should I do it? She didn't say it as an insult and was not trying to be mean. I don't want to reinforce the societal norm that fat is bad and upsetting for the person who is fat but I know I have to prevent her saying it in future!!! Any advice much appreciated!....
Keep it simple and tell her that it's always rude to comment on another person's body or face unless it's a compliment.
"I like your dress" Good
"Your ears stick out" Bad
"Your hair looks pretty" Good
"You have too many freckles" Bad
That way she'll get the picture that only comments which are POSITIVE are good.
And you will just need to say that it's not good to mention someone's weight....so any comments about people who are fat or thin are a NO GO.
Thanks! I like the idea about a blanket ban on commenting about people's weight! I will definitely do that. The thing about examples is that we then start pointing out that sticky out ears and freckles are 'bad'. So many things which we are conditioned to think in society! My oldest daughter has really sticky out ears but they don't diminish her appearance. It just makes me sad that I myself have been taught to value certain physical traits above others and I have to censor so much that I have been brought up to think!! Big noses, wonky teeth, clear skin, shiny hair, thin, thin, thin!!! It's a minefield being a parent!!!! Thanks so much for your advice
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